-> ''"For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a Serein.''
-> ''The more they warned me to stay away from the Serein, the more I wanted to be one of them.''
-> ''As simple as that, really.''
-> ''Of course, there was more.''
-> ''They told me the Serein were dangerous – I thrilled inside.''
-> ''They told me the Serein were evil – I shuddered deliciously''
-> ''They told me the Serein were insane – and I saw the fear in their eyes and wanted that kind of power so badly, I could taste it in my soul.''
In Serein is a [[DarkFantasy Dark]] [[EpicFantasy Epic]] [[MedievalEuropeanFantasy fantasy]]/FantasticRomance trilogy written by Silvia Hartmann [[ComingOfAge following]] the [[PluckyGirl headstrong]] [[BlitheSpirit Isca]] on [[JumpedAtTheCall her quest]] to [[IJustWantToBeSpecial become]] one of the [[EvilSorcerer Serein]], [[MightMakesRight revered]] and [[LawfulEvil feared]] alike [[TheEmpire powerful]] [[RobeAndWizardHat Magician]] [[EqualOpportunityEvil Monks/Nuns]]. She is sent by them to the [[JadeColouredGlasses gloomy]] and [[KickTheDog angry]] Lord [[TheDragon Lucian Tremain]] to be trained, and he [[SinkOrSwimMentor couldn't care less]].
The entire trilogy can be read online at http://inserein.com/
* DarkFantasy: So dark it has its own disclaimer: http://inserein.com/sex-and-violence.htm
* FantasticRomance: [[spoiler:Isca and Lucian]]
* EpicFantasy: [[spoiler:let's just say that their FantasticRomance reverberates through the world and reshapes it fundamentally on multiple occasions]]
* [[spoiler:LoveRedeems: So that at the end of the series, Lucian finally can smile and relax and die.]]
* GenreBusting: As the author puts it: ''It "falls between" established easy-sell categories. It's fantasy fiction, but there are no dragons in it. It's got soldiers and fighting in it, but it is also an intensive love story so you'll have trouble promoting it strictly to the boys, or the girls, and both will be horrified in places. It's got magic in it, but it isn't the sort of fantasy magic that is the staple of fiction.''
* SurvivalMantra: ''"It is the hardest thing of all, the one thing that will show if you have the one true courage. To know that you have failed, that your best efforts have been defeated, to not be able to stand it, to not be able to go on and yet to go on nonetheless."''
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: When Isca (or another main character) has a good day
* ConstructedWorld & WorldBuilding: With [[http://inserein.com/map-of-the-kingdoms.htm its own fully developed]] [[FantasyWorldMap map]], kingdoms, detailed cities, rules of magic, history and a High King and the Serein.
* WebOriginal: WebSerialNovel
* FullSpectrumMorality: Almost all characters are this. Some characters, [[spoiler:especially Isca and Lucian]], even travel all over the spectrum in the course of the series.
* WhenHeSmiles: Chay Catena: ''"Chay played with the now empty bottle in his hands, then looked up at me and a smile came across his face. He had an extraordinary smile, like the sun came from behind the clouds. It lit up his face entirely and made him look boyish, charming and quite irresistible."''
* PointOfView: First Person Narration
** SwitchingPOV: told mostly by Isca, but also Lucian, Marani etc.
** SympatheticPOV: experiencing things from Lucian's POV makes you see him in a different light
** [[spoiler:UnreliableNarrator: We only find out that Isca has been in love with Lucian and that he knew it all along the moment she admits it.]]
* CharacterDevelopment: Isca and the other main characters go through tremendous growth during the series and and the end are at a very different place than where they started.
* NoPronunciationGuide: [[http://inserein.com/news/pronounciation_guide_is.htm averted]] (also serves as a DramatisPersonae of a sort, thus contains minor spoilers)
* WhamEpisode: happens quite alot:
** [[spoiler:Isca and Lucian being in love]]
** [[spoiler:Lucian technically dying]]
** [[spoiler:Isca and Lucian killing all the Serein]]
** [[spoiler:Lucian breaking up with Isca]]
** [[spoiler:the flashback to Lucian's terrible childhood traumas]]
** [[spoiler:even the ending itself manages to be this, in a huge way, too huge to spoil here in fact]]
* MeaningfulName: Lucian [[http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Lucian is Latin for]] light, Isca [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isca_Dumnoniorum is Brythonic Celtic for]] flowing water
* [[spoiler:UnholyMatrimony: How the commoners perceive Isca/Lucian]]