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The Last Dreamwalker

Rita Woods

Forge Books

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ISBN10: 1250805627
ISBN13: 9781250805621

Trade Paperback

272 Pages



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In the wake of her mother's passing, Layla Hurley unexpectedly reconnects with her mother's sisters, women she hasn't been allowed to speak to, or of, in years.

Her aunts reveal to Layla that a Gullah-Geechee island off the shore of South Carolina now belongs to her. As Layla digs deeper into her mother’s past and the mysterious island’s history, she discovers that the terrifying nightmares that have plagued her throughout her life and tainted her relationship with her mother and all of her family, is actually a power passed down through generations of her Gullah ancestors. She is a Dreamwalker, able to inhabit the dreams of others—and to manipulate them.

As Layla uncovers increasingly dark secrets about her family's past, she finds herself thrust into the center of a potentially deadly, decades-old feud fought in the dark corridor of dreams.

The Last Dreamwalker is a gripping, contemporary read about power and agency; family and legacy; and the ways trauma, secrets, and magic take shape across generations.


Praise for The Last Dreamwalker

The Last Dreamwalker is a powerful tale that asks how we process our inheritances—good, bad, and evil ones alike. Woods is an assured and confident storyteller whose atmospheric and critical prose transports readers from the shores of the Atlantic to the marshes of dreamlands and haunted places. By the end of the novel, one may be asking themselves if they have emerged from the shadows of a dream.”—Locus Magazine

"The Last Dreamwalker will pull you headlong into its perilous world, where three generations of women haunted by history take actions in dreams that can save or doom others in daylight. Like her dreamwalking characters, the talented Woods weaves unforgettable, inescapable magic. A triumph."—Greer Macallister, bestselling author of The Magician's Lie

"Deeply evocative and clings to you like the humid air of the South. It is a creepy, moving tale in which intergenerational trauma reaches out of dreams and makes the waking world a nightmare. I keep thinking about it."—Mary Robinette Kowal, author of The Calculating Stars

"A beautiful and compelling book about the histories we hide and the places we forget. It's about buried truths and dreams too long-deferred, and the hope that comes after."—Alix E. Harrow, New York Times bestselling author of Ten Thousand Doors of January

"Thoroughly entrancing and hauntingly mystical. Rita Woods has woven a deeply complex novel where dreams blur reality and old family secrets torment the waking world. Long after it’s finished The Last Dreamwalker will linger in your thoughts as you pull its threads apart to examine the vibrant textures a little more closely."—Heather Webber, USA Today bestselling author of Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe

"A fascinating novel of a family heritage that is both gift and curse, of the struggle of once-enslaved mystics and their contemporary descendants to command their power, and to take their rightful place in the world. Dr. Woods displays a wonderfully sure hand with her prose, and a delightful mastery of dialect. I love this book both for its voice and its story of a painful history set right."—Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches

"I loved this fantastical tale of powerful, unapologetic women taking their agency and paving the path that they deserved."—Keisha Bush, author of No Heaven for Good Boys

"Family life is the grounding for a compelling story of strange powers and old secrets."Kirkus Reviews

"Vivid descriptions and well-developed characters."Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



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