Loved it! 😍

An unnerving gothic novel about an exceptional sculptor who falls under the influence of an immoral patron in seventeenth-century Spain.

Jacobo is a precocious sculptor with an unusual talent: he can infuse his artworks with his soul, breathing emotions and memories into the very clay. But as a poor young boy growing up in small-town Spain in the seventeenth-century, he'll have to leave his loving mother and venture forth on his own to improve his skills. Jacobo sets out at age seventeen and quickly becomes an apprentice and servant at a beautiful castle. It seems like luck is on his side, but unbeknownst to Jacobo, he's destined to endure a dangerous and destructive future.

In Mai L. Herrero's brilliantly dark and tragic debut novel The Echo of a Lost Dream, Jacobo's life is changed forever when he meets the castle's master--the devious, mysterious Don Vicenç. Under the influence of the master, Jacobo descends into a world of lies, hedonistic pleasures of the flesh, drug and alcohol addiction, and devilish religious cults. As Jacobo uncovers more of Vicenç's schemes and learns the truth about a deadly prophecy that could determine his fate, Jacobo will have to decide where his alliances lie--and who his friends and foes really are.

The Echo of a Lost Dream is a spot-odd addition to the moody, dramatic gothic fiction genre, complete with secrets hidden behind locked doors in old castles and tons of revelatory twists about character motivations and relationships. In terms of criticism, the book does have a few pacing problems: the plot is a little slow to get started in part one, but the narrative really picks up momentum in subsequent sections. Herrero is great at ominous, atmospheric scene setting and her sinister, operatic dialogue is perfect for a tale that highlights people's capacity for wickedness. Despite the subject matter often being bleak and morbid, Herrero's story of lost innocence makes for a compelling and satisfying read that's hard to put down. Overall, The Echo of a Lost Dream is a perfect eerie novel for the spooky Halloween season.

Reviewed by

Michelle Hogmire is a West Virginian writer with an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She writes about Horror at Master Hogmire's Scream Along Blog. Her work has been featured in Rampant Magazine, BOMB, KGB Bar Lit Mag, and Columbia Journal. She's currently finishing her first book in Chicago

Chapter One

About the author

Mai Lertkachonsuk Herrero was born in Thailand. She is a constant traveller. Her most favourite activity is reading in the comfort of her home or by the beach. She also loves to sing and is a member of Barcelona English Choir. She lives in Barcelona with her husband. view profile

Published on October 08, 2021

90000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Horror

Reviewed by