Of Dreams and Destiny
Grade : B+

Sandhya Menon’s fairytale-based story of a boarding school where magic, true love, and fairytales come true continues apace with DE’s story, Of Dreams and Destiny, which is a take on the legend of Sleeping Beauty. The romance pops, the retelling flows, and Menon’s characters are as worthwhile, even if this isn’t her very best outing.

Daphne Elizabeth McKinley – best known as DE – has always been a rich queen bee at St. Rosetta’s. An hotel heiress, she’s never wanted for much, and now she’s approaching her senior year. But her confidence has been shaken by her breakup with Alaric. Alaric, of course, wrecked her sense of self, and DE, still recovering her sense of worth, decides to concentrate on her studies. But a visit from a local psychic to the school results in a prophecy being laid upon her, and this place.

Xander is a brand-new student to the Academy, and while DE finds him handsome, she decides that love just isn’t worth the heartbreak. But St. Rosetta’s has a way of throwing fate on the train tracks of even its most ambitious students.

To whit, when a spring storm hits the dorms, the students are stricken by the uncontrollable urge to sleep – apart from DE and Xander who are the only ones not affected by this spell. Frantically searching against time for the cure to this illness before they, too, are swept away, DE and Xander team up to find a way to wake the whole dorm before everyone dies.

Of Dreams and Destiny explores topics that Menon is great with; healing from heartache, new love and smart, highly skilled girls. The parallel to Sleeping Beauty is wonderfully handled, and the fairytale is given its own special spin within the universe.

I did love DE, who finally gets to step out on her own after being more of a supporting character in the first two books, and Xander is suitably charming – if not as interesting as Menon’s other heroes. The romance is very sweet and – if you didn’t guess – very much dependent upon destiny, which may annoy some readers who want their heroes and heroines to have a more organic union.

The teen social hierarchy antics continue apace, but here they’re subsumed in a perfect use of magic, the series’ best so far. The magic here is what makes the St. Rosetta’s storyline so interesting, because Menon manages to bend the central tenets of each story and make them so different and worth investing in.

In the end, Of Dreams and Destiny is appealing and fresh, and will please many teens looking for something out of the ordinary.

Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes

Grade: B+

Book Type: Fantasy|Young Adult

Sensuality: Kisses

Review Date : September 20, 2023

Publication Date: 09/2023

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Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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