In An Absent Dream

IN AN ABSENT DREAM (Wayward Children #4)

Written by Seanan McGuire

Published by Tor, January 8, 2019

My star rating – 5 stars!


This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well. Find it on Goodreads

spoiler free graphic


I am struggling SO HARD right now! This review isn’t easy. Not because it was bad. Not because it was amazing (though it was) but because it was just SO unexpected!!! It kicked me right in my emotions and I’m struggling to recover.

I was totally apprehensive going into this. The disaster that was the first prequel (Down Among The Sticks And Bones) that featured the backstory of a character(s), ruined me for the experience. I LOVED the first book, but the second one was just a flop for me. It was missing everything that I loved about the first book. The characters were explained, but for some reason I didn’t connect with them. I honestly think that the problem was the world for me. I just didn’t like it. Then came book 3 and I fell in love again…… but this one might take the cake for being my favourite!!!!!!!

I was also apprehensive because Lundy wasn’t a character that I latched onto. I liked her, and she was intriguing, but she wasn’t on my list of top favourite characters. So I was fearful that a book JUST about HER would be another tragedy. NOPE! Not the case! This book damn near killed me!

The world building in this one was fantastic! I’d never known much about The Goblin market, but this book makes me want to read literally everything that even mentions it! The stalls and stands were so interesting! There were some really interesting items for sale, and the stands that they sold from sounded so majestic. There also seemed to be such a diverse population! No one noticed the differences as differences, but embraced their differences and looked at them as something to awe. It was truly beautiful!

But it was the “rules” of how the Goblin Market operated that was so interesting! Instead of money or currency, trade was made upon “fair value”. Fair value for one might be a totally different price from one person to the next. It all depended on how much you NEEDED something and how much you had to offer. It was a bit confusing in the beginning, but as Lundy learns this world, we learn these rules along with her and gain an understanding. For example: If I was absolutely starving and on the brink of death, and asked for food, and the only thing I had was one hair ribbon. The person next to me was in the same predicament but had 25 hair ribbons…… the cost of 1 hair ribbon per meal wouldn’t be fair value to the both of us as I only had one ribbon to offer while the other person had 25. Make sense? Probably not! LOL! But I’m not all that good at explaining things!

My favourite part of this book was the relationships though. Lundy has many relationships. Her parents and siblings back home, and then a friend and mother figure in The Goblin Market. When she was back home she felt as if she didn’t belong, so her relationships were strained. Then after going to the Goblin Market and coming back home, it was strained even more. This was both sad and enlightening how her family handled her time away and then her returns. But it was her friendship with Moon in the Goblin Market that was just SO well written! They were so close and so willing to give and take for each other. They both knew that some sacrifice on their part would get the other one back on track, so they were willing to take the temporary discomfort and hardship for the other. I have a few friends like this and it warmed my heart so much!

Safe to say, everything about this book was unexpected. And maybe that’s why I fell so hard for it? I can’t be sure. Either way, this is probably my favourite of this series so far! If you love the series but haven’t gotten to this one yet – DO IT! You won’t regret it! But prepare your heart – you’ve been warned!

Until next time, happy reading!

15 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve been thinking about giving these books a try, and your review convinced me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I can convince just one person to fall in love with this series then my mission is complete!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rae says:

    So happy you rated this one so highly, since it’s on my TBR. I love books with strong relationships. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I hope you love it! Especially the friendships!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this one too! It’s so funny because I had the opposite reading experience with the first two books where I much prefer the second over the first, haha. But it seems this one resonated with both of us! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are quite a few people who loved the second one. I can see why they loved it! But for some reason I just didn’t. If I could pinpoint why it would make life easier 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s all good! What we love is all very subjective 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. evelynreads1 says:

    Great review!
    I’m so excited for this one! I’m currently rereading the first three books in audio in preparation! I’m reminded of how much I love them haha!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about rereading the first three but I had too many other things on the go. Enjoy!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. evelynreads1 says:

        Reader struggles haha 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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