Dreamlands is, for me, a story about monsters and how they don't always appear as they should. It is also a story that shows that those who should look after someone don't always do so and that people who look like they may not do so treat you better than you have been before.
The novel is also a story about different cultures and how they can come together as well as how they can clash - especially when people either disrespect it outright or do so in ignorance.
When Keno is brought to the Dreamlands after being attacked, he slowly blossoms and comes into his own under the tutelage and care of Samojirou and, indirectly, Tamazusa. He has been physically and emotionally abused before being brought there, but when some of his former co-workers come into the Dreamlands, the only ones he does not want to see hurt are Mason and Wolf, the only two people who tried (in their own small ways) to protect him.
Samojirou is drawn to Keno in more ways than one. Keno has magic within himself and he is a descendant of Samojirou's lover when Samojirou was still alive. Considering what Keno has gone through, however, he is more than willing to take things slowly. While it is remembered love that draws Samojirou to Keno, it is Keno himself that Samojirou loves and it is that love (as well as the life that is offered within the Dreamlands) that helps Keno blossom.
What will happen when the real world intrudes?