This gorgeous book is finally here! So I invited Kristina Mahr over to share a little about the building of the worlds within her books.
So without further ado:
The Two Worlds of the Dreamworld Duology
by Kristina Mahr
The world within the Dreamworld Duology, or should I say, the worlds within the Dreamworld Duology, were both challenging and fun to create. They are a product of my protagonist Reeve and the story itself. Specifically, the first bit of this story that I knew was that it’s about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets in her dreams. That in itself prompted many world-based questions. What was this dreamworld like? How did it contrast to Reeve’s real world? What did each world bring out in Reeve?
I knew I wanted the dreamworld to be a dark, nightmarish place, which is why I named it Tenebris, which means “dark” in Latin. I wanted it to be a place that makes Reeve dread going to sleep, until the boy she’s to fall in love with arrives, that is. The monstrous, six-foot-tall falcons were built to add to the terror of the world, the way they patrol the streets and kill anyone caught outside.
In contrast, Reeve’s waking world is called Acarsaid, which means “safe harbor” in Gaelic. It’s an idyllic world, bright and airy and everything Tenebris is not. But I wanted it to feel confining to Reeve, to really make her yearn for freedom, which is why I decided to set the whole story in an era that models Victorian England. For all that Acarsaid is the opposite of Tenebris, it suffocates her. To that end, I also made Acarsaid a small island nation, to further the isolation she feels.
The worlds play such a large role in each character’s development, not just Reeve’s, that they feel like characters themselves. Bran would not be who he is if he had been raised in Acarsaid, and nor would Arden be if he’d been raised in Tenebris. They are such a product of their circumstances, and so each world, and each man within each world, tugs Reeve in different directions.
I’m sure you could build a thousand stories based around the idea of a girl falling in love with a boy she meets in her dreams, but I’m really proud of the one I built.
Invisible to the man she loves, Reeve Lennox fights to reclaim him from a dark world.
As her wedding day nears in Acarsaid, her betrothed Arden offers only his wayward soul and saucy tongue. At night she desperately tries to reach Bran, the young soldier of nightmarish Tenebris who holds her heart. However, her king insists that the realms of Tenebris and Acarsaid must remain separate, lest the evil wizard Rancore brutally conquer all.
But the dark magic of Tenebris defies mere distance. A war is coming, one only Reeve may be able to prevent, if she can reunite her family on opposing sides.
With two kingdoms at stake, Reeve must discover her strength and her family’s legacy before all is lost. Yet righting the wrongs of the past may require the sacrifice of her truest love.
Barnes & Noble
This is the sequel to All That We See or Seem. If you haven’t read the first book, you can find more about it on her website.
Meet the Author
Kristina Mahr devotes her days to numbers and her nights to words. She works full-time as an accountant in the suburbs of Chicago, where she lives with her two dogs and two cats, but her true passion is writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and waking up at the crack of dawn every weekend to watch the Premier League.