--> ''There will be born one to the Royal House one who is dead yet will live, who will die again and live again. And when he returns, he will hold in his hand the destruction of the world... [[spoiler:[[EitherOrProphecy ...Or its salvation.]]]]''

A trilogy by MargaretWeis and Tracy Hickman consisting of ''Forging the Darksword'', ''Doom of the Darksword'', ''Triumph of the Darksword'', and ''[[TrilogyCreep Legacy of the Darksword]]''. Also has an associated TabletopRPG, ''DarkswordAdventures'', and a (now hard to find) companion book, called ''The Darksword Companion''.

In the magical land of Thimhallan, Magic is considered to be the same as Life. Those born with no magic are considered Dead. As an ancient prophecy tells of the destruction of the world by one who is Dead, those born without magic are routinely killed. However, royal-born protaganist Joram manages to escape this fate. Joining with a group of unlikely allies such as the elderly scholar Saryon and the erratic trickster Simkin, he plans to forge the [[AntiMagic magic-consuming]] Darksword and [[RightfulKingReturns retake his royal position]], unaware that doing so may bring the prophecy to fruition.

!Tropes:
* AdultFear: The Deathwatch and ensuing murder of all children born Dead. Saryon is understandably traumatized when he has to participate in such rituals, where a parent's child is killed ten days after they're born just because they, the child, are different.
* AlienInvasion: The Hch'Nyv in the fourth book. In this case, they go for the total extinction of mankind.
* AngelUnaware: [[spoiler:Scylla]]
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: [[spoiler:Simkin]] is a personification of Magic.
* AntiMagic: The Darksword
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Darksword
* BalefulPolymorph: Powerful sorcerers can do this.
* BlackMagic: Techno-magic, which draws power from death.
* BlackSwordsAreBetter: The Darksword
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:Saryon]], eventually.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Simkin]] comes back from the dead because "it was boring." Later on, [[spoiler:Joram]].
* BelatedHappyEnding
* BlackWidow: The Duchess D'Longeville, subject of number of Simkin's anecdotes.
--> '''Simkin''': ''Never'' take tea with the Duchess D'Longeville. Or, if you do, make certain she doesn't serve you from the same pot she serves her husband.
* BreakTheCutie: [[spoiler:Gwendolyn]]. Occurs between book 2 and book 3.
* ChekhovsGun: Very subverted: [[spoiler:What ends up saving the world is ''not'' the Darksword. It gets lost partway through the fourth book and is never seen again.]]
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Simkin
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Simkin is a self-described "fixed point of insanity in any sane situation".
* CrossOver: In the 3rd {{Dragonlance}} book, Tasslehoff finds a map with 'Merilon' listed as a major city.
** Also "Saryon" is the name of a major character in another fantasy setting by the two authors: ''The Deathgate Cycle.''
* DeadlyEuphemism: Those born Dead (ie without magic) are "Allowed to slip out of the world" - it is implied that this means starving them to death.
* DeathWorld: Beyond the Border, Thimhallen is this, complete with raging storms and deadly aliens.
* DistinguishingMark: The scars Joram acquired as a baby.
* [[spoiler:EitherOrProphecy]]: [[spoiler:The complete version of the Darksword prophecy, which the prophet [[KilledMidSentence died in the middle of delivering]]. The government then began the infanticide of low-magic newborns. PoorCommunicationKills... babies.]]
* EnemyMine: In the fourth book, the only reason Earth's army hasn't lost the war yet is that they've allied with evil mages who need to save the world so that they can conquer it.
* FaintingSeer: The seer who made the Darksword prophecy died in the middle of speaking it.
* TheFool: Simkin is strongly associated with this archetype, being symbolized by the "Fool" tarok card while Joram is represented by the "King of Swords".
* {{Foreshadowing}}: After the readers already know, through Saryon, of Joram's heritage, the following exhange takes place:
-->"So now the curse becomes the blessing, just like in the House Magi's tale," said Simkin, a smile playing on his lips. He smoothed his mustache with one finger. "Our frog becomes a Prince..."
-->"Not Prince," said Mosiah, exasperated. "Baron."
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The Hch'Nyv from the fourth book fill this role perfectly. They are alien invaders who plan to destroy humanity, but weren't mentioned at all in the first three books.
* IronicEcho: Simkin is mistaken for a pocket of residual magic by technomancers. Later when he is asked who he is he replies that he is a pocket of residual magic, then goes on to explain that if you don't believe in him it doesn't matter what he is.
* ISeeDeadPeople: [[spoiler:Gwendolyn]] gains the ability to speak to the dead... but loses the ability to speak to the living.
* LargeHam: Simkin
* LifeEnergy: In Thimhallan, Magic is considered to be synonymous with Life. [[spoiler:They're wrong.]]
* MacGuffin: The Darksword
* TheMagicGoesAway: In the third book; the fourth deals with some of the repercussions.
* TheMagocracy: To the point where anyone ''without'' magic is exiled or outright killed.
* ManEatingPlant: The Kij vine.
* MeaningfulName: The city Merilon, which is eventually revealed to be so named because [[spoiler:it contains Merlin's tomb]].
* MedievalStasis: The failure of Thimhallan to advance at all due to the prevalence of magic is an important theme. The third novel repeatedly uses the metaphor of mice sealing themselves in an attic with unlimited food and water where cats can't reach them, then dying of suffocation.
* MeetCute: Gwendolyn, via Simkin, meets Joram when she rescues him and his party from the ''Duuk-tsarith''.
* MessianicArchetype: [[spoiler:Joram]], in the final book.
* TheMillstone: Simkin ruins many a plan with his flamboyant carelessness.
* MosesInTheBullrushes: Joram
* NoSexAllowed: Sex is forbidden; all procreation in Thimhallan is carried out through magic.
* NoodleIncident / NoodleImplements: The majority of things Simkin says. In a private conversation with the Emperor bystanders overhear the phrases "Contessa", "chafing dish", and "Unfortunately discovered naked".
* NothingCanStopUsNow: During the final battle, Simkin is present and in shapeshifted disguise as an inanimate object. Being a LargeHam, he waits for the BigBad to declare victory before revealing himself.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Whatever Simkin told the emperor about the contessa and the chafing dish and [[NakedPeopleAreFunny nudity]], his regal facade crumbles into helpless laughter. Simkin is ''that'' powerful.
* OfCorpseHesAlive: The Empress of Merilon. Due to the political situation, everyone spent a year pretending that she was still alive.
* OffingTheOffspring: Joram's parents, because of the prophecy.
* OurCentaursAreDifferent: These centaurs are cruel, barbaric savages who torture any humans they come across.
* OurGiantsAreBigger: These giants are roughly double the size of a man and as are usually [[GentleGiant friendly, peaceable and kind of dull]].
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: The Corridors.
* PropheticFallacy: Turns out the missing last line completely changes the meaning.
* PunchAWall: Or rather a tree. [[spoiler: Or rather Simkin disguised as a tree. Oops.]]
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: The various revolutionary groups that appear through the series are all BlackMagic users who are just as bad (or possibly even worse) than the ones they're rebelling against.
* ScienceVsMagic: All technology is forbidden in Thimhallan, even the use of simple tools like levers.
* SecretPolice: The ''Duuk-tsarith''
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Everything done to avert the Darksword prophecy ends up being responsible for bringing it to pass.
* TakenForGranite: A ritual method of execution, eventually used on [[spoiler:Saryon.]]
* TarotTroubles: Simkin can predict the future with tarok cards. His reading of Joram has him drawing the Death card twice, reflecting the prophecy: One who is dead yet will live, who will die again and live again...
* TheUnpronounceable: The Hch'Nyv, an alien race appearing in book 4.
* TricksterArchetype: Simkin
* TrilogyCreep: The "trilogy" has four books.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Can be done by anyone with enough magic, but Simkin's best at it.
* WelcomeBackTraitor: Joram remains accepting of Simkin no matter what he does, even when the others want to JustEatGilligan.
* WrongContextMagic: Simkin's abilities.
* YearOutsideHourInside: Due to the effects of the magic Border, ten years outside Thimhallan is only one year inside.

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