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A Season of Sinister Dreams

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Furyborn meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this courtly feminist fantasy from Grace and Fury author Tracy Banghart. Annalise may be cousin to the prince, but her past isn’t what she claims, and she possesses a magic so powerful it takes all her strength to control it. Evra is a country girl, and has watched as each friend and family member came into their own magic, whi Furyborn meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this courtly feminist fantasy from Grace and Fury author Tracy Banghart. Annalise may be cousin to the prince, but her past isn’t what she claims, and she possesses a magic so powerful it takes all her strength to control it. Evra is a country girl, and has watched as each friend and family member came into their own magic, while hers remains dormant. But everything changes after Annalise loses control of herself and Evra begins experiencing the debilitating visions of a once-in-a-generation clairvoyant meant to serve the crown. Thrown together at court, Evra and Annalise find that they have the same goal: to protect their kingdom from the powerful men who are slowly destroying it. But neither is quick to trust the other — Evra’s visions suggest a threat to royal rule, and Annalise worries that her darkest secrets will be revealed. Their magic at odds, the young women circle each other, until the truth must come out. Full of intrigue, romance, and shocking twists, this gorgeously immersive fantasy will keep readers spellbound until the very last page.


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Furyborn meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this courtly feminist fantasy from Grace and Fury author Tracy Banghart. Annalise may be cousin to the prince, but her past isn’t what she claims, and she possesses a magic so powerful it takes all her strength to control it. Evra is a country girl, and has watched as each friend and family member came into their own magic, whi Furyborn meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this courtly feminist fantasy from Grace and Fury author Tracy Banghart. Annalise may be cousin to the prince, but her past isn’t what she claims, and she possesses a magic so powerful it takes all her strength to control it. Evra is a country girl, and has watched as each friend and family member came into their own magic, while hers remains dormant. But everything changes after Annalise loses control of herself and Evra begins experiencing the debilitating visions of a once-in-a-generation clairvoyant meant to serve the crown. Thrown together at court, Evra and Annalise find that they have the same goal: to protect their kingdom from the powerful men who are slowly destroying it. But neither is quick to trust the other — Evra’s visions suggest a threat to royal rule, and Annalise worries that her darkest secrets will be revealed. Their magic at odds, the young women circle each other, until the truth must come out. Full of intrigue, romance, and shocking twists, this gorgeously immersive fantasy will keep readers spellbound until the very last page.

30 review for A Season of Sinister Dreams

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Banghart

    I started writing A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS years ago. I was on vacation with my family, and I was struggling with my writing...it looked like my dreams of being published might not come true. I was looking for a way to process my grief and feel hope and joy in my writing again. I decided to write a traditional fantasy just for myself, inspired by the books of Robin McKinley that I'd loved as a teenager, and by my dog, Scrabble, who was big and yellow and looked so at home in the wilds of Nort I started writing A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS years ago. I was on vacation with my family, and I was struggling with my writing...it looked like my dreams of being published might not come true. I was looking for a way to process my grief and feel hope and joy in my writing again. I decided to write a traditional fantasy just for myself, inspired by the books of Robin McKinley that I'd loved as a teenager, and by my dog, Scrabble, who was big and yellow and looked so at home in the wilds of Northern Ontario, where we were staying. The book changed and grew over the years. But at its heart, it's always been a story about managing grief, the hope that those who leave us are never really gone, and what it takes to be at peace with yourself and what you can offer the world. The irony, for a book about grief, is that a week before its release, I had to say goodbye to Scrabble, my inspiration and constant companion for almost 15 years. And now, as his book goes out into the world, I find myself hoping, as ever, that those we love stay with us, and that I'll see him again someday. <3 I hope you all enjoy A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    RTC for the book tour

  3. 5 out of 5

    Intisar Khanani

    I really loved this story, especially the character of Annalise. And by that I mean I didn't know what to think about her for the majority of the story; she's such a wonderfully gray character trying so hard to do good while desperately doing things all wrong. Kudos to Banghart for creating such a complex and sharp-edged character, and setting up Evra as a foil of sorts for her--both girls grow, but while one needs to face her sharpness and flaws, the other needs to gain her own strength and hon I really loved this story, especially the character of Annalise. And by that I mean I didn't know what to think about her for the majority of the story; she's such a wonderfully gray character trying so hard to do good while desperately doing things all wrong. Kudos to Banghart for creating such a complex and sharp-edged character, and setting up Evra as a foil of sorts for her--both girls grow, but while one needs to face her sharpness and flaws, the other needs to gain her own strength and hone her edges. I totally expected that once they came together they would (view spoiler)[automatically become fabulous allies, because that's how YA books work. The fact that they were each too deep in their own lives and fears that they actually ended up on opposites ends of the metaphorical battlefield--and that it was completely realistic--was such a lovely twist, and oh did it keep up the tension! (hide spoiler)] This story is fun and very fast paced, and--that ending! I had a moment of near horror, thinking things would go absolutely the wrong way, but I also knew I could trust Banghart to bring it around, and wow, did she deliver. So thank you, Ms. Banghart, for this book, and these fierce, conflicted, complex, beautiful characters. I received an ARC from the publisher. My views are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary Seaman

    ARC provided by Edelweiss: Stand alones can be so refreshing sometimes. Not having to wait years for each book. This stand alone was so good. I loved the characters, their complexity and struggles. You see the good and bad in them rather than just one is evil and one is not. I’m glad this type of writing is in style now. We all have some evil in us but we also have the good. Sometimes stories tend to make characters one or the other. Tracy did such a good job of making these characters both. Make ARC provided by Edelweiss: Stand alones can be so refreshing sometimes. Not having to wait years for each book. This stand alone was so good. I loved the characters, their complexity and struggles. You see the good and bad in them rather than just one is evil and one is not. I’m glad this type of writing is in style now. We all have some evil in us but we also have the good. Sometimes stories tend to make characters one or the other. Tracy did such a good job of making these characters both. Makes them so relatable, besides the magic part. This was full of magic, hardships and triumphs. I definitely recommend, an adventure from start to finish. Content warnings: violent

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    My Review of A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS By Tracy Banghart Gifted & Published by @TheNOVL @LittleBrown On Sale: 6/22/21 - Purchase Link in my Bio ****** A highly subversive read that takes you away into a new and different kind of fantasy world. This was one extraordinary, non-stop & character driven plot that kept me flipping page after page. I liked that it was a refreshingly new heroine and a story I haven’t read before. The writing was unique and so well written. I recommend to all who love the f My Review of A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS By Tracy Banghart Gifted & Published by @TheNOVL @LittleBrown On Sale: 6/22/21 - Purchase Link in my Bio ****** A highly subversive read that takes you away into a new and different kind of fantasy world. This was one extraordinary, non-stop & character driven plot that kept me flipping page after page. I liked that it was a refreshingly new heroine and a story I haven’t read before. The writing was unique and so well written. I recommend to all who love the fantasy genre. ***** Synopsis: Annalise may be cousin to the prince, but her past isn't what she claims, and she possesses a magic so powerful it takes all her strength to control it. Evra is a country girl, and has watched as each friend and family member came into their own magic, while hers remains dormant. But everything changes after Annalise loses control of herself and Evra begins experiencing the debilitating visions of a once-in-a-generation clairvoyant meant to serve the crown. Thrown together at court, Evra and Annalise find that they have the same goal: to protect their kingdom from the powerful men who are slowly destroying it. But neither is quick to trust the other—Evra's visions suggest a threat to royal rule, and Annalise worries that her darkest secrets will be revealed. Their magic at odds, the young women circle each other, until the truth must come out.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Sledge

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an AudioARC in exchange for an honest review. A Season of Sinister Dreams introduces us to two young ladies who are coming into their own. First, we meet Annalise, the King's niece who has just learned of her betrothal. Annalise also has a massive magical ability that she is attempting to control, but sometimes it acts out. Evra is a young woman who has no magical ability whatsoever, until she is tapped by a soothsayer type magic that forewarns of a th Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an AudioARC in exchange for an honest review. A Season of Sinister Dreams introduces us to two young ladies who are coming into their own. First, we meet Annalise, the King's niece who has just learned of her betrothal. Annalise also has a massive magical ability that she is attempting to control, but sometimes it acts out. Evra is a young woman who has no magical ability whatsoever, until she is tapped by a soothsayer type magic that forewarns of a threat against the kingdom. How are these two's stories intertwined and what is this coming threat? Pick up this novel to find out! This story had the making of a great villain origin story. A battle royal of good versus evil which never really came to fruition as our villainous character didn't embrace her desires and tried(failing miserably) at being good. I really enjoy books that make you choose a side, even if it ends up being the wrong one, but it honestly felt like neither of these characters had their hearts in it. The magic system was pretty cool, and the reveals were pretty interesting; but the execution of where the characters went with these revelations fell flat. This story fall victim to the notorious "I've got a great beginning, but I'm not sure how to end it" syndrome. For me, it took what started as a great story and just made it okay. This story is perfect for those looking for any kind of oracle or soothsayer magic, that area is where the story really shines. 12+ as there isn't anything not appropriate for younger readers.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lieke

    A standalone YA fantasy I liked the characters they were not good or evil, they had good sides and bad sides. Sometimes I did want to yell at them because they didn't see things that where very obvious (to me). But the story was good and had a lot of pace. The narrator also did a very good job. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! A standalone YA fantasy I liked the characters they were not good or evil, they had good sides and bad sides. Sometimes I did want to yell at them because they didn't see things that where very obvious (to me). But the story was good and had a lot of pace. The narrator also did a very good job. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS is an engaging YA fantasy that follows two young women, Evra and Annalise. Annalise lives in the palace as the niece to the king. She hides her powerful magic that threatens to overtake her, as she has vowed for herself and her mother that she will change the way the kingdom is being run. When she is engaged to a foreign nobleman, her anger becomes dangerous, and it affects the person in her vicinity, with dangerous and deadly consequences. As she tries to cover up wh A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS is an engaging YA fantasy that follows two young women, Evra and Annalise. Annalise lives in the palace as the niece to the king. She hides her powerful magic that threatens to overtake her, as she has vowed for herself and her mother that she will change the way the kingdom is being run. When she is engaged to a foreign nobleman, her anger becomes dangerous, and it affects the person in her vicinity, with dangerous and deadly consequences. As she tries to cover up what she has done, she soon learns it has made her the new heir, potentially allowing her to make the changes she is so desperate for - if her secrets are not exposed. Evra is a magicless daughter of farmers in a poor village, amongst the country of poor villagers. Almost everyone is born with magic, though the strength of it varies from person to person. Between the king's taxes and his claiming of everyone of strong magical ability, the village is bereft. They do not have the magic they need to keep their crops alive and protect their houses, and they do not have money to buy it from elsewhere. As the only person in their village without any magic, Evra faces a lot of prejudice, and she has learned to fend for herself. Soon, however, she learns that she has a special type of magic that feels like a curse - she is a Clearsee, someone who can see the past and future and speak with ghosts. This power only appears to someone in her line when the kingdom is in danger. Evra does not understand what the visions she has means, and she faces opposition from Annalise who fears her secrets will be revealed. Although they seem at odds, both young women are each trying to create a better country. What I loved: This was a slowly building plot with a heavy air of mystery as we seek to unravel the world Annalise has made for herself and the lies that have seemingly become truths. Annalise herself does not seem to know how to separate the consequences of her magic from reality. Both Evra and Annalise were compelling characters. Their ethics and decisions are, at times, twisted, but their reasonings and rationales are described. Although the reader may not agree, they can understand what has led to the present. This is a kingdom which is suffering. There are some interesting themes of ruling, wealth disparity, and deciding on consequences/punishment that were thought-provoking at times. The making of a villain is another major plot point, and the gray/borderline ethics of Annalise's decisions and magic are present throughout. This was definitely something I wanted to discuss outside of the book, as it's not a simple equation, and I think this would make a great book club read. I enjoyed the magical elements, as magic manifests differently for different people, and I would have loved to learn even more about its origin and history. The Clearsee magic was particularly intriguing, and I really enjoyed what we do learn about it. Final verdict: Overall, A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS is a compelling YA fantasy. Recommend for fans of FURYBORN, THE QUEEN'S RISING, and SWEET AND BITTER MAGIC. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anna Bright

    A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS glitters darkly with betrayal, forbidden love, and the unbearable weight of magic.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bayan Sh

    This book was super enticing, what with all its magic and drama, politics and thrill. It was fan to see a somewhat gray protagonist like Annalise, who wants to do all that is right but somehow always finds herself doing wrong, lol. I loved how much space the author gave the characters to grow, they were created needing development and the events of the book seemed to put the girls' pieces together just right. I absolutely enjoyed the tension and nerves I felt as I put the pieces of these girls' o This book was super enticing, what with all its magic and drama, politics and thrill. It was fan to see a somewhat gray protagonist like Annalise, who wants to do all that is right but somehow always finds herself doing wrong, lol. I loved how much space the author gave the characters to grow, they were created needing development and the events of the book seemed to put the girls' pieces together just right. I absolutely enjoyed the tension and nerves I felt as I put the pieces of these girls' opposite ends of battlefield together. It was a fun and well plotted book and it was my first time reading this author’s work and I’m amazed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    How dare you comp this to Furyborn, show the glimpses of an excellent villain POV, and then drive it all into the ground first chance you get. Full review at A Book Shrew Maybe I just no longer wish to read of stories with princesses and kings. This had all the makings of being something very cool, but ended up coming across as a little tropey and overdone. I struggle to see this as a smash the patriarchy story. I was really looking forward to a good girl power story, especially with that aforemen How dare you comp this to Furyborn, show the glimpses of an excellent villain POV, and then drive it all into the ground first chance you get. Full review at A Book Shrew Maybe I just no longer wish to read of stories with princesses and kings. This had all the makings of being something very cool, but ended up coming across as a little tropey and overdone. I struggle to see this as a smash the patriarchy story. I was really looking forward to a good girl power story, especially with that aforementioned villainous viewpoint, but it never found roots. Honestly, I'm really unhappy with how it panned out. Like no offence, but one character deciding to (view spoiler)[take down the woman on the throne and replace her with the wimpy man who has made it quite clear he couldn't care less about ruling (hide spoiler)] is so unbelievably weak. A large part of my problem is this started off on the wrong foot for me and set the tone for the rest of the book. Annalise's first few chapters were quite messy. I had no idea what was going on with her, her cousin, and the magic she unleashed. I also struggled with Annalise's character because she wasn't set up well. For one, her magic was poorly explained in the context of this world and didn't serve the purpose it could have. Two, she is described as a character determined to gain whatever power she can while at court. She coaxes information from people and manipulates people to her side ... but apparently she has absolutely no idea she's second in line to the throne? I'm sorry, but no. If that naivety was not included, the opportunity to make Annalise into a fabulous, villainous character was right there. Instead her ambitions were highly flawed and made her out to be incompetent. Evra was a far more interesting character, but even her chapters were a little confusing with her visions. This could be because I listened to the audiobook, but there was no break in the narrative. The visions bled into the scene and were often hard to follow. And while Evra was my favourite of the two, she, too, lost me at the end. The problem with the dual POV consisting of two characters on very separate tracks is that the reader is so far ahead of Evra. We know everything, can see all the obvious signs, and yet she's completely blind to it all. It's so frustrating to experience because it made her seem unfairly oblivious. I also didn't like the odd noble route she adopted towards the end. It pains me to admit, but I think this lost a star with every plot twist. In order for them to work, the groundwork needed to be there. Hints and glimpses that you don't connect until that moment. They flopped for me here. What's worse is this book was solid. It's rating was salvageable for me until the last 100 pages or so. Suddenly nothing made sense and characters were doing complete 180s in motives and personalities without any clue as to why. And talk about a disappointing ending. Oh, I hated how it worked out so much because again, it felt there was zero groundwork laid for it to be deemed right. Really, it was too noble and horribly safe. As I said, I received a copy of the audiobook from the publisher for this review. Gotta say, it was a poor choice not to have two narrators, one for each girl. While the single narrator did alright with the material, each POV blended together and I didn't really find either girl distinct. Sigh. I have permanent wrinkles between my eyebrows now from the expressions I made in the last 100 pages. If I have to ask "what, whyyyyy" that many times about a character's actions or thoughts, you missed something. I have a copy of the author's previous book series, but now I'm quite hesitant to give it a go.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda B

    Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an early copy of this book. I love Tracy Banghart. I’ve met her at an author event and we spent like an hour talking, so I love to read and support her work. A Season of Sinister Dreams follows two main characters, Annalise and Evra. Annalise is the grandniece to the King and cousin to the prince. But she has secrets that she would do anything to protect. Evra is a country girl. She’s worried that she’ll never have any magic and the people i Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an early copy of this book. I love Tracy Banghart. I’ve met her at an author event and we spent like an hour talking, so I love to read and support her work. A Season of Sinister Dreams follows two main characters, Annalise and Evra. Annalise is the grandniece to the King and cousin to the prince. But she has secrets that she would do anything to protect. Evra is a country girl. She’s worried that she’ll never have any magic and the people in her town are starting to treat her differently. But Evra starts having visions that mean the kingdom is in danger. She’s this generations Clearsee. The Clearsee’s only appear once in a generation, and only when the kingdom is in danger. Evra must travel to court to meet with the king and inform him that she has been revealed as this generations Clearsee. Evra and Annalise meet at court. But since we’re seeing things from both points of view, we know things that the other characters don’t. I think this fact made the story infinitely better. Knowing that there were secrets to be revealed and knowing what those secrets were kept me engaged into the story. Wondering how each of the characters were going to react when the truth finally came out was a really great way to add some suspense to the story. Now, I really loved Evra. She’s a girl that loves her family. She loves her kingdom. And she’s willing to do her duty as Clearsee despite the fact that she disagrees with many of the things the king has ordered for the people. She’s taking her responsibility seriously and she does her best to make the right choices, the choices that will help the most people. The author really did her dirty with some of the things that happen, but I really loved Evra. Annalise was a fascinating character. I wanted to hate her so badly, but I just couldn’t. I liked her. Her backstory pulled on my heartstrings. Because we got to see things from her point of view, we know that some events were complete accidents. We get to see the other side of the story which made it easier to sympathize with Annalise, even though she was in the wrong. I didn’t want to like Annalise at all, but I couldn’t help it. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a short, political fantasy that follows two strong women. I liked the politics. I liked the bits of romance we got. I liked the different kinds of magic there was to see. I just genuinely enjoyed this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    With the king so close to death and his grandson, who is next in line, abdicating and disappearing, the king must find another heir. He doesn't have to look too far to find his grand-niece, Annalise. As Anna battles with the king's policies, he grows weaker and closer to death. The appearance of a clearcy, Evra, changes things up. Evra, who just came into her power, fights to understand it and how to interpret what she has seen in her visions. Both Evra and Anna want what is best for the kingdom With the king so close to death and his grandson, who is next in line, abdicating and disappearing, the king must find another heir. He doesn't have to look too far to find his grand-niece, Annalise. As Anna battles with the king's policies, he grows weaker and closer to death. The appearance of a clearcy, Evra, changes things up. Evra, who just came into her power, fights to understand it and how to interpret what she has seen in her visions. Both Evra and Anna want what is best for the kingdom however the way one goes about it is not necessarily the best. Opinion I listened to the audiobook (so I apologize if I misspell something.) The flow and pacing of the reading was fabulous. I did have a little bit of trouble with the same voice doing both Evra and Anna's parts. The sections are titled with the names and their parts of the stories are different enough that I was able to pick up quickly whose part I was listening to. However, if you do not pay close attention, you may get lost. (In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor complaint as the reading was excellent.) The story was fascinating. I loved "watching" Evra try to figure out her visions. The puzzle pieces in her mind and the way she went about solving them was truly interesting. Anna's story was quite unexpected. I was honestly speechless when her past was revealed. I loved this book. Many thanks to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel | What’s Rachel Reading

    A Season of Sinister Dreams tells a story of two sisters seeking vengeance, Tracy Banghart creates a magical wold with amazing characters. Annalise and Emma are such good characters, seeking revenge and are strong female characters. They both have struggled and East have their own agenda that can be stopped. a Season of Sinister Dreams is a magic world with hardships and triumphs and many twists along the way. The plot starts off slow, taking several chapters before it captured my attention. .T A Season of Sinister Dreams tells a story of two sisters seeking vengeance, Tracy Banghart creates a magical wold with amazing characters. Annalise and Emma are such good characters, seeking revenge and are strong female characters. They both have struggled and East have their own agenda that can be stopped. a Season of Sinister Dreams is a magic world with hardships and triumphs and many twists along the way. The plot starts off slow, taking several chapters before it captured my attention. .The story also left me a little confused about the world building. There were several parts where I felt there needed to be more explanation that could have gave readers more insight, especially being a standalone. The audio narration was average. I found my self loosing interest in the first several chapter. The pacing was well done and dialogue was easily decode. I would recommend this book to m lovers of YA fantasy with strong female characters and a few twists. Thank you to Little Brown Books for young Readers, Hattete Audio, and Natgalley for the arc in exchange for my honest opinion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tardisbooks (nursekendrareads)

    Thanks to Netgalley for this audiobook in exchange for my honest review! Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars Narration: the audiobook narrator was good. They voice kept me interested and they did a good job of distinguishing between what characters were talking. A stand alone YA fantasy! About two girls who find themselves coming together in an unlikely way. I liked the duel narration of this story. It made the book flow well. The idea of magic in this kingdom was cool, the fact that they fear it’s weakening is Thanks to Netgalley for this audiobook in exchange for my honest review! Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars Narration: the audiobook narrator was good. They voice kept me interested and they did a good job of distinguishing between what characters were talking. A stand alone YA fantasy! About two girls who find themselves coming together in an unlikely way. I liked the duel narration of this story. It made the book flow well. The idea of magic in this kingdom was cool, the fact that they fear it’s weakening is also an interesting concept as well. 3 Stars It is a decent stand alone fantasy! Some of the plot felt rushed/confusing. Some parts were boring and I think could have also been cut. It was an okay read but could have been better. I feel like the audiobook helped me get through these less interesting parts better than if I was reading this book with my eyes. But overall it was a good story. Thanks to Netgalley chette Audio Little, Brown Young Readers for providing me with this audio book in exchange for my honest opinions and review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carissa Lindsey

    A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghurt Narrator - Christie Moreau Genre - YA/Fantasy Rating - 5 out of 5 stars Narration - 5 out of 5 stars This book is an incredible coming of age story about two different girls. One that is just coming into her magical powers and one that has had them most of her life but is taken over by the greed that comes along with them This book has many twists and turns and would be good for teens and adults alike. It is full of mystery and intrigue. It is set in a tim A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghurt Narrator - Christie Moreau Genre - YA/Fantasy Rating - 5 out of 5 stars Narration - 5 out of 5 stars This book is an incredible coming of age story about two different girls. One that is just coming into her magical powers and one that has had them most of her life but is taken over by the greed that comes along with them This book has many twists and turns and would be good for teens and adults alike. It is full of mystery and intrigue. It is set in a time where magic is real and King’s can force common people to use their magics at their every whim. The narration is excellent and the narrator keeps the pace quick and easy. Even listening at 1x speed. She also makes you want to keep coming back for more. This was one of those just one more chapter audiobooks for me and then it would be an hour or sometimes two later and I would still be listening. The writer leaves almost every chapter on a cliffhanger. I think that is why I would always end up listening longer than I had intended. There is a huge twist at the end! You will be so shocked but of course I won’t tell because I don’t do spoilers.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andy B.

    Loved so many things about this book! My favorite part of the book is the exploration of power, in the form of “magic” in this case. Tracy Banghart does a fantastic job showing how having power can affect people, and how using power doesn’t always work out the way people intend. I always love Tracy Banghart’s books because the female voices are diverse (not all badass, not all caring, not all empathetic, not all doubtful). Her characters always make surprising decisions that end up seeming natur Loved so many things about this book! My favorite part of the book is the exploration of power, in the form of “magic” in this case. Tracy Banghart does a fantastic job showing how having power can affect people, and how using power doesn’t always work out the way people intend. I always love Tracy Banghart’s books because the female voices are diverse (not all badass, not all caring, not all empathetic, not all doubtful). Her characters always make surprising decisions that end up seeming natural to who they are, you just didn’t realize it until the author showed it to you. I am a combat veteran who has served with many women in uniform, and Tracy Banghart’s cast of women are a great representation of my female colleagues. They can’t be put into one box. My favorite main character is Annalise, who is given great power through her mother’s magic. Her attempts to do the right thing, for herself and for her kingdom, are always dependent on her magic and we get to see how power alone doesn’t save her from the complex world of the kings court. I also found her endgame the most interesting of all. I won’t give spoilers, but it was different than I expected and an interested new approach. Evra, the other main character, is also very compelling, but i have to admit that her best friend Tamsin was my favorite character from that side of the story. She does have some typical “reluctantly beautiful tomboy” traits, but I found her motivations convincing and admirable. She was always focused on real people and real relationships in a way that made her disdainful of court and fancy trappings, and also gave her a determination to do the tough things that had to be done. Most true Soldiers fight for the people beside them. She was a great personification of that quality. All in all, I would recommend this book to anybody interested in strong females, a very good exploration of power and consequences, and some classic fantasy elements.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eileen (BookCatPin)

    Having loved Tracy Banghart's debut duology, Grace and Fury, I was ready to jump into whatever she put out next. I wish I could say A Season of Sinister Dreams became another favourite but I had some major issues with this one. My biggest problem with A Season of Sinister Dreams was its slow pacing. I had a hard time getting into the story. Nothing was happening in the first half of the book and it was boring. When things did get interesting, the plots felt rushed and not well-explained. Even the Having loved Tracy Banghart's debut duology, Grace and Fury, I was ready to jump into whatever she put out next. I wish I could say A Season of Sinister Dreams became another favourite but I had some major issues with this one. My biggest problem with A Season of Sinister Dreams was its slow pacing. I had a hard time getting into the story. Nothing was happening in the first half of the book and it was boring. When things did get interesting, the plots felt rushed and not well-explained. Even the small bit of romance that existed felt unnecessary. "But the heart sometimes believes its own lies, doesn't it?" (p. 347) Sadly, the whole story gave off an incomplete vibe. What I liked was the dual POV. It helped me understand both girls and their motivations. Annalise had the best of intentions at heart but struggled to rein in her magic and to do right by others. "You can't just want to do the right thing. You have to choose to do the right thing. Even if it means sacrifice. Wanting achieves nothing if you don't act." (p. 314) Evra had a good heart and wanted to be of help yet misfortune befalls her and changes her forever. My favourite part of A Season of Sinister Dreams was Evra's relationship with her best friend, Tam. I was very touched by how supportive Tam was. She stood by Evra through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I was very happy to see such a strong friendship bond! I desperately wanted to love A Season of Sinister Dreams but it was not meant to be. Since I had high expectations, this was definitely a case of the it's-not-you-it's-me. If short fantasies and solid friendships are your thing then A Season of Sinister Dreams might just be for you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I fell in love with the Grace and Fury series and was stoked to read A Season of Sinister Dreams. It took about 20% for me to actually get into the story, but once that happened I was hooked. The two narrators are Annalise (cousin to the Prince) and Evra (a farm girl without magic), and Evra was my favorite. I had a love/hate relationship with Annalise due to her manipulative nature. On one side, I understood her internal battles because she passionately loved Tyne (their country) and strived to I fell in love with the Grace and Fury series and was stoked to read A Season of Sinister Dreams. It took about 20% for me to actually get into the story, but once that happened I was hooked. The two narrators are Annalise (cousin to the Prince) and Evra (a farm girl without magic), and Evra was my favorite. I had a love/hate relationship with Annalise due to her manipulative nature. On one side, I understood her internal battles because she passionately loved Tyne (their country) and strived to make it better by undoing the evil machinations of the King. But her executions were ill-thought out and she used her power for her own advantage, not caring if it hurt another. Her instant-love romance was also pretty awkward and rushed. As for Evra, I absolutely adored her and the way her family and best friend rallied behind her when she came into her Clearsee magic. The dedication and love from her mother, brothers, and best friend was amazing. They stood behind her from beginning until end and wouldn't let her face anything alone. I kind of feel like this should have been written from Evra's point of view that way more things could have been detailed and explained. After finishing the book, I don't quite have a good viewpoint of the magic or the Clearsee magic. It wasn't really explained enough to grasp that understanding. Plus, I would have loved to learn more about Evra, her family, and Tamsin. Thank you Edelweiss for an ARC.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    I have such mixed feelings about this book and the characters. A Season of Sinister Dreams is told from the dual POV of Annalise who is the cousin to the prince and Evra who is just a farm girl with surprising powers. I am going to be honest and say that I pretty much disliked Annalise throughout the entire book. She is cold, manipulative and basically refuses to listen to anyone else because she is convinced they are trying to sabotage her or hold her back. I am all for fierce females but when I have such mixed feelings about this book and the characters. A Season of Sinister Dreams is told from the dual POV of Annalise who is the cousin to the prince and Evra who is just a farm girl with surprising powers. I am going to be honest and say that I pretty much disliked Annalise throughout the entire book. She is cold, manipulative and basically refuses to listen to anyone else because she is convinced they are trying to sabotage her or hold her back. I am all for fierce females but when they feel no remorse for the terrible things they do and justify their actions with the excuse of "well at least I am not doing what the king was doing". You could say that she has some character development at the end but to me it was very minimal and I felt that her character was only slightly better. Evra is an easy character to like because she is extremely kind but is also so naïve. She struggles throughout most of the book to understand her new powers as a Clearsee. Even with her gift as a Clearsee, she does not do much in the book with it. She relies a lot on her bestfriend Tamsin and her brother Hagan for just about everything. Overall A Season of Sinister dreams is a fast paced and action packed fantasy standalone. I think if this book had been spread out into a duology, it would have allowed for a lot more character and plot development. The story felt almost too rushed because the author was trying to fit everything in into one book. The chemistry between characters was not really there and the romance in this book felt extremely forced and underdeveloped. I had high hopes for this book but it really fell flat for me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey (BookishKJ)

    At its heart, A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart is the story of two strong yet flawed heroines trying their best to protect the kingdom they both so dearly love. Annalise, the niece of the king, must hide the powerful magic she struggles to control so she can use her influence to change the way the kingdom of Tyne is being run. Evra, the daughter of a farmer living in a poor village, discovers that she possesses special powers that allow her to see the past and future and speak with At its heart, A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart is the story of two strong yet flawed heroines trying their best to protect the kingdom they both so dearly love. Annalise, the niece of the king, must hide the powerful magic she struggles to control so she can use her influence to change the way the kingdom of Tyne is being run. Evra, the daughter of a farmer living in a poor village, discovers that she possesses special powers that allow her to see the past and future and speak with ghosts. Over the course of the novel, Annalise and Evera’s stories weave together and intertwine, with each affecting the other in ways they could never have predicted. ❤️❤️❤️ What I Loved ❤️❤️❤️ Standalone - When it comes to fantasy, I feel like ‘the norm’ tends to be expansive series that span across multiple books. And while I enjoy digging my teeth into a great series, it’s refreshing to pick up a novel, reach the end and have everything wrapped up in a satisfying and conclusive way. I like to use standalones as a palette cleanser between other reads, and seek out books that are enjoyable, provide a satisfying ending, and don't leave me with too much to think about or ponder once everything is said and done. If that's something you also seek out, I think A Season of Sinister Dreams works great for that purpose. Dynamic Heroines - From browsing through other reviews, it seems that most people prefer Evra over Annalise. For me, I found Annalise to be the more compelling character. She was not likable, and her decisions and choices were often poor and caused more harm than good. But I love a flawed character that is trying to do what’s best, even if their actions don’t necessarily reflect that. So, I actually enjoyed Annalise’s chapters the most. For me, Evra felt a bit flat. Personality-wise, I don’t know that I could distinguish between her and any other YA fantasy protagonist. However, with both of our protagonists, I did love that Banghart was able to show strength and resiliency in two very different but equally valid ways. Themes - I enjoyed a lot of the themes that were touched upon in this book. One of the big ones being, of course, the female experience. I loved that Banghart had so many wonderful female characters, each with a different personality but all strong and capable. Additionally, the conversation of sexism and men trying to control women were powerful and much appreciated. The discussion of wealth disparity felt very timely and reflective of what’s happening in the current day and age. Also, the ostracization of others – like Evra, who at the start of the novel did not possess magical powers felt a little heavy-handed but was nonetheless appreciated. I think Banghart could have done more to weave these themes into the story in a less blatant way, but I’m still glad they were included. 💔💔💔 What I Didn't Love 💔💔💔 Poor World Building - I think the world-building in this one left a lot to be desired. I don’t feel like I had a good grasp on the magic system and how it varies from person to person. I think it’s an interesting concept, but I wish we were given more, especially about their origins and history. Same for the origins and history of Tyne. I wanted more! I know this was a standalone and that there was only so much room to flesh out this world, but to really enjoy the central plot, I feel like I needed at least a little bit more of the framework. I also wish I knew more of the characters’ backstories, so I could better understand their choices and actions. Pacing Issues - I have to say, the first chunk of this book felt as slow as molasses. It took me a ridiculously long time to get invested in the story and to have a decent understanding of what was happening. And honestly, had it not been an ARC, I probably would have DNF’d this one at about 25% of the way through. I didn’t know what was happening and I didn’t care enough to put in the effort it would require to figure it out. But a little ways after that, things started to pick up and I could see how the chess pieces were moving and why. By the end, I felt fully invested, and I do really like the final twist and how everything wrapped up. Cliche - Besides the unlikability of one of the main characters, there’s not much about this one that stands out from the slew of other young adult fantasy books that are seemingly being churned out daily. A lot of the characters and plot points felt so recycled that I found myself disengaging from the story for long stretches. And the fact that I didn’t miss anything or feel confused when this happened really does speak volumes to how predictable and cliched this story was. With so many choices available in this genre, you really must do something unique to stand out and be memorable. Unfortunately, this book did not. 🌟🌟🌟 Final Thoughts 🌟🌟🌟 A Season of Sinister Dreams was okay. A bit like eating an individual-sized bag of chips, it tasted pretty good but left me wanting more. And in a few days, I’ll likely forget everything about it. This is a real disappointment, as Banghart’s Grace and Fury duology was one I really did enjoy and that I still find myself thinking about. I’ll still pick up her next work, but my expectations will definitely now be tempered. CW: violence, death. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Hatchette Audio, for sending me this audiobook in exchange for an honest and fair review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    Omg why is this cover not pretty😭

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: A Season of Sinister Dreams Author: Tracy Banghart Book Series: Standalone for now Rating: 3.5/5 Recommended For...: found family, romance, fantasy, YA readers Genre: YA Fantasy Publication Date: June 22, 2021 Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers Pages: 402 Recommended Age: 14+ (Death, Implications of sex, Violence, Gore, Grief) Explanation of CWs: Death - before and during book and includes parental and s Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: A Season of Sinister Dreams Author: Tracy Banghart Book Series: Standalone for now Rating: 3.5/5 Recommended For...: found family, romance, fantasy, YA readers Genre: YA Fantasy Publication Date: June 22, 2021 Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers Pages: 402 Recommended Age: 14+ (Death, Implications of sex, Violence, Gore, Grief) Explanation of CWs: Death - before and during book and includes parental and sibling death Implication of Sex - one of the MCs sleeps with another character and wakes up in bed with him Synopsis: Annalise may be cousin to the prince, but her past isn’t what she claims, and she possesses a magic so powerful it takes all her strength to control it. Evra is a country girl, and has watched as each friend and family member came into their own magic, while hers remains dormant. But everything changes after Annalise loses control of herself and Evra begins experiencing the debilitating visions of a once-in-a-generation clairvoyant meant to serve the crown. Thrown together at court, Evra and Annalise find that they have the same goal: to protect their kingdom from the powerful men who are slowly destroying it. But neither is quick to trust the other — Evra’s visions suggest a threat to royal rule, and Annalise worries that her darkest secrets will be revealed. Their magic at odds, the young women circle each other, until the truth must come out. Review: For the most part I thought that this was an okay book. I like the characters, Evra was my favorite. I thought that, while they could have been a bit more developed especially some of the side characters, that the author did pretty good at developing them. I also have to give praise to the author who wrote a surprise villain into the story. I thought that it was weird that the character was wrote like a villain, until it turned out she was lol. I also really like the plot of this book and I hope to see a sequel to it in the future. However, there were a lot of things that I really didn't like about this book. The book took a bit for me to get into for Annalise's side because I was not able to really connect with her character. I also found the magic system to not be explained whatsoever and the World building overall was not well developed whatsoever. One of the most important parts of the book, where a character is turned into some sort of beast, is very poorly written in my opinion. It took me so long to figure out what happened to that character and then it took me even longer to get some sort of details as to what the character had been turned into AKA what kind of beast. I also found the romance was too speedy and too "first look" cliche. Verdict: It was a good idea but needs more development.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becca Jacquin

    Thank you to Neighborhood Reads and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart is a standalone that pulls you in from the first few pages and keeps you guessing until the end. Typically in books with two main characters one will be 'good' and the other 'evil' but Banghart does a wonderful job giving Annalise and Evra dashes of both. Annalise isn't your typical main character, she's out for revenge and has no qualms with doing whatever Thank you to Neighborhood Reads and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart is a standalone that pulls you in from the first few pages and keeps you guessing until the end. Typically in books with two main characters one will be 'good' and the other 'evil' but Banghart does a wonderful job giving Annalise and Evra dashes of both. Annalise isn't your typical main character, she's out for revenge and has no qualms with doing whatever it takes to get it. But that isn't to say she doesn't have morals, which is what really made her character feel realistic. Where too often you see a character ruthless in their quest for revenge, Annalise does recognize collateral damage and feels bad when it occurs, even going so far as to try and make amends. Then there's sweet Evra who's excitement for having her power awaken, something she had resigned herself to accepting she didn't have, only for it to be the most controversial of powers: a “clearsee”, or clairvoyant. She is expected to report to the king and serve him as his prophet. Problem is, she arrives with tidings of the throne and possibly the kingdom’s destruction, not exactly the first meeting one would hope for. While most YA books would see these two team up as soon as Evra reaches the castle, Banghart took the story in a different direction, one that felt more real as both girls were so lost in their own schemes, anxieties and plans an alliance never occurs. Instead, we watch as Evra slowly unravels the mysteries of her prophecies, ones that Annalise would rather she not understand lest all her careful plans unravel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    B

    Thank you to Little, Brown for an ARC. Overall, this had the backbones of a fantastic story- magic, revenge, betrayal- what’s not to love? Unfortunately the writing left something to be desired, particularly with Annalise’s POV and the pacing of the novel. Evra was definitely the better character, and I enjoyed her story much more. She was strong and tough and had the greatest best friend in Tamsin. She really came into her own throughout the book, and I liked her journey. Annalise, though older Thank you to Little, Brown for an ARC. Overall, this had the backbones of a fantastic story- magic, revenge, betrayal- what’s not to love? Unfortunately the writing left something to be desired, particularly with Annalise’s POV and the pacing of the novel. Evra was definitely the better character, and I enjoyed her story much more. She was strong and tough and had the greatest best friend in Tamsin. She really came into her own throughout the book, and I liked her journey. Annalise, though older than Evra, reminded me of a child. Her thoughts were scattered and poorly thought out, and I had a hard time understanding what she was thinking because she moved at lightning speed without any clues or context. I didn’t care about her backstory, and when they finally revealed her secret, it wasn’t nearly as damming as I was expecting. She was a very lackluster character and a hard POV to read from. The pacing of this was also off, from the timing of things to the way things were told, to how little sense everything made. It was really just flat out confusing at times and I found myself skimming a majority of it and having it not make any difference. I also didn’t like how half of Evra’s entire plot was her visions. There was really no need for so many. I get it. Girl sees things. Move along. The good news is, it picked up the last seventy pages or so, which is why I felt that I could give it a three stars. The ending wasn’t what I was expecting, and though i wish it had stayed the way that it was before the last chapter, it ended pretty satisfactory. So this wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, nor was it the lush fantasy that it promises to be. It was simply okay.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becca Mee

    I feel like I would have enjoyed this a lot more reading it as a physical book or ebook. I would say that this audiobook hit the 3.5 stars out of 5 stars for me, but I don't feel that it warrants pushing it up to a 4 star rating and I will explain why. First, I like the overall plot and premise of this novel. I thought the female main characters, Analeise and Evra, were both really well-developed and interesting characters. Analeise's storyline and her moral greyness was a particular point of in I feel like I would have enjoyed this a lot more reading it as a physical book or ebook. I would say that this audiobook hit the 3.5 stars out of 5 stars for me, but I don't feel that it warrants pushing it up to a 4 star rating and I will explain why. First, I like the overall plot and premise of this novel. I thought the female main characters, Analeise and Evra, were both really well-developed and interesting characters. Analeise's storyline and her moral greyness was a particular point of interest for me as I read this book, and I liked what the author did with her. It was rewarding to see Evra come into her power as well. So character development is a plus. I also loved the strength of the female relationships between Evra and Tamsin and Analeise and Sybil and how well done they are. There is a vibrantly feminist feel to this story with its strong female characters and relationships. That being said, the narrator was just ok in this one. I did have a hard time maintaining interest because of that and my mind would drift away from the plot. I also felt that the magic system was kind of unclear as well to me and I could have definitely used a bit more worldbuilding. I also felt that there were times where the narrator would transition perspectives midchapter and I would totally miss it. So in the end, I would have liked this better in a different format, but I mostly did enjoy it. A Season of Sinister Dreams is a story about mistakes that come out of good intentions, and the opportunities we can find for grace and redemption in their aftermath.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

    Thank you to Netgalley for an audiobook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It took me a while into this book and I really don't know why because I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. It might have been because the physical book I was reading was similar so it was just hard to keep track of what was happening in which. The characters were interesting. We had 2 main characters, Annalise and Evra. Annalise lived in the castle and was next in line for throne. Evra has just discovered he Thank you to Netgalley for an audiobook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It took me a while into this book and I really don't know why because I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. It might have been because the physical book I was reading was similar so it was just hard to keep track of what was happening in which. The characters were interesting. We had 2 main characters, Annalise and Evra. Annalise lived in the castle and was next in line for throne. Evra has just discovered her clearsee (spelling?) magic, one of the most rare magical gifts. While these 2 girls had great personalities, it was told from each of their POV's in the first person, so there were so many times I couldn't remember which POV I was on unless someone else said one of their names. A lot of the side characters were really great too. The plot once I really got into it was captivating. We learn about some things Annalise that she isn't proud of and doesn't want Evra to find out being a clearsee (able to see past/present/future visions). It really seems like these 2 girls have the same overall goal and will be fast friends to conquer that goal, but it really ends up the opposite which was different and refreshing. All the twists and turns at the end really had me excited to listen to every single minute. While I think this is a standalone, there is a lot of potential for a future sequel and I would be very interested to learn more about these characters.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katie | niftyreads

    (3.75 stars) To be completely honest, A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS was a complete cover sign-up for me when The Novl offered it. I had no idea what it was about, I just saw the pretty cover and thought I need to read that! I was so happy to win the arc and then when I read what Tracy Banghart wrote, I was even happier! This fantasy is such a different story from anything I’ve read so I’m glad that I read it! My likes: 👑Standalone fantasy novel - there aren’t many of these and this was a good one! 👑T (3.75 stars) To be completely honest, A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS was a complete cover sign-up for me when The Novl offered it. I had no idea what it was about, I just saw the pretty cover and thought I need to read that! I was so happy to win the arc and then when I read what Tracy Banghart wrote, I was even happier! This fantasy is such a different story from anything I’ve read so I’m glad that I read it! My likes: 👑Standalone fantasy novel - there aren’t many of these and this was a good one! 👑The two narrators, Annalise and Evra, are vastly different kept me intrigued 👑Really intriguing magic system 👑I love when books are paced well and this one was. Between the alternating PoVs and the tidbits of information I was given by those narrators, it really kept me engaged to get to the end of the novel - I had to know what happened! This book is a well-done fantasy standalone that is a clever concept! I’ve never read a Tracy Banghart book before, but now I’ll be looking into her backlog of books as I enjoyed this fantasy world she created in A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS. Content Warnings: parental death Thank you to The Novl for gifted copy to review!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I was given this ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Evra discovers she has the power of sight, past, future, and present, and it is her duty to protect the kingdom with her gift. Annalise, who is the king's niece, has power no one expects, but after making a horrible mistake, she is terrified someone will find out about what she can do. These two girls come together in court, and even though they both have the goal of protecting the kingdom, they don't trust each other. Mista I was given this ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Evra discovers she has the power of sight, past, future, and present, and it is her duty to protect the kingdom with her gift. Annalise, who is the king's niece, has power no one expects, but after making a horrible mistake, she is terrified someone will find out about what she can do. These two girls come together in court, and even though they both have the goal of protecting the kingdom, they don't trust each other. Mistakes are made, and vengeance is the name of the game. This book was just okay for me. I really didn't love either of the main characters, and I just felt the overall pace of the book was pretty slow. There were some cool parts, and their powers were really good concepts, but the pace, the plot, the characters, the climax, the plot twists... they were all just kind of bland. I can see other people liking this book, it just wasn't as exciting as I was wanting it to be.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Boswell

    This one was a disappointment for sure. I remember shelving this as TBR as soon as the publication was announced because I loved Banghart's Grace & Fury duology so much. Had I paid more attention to the synopsis, I might have gone in to this with less expectations, because that was indicative of this story being a bit dull. Even though this was a quick read, I never found myself invested in the story, nor compelled to pick it up at any given time. I found inconsistencies aplenty, as well as a de This one was a disappointment for sure. I remember shelving this as TBR as soon as the publication was announced because I loved Banghart's Grace & Fury duology so much. Had I paid more attention to the synopsis, I might have gone in to this with less expectations, because that was indicative of this story being a bit dull. Even though this was a quick read, I never found myself invested in the story, nor compelled to pick it up at any given time. I found inconsistencies aplenty, as well as a deep lack of thorough worldbuilding and the magic system. The sickness is not expounded upon, but is merely used as a tool for the King's motivations. Annalise's primary drive is supposedly revenge...but then she performs gracefully and justly as queen?! I also couldn't stand the italicized narrative used whenever either character was using their magic, primarily Annalise. I dunno...this just wasn't good for me and I'm so sad.

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