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DREAMS OF THE DYING

Stands on it own

By Jonas Winkelmayer, member

May 26, 2019: Caveat: I’m not a native speaker, so forgive any typos and odd wording.

Having been a fan of this writer’s work ever since playing Enderal back in 2016, I was excited to hear he’s expanding the universe. As it’s a spin-off that centers on one of the fan-favorite characters, Jespar, I was a bit worried at first that the novel wouldn’t speak to someone not obsessed with the guy. Four chapters in, I’m glad to say my fears were unfounded.

As a low-fantasy novel, "Dreams of the Dying" can easily stand comparison with famous works in the genre. The world building is excellent, the characters feel authentic, and the tropical setting is a breath of fresh air. It also touches on some interesting topics such as dream and reality and – at least that’s I think where it’s headed – the dangers of rampant capitalism. Ironically, if I had to find a flaw, it would be precisely this: Though the author avoids anachronisms, "Dreams of the Dying" does feel quite modern at times, both in terms of story and in writing. I don’t personally don’t mind this at all, but I could imagine some readers might chafe at it.

That being said, I’m excited to see where this story goes!

2 of 2 members found this review helpful.
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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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QUORIA

Quorias & Quoriaser

By tkjarrah, author of blacklight

Apr 15, 2019: Short Version – if you enjoy the experience of going ‘oh my god no you idiot don’t’ every few paragraphs, Quoria is for you. No, this is not sarcasm.

Long Version – Quoria is a fantasy detective/noir story about Colton McKinley, an ex-con and current PI, and his struggles to get by in the fantasy, 1900s-esque city of Quoria, vexed at every turn by suspicious police, shady clients, and most often, his own tendency to be kind of an idiot.

Quoria (the city) is a great setting, a weird mix of middle/modern fantasy, 1920s New York City and 1950s Heartland America. Think a typical noir city, but throw in magical dolls, soda bars and screamo music in the bars instead of jazz, and you’ll be close. (That last one is a joke . . . or is it?)

The city, and the world in general, give the impression of being very fleshed out (to the point that there’s an entire set of fictional months and respective horoscopes made up), but as the story is fairly small scale, so far we haven’t seen much of it.

That’s okay, though, because the characters are definitely where Quoria (the serial, not the city) really shine. Colton himself is a great protagonist, by virtue of having no common sense whatsoever but being endearing enough that you root for him anyway. If you come from a circle of the internet where ‘disaster gay/bi’ is common, you’ll recognise it instantly in him.

The rest of the cast is just as good – Detective Mabre “Javert But Like Not As Utterly Stupid” Darling and university student/part-time back alley fight club participant/full-time Hawaiian shirt wearer Jude Baer are my personal favourites, but there’s also a dubiously-genuine fortune-teller, Everybody’s Little Brother, definitely just a normal tailor, and others! Something For Everyone!

One piece of information it’s good to have is that updates can be somewhat inconsistent, but we’re all just trying to survive under late-stage capitalism so if you have a problem with that you probably aren’t gonna enjoy this anyway.

Oh, and also everyone’s gay. Go read!

6 of 7 members found this review helpful.
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