I need a consensus, guys. I've seen this advice a thousand times - never open your novel with a dream sequence, which is what I've been advised against. My manuscript opens with such a device, HOWEVER, I am so torn as to how to proceed with this problem. Let me map out my dilemma. My novel is about King Arthur and the main character's connection to this ancient king. He has recurring dreams of King Arthur plucking the sword from the stone. However, this dream always ends horrifically, with little squire Arthur being killed, usurped, by a dark being who is set up to be the villain of the story. So it's a flashback, telling Arthur's tale and setting the tone for the rest of the book, as well as a prophecy, as the main character will, at some point, time travel and attempt to save Arthur's life. I am so scared this will cause the agent reading my first chapter to throw my manuscript into the fire just because it's set up to be a dream. The following chapter has the main character awakening in a sweat, and the rest of the story is framed by this event, my character figuring out, slowly, the rest of Arthur's story and what happened to these people. So it's vastly important. BUT, there is that age-old advice about not starting a book with a dream. I just don't know what to do. It's effective and jarring and appropriately dark, and so damn cohesive as its own element. Thoughts on the matter?