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Literature / War of the Dreaming

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The War of the Dreaming is a fantasy duology by John C. Wright

Books included

  • Last Guardian of Everness
  • Mists of Everness

Tropes featured in this series:

  • The Ace: Pendrake. Brilliant inventor, self-made millionaire, lawyer, deadly combatant, there's pretty much nothing he can't do.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Manannan, the Selkie King, who was trying his damndest to keep his people from being utterly destroyed.
    • Azrael, who wished to make men independent of both Acheron and Heaven.
  • All Myths Are True: Shading over to Crossover Cosmology. Interlaps with I Have Many Names; it is explicitly stated(by Heracles) that Cerberus is another name for Koschei the Deathless.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Two villains rattle off a list of atrocities they can/will commit against the American people...and pause when they are ordered to nuke Hollywood.
  • The Atoner: Azrael realizes he was wrong from the beginning and sets out to make amends.
  • Author Tract: A few scenes mainly serve the purpose of promoting the author's political views.
  • Covert Pervert: Wendy "Hey, is this the Oval Office?" Varovitch. Notably, although published in the millenium, the books were written long before a certain scandal happened.
  • Crossover Cosmology: In addition to Wright's own creations, the world of the Dreaming includes angels and fallen angels, beings from Greek, Norse, and Celtic mythology and Arthurian legend. Plus lots of briefer references, see Shout-Out below.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Acheron vs the US Pacific Carrier group. Also Acheron's archangels vs the 105th Fighter Attack Squadron. On the other hand, mortal technology is quite good at wiping out non-immortal bad guys.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: When one enemy soldier dies, he gasps out a woman's name, "surely a sweetheart's or a lover's." Some of the selkie also speak of returning to their wives.
  • Faux Affably Evil: This is pretty much the selkies hat. They always seem Cheerful even when comitting the vilest atrocities.
  • Knight Templar: Many of the bad guys see themselves as this. They are wrong.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Most of the evil of the plot was kicked off because Raven was willing to do anything to keep his wife alive.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Azrael is the Waylocks' distant ancestor. However, while he goes to some lengths not to injure them permanently, they have less compunction about trying to kill or banish him.
  • Replicant Snatching: Played for both horror and comedy, weirdly enough. The selkies wear people's skins, but swap faces often enough that no one knows who anyone else is.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Titania points out how all of Merlin/Azrael's machinations to save Britain bore bitter fruit. The "necessary" lies were covered by other lies which led to the fall of Arthur. At the end, he gets the same treatment from Prometheus about his schemes that encompassed most of the plot.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: Selkies refer to the skins as "jackets," and they can be made from any species' flesh. Weirdly enough, this is also played for comedy: high-ranking selkie switch skins so often the lower ranks are perpetually confused about their identities.