lgbtqia content · my faves · sci-fi / fantasy

REVIEW: He Dreams Magic by Emme C. Taylor

The Official Description: Ren has always wanted to leave, to escape his quiet village life. He wakes up from gold-tinged dreams with his heart pounding and a yearning for something he can’t name, can’t hold. He longs to experience something magical just once in his life.

Nico’s monsters don’t lurk under the bed. They walk in daylight. They haunt him every day of his life. He’s possibly the strongest magician of his time, yet he’s trapped. All he wants is an out.

At a magical carnival in the middle of a forest, Ren and Nico collide. They’ve been on this collision course their entire lives, always hurtling toward each other. For both men, escape is now. They have no choice but to flee together. Monsters and betrayal hunt them across strange lands. They find themselves on a journey to save each other—and possibly the world. All they have is one another, Nico’s magic, and a lifetime of half-remembered dreams. But finding each other, finally having someone to rely on, might be the strongest magic of all.

Just the facts: Fantasy, suspense, magic, bisexual character, gay character, intense!

Emme C. Taylor has created a world full of magic, violence, fear and love and it’s all wrapped up together in beautiful writing! – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit:  This book was fantastic! I love when I find books that are completely original! Taylor has created a wonderful world in He Dreams Of Magic. The novel begins with Ren heading out to a carnival as he tries to seek out the magical joy in his dreams. He does find excitement in the way of a Magical flyer who collides with him on the carnival grounds. What begins as physical attraction is soon a dangerous situation that Ren wasn’t prepared for. Nico… the flyer is full of magic. He’s a rare individual… and he’s walled off.. almost unreachable. For some reason though, Ren is drawn to the man and persuades him to spend some time with him.

Soon… Ren becomes all too aware that there is more to Nico than what he appears. Nico’s magic is very powerful… and it makes him a target for a nasty set of creatures. The Wolk are terrifying! Most creatures in books don’t really bother me, but Taylor’s writing left me ready to hide under my bed! I mean, I don’t even want to entertain the idea of creatures that can live by sucking the life, magic, and soul out of humans and draining them to death. It’s a horrifying thought! Kudos to the author for making me keep one eye open while last night while I was trying to fall asleep.

The relationship between Ren and Nico is really well written. While there is an “instant attraction” on Ren’s part…Nico is resistant and hiding behind walls he has created for his own protection. The two men have some remarkable discussions even while Nico remains determined to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. I can’t really explain how the author did this so well…but Nico and Ren stay true to each of their characters. even when the perspective switched to Nico’s in the book… I still felt as though I was discovering things about Nico at the same time as Ren did.

This is a wonderful story. I feel as though this story is more than just a “fantasy” novel. It is a GREAT fantasy novel but it’s also about home… and family… belonging and what happens if any of those things are taken away from someone.

Thank you Emme C. Taylor! I look forward to anything else you may write!!

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Vivid descriptions of violence and physical assault, description of rape happening in the past, death, kidnapping, and confinement, emotionally abusive parent, mentions of past spousal abuse.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

Links: Goodreads // The Publisher

I received an ARC of He Dreams Magic by Emme C. Taylor from NineStar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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