[[quoteright:257:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/deptfordmice.jpg]]
->''"When a mouse is born, he has to fight to survive. There are many enemies..."''

A series of books by Creator/RobinJarvis.

The first three books, known as the ''Deptford Mice'' books, tells the tale of a mouse named Audrey as her seemingly idyllic life is shattered when the evil god Jupiter and his legion of rats attack the mice. Audrey must find a way to vanquish Jupiter in order to stop him from wreaking havoc against the world, but the odds are stacked against her. The books include ''The Dark Portal'', ''The Crystal Prison'', and ''The Final Reckoning.''

The next three books are known as the ''Deptford Histories'' and serve as prequel stories. These books include ''The Alchemist's Cat'' which tells the tale of a young boy who is held against his will by a sorcerer and a cat that would eventually gain great powers from being the sorcerer's familiar, ''The Oaken Throne'' which tells the tale of a bat and squirrel who must find a way to stop an evil cult while a war between their species rages on, and ''Thomas'' which tells the tale of a seafaring mouse who is hounded by a ReligionOfEvil known as the Scale.

The main trilogies were followed by ''The Deptford Mice Almanack'', a collection of animal traditions and folklore written by an in-universe chronicler. In between the snippets of history are mentions of the characters' lives in the present day - and a series of strange and foreboding events. It comes to a head when [[spoiler: the Great Oak containing the rat god Hobb's spirit is felled by a storm, and Audrey ousted as Starwife by mysterious black squirrels, one of whom bears an inexplicable resemblance to her fieldmouse "enemy" Alison Sedge.]]

The SequelHook has yet to be followed up on - instead, the 2000s saw the release of two ''Deptford Mouselets'' books, set apart from the main action. Each of them took place in the year before ''The Dark Portal''. The first, ''Fleabee's Fortune'', was about a [[TokenHeroicOrc token pacifist rat]], and the second, ''Whortle's Hope'', was about a fieldmouse from Fennywolde. There were to be two more entitled ''Ogmund's Gift'' and ''Twit's Progress''. The former was to introduce the prophet bats' unruly nephew who'd rather not have to deal with his growing magic, and the latter would describe Twit's journey from his home in Fennywolde to visit his cousin in Deptford. For some reason, neither of these have been published yet, though it has been nearly ten years since the publication of ''Whortle's Hope''. However, with Robin Jarvis lately returning to the worlds of his other classics, ''Hagwood'' and ''The Whitby Witches'' (the former having only one book with a cliffhanger that was unresolved for fourteen years), it is possible that the remaining ''Deptford Mouselets'' books and the grand finale of ''The Deptford Mice'' may finally see the light of day in the not too distant future.

----
!!These books provide examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Isaac Nettle beats his son Jenkin, whom he blames for the death of his wife, as she died giving birth to him. He also abuses him verbally, once even saying that he wished an owl would carry him off. [[spoiler:These words no doubt come back to haunt him later when Jenkin really is killed and eaten by an owl.]]
* AmuletOfConcentratedAwesome: The Silver Acorn
* AndThisIsFor: Audrey cries "This is for my father!" right before she [[spoiler:throws her mousebrass at Jupiter]] in ''The Dark Portal''. Warden Mugwort from ''The Oaken Throne'' calls out the names of his dead children as he fights the bat army.
* AnyoneCanDie: In a Robin Jarvis book, you'd better believe it!
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: At the end of ''The Oaken Throne'', [[spoiler:Ysabelle has her coronation as the Starwife.]] It is not literally a crowning; rather, the Silver Acorn pendant which is the symbol of office for the Starwives is formally placed about the neck of the squirrel who has ascended to the throne. However, [[spoiler:Ysabelle pushes it away at the last minute and refuses the position, much to the shock of those watching. She goes in search of her beloved Vesper, whom she previously rejected, in the hopes that they will run away and start a new life together... but she finds him dead and so is left with no other option but to become the new Starwife.]]
* BadassPrincess: Ysabelle
* BalloonBelly: In ''Whortle's Hope'', [[spoiler:the mean-spirited Dimsel Bottom is given a magical biscuit by Samuel Gorse which, unbeknownst to her, comes with the side effect of making anyone who eats it rapidly gain weight. She becomes too large to move, and it takes over a year for her to return to normal. Her ordeal causes her to become kinder to others.]]
* BelligerentSexualTension: Audrey and Piccadilly
* BigBad: Jupiter in the main series.
* BittersweetEnding: This is applicable to ''almost all'' of these books, especially [[spoiler:''The Final Reckoning'']], [[spoiler:''The Oaken Throne'']], and [[spoiler:''Thomas'']]
* BloodMagic: In ''The Oaken Throne'', the high priest of Hobb dips the Silver Acorn in the blood of one Ysabelle's subjects three times during a sacrifice. Each time, he calls Hobb's name. This summons the evil rat god to the world. The bloodstains cannot be removed from the amulet, no matter how many times it is washed, until [[spoiler:Ysabelle unites it with the magic of the Starglass and becomes the Starwife.]]
* BrattyHalfPint: Scabmona in ''Fleabee's Fortune''. As they are rats, her parents are actually ''proud'' of her rude behaviour, whereas they are ashamed of her polite older sister Fleabee.
* BreakTheCutie: Robin Jarvis delights in doing this to his characters. Specifically, this could apply to protagonists like [[spoiler:Audrey]], [[spoiler:Ysabelle]], [[spoiler:Woodget]], or [[spoiler:Twit]].
* BurnTheWitch
* ButThouMust: In ''The Final Reckoning'', once Audrey unwittingly [[spoiler:takes the Silver Acorn and allows the powers to channel through her, the Starwife informs her that she is now her successor whether she likes it or not.]]
-->"You claimed it and it claimed you Audrey. Both are irrevocably tied together, tethered as one till death."
* CainAndAbel: [[spoiler: Want to know how the cocky but well-meaning Jupiter in the prequel grows up to be a remorseless god of evil? He doesn't. His brother kills him and assumes his identity.]]
* CatsAreMean: The cats in these books are definitely not friendly at all. Leech from ''The Alchemist's Cat'' is a particular example, being spiteful towards others due to him being a runt. [[spoiler:He would later on become known as 'Jupiter.']]
* CharacterTitle: ''Thomas''
* {{Constellations}}: The firmament is a motif of the Starwife, as she is a celestial-themed monarch. There are decorations on the ceiling in her chamber that represent all the constellations, and she herself is also known as the Handmaiden of Orion (referring to the constellation Orion, the Hunter).
* CoolOldLady: The Starwife in the original trilogy.
* CoversAlwaysLie: This certainly applies to [[http://www.antikvaari.fi/imagesproduct/1119971.jpg the Finnish edition]], which makes the mice look like cutesy characters from a book intended for young children. That is ''very'' misleading.
* CrystalBall: Madame Akkikuyu's most treasured possession is her crystal ball. [[spoiler:That makes it rather difficult for her to follow the instructions of Nicodemus (a.k.a. Jupiter) and smash it to complete the ritual he wants her to do in ''The Crystal Prison''.]]
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Thomas Triton is haunted by the memory of his being responsible for the death of his friend Woodget Pipple. In the prequel book ''Thomas'', which describes the incident in detail, it is revealed that [[spoiler:the evil Mother Lotus put him into a trance, causing him to throw Woodget (who could not swim) into the ocean. When Thomas awoke from the trance, he realised what he had done and was filled with remorse. However, unbeknownst to him, Woodget was rescued by the siren Zenna whose song gave him amnesia. He was brought to the City of Hara in India and became the new Holy One.]]
* DeusExMachina: Near the end of ''The Oaken Throne'', [[spoiler:Ysabelle is tricked by the treacherous Morwenna into descending far below the Hallowed Oak and becoming trapped in a locked room where hungry toads are waiting to devour her. There seems to be no way out, but somehow Vesper (who is outside in the midst of a presumably noisy battle) is able to not only hear her cries, but quickly find his way down a dark maze of unfamiliar passages (it was previously noted that even Morwenna, who was familiar with them, had some trouble navigating) to rescue her.]]
* TheDragon: Morgan to Jupiter, increasingly unwillingly.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Ysabelle in ''The Oaken Throne''
* EmbarrassingNickname: Though William Scuttle has no problem with being referred to by his nickname, Twit, the reason he was given it is because he is believed to be a simpleton. That others think that of him does make him feel bad, of course. He ends up proving them wrong.
* EnthrallingSiren: There are sirens in ''Thomas'' that are part mouse, part fish.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Jupiter nearly smothers the world in eternal winter in ''The Final Reckoning''.
* EvilUncle: [[spoiler: Spittle to Will]].
* ExposedAnimalBellybutton: In the illustrations.
* FalseFriend: [[spoiler:Wendel]] and [[spoiler:Dimlon a.k.a. Dahrem]]
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: A lot of it; the first major one that comes to mind is the rats peeling the skin off of their victims to honor their god(s).
* FindersRulers: In ''The Oaken Throne'', the Silver Acorn literally falls into Ysabelle's paws. It is the symbol of office for the Starwife and, as a result, she is [[TheChosenOne the chosen one]] who must journey to the land of Greenreach to take up the throne.
* ForegoneConclusion: Throughout the original trilogy, it is made clear that Thomas is haunted by feelings of guilt because he is responsible for killing his friend Woodget. In ''Thomas'', then, it's a given that Woodget is going to die by the end... although [[spoiler:in the epilogue it is revealed that he survived, but with no memory of who he is.]]
* FromNobodyToNightmare: [[spoiler:Leech started off as the sickly runt of three ordinary cat siblings in 17th century London. He ends up becoming a god-like fiend who's more dangerous dead than alive.]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: It's heavily implied Madame Akkikuyu spent her youth as a prostitute.
* GodOfEvil: The Raith Sidhe, which includes Hobb, Mabb and Bauchan. Scarophion from ''Thomas'' also applies. Jupiter himself is a borderline case at the height of his power.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: At the end of ''The Dark Portal'', [[spoiler:when Madame Akkikuyu sees Jupiter after he emerges from his lair and realises she's been serving a monstrous cat, her mind snaps.]]
* HairDecorations: Audrey wears a pink ribbon in her hair, tying it in such a way that "the top of her head look[s] as if it [is] sprouting".
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Piccadilly]], [[spoiler:Oswald]], and [[spoiler:Vesper]]
* HeroicAlbino: Oswald.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Madam Akkikuyu throwing herself on the bonfire to stop Jupiter's plans in the second book. While she earns *personal* redemption, Jupiter's spirit finds his way to freedom anyway...]]
* IHaveManyNames: The Dark Despoiler from ''Thomas'' has been called Scarophion, Sarpedon, and Gorscarrigen.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Ysabelle from ''The Oaken Throne'' does not want to become the Starwife, but accepts the position because it is her duty. Later, when she [[spoiler:falls in love with Vesper, she again has doubts about taking up the throne. On her coronation day, she at first rejects his offer to run away with him, but soon changes her mind and publicly refuses the Starwifeship. However, by the time she reaches Vesper to tell him the good news, he has been murdered by the ghost of the villainous Wendel Maculatum. With her love dead she then, according to ''The Deptford Mice Almanack'', took her place as the Starwife and her reign lasted nearly three hundred years.]]
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: When Audrey is fighting for her life against the ghost of [[spoiler:Piccadilly]], who is being controlled by the evil magic of Jupiter and intends to strangle her. [[spoiler:She is finally able to get him to remember who he was, and a tearful farewell takes place as he finds peace and crosses over to the other side.]]
* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: This is the point of the rats' [[AFeteWorseThanDeath Festival of the First Blood]]. To prove their loyalty to Jupiter, young rats must commit murder by midnight or be killed themselves. The unusually kind-hearted rat girl Fleabee cannot bring herself to harm anything, so her chances of surviving First Blood are slim to none. That's why her mother has the idea of asking the goddess of the usurped Raith Sidhe, Mabb, for help. [[spoiler:But as it turns out, Mabb expects the exact same thing of Fleabee that Jupiter did. Fleabee cheats Mabb and escapes the sewers, managing to survive without killing anyone.]]
* IllGirl: Gender-flipped with Oswald.
* ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin: [[spoiler:When Mulligan, poison slowly eating away at him, gives the ninth fragment to Woodget in ''Thomas''.]]
* ImmortalitySeeker: Spittle
* InterspeciesRomance: [[spoiler:Vesper and Ysabelle]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: While everything the Starwife does is for a good reason, she initially comes across as rude and cruel. This probably has something to do with the fact that being a [[BrokenBird Broken Bird]] is an actual ''requirement'' for the job, as Ninnia states in the prequel ''The Oaken Throne''.
-->"To become the Handmaiden of Orion, one must know terrible grief in order to learn compassion."
* KickingAssInAllHerFinery: When Audrey is battling against Jupiter and his minions, she wears her usual outfit; a lace skirt with matching collar and a pink ribbon in her hair.
* LastKiss: [[spoiler:Audrey and Piccadilly]]
* [[LastOfHisKind Last of Her Kind]]: The Starwife. She is the sole remaining black squirrel. [[spoiler:While a pair of black squirrels do later appear in Greenwich, as recorded in ''The Deptford Mice Almanack'', there is something strange and not quite right about them. It is strongly implied that they are not what they appear.]]
* LegacyCharacter: The Starwife, and also the Holy One of Hara
* LighterAndSofter: The ''Deptford Mouselets'' books contain considerably less violence than the books in the main trilogies. There are still some frightening moments, but little to no gore, and their tone is more lighthearted.
* LivingRelic: In ''The Final Reckoning'', the Starwife reveals that she is the last of the black squirrels. The dynasty of Starwives had traditionally been made up of members of that species but, having searched in vain for such a successor, she [[spoiler:tricks the mouse Audrey into accepting the position. Thus Audrey becomes the first non-squirrel Starwife.]] This eventually causes her squirrel subjects to [[spoiler:question her right to the throne.]]
* MacGuffinDeliveryService: The main plot of [[spoiler: ''Thomas'']], with the twist that the higher-level good guys [[spoiler: have already rendered the MacGuffin useless to the villains, just in case.]]
* MarriageOfConvenience: In ''The Crystal Prison'', [[spoiler: Twit marries Audrey solely to save her from being falsely hanged as a witch. According to the Gallows Law, if a willing spouse is found, then the accused will be reprieved no matter what crime they have supposedly committed. Though Audrey is grateful to Twit for saving her life, she later comes to regret the marriage as it prevents her from pursuing a romantic relationship with her true love, Piccadilly.]]
* MeaningfulFuneral: The ceremony the squirrels hold to honour their dead in ''The Final Reckoning''
* MeaningfulRename
* MouseWorld
* NeverMessWithGranny: It is dangerous to get on the wrong side of the Starwife. As ancient as she is, she is still an imposing figure and possesses great power. Even her servants fear her fiery temper; she has been known to throw her stick at them when they annoy her.
* OffWithHisHead: [[spoiler:Fletch]] in ''The Dark Portal'', [[spoiler:Pountfrey]] in ''The Oaken Throne''
* OminousOwl: The owl from ''The Crystal Prison'' is responsible for some of the deaths.
* PassingTheTorch: In ''The Final Reckoning'', [[spoiler:the Starwife chooses Audrey to be her successor and tricks her into performing a ritual that irrevocably ties her to the position, whether she likes it or not. She doesn't at first, but gradually accepts it as the powers of the Starwife begin to manifest themselves within her.]]
* PhilosophersStone: Spittle's goal in ''The Alchymist's Cat'' is to learn how to create the elixir of life. It winds up becoming the source of [[spoiler: much of Jupiter's power.]]
* PinkMeansFeminine: Audrey always wears a pink ribbon in her hair.
* PlagueDoctor: The iconic outfit plays an important role for the human characters in ''Cat''.
* PoisonedWeapons: The villains of ''Thomas''. Jupiter's ghostly horde in the final book of the main series have a mystical variant.
* ProphecyTwist: The bats outline the plot of the entire main trilogy early in the first book, but in [[VaguenessIsComing such a hopelessly cryptic fashion]] that the information is functionally useless. The prequels include a bat prophesied to die surrounded by the sound of bells - [[spoiler: rustling bluebells, not city bells as he suspected]] - and Leech's discovery that [[spoiler: his brother, Jupiter, will be known as "lord of all". He kills Jupiter and takes the name for himself.]]
* ProudBeauty: Alison Sedge
* RegretEatingMe
* ReligionOfEvil: The worship of the Infernal Triad and Scarophion.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: The Scale worship the evil snake god Scarophion and includes reptiles like crocodiles and cobras in his army. [[spoiler:Certain members can even tear off their mammalian skin and take the form of reptiles.]]
* ScaledUp: [[spoiler:Dimlon, or Dahrem as he is really known, does this during his fight against Chattan, revealing his ability as an adept of Scarophion to transform into a lizard.]]
* SealedBadassInACan: It is revealed in ''Whortle's Hope'' that [[spoiler:Fenlyn Purfote was resurrected after his death but put into a deep sleep until the time comes when he needs to be awakened to battle evil once more. He lies in a chamber beneath the ground, waiting until he is summoned, and there is only one voice he will respond to... Twit's.]]
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler:Hobb imprisoned within the acorn that would later become the Great Oak.]]
* SeveredHeadSports: The rats are known to have 'kickabouts' with their victims' severed heads.
* SpiritAdvisor: 'Orace Baldmony to Fleabee
* StarCrossedLovers: [[spoiler:Vesper and Ysabelle, Audrey and Piccadilly.]]
* TakeMeInstead: In ''Whortle's Hope'', Virianna offers her own life to the evil rat goddess Mabb in exchange for her sparing Captain Fenny. [[spoiler:Mabb agrees to take only one life... though [[ExactWords she doesn't specify whose]] and so tricks Virianna. [[SenselessSacrifice Fenny dies anyway]], and by Virianna's own hand, no less, as she unwittingly allowed Mabb to take control of her body. When Fenny's corpse is discovered by the woodlanders with Virianna dancing about it madly, they kill her in retribution for the crime she has seemingly committed.]]
* ThemeNaming: Each of the Raith Sidhe are named after a sort of fairy. Hobb gets his name from the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hob_(folklore) hob]], Mabb is named after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Mab Queen Mab]], and Bauchan gets his name from a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauchan Scottish hobgoblin]].
* TransformationOfThePossessed: In ''The Crystal Prison'', [[spoiler:the spirit of Jupiter plans to take possession of Madame Akkikuyu's body as his was destroyed. Akkikuyu begins to transform into a cat (much to her horror), but before Jupiter can fully take control of her body, she kills herself.]]
* {{Tuckerization}}: The sea maiden Zenna, who appears in ''Thomas'', is named after the daughter of a librarian Robin Jarvis met when he visited her school in Shropshire.
* UnlikelyHero: Oswald Chitter, William "Twit" Scuttle, Woodget Pipple
* TheUsurper: [[spoiler:In ''The Deptford Mice Almanack'', there is unrest among the grey squirrels, who do not approve of Audrey being the Starwife as she is a mouse. Two black squirrels arrive in Greenwich and one of them, a maiden named Morella, grows popular with the Starwife's subjects. Ultimately, the squirrels revolt, marching into Audrey's chamber and tearing the Silver Acorn from her neck. They chase her away, referring to her as 'the usurping mouse', while Morella ascends to the throne. However, it can easily be gathered that Morella is the real usurper, as there is something unsettling about her. Audrey was chosen by the previous Starwife and the Green Mouse himself, so her right to the throne cannot be denied.]]
* WellExcuseMePrincess: Ysabelle and Vesper's relationship during the first part of ''The Oaken Throne''.
* WizardDuel: At the climax of ''The Alchymist's Cat'', Spittle and his own familiar, having both drunk the elixir of life, battle to the death.
* WizardsLiveLonger: The Starwives, magic-wielding monarchs, are given a much longer life span than ordinary creatures. For example, according to ''The Deptford Mice Almanack'', Ysabelle was on the throne for nearly three hundred years.
* WickedWeasel: [[spoiler:Wendel.]]
* YankTheDogsChain: In ''The Oaken Throne'', at the very end, [[spoiler:all the evil has been defeated and everyone is celebrating. Though Ysabelle had previously rejected her love Vesper, she has come to her senses, deciding to give up the Starwifeship and run away with him as he wanted her to. She excitedly runs to find him, but during the brief period she left him alone, the spiteful ghost of Wendel Maculatum killed Vesper, ensuring that the curse he placed on him came true.]]
* YouDirtyRat: With a few exceptions (such as Fleabee), all rats in this series are depicted as disgusting and evil.
----