After Chris Redston, the Gifted, a man who can travel between our world and the world of dreams, is called to the battlefront of a war he stared by committing a great sin and bringing back a monstrous conqueror, we return to Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland. In this summary and review, you’ll find entertaining snippets, which I hope inspires you to get and read the book yourself, and observations and tips for writers based on the novel.
To catch up or review other parts of this read, click here.
Allara, Chris, Quinnon, and a handful of guardsmen arrive where the battle between Lael and Koraud is in full fury. On their way to the battlefield, they encounter a fleeing band of Cherazi who say that there is a small chance they might raise their swords beneath the Gifted’s banner if he proved worthy. They ride off though. Chris and Allara find Lael’s army falling apart and in flight. The battle is already lost, the king perhaps dead. There only choice is retreat. But Chris pulls a pistol from our world out and charges into the fray. Allara desperately tries to stop him, but he refuses to listen. He will fight whether she likes it or not. To give him some help, she climbs onto the frame of a cannon and bellows to the troops that the Gifted is there. The Gifted fights. And they rally.
Reader Comments: Yay! Awesome move on Chris’s part. I figured that at some point he’d pull out something from our world to use in the dream world. And I loved the outburst of emotion from Allara when she realized Chris intended to kill himself charging into battle.
Writer Comments: You’ve heard the saying that you need to run your heroes up a tree and throw stones at them. Well, sometime, your hero needs to catch a stone and throw it back. We are still far from the climax of Dreamlander, but a victory, a ray of hope might be in the making. Amidst the darkness, failures, and struggle, give an occasional small victory,
Chris charges into battle, Quinnon at his side. He fights his way to the fallen standard, digs it out from the heaps of bodies, and rallies the troops back to the king. Battle rages around him, and all the guardsman instincts he’d been trying to unleash for chapters finally come to the fore. The Koraudian’s retreat. It may not be winning the war, but he staves off defeat and brings inspiration to the troops. Further, he earns the king’s and Quinnon’s respect.
Reader Comments: Awesome. One of the best battle scenes I’ve read. It was visceral and brutal, gory and utterly heroic. Hats off to Weiland for such a well written chapter.
Writer Comments: This is halfway through the book. In every story, there a moments, turning points where something significant changes. Usually, there’s one at the midpoint of the story. This is it. Until this point, Chris was practically useless. No one respected him. Now, he has earned respect and proven that he can accomplish something great. Turning points are crucial to a well structured plot.
During the celebration of their victory that night, word comes that Lord Thyra, Allara’s dearest friend, has fallen in another battle. Chris goes with the king to hear the report from the one survivor. Thyra was shot in the back, but since the soldier didn’t actually see him die, Chris presumes there’s some chance, however small, that he still lives. For Allara and Thyra, to make up for the horrendous mistake he made, he determines to ride to the battle site and find him, dead or alive. The king protests, but Chris will not heed him. Allara protests but not too ardently, and then she demands to come with him.
Reader Comments: Loving Chris really being a hero. As a reader, I’m very pleased with how he’s turning out and even more pleased that he’s not letting the king or anyone else dictate how he’s going to be the Gifted or a good man. I also adore the fact that some of Allara’s shell is shifted away. Maybe after this, she’ll at least be willing to be friendly with Chris.
Writer Comments: Characters must change over the course of a story, and one of the best ways to do that is to hurt them. Destroy what they hold dear. Rub their faces in it. Lord Thyra is Allara’s best friend, perhaps her only real friend. In her own way, she loves him. So what does Weiland do? She kills him. Or, at least, she makes her think he’s dead. Only through intense emotions and situations are the deeper layers of character revealed. Take your characters dreams and crush them. Demolish their victories. Destroy their hope and what they love dearest. It may sound vindictive and evil, but it’s the mark of a good writer.
Thank you for joining me for today’s chapters of Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland. For me, this has been a particularly satisfying few chapters as Chris is finally turning into the hero I was hoping he would become. Read them for yourself. You can get a free copy of Dreamlander from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review, but the deal runs out at the end of the month.
I’ll see you all back here on Friday for further forays into books, fiction, the speculative, and life.