This book is the second in the duet by Elizabeth Knox that starts with Dreamhunter .

Dreamhunter was slow starting for me. However, Dreamquake raced by for me very quickly. Already knowing the problems and the characters meant the author could get right down to the crux of the problem: how power can corrupt us even when used for good.

This theme is reflected by the villain of the story (using dreams of contentment to create a peaceful society) as well as by the heroines (one whom can create a kind of golem out of sand and struggles with her continuing power over the golem, and her power over a boy who wants to be a suitor) and also the power of society over individuals (debutantes coming out at a ball with the help of mothers who themselves despise the process).

I would not recommend this book to anyone who hadn’t read the first one, as the ending is not a satisfying or clever without the mystery surrounding the dream place from the first book. Let’s just say the author ties together the world, the heroine’s struggles, and the villain’s downfall in a satisfying and clever conclusion that left me a little in awe at the end.

My one beefs with this duet is that there was still an emotional distance between me and the main characters, despite their sympathetic predicaments and despite pearls of wisdom about the nature of humanity that seemed to drip from everybody’s lips (maybe it was because they did drip from everybody’s lips, everybody was too prescient and philosophical).

Recommended with the caveat you read the first one first.