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WITCH DREAMS by Vivian Vande Velde

WITCH DREAMS

By Vivian Vande Velde

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7614-5235-4
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

As her story opens, 16-year-old Nyssa, orphaned by the unsolved murder of her parents when she was ten, dreams vividly about the day of their deaths. She lives in a vaguely defined medieval society that condemns witches—by definition anyone with psychic abilities. This includes Nyssa, who can “read” other people’s dreams. On the day of her parents’ deaths, Nyssa’s father threatened to exile his witch daughter to a monastery, leaving her with a lot of ambivalence about his murder. Hoping to solve the mystery, she uses her power to examine the event through the dreams of all its witnesses. Plot drives this combination of fantasy and mystery, leaving even primary characters underdeveloped, but providing a hook for readers. Although definitely not the author’s best work (beside the weak characterization, the book comes to its pat resolution far too quickly and leaves one whopping loose thread), it will appeal to fans of Vande Velde’s previous work, to readers of occult fiction and to those younger teens perennially in search of thin books. Purchase accordingly. (Fantasy. 12-14)