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-> ''My death waits like''
-> ''a bible truth''
-> ''at the funeral of my youth''
-> ''weep loud for that''
-> ''and the passing time''
--> -- '''Scott Walker''', ''My Death''

Seventeen-year-old Rosa Alcantara, daughter of an influential but dead Mafia ''capo'', flees her shattered home life with her mother and dark past in Brooklyn by flying to her father's family in Italy. Sicily, it seems, is the perfect place for a new start: She lives in a big mansion with no one but her sister Zoe and her aunt Florinda, the half-empty Sicilian landscape is eerily beautiful, the laws are hardly ever enforced.

On her flight, she meets Alessandro Carnevare, a handsome stranger about her age, with whom she reunites at his father's funeral - who was a ''capo'', too. The Carnevares and the Alcantaras have been enemies for decades, though, and no one approves of the contact. Rosa starts spending time with Alessandro, at first because she enjoys the risks that come with it, later because they form a bond of shared secrets - the most major of which is that both families are shapeshifters descended from Lykaon, the late king of Arcadia: [[{{Animorphism}} While the Alcantaras, at least their women, transform into giant snakes, the Carnevares shift into big cats.]]

But instead of their fire-forged friendship forming into a tender romance in the peace of reunion, Rosa and Alessandro have the world against them. Not only do their families more and more disapprove of their relationship, but Alessandro has to keep his clan from killing him, Rosa has to fight personal demons and find her place in life, a mysterios organisation kidnaps and tortures Arcadians, a secret that could change everyones lives lies at the bottom of the sea, and everyone lives in fear of the mysterious "Hungry Man", who is rumored to be Lykaon himself...

The YA series ''Arcadia'' by German author Kai Meyer consists of three books:

* ''Arcadia Awakens''
* ''Arcadia Burns''
* ''Arcadia Falls''

Has nothing to do with the play ''{{Theatre/Arcadia}}'', the book ''Literature/OldArcadia'' or even the trope {{Arcadia}}.
----
!! The ''Arcadia'' trilogy contains examples of:
* TheAce: Cristina di Santis is beautiful, has an eidetic memory, and Rosa remarks that she is absurdly good at everything she does.
* ActionGirl: Rosa certainly is badass. Her love of risks also helps.
** [[spoiler:The sexy consorts on the Isola Luna, who are really hired killers.]]
** [[spoiler:Iole]], rather surprisingly, very casually shoots a Carnevare mook.
** Lest we forget Zoe, who singlehandedly put Tano to flight.
** The Malandra sisters.
* AdventurerArchaeologist: Professor Campbell and Ruth
* AlwaysABiggerFish
* AmoralAttorney: Trevini
** Judge Quattrini mentions that Italy is chock full of them, enabling the Mafia to do as they wish. This is, sadly, TruthInTelevision.
* AnimalMotifs: Hard to avert with a series about shapeshifters.
* AnticlimacticParent: Gemma Alcantara was shown by Rosa's narrative to be an ignorant, stubborn and unloving woman. She is really just exhausted from being a single mom in Crown Heights, stumbling from job to job, having Sicily and the Mafia romanticised by her two daughters, and having been left by her husband seemingly without a good reason. Like many people in the series, she and Rosa are NotSoDifferent.
* AntiHero: Both Rosa and Alessandro.
* AnyoneCanDie
* AssassinOutclassin: Alessandro kills [[spoiler:the Malandra sisters.]]
* TheBaroness: Florinda and especially Costanza. Not Baroness Gaia Carnevare, though.
* BeastFable: Alessandro gives Rosa a handwritten volume of these and trolls her afterward.
--> Alessandro: ''"It's like in the fable of the snake and the tiger."''
--> Rosa: ''"That one exists?"''
--> Alessandro: ''"No."''
* BeastlyBloodsports: The scene in the amphitheater ruin with Rosa and Lilia on one side and Tano and Cesare in their big cat forms on the other evokes images of this.
* BestServedCold: Literally, in Rosa's case.
* BigBad: Cesare Carnevare in the first book, Michele Carnevare in the second
** BiggerBad: TABULA, the Hungry Man
* BigDamnFireExit: Rosa escapes the Carnevares who hunted her through Central Park in the most spectacular way.
* BigFancycastle: Castello Carnevare
* BigFancyHouse: The Alcantara Mansion. The building Dallamano resides in.
* BigFriendlyDog: Sarcasmo.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Carnevares, the Alcantaras.
* BlessedWithSuck: In contrast to most Arcadians, Rosa has to learn how to control her beastly form, which causes her more trouble than the benefits are worth. See CursedWithAwesome below, though.
* BodyHorror: Many of the hybrids.
* BoyishShortHair: Iole Dallamano, whose hair was cut short regularly because she had been a Carnevare prisoner for six years.
* BuryYourGays: Shortly after [[spoiler:Lilia]] is found out to be a lesbian, she is killed. Lesbianism is also one of the reasons for [[spoiler:Zoe's]] death.
* CallBack: The first book's epilogue, concerning Rosa's stealing habits, and how in the beginning her iPod inexplicably only played a single song, ''My Death''.
* CannibalClan: Yes, ''that'' type of [[TheClan clan]]. [[spoiler:It is Carnevare tradition to hunt and eat a human each time a new ''capo'' takes over. Cesare's chosen victim is Iole Dallamano. Michele Carnevare and his gang hunt down a couple of homeless teenagers and try to do so with Rosa, too.]]
* CantHaveSexEver: Due to their excitement and passion, Rosa and Alessandro start to change into their respective animal forms each time they try to sleep with each other.
** They do so nonetheless, first through means of the serum, then when they have learned to control their shifting.
* CatSmile: Rosa has such an awesome one that it makes a Sicilian beauty pale.
* ChildByRape: Nathaniel, [[spoiler:Rosa's]] baby, who was [[spoiler:aborted. He was Tano's child.]]
* CityMouse: When Rosa (and before her, Zoe) arrived in the Sicilian countryside and her aunt's country estate, she was used to a rather humble life in Brooklyn.
* TheClan: Obviously.
* ClassicalMythology: The Arcadians' story of origin takes place there.
* CloudCuckooLander: Iole, unsurprisingly.
* CollectorOfTheStrange: Costanza collected [[spoiler:fur coats made of the hides of Arcadians.]]
* CoolBigSis: Zoe to Rosa, especially prior to the events of the series.
** Rosa takes this role for Iole.
* CoolShip: The ''Stabat Mater''.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Well, it ''is'' the Mafia we're speaking of.
* CulturedBadass: Alessandro
* CursedWithAwesome: According to legend, the Arcadians shapeshifting into animals was intended by Zeus as a curse.
** Except being outcasts, some of the hybrids are this.
* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster: Especially Cesare Carnevare, [[DonotDoThisCoolThing but the series in general can evoke this]].
* DatelessGrave: All the graves in the Alcantara crypt.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Davide Alcantara]]
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: Well, not exactly on display, but [[spoiler:Apollonia kept Davide's corpse in a cooling storage for fourteen years.]]
* DistressedDude: At the end of ''Arcadia Awakens'', Rosa has to rescue the bound and gagged Alessandro from certain death by [[spoiler:Cesare]].
* TheDon: The late Baron Massimo Carnevare and Salvatore Pantaleone, [[spoiler:the ''capo dei capi'']]. Alessandro is the current Carnevare Don. Cesare Carnevare also has shades of this and Florinda and Costanza Alcantara are/were rare female versions, especially the latter one.
* DoubleAgent: [[spoiler:Rosa, by promising Judge Quattrini information about Pantaleone in exchange for Augusto Dallamano's whereabouts and then following Pantaleone's instruction to save Alessandro and Iole while giving Judge Quattrini the runarond.]]
** Mattia Carnevare works with Rosa because he wants to find Valerie again.
** DoubleReverseQuadrupleAgent: [[spoiler:Fundling]] watched Cesare kill [[spoiler:Gaia]], so he started reporting to Judge Quattrini while still acting faithful to [[spoiler:the Carnevares]]. At the same time, he is [[spoiler:Pantaleone's spy]].
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Stefania Moranelli.]]
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Danai Thanassis.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The TABULA lab, the bunker on the Isola Luna.
* ElderAbuse: While being all sugar to him at first, [[spoiler:Danai Thanassis later blows up the ''Stabat Mater'' and thus, kills her father and his plans.]]
* EvidenceScavengerHunt: Rosa and Alessandro dive headfirst into one for evidence of the hugging panthera and lamia statue Ruggero Dallamano found at the bottom of the sea and what it means for the Arcadians generally, the Carnevares in particular, and TABULA, partially to save Iole from Cesare.
* EvilChancellor [[UpToEleven AND]] EvilUncle: Cesare Carnevare was the former to Massimo Carnevare and is the latter to Alessandro Carnevare.
* EvilMatriarch: Costanza Alcantara
* EvilOldFolks: In the third book, Rosa remarks how in each book an evil old man who influenced her life had to die. [[spoiler:First Pantaleone, then Trevini, then Sigismondis.]]
* EvilTwin: [[spoiler:Insofar that a Mafioso can have an ''evil'' twin, Apollonio is this to Davide.]]
** ImpersonatingTheEvilTwin: [[spoiler:More like impersonating the good twin impersonating the evil one.]]
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Eduard Sigismondis fits this trope to a T.
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler:Davide Alcantara. Fundling.]]
* FalseFriend: Valerie
* FauxDeath: [[spoiler:Fundling's body was put up for autopsy. Turns out, he is very much alive.]]
* FemmeFatale: The Contessa di Santis
* {{Foil}}: Salvatore Pantaleone stands for the sophisticated, civilized, modern ways of the Mafia, while the Hungry Man represents their rampant, anarchic, beastly ways.
** Gloomy, sarcastic Rosa prefers black clothes and wants nothing but peace and normality, while quirky, fun-loving Iole prefers white clothes and loves to find the weird in the ordinary. Bonus for them having blonde and black hair, respectively.
* FreakinessShame: [[spoiler:Danai and the other hybrids]] in particular, but also Rosa.
--> ''"My boyfriend shifts into the most beautiful of all animals, and what do I transform into? Godzilla."''
* GaussianGirl: Signora Falchi, Iole's private teacher, disapprovingly mentions that Iole looks this way every time she wears a flowing white dress.
* GemEncrusted: The cellphone Zoe gives to Rosa in the beginning. Rosa finds it hideous.
* GenuineHumanHide:Well, genuine Arcadian hide anyway. [[spoiler:What Costanza's hundreds of fur coats are made of.]]
* GoodBadGirl: Rosa is a non-sexual version.
* GoryDiscretionShot: [[spoiler:Lilia's]] death. [[spoiler:[[AvertedTrope Tano's]]]] not so much.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Neither side involved in the conflict is particularly sympathetic. One could argue the same about the protagonists. It is a recurring theme throughout the series. Rosa [[DiscussedTrope speaks about this]] when she tells Alessandro [[spoiler:of her rape, resulting pregnancy, and the abortion]].
--> ''"There is only red or black. [...] As in roulette. One isn't more right than the other. You can think about which colour will rather win as much as you want, it won't help you."''
* HalfHumanHybrid: Technically, most of the Arcadians are really children of an Arcadian and a human. At the same time, each of the Arcadians is half human, half animal. And then there's the literal examples...
* HeelFaceTurn or FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Rosa, by going to the police and betraying Pantaleone.]] Depending on who you show as the "good" and "bad" side, respectively.
* HeKnowsTooMuch: Ruggero and Augusto Dallamano
** Leonardo Mori
* HiddenDepths: Fundling, natch.
** Also Signora Raffaela Falchi. Who would have thought that the respectable teacher was a rock musician's girlfriend and knows full well how to wield a gun?
* HideTheEvidence: [[spoiler:Gaia Carnevare hid the evidence of Cesare's betrayal in her paintings.]]
** The secret room in the bulding [[spoiler:that was once the Dallamano manor.]]
* HideYourLesbians: That [[spoiler:Zoe and Lilia]] were lovers is only revealed pages before [[spoiler:Lilia is killed by Cesare Carnevare]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] because the conservatively Catholic South Italians and especially [[spoiler:Florinda]] would hardly have approved of one of the most important Mafia families' offspring being gay.
* IdiotBall: At the beginning of ''Arcadia Falls'', Rosa and Alessandro take [[spoiler:Stefania]] hostage and forget checking [[spoiler:she has a cellphone on her. Which of course she does.]]
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Danai
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit: Danai wears nothing but frilly black hoop skirts. [[spoiler:They hide her scorpion legs and tail.]]
* ImprovisedWeapon: Rosa's staple gun, and later on, her rubber head hammer and Alessandro's screwdriver.
* InterruptedSuicide: The whole concept of the ''Suicide Queens'' is downing a bunch of pills, calling an ambulance and waiting.
* InterspeciesRomance: Insofar as what the Alcantaras and Carnevares shift into respectively can be called a species, Rosa and Alessandro evolve to have this.
* InvoluntaryShapeshifter: The Arcadians shift when driven by strong emotions. They only learn to control it as they grow older.
* {{Irony}}: Rosa has a lot of attributes that are [[AnimalStereotypes stereotypically associated with (domestic) cats]], even including a CatSmile.
** [[spoiler:Turns out, she is one quarter Panthera.]]
** Judge Quattrini mentions that a nude model and showgirl is the Italian minister for equality.
* KangarooCourt: The Carnevare trial of Rosa.
** Michele's accusation and following punishment.
* KarmicTransformation: In the legend of the Arcadians, when Zeus found out Lykaon [[ImAHumanitarian ate human flesh]] he transformed him into a wolf to show that he was like a beast.
* KilledOffscreen: [[spoiler:Mattia, the Malandra sisters. Fundling, seemingly.]]
* KingInTheMountain: Lykaon AKA the Hungry Man, according to some.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Odd enough for a piece of literature. ''My Death'' by Scott Walker [[spoiler:which was Gaia's favourite song.]]
* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: Rebellious, skinny, sarcastic Rosa is the dark one, girly, naive, fun-loving Zoe the light one.
* LimbSensationFascination: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]. Rosa is fascinated by the cold that fills her every time before she transforms and that lets her limbs feel as though they don't exist.
* LittleBitBeastly: The shapeshifters, when they don't fully shift, remain their fur, fangs, [[AnimalEyes eyes]] etc. to varying degrees.
** The hybrids are in this state permanently. Some are LittleBitBeastly. Some are Beastly, period.
* LonelyFuneral: Rosa digs a grave on a hill at the end of the world for [[spoiler:Nathaniel]] and buries [[spoiler:him]] all alone.
* LoveMakesYouEvil/[[LoveMakesYouDumb Dumb]]/[[LoveMakesYouCrazy Crazy]]: Valerie's insane actions towards Rosa are a direct result of her infatuation with [[spoiler:Michele]].
** Evangelos Thanassis, with a heavy emphasis on the "dumb" part. See RichInDollarsPoorInSense below.
* MadArtist: Gaia Carnevare had shades of this.
* MadScientistLaboratory: The TABULA labs, of course.
* MaidenAunt: Florinda.
* TheMafia: Not one, not two, but ''three'' Mafia clans, executed in a realistic manner. Meyer's research shows.
* MafiaPrincess: Especially Zoe, who thrives off her late father's and her aunt's riches, but also Rosa, even though she is a fan neither of luxuries nor the family business.
* MeaningfulName: "Nathaniel" means "gift of God".
** Slightly overlapping with AnimalThemeNaming: Come on, what does ''Carnevare'' sound like?
** Fundling was, indeed, a foundling child. The name of Fundling's dog, Sarcasmo, says more about him than the dog.
* MyBelovedSmother: Costanza Alcantara
* MyInstinctsAreShowing
* NebulousEvilOrganisation: TABULA
* NeverFoundTheBody: Valerie
* NonIndicativeName: Pantaleone's name is reminiscent of the Italian words ''pantera'' and ''leone'', meaning "panther" and "lion" respectively, yet he works against the Carnevares and shifts into a [[spoiler:boar]].
* NotSoDifferent: A recurring theme throughout the series.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Iole, big time.
* OffToBoardingSchool: From what Alessandro returns in the beginning.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Rosa, due to being scrawny.
** Also Iole, who has been held a prisoner for six years when Rosa and Alessandro meet her and who behaves in childlike ways.
* TheOphelia: Alessandro's mother, Gaia Carnevare.
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent: In the Alcantara family, only the women shift. The transformations are driven by strong emotions and happen gradually. The shifters are aware and sentient, but are controlled by more animal-like instincts. The individual groups of shapeshifters have names regarding the animals they change into. The Alcantara shifters are called ''lamia'', while the Carnevare ones are called ''panthera''. The descriptions of the [[SlowTransformation gradual shifting]] are quite unique.
* PantheraAwesome: ''Literally''.
* ParentalAbandonment: Rosa has a lukewarm relationship to her mother who she left for Italy; her father is dead. Alessandro's father is dead, too, and his mother [[spoiler:was murdered by Cesare]].
* PeopleJars: There are rows upon rows of them in the TABULA base. One of them contains [[spoiler:Nathaniel.]]
* PeopleFarms: Again, the TABULA labs.
* PerkyGoth: Rosa, with her faible for all-black clothes and cheery, sarcastic way, evokes this image, but she has a far darker side to her.
* PhotographicMemory: Avvocato Trevini, Cristina di Santis
* PrecisionFStrike: Rosa ''loves'' these.
* PromotedToParent: Rosa kind of is Iole's parent surrogate.
* RapeAsBackstory and RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler:Rosa.]] There are many subtle hints until the truth comes out, and even her describing it is as much of a RapeDiscretionShot as a firsthand experience can be due to a date rape drug, but the execution with all its logical consequences like panic attacks at parties, being uncomfortable with too strong closeness and phantom pain in the abdomen is done realistically and tastefully. See also ChildByRape above.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: [[spoiler:Tano is the one who raped Rosa.]]
* RecruitingTheCriminal: A favourite technique of Judge Quattrini.
* ReluctantRetiree: Sigismondis, who just never actually retired. He still stumbles through the TABULA base in a tattered and dirty lab coat, lives off instant noodles, and treats and injects taxidermy animals without noticing they aren't even alive, much less Arcadians.
* ResearchInc: TABULA
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Tano Carnevare was the one who raped Rosa, and it was Michele Carnevare who lured her to that party (through means of Valerie) in the first place.]]
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: Evangelos Thanassis [[spoiler:threw millions at the shady organisation that was TABULA in the hopes of finding a cure for his Arcadian-gone-hybrid wife.]]
* RoomFullOfCrazy: The cold storage room in the Alcantara mansion.
* ScaledUp: The Alcantaras, naturally.
* SceneryGorn: Some of the landscapes, especially the abandoned highway leading to "the end of the world".
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney and ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: Why nobody can/will stop the Mafia. [[TruthInTelevision This is a very real problem.]]
* SecretIdentity: Apollonio is [[spoiler:Davide Alcantara. Or vice versa.]]
* SeparatedAtBirth: [[spoiler:Davide and Apollonio.]]
* ShapeshifterShowdown: First [[spoiler:Alessandro against Cesare]], then [[spoiler:Rosa against Pantaleone]] in the first book.
** The second book ends with a big fight of Rosa and Alessandro against [[spoiler:Michele Carnevare.]]
* ShapeshiftingLover: [[CaptainObvious Well, duh.]]
* ShoutOut:
** ShoutOutToShakespeare: Teenage lovers who are members of rivaling Italian clans? Don't tell me you didn't think of ''Literature/RomeoAndJuliet''.
** There is also another one which, at the same time is one to ''Franchise/StarWars'', when Rosa quotes to Salvatore Pantaleone: "I'm not looking for a friend, I'm looking for a Jedi master.", and claims it to be a quote from ''{{Theatre/Hamlet}}''.
** Perhaps inevitably, there are also some to ''Film/TheGodfather''.
** Alessandro being unkempt, black-haired and green-eyed might be one to ''Literature/HarryPotter''. This is not helped by the fact that, in German fanfic, it is weirdly popular to call Harry Alexander or any variation thereof, and that Rosa jokingly calls the posh boarding school Alessandro attended in the USA "Hogwarts".
** Alessandro gives Rosa a handwritten book with Aesop's fables as a gift.
** In the beginning, there is a quote from Angela Carter's ''The Bloody Chamber'', in which a tiger licks away the first person narrator's skin to reveal fur. Later in the book, Rosa has a dream about Alessandro, in his panther form, licking away her skin to reveal a snake's scales.
** Rosa calls her snake form ''{{Franchise/Godzilla}}'' once.
* ShownTheirWork: Especially regarding the Mafia and the overall condition of Sicily.
* SnakesAreSexy: Implied with the Alcantara girls, and Lilia's tattoo.
* SpiderPeople: The Arachnida.
** Also [[spoiler:Danai]], though technically a Scorpion Woman.
* SpidersAreScary: The Arachnida, again.
* TheSnarkKnight: Rosa
** Raffaela Falchi, rather surprisingly.
* StickyFingers: Rosa steals small, more or less valuable objects out of boredom or, sometimes, nervosity.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: Rosa was born in Sicily, but spent most of her life in Brooklyn.
* StressVomit: Rosa is prone to this.
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: Davide Alcantara [[spoiler:who is not dead at all.]]
* TheSpook: The Hungry Man.
* TitleDrop: For the first book, in the third.
* TrackingDevice: [[spoiler:In Rosa's phone.]]
* TreacheryCoverUp: [[spoiler:For Rosa, after she betrays Salvatore Pantaleone and the whole Cosa Nostra.]]
* TricksterMentor: Salvatore Pantaleone is a rather villainous example.
* TwinSwitch: [[spoiler:Apollonio pretends to be Davide pretending to be Apollonio.]]
* UnderstandingBoyfriend: The fact that Alessandro is so understanding is what makes Rosa want for him to be her boyfriend in the first place. Him understanding her shapeshifting, of course, is due to the fact that he's a shifter himself.
* UnkemptBeauty: Rosa's "witch hair" is ever tangled, she doesn't wear makeup, she's pale and scrawny and her shins are full of scars due to shaving accidents, yet Alessandro evidently finds her very attractive.
** Alessandro himself.
* VegetarianCarnivore: Rosa is a vegetarian.
* WasOnceAMan: Lykaon
* WeaponOfChoice: Rosa ''loves'' her staple gun.
* WitnessProtection: Augusto Dallamano, [[spoiler:Fundling.]]
* WomanChild: Iole is a less extreme and more justified example: In spite of being 15, she talks like a child, because she has been held captive for six years.
* WomanInWhite: Iole, again, as a contrast to [[WomanInBlack Rosa]].
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Why Pantaleone kills [[spoiler:Zoe and Florinda]]. Not that he found [[spoiler:Zoe]] very useful to begin with.
* YoungAndInCharge: Alessandro, Rosa