I found myself slowly consuming The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta, tending to the embers creeping, growing, and thickening, just like the plot.
If there was a single word to describe this story, it would be wise.
Wise in the mirroring of a fictional age of the past with today’s present building chaos.
Wise in such beautifully scripted examples of true body positivity, consent, respect, non-patriarchal societies, and more.
Wise diction imprinting on the heart to remind us of our own wisdom within:
“Trust that what is to be yours will be yours. The story we are a part of is much longer than any of us can imagine.”
“None of us survive our stories, sweet child; we just live the best we can, while we can.”
In The Lost Dreamer, Saya and Indir share their separate yet interwoven stories- each experiencing their own form of loss, both part of the gift and answer to saving their world.
Indir is a Dreamer. This generational gift of Dreaming truth and future holds so much of her identity. If not a Dreamer then who is she? And if not a Dreamer, who is she for her family, her community, and the world they live in?
Saya is not a Dreamer, but what she Sees holds power. As she painfully learns the truth of her mother’s betrayal, her vision and gifts lead her closer to her true identity.
It is through the breaking of negative cultural and familial expectations while opening to ancestral knowledge that the characters are able to develop into who they each need to be.
I found the writing, and plot to be a challenge and resistance towards Eurocentric story development and overall storytelling. There is no beginning, middle, or end. There is no perfectly calculated happy ending because that, we know, is not truth. The story plays out as it needs to and I’m so grateful to experience a shift in how stories are told.
Some would call this a YA fantasy, but as a Latina with indigenous roots, I call this a YA return to roots.
A true must-read for those feeling a calling to inner wisdom and desiring to move away from a conventional fantasy.