Second (Between, 2013) in an urban fantasy series where three worlds—Wakeworld, Dreamworld and Between—are real.
In the series opener, ER doctor Vivian Maylor learned that she is the last of the dreamshifters, one who can move at will from one realm to another. She’s also able to transform herself into a dragon—and she’s a sorceress. Unfortunately, nobody instructed her on how to awaken or use any of her powers. In the Dreamworld, her boyfriend, bookseller and artist Zee Arbogast, is the Warlord, slayer of dragons, and Vivian doesn’t know how to tell him about herself. Wherever she goes, she’s followed by a smart, brave penguin named Poe. Becoming a dragon has drawbacks, too, since dragons follow their own instincts and care nothing for humans. Meanwhile, Morgan Weathersby makes a living by conducting small parties of hunters into the Dreamworld, where they can bag spectacular trophies. He’s actually a dreamshifter too, but he rejected the calling as a young boy and was forced to witness his father slaughter the rest of his family, a crime for which he was blamed. When his latest safari goes dreadfully wrong, he decides to return to his roots and learn about his origins, either to take up his calling or put an end to himself, he isn’t sure which. Meanwhile, an old witch steals Vivian’s protective amulet and locks her out of the Dreamworld. She learns of the existence of another possible dreamshifter, who might be able to help, and goes off to find him. This is only the beginning of a huge and complicated plot—sometimes overly so—vigorously narrated within spectacular and vivid settings, with action that rarely slackens. Best of all, it’s set forth in prose so evocative that it practically leaps off the page.
Baffling sometimes but enthralling and hugely enjoyable.