Susan, an Ordinary High-School Student (or middle school student, as it may be), is having a very realistic dream. In fact, her dream is so strangely realistic that she might think shed stumbled into some sort of Alternate Universe, if that werent such a ridiculous notion. Luckily, Susan is much too sensible for that kind of nonsense. All the talking animals rather give it away, in her opinion. Even if the sunny meadows and shady forests are extraordinarily vivid.
But as her dream stretches on, shes forced to question exactly how real this seeming utopia of a little nationaptly called Dreamlandis. Teaming up with Flash, a bad-tempered loner who looks like a horse but happens to have wings, she accepts a quest to search for the cause of Dreamlands mysterious shortage of the magic that keeps it running. The pair journey to Nightmareland, Dreamland's estranged neighbor nation. As they dig deeper in search for the truth, it becomes apparent that this little world isnt as ideal as it first seemed .
Dun dun dun!
Characters from the Dreamland world include King Alfred, the rather bumbling king of Dreamland (who may or may turn out to be outright incompetent, depending on how I decide to tweak his character); Cornelius, the national wizard; Trent, his apprentice and Susan and Flash's friend; Secrets, a 400 year old cat who poses as Susan's pet until the third book; and Evillian, the villian.
The first book, from which the series takes its name, was started when the author was aged ten or eleven. After numerous revisions, it found itself in a form that the author found satisfactory enough to share with her family, but upon reading it to her younger brother, she decided that it was crap. The idea is currently on a backburner, but is not forgotten. It will go through various overhauls and plot revisions sometime in the future. Currently, the author is writing a mythology and history for the Alternate Universe.
Dreamland provides examples of the following tropes:
- Dark and Troubled Past: Flash's kind has been ostracized from Dreamlandic society since it was known they existed. When they were young, they suffered verbal abuse and even physical attacks from passerby, and eventually began to drive others out of their territory. Their existence is regarded as a national shame. To make matters worse, Flash was framed by two of his own brothers for crimes he didn't commit and exiled from the herd. He spent two years hiding from pretty much everybody until he ran into Susan.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Nightmareland isn't an evil world. Their culture is simply vastly different from Dreamland's, and ours.
- Dark World: Nightmareland.
- Fantastic Racism: This is a problem in Dreamland, but not Nightmareland.
- Fish out of Water: Susan, though she adjusts to being Dreamlandic rather quickly.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Flash's parentage... (I was eleven when I made this up, I didn't think of the squick at the time!)
- Interspecies Romance: Flash's mother was a dragon, and his father was a winged horse.
- Mix-and-Match Critter: Flash is half-winged horse, half-dragon. (His species is known as simply 'half-dragons.') The other half-dragons exhibit mix and match characteristics far more than he does.
- Mama Bear: Susan.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Evillian's name is a portmanteau of 'evil' and 'villian.' My young brain was so incredibly creative when it came to names.
- The Ditz: Trent, more so in the first few books.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Most Dreamlanders. Trent is the major example.
- World of Badass: Nightmarelanders are proud of being this.