In the Dreamhunter Duet, Elizabeth Knox has created one of the most original fantasy worlds I've visited in a very long time. In this world, which seems to be based on early 20th century Australia, dreams are a commodity, a form of entertainment. The dreamhunters are a special group of people who have the ability to go into the Place, where they pick up dreams to take back to the cities where they dream them for paying audiences.
When the story begins, Laura and Rose, our two heroines, are getting ready for their Try, or the test where they find out if they are dreamhunters. Laura's father Tziga, and Rose's mother Grace, are both well-known dreamhunters, but then Tziga goes missing and both girls become embroiled in the politics of the Dreamhunting world. I don't want to give away any more of the plot, but there's intrigue and romance and enough plot twists to keep one guessing until the end.
Knox's lyrical storytelling gives the novels a dream-like atmosphere, and both are perfect reads for lounging on a summer afternoon. I would highly recommend this for fans of Phillip Pullman (while I still haven't read His Dark Materials*, I was reminded of the Sally Lockhart trilogy which I adored) and Justine Larbalestier**.
Be warned, however, that the first novel ends rather abruptly, so be sure to have the second one on hand!
And now, for a little eye-candy, I present: the Australian cover-art. Is it wrong to have cover-art envy?
*But I have it checked out. That has to count for something, right?
**I actually first heard about these books from Justine Larbalestier's blog