Book Reviews

He Dreams Magic by Emme C. Taylor at NineStar Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Alternate Reality / Magic / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 11-December-2019

Book Blurb

Ren has always wanted to leave, to escape his quiet village life. He wakes up from gold-tinged dreams with his heart pounding and a yearning for something he can’t name, can’t hold. He longs to experience something magical just once in his life.


Nico’s monsters don’t lurk under the bed. They walk in daylight. They haunt him every day of his life. He’s possibly the strongest magician of his time, yet he’s trapped. All he wants is an out.


At a magical carnival in the middle of a forest, Ren and Nico collide. They’ve been on this collision course their entire lives, always hurtling toward each other. For both men, escape is now. They have no choice but to flee together. Monsters and betrayal hunt them across strange lands. They find themselves on a journey to save each other—and possibly the world. All they have is one another, Nico’s magic, and a lifetime of half-remembered dreams. But finding each other, finally having someone to rely on, might be the strongest magic of all.


Book Review

“Magic is dangerous: it's neither good nor bad, right nor wrong; it can be both a blessing and a curse. It takes strength, the strength of a man, to make the magic his own, to make it serve him, and not the other way around.” ~ Daniel Wallace (The Kings and Queens of Roam)

What do you think of when you think about magic? Fairy godmothers? Glenda Goodwitch? Or maybe David Copperfield? Ren has dreamed of magic all of his life. His dreams have been very vivid and seemingly prophetic, but he can never quite grasp their meaning. When he has a chance to see magic firsthand, it doesn’t turn out to be anything like he thought it would be. Ren is confounded and horrified by what he learns, but not by Nico, the wizard who reveals its true nature to him.

Ren’s village discourages magic, so he sneaks out in the middle of the night to attend a magical carnival, expecting an exciting and enlightening time. Almost as soon as he arrives, Ren crashes into an acrobat named Nico. Ren is enamored with Nico and wants to get to know him more intimately. Nico, on the other hand, does not; he does everything he can to discourage Ren. Still, Ren persists. Finally, Nico relents and has dinner with Ren, but makes it emphatically clear that they are not going to have sex.  

As the night goes on, Nico begins to realize that Ren is a man of character who truly cares more about getting to know Nico and does not just see him as an object, a potential one-night stand and his attitude toward him softens. Nico decides to “save” Ren and leads him away from the fair and into the woods. Understandably, Ren is confused when Nico who has been good to him all night, is suddenly interested in him. Instead of having sex with him, Nico frantically tries to get him to leave, but Ren is having no part of it. Suddenly, they are not alone. They are approached by some nefarious beings who attack and try to kill Nico. Even as Nico is bleeding out, he is still able to show his attackers just how much power he can invoke.

This is a very dark story that had me wondering about the morals of both main characters. It’s one of the most drawn-out enemies-to-lovers tales I’ve ever read and one of the most illogical. By all rights, Ren should have been terrified of Nico, but, for some inexplicable reason, he was not. There is a bond between them that is unbreakable. Even though Ren doesn’t think he has any magic, Nico sees that he is capable of things that Nico doesn’t see. Thanks, Emme, for reminding me that magic is neither good nor bad and that every situation has its own sense of ethics as how it is to be used.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by NineStar Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 88100 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-October-2019
Price $6.49 ebook
Buy Link