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DREAMS OF THE DYING

What Dreams May Come

By Miroslav Georgiev, member

May 8, 2019: Novelizations of movies and video games are not my usual cup of tea, but I am willing to make an exception for this project. Nicolas Lietzau was the lead writer of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim total conversion mod Enderal: Forgotten Stories, acclaimed for its gripping story, brilliant characterization, and beautiful setting and world. So, when he announced a book based in the same universe as Enderal (a world called Vyn, the setting of three other total conversions for games in The Elder Scrolls franchise), fans had every reason to be excited. But I imagine even people who have never heard of Enderal or any of its predecessors will love what Dreams of the Dying, the first in a planned series by Lietzau called Every Day Like the Last, has to offer. Let’s begin with Jespar Dal’Varek, who was a significant character in Enderal and is Dreams of the Dying’s main character. Jespar is an irreverent, young, silver-haired, blue-eyed sellsword hailing from the continent of Enderal, a religious, conservative land that he has left behind, ostensibly in search of adventure and purpose but also as a way to avoid the burdens of responsibility and a past that he wishes he could, but can’t, forget. He is a complex character who is likable and funny but also roguish and deadly with a pair of daggers. In many ways, Jespar is our eyes and ears in the strange and wonderful world of Vyn, in particular, in the first of the many lands he will eventually visit, the archipelagic nation of Kilé. Kilé couldn’t be more different from Enderal. Where Enderal is a bastion of religious conservatism, Kilé almost couldn’t be bothered with worshipping the Light-Born, the seven gods who rule over Vyn, being too busy caring about acquiring as much of the thing that makes the world go round: money. Whereas, in Enderal, people are born into caste-like "paths" in a system which highly encourages people to "know their place," an entirely different ethos rules over Kilé, one of striving and struggle to reach the top of the greasy pole, exalted as the highest virtue in a land of cutthroat merchants, towering ziggurats, and acute income inequality. Jespar must come to Kilé for a mission whose importance he can barely understand, for he needs to help the country’s most powerful man recover from a magically induced coma. The trouble is that Jespar does not have a single magical bone in his body! So, how our lovable sellsword is going to succeed in this endeavor is anyone’s guess, but we will just have to read more to find out! Throughout the story, Dreams of the Dying will introduce us to terrifying visions of the subconscious, beautiful and feisty mages, radical revolutionaries, and people with the power to traverse entire worlds "where dreams may come."

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