The Warrior and the Archer (The Dream Traveler’s Game #6) – Ted Dekker and HR Hutzel

The Warrior and the Archer by Ted Dekker, HR Hutzel
Also by this author: The Promise, The Drummer Boy, Sinner, Green, The Dream Traveler's Quest, Into the Book of Light, The Curse of Shadownman, The Garden and the Serpent, The Final Judgment, Millie Maven and the Bronze Medallion, The Boy and His Song, Out of the Darkness
Series: The Dream Traveler's Game #6
Published by Scripturo on October 17, 2023
Genres: Children's, Fiction, Fantasy
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Three years have passed since Theo traveled to another dimension and discovered his identity in the Light. He’s more mature now and terrible trouble has swallowed him once more. When all hope seems to be lost, Theo is sucked into a virtual reality game set in an entirely new medieval world that is descending into chaos, as a small group of rebels seek to rescue their kingdom from the dark lord Marsuuv's rule. There, Theo, now a member of the rebels, must discover who he really is beyond the game—a fourteen year old boy in Florida who is a child of the light. A thrilling discovery of truth, perfect for young readers in today’s chaotic world. Ages 8 and older.

The Dream Traveler’s Game is meant to be read as one story and with all three volumes releasing simultaneously (and not even available for individual purchase), book six naturally picks up right after book 5 as if it was only a chapter break. The Warrior and the Archer begins with the (spoilers!) revelation that the herbalist Leah is actually Annelee—Theo’s friend from the previous series. Sidenote: Ted is short for Theodore and his wife’s name is LeeAnn, so guess how Ted envisions this friendship. The characters choose their new avatars for their second adventure and step back out into the game.

Despite being new characters, they are now both part of the same rebel group trying to save Viren. And despite these characters presumably having been on the journey up to this point, no mention of them was ever made. Theo even chose the same name! Nobody was ever like, oh yeah, we have Theo the warrior and Theo the bard? This adventure takes them to the nearby kingdom of Saxum, where they ask for help in dealing with the threat of Marsuuv. But Saxum has their own problems and won’t commit troops to free Viren.

But suddenly, those other problems come to light. The Queen’s brother arrives and she discovers that he has allied with Marsuuv in an attempt to enact a coup. Somehow all of this lead to Theo having to 1v1 against the coup leader’s champion (named Lahmi, who in the Bible was a brother of Goliath). Theo wins and the Queen of Saxum rewards him by agreeing to fight Marsuuv. There’s a quick battle and then it’s on to the final book.

Like the previous book, The Warrior and the Archer has problems with pacing. Too much happens and nothing happens. Saxum does not make an appearance in the final book. Their armies actually don’t end up fighting against Marsuuv. Dekker and Hutzel introduce a whole other kingdom with its own warring factions and then do absolutely nothing with it. This was the most disappointing book of the three for me because there was nothing in this book that was necessary to the overarching story. Why does Theo fight Lahmi? There’s no compelling reason other that 1v1 tournament-style fights are a trope in children’s fantasy fiction and it fits the video game equivalent of a boss battle. The whole of the story works toward a conclusion that never happens and the things that do happen don’t feel compelled by the story. They’re just random. They’re random scenes meant to check off the list of fantasy tropes without any depth or meaning behind it.

The only purpose of The Warrior and the Archer is to carry the reader into the third and final book, Out of the Darkness. It cuts off a bit earlier than the previous book, leaving readers to wonder if they’ll even get to a waystation. Then it’s on to the book 7.


About Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker is a New York Times best-selling author of more than forty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans. Dekker’s novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.