[[caption-width-right:300:Cover to Volume 3]]

->''Two must walk together the paths of darkness to reach the light.''

An epic SpaceOpera by {{Margaret Weis}}, not as well known as her other works. The first book was published in 1990, the fourth one in 1993. The series consists of four volumes:

# ''The Lost King''
# ''King's Test''
# ''King's Sacrifice''
# ''Ghost Legion''

Because the series' covers feature {{Laser Blade}}s prominently, young readers would be forgiven for confusing this with ''StarWars''. They wouldn't be far wrong. The series starts about 20 years after a college professor and unlikely revolutionary, Peter Robes, led an uprising against the monarchy; the "[[RoyalBlood Blood Royal]]," a ruling caste which had been genetically engineered for wisdom, intense charisma and occasional [[SuperpowerfulGenetics superpowers]], were wiped out almost to a man. The lone survivors are a small band of loyalists; the king's nephew, newborn Dion Starfire, whom they managed to escape with; and Warlord Derek Sagan, who helped organize the coup and fought his [[StarCrossedLovers Star-Crossed Lover]] Maigrey Morianna to do it. At the beginning of the book, the last of those loyalists, Maigrey's bookish brother [[TheObiWan Platus]], is killed, leaving the now-grown-up Dion to flee with the help of [[TheLancer Mendaharin "Tusk" Tusca]], halfblood HeroicBastard son of another of said loyalists. Hunted by now-President Robes and "Citizen-General" Sagan and the PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny the new government has become, aided by the [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure rumpled]], [[AFatherToHisMen fatherly]] General Dixter and enigmatic NotQuiteDead Maigrey, Dion must find a way to come into his birthright and reclaim the throne.

And, of course, there's more to the story than what meets the eye...

The series had a SpinOff, ''MagForce7'', chronicling the adventures of a band of mercenary misfits modeled consciously after ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven''.

!!This series provides examples of:
* AcePilot: Tusk. To a lesser extent, Link.
* AfterlifeAntechamber: [[spoiler:Maigrey]] continues to hang around in ''Ghost Legion'' after having died in ''King's Sacrifice''.
** [[spoiler:Platus]] comes to Maigrey right after his death.
* AgentPeacock: Raoul, the [[DudeLooksLikeALady effeminate]], campy [[{{Bishounen}} pretty-boy]]. When he's not fussing about his manicure, hair and clothes, he kills people with hundreds of various poisons.
* ArrangedMarriage: Dion has to enter into one to win his throne. He has just hit LoveAtFirstSight with another woman.
* TheAtoner: Sagan in ''Ghost Legion''.
* AuthorAppeal: Possibly Weis' series to push the need to embrace God(s) the most (even more so than {{Dragonlance}}) it has the worst villain of the first few books be [[HollywoodAtheist explicitly atheist]].
* AuthorityEqualsAssKicking: The Golden Squadron are the best warriors and space pilots in the universe, period. They are also Blood Royal. ''All'' of them.
** Dion Starfire is a prince and can kick some serious ass when he has to.
* BabiesEverAfter: at the end of Book 4.
* BadassBaritone: Derek Sagan, whose voice gets mentioned quite frequently.
* BadassCape: Sagan and later, Maigrey.
* BadassNormal: Tusk is a great space pilot and a good soldier but compared to the uber-{{Badass}} Maigrey and Sagan he's just... normal.
** Likewise, Brother Fideles, especially in the fourth book. All he has is a pope hat and medical training, but he wades into battle without flinching, proposing that ''he'' is going to stall ''the enemy''.
* BadassPrincess: Maigrey, being a daughter of a barbarian king. Likewise, her goddaughter Kamil Olefsky.
* BastardBastard: Flaim Starfire in ''Ghost Legion''.
* BattleCouple: Sagan and Maigrey, Tusk and Nola
* BetaCouple: Tusk and Nola
* BettyAndVeronica: Astarte vs. Kamil.
** On the male side, Dixter vs. Sagan.
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Raoul is stunningly beautiful, very courteous, calm and friendly. He is one of the most skilled poisoners in galaxy.
** Queen Astarte is kind, gentle and soft-spoken. What she can do, though, when you ''really'' piss her off...
* BigBad: Abdiel
* {{Bishounen}}: Each and every Adonian, Snaga Ohme and Raoul being the most present.
* BoisterousBruiser: Bear Olefsky and all his sons. They're big, loud, friendly giants, and them leaving the room is described as having overturned several chairs and a cousin.
* {{Bookworm}}: Platus, Maigrey's brother.
* BreakTheBadass: Derek Sagan, one of the most powerful Warlords in the galaxy and probably as {{Badass}} as a character can get, is scared up to the HeroicBSOD when [[BigBad Abdiel]] threatens him with the Serpent's Tooth, an exotic weapon causing FateWorseThanDeath to whoever as much as gets scratched by it.
* ByronicHero: Sagan.
* CastingGag: In ''Ghost Legion'', the artist Stephen Youll is said to have made the portraits of Sagan and Maigrey that are now exhibited in the memorial chapel at the Academy. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Youll Stephen Youll]] is a famous artist who has provided book covers for a number of prominent fantasy and science-fiction novels, amongst them the first edition of ''The Star of the Guardians''. That's his work in the page picture. ([[CoversAlwaysLie We're not sure who that is talking to Maigrey.]])
** Not just him. All of Tusk's co-conspirators in the fourth book are named after real friends of Weis's, including her eventual second husband and co-writer.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Maigrey and Sagan.
* CoolSword: Each Guardian has his/her own Cool Bloodsword.
* CulturedBadass: Sagan and Maigrey both love classical music and are so well-read they can quote Plato and Yeats by heart. Dixter is fond of reading, too.
* CynicalMentor: Sagan to Dion.
* DaddysGirl: Maigrey, whose warrior nature made her {{Proud Warrior Race Guy}} of a father very happy.
* TheDandy: Raoul.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Sagan and Maigrey. And ''how''.
* DeadpanSnarker: Hilariously, XJ the computer.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Sagan]], having activated the space-rotation bomb that would blast the whole planet, thus reaching two goals: destroying the terrible {{Weapon of Mass Destruction}} and wiping out his king's enemies together with [[spoiler: himself]], which action may also be considered a favor to the young king.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:After their deaths]], Sagan and Maigrey have to go through [[spoiler:Hell]] together to earn their happiness in [[spoiler:Heaven]].
* EvilMatriarch: Even though she's not particularly evil, Baroness DiLuna is proud, ambitious, war-loving, can kick any man's ass (Sagan being one of the very few exceptions) and almost openly despises her {{Girly Girl}} daughter Astarte, a black sheep in the bunch of Amazons. She'll have to realize, though, that [[BewareTheNiceOnes kind and peaceful ones are not necessarily weak and submissive...]]
* AFatherToHisMen: Dixter.
* FieryRedhead: Subverted with Dion who is quite calm and level-headed. Unless you [[BerserkButton laugh at his royal status]], of course...
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Twice, first with Sagan's father and his prophecy about the two that must walk the paths of darkness to reach the light, second with Sagan himself when he continues to see the dream in which he [[spoiler:kills Maigrey.]]
* FourStarBadass: General John Dixter.
* GentleGiant: Bear Olefsky, even if his welcoming embraces [[BearHug don't feel so gentle]] to ordinary people.
* HappilyMarried: Tusk and Nola.
* HeartbrokenBadass: Sagan. He gets his second HeroicBSOD when the love of his life, Maigrey, [[spoiler: dies at his hands.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: quite a few over the course of the series, mostly towards Dion.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Raoul and the Little One.
* HollywoodCyborg: Xris, the leader of Mag Force 7.
* IAmWho: Dion Starfire, especially in Book 1.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: John Dixter.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Xris the cyborg, a cynical mercenary who still loves his wife even though he thinks she dumped him when he became a cyborg.
* KillTheOnesYouLove: Sagan [[spoiler:had to kill Maigrey in order to rid her of the {{Fate Worse Than Death}}.]]
* LadyOfWar: Lady Maigrey is a perfect example.
* LaserBlade: the "bloodsword," which has a number of twists on the formula.
** It can switch to a shielding function. You control this mentally.
** It creates a mental connection with its user by injecting {{Nanomachines}} into the wielder's bloodstream, which not only connect the sword to the user's mind, not only heighten the user's latent telepathy, but steal the body's ATP to fuel the sword with.
** If you are not Blood Royal, these nanomachines cause an extremely virulent form of cancer. Death comes in days. If you're lucky.
* LastOfHisKind: Maigrey believes she, Dion and Sagan are the last Blood Royal in the universe. Turns out [[spoiler: it is not quite so]].
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: this being a space opera, after all.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: Raoul.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Dion and Kamil.
* LoveHurts
* LoveTriangle: Maigrey loves both John Dixter and Derek Sagan.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Abdiel.
* TheMasochismTango: Oh so much.
* MeaningfulName: Brother '''Fideles''' - "Faithful". Lampshaded in-verse.
* MindlinkMates: Sagan and Maigrey practically define this trope.
* MindRape: Abdiel. He has heightened his Blood Royal telepathy to horrific extents.
* NoNameGiven: The Little One. No sex, race or age either. It takes until the spin-off for anyone to even realize what his (its?) species is.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Raoul. He's a "Loti," someone who uses recreational drugs to maintain a constant mellow high. He is also an incredibly talented and creative poisoner. One BatmanColdOpen in the ''Mag Force 7'' series has him assassinating a PresidentEvil simply by ''kissing her hand at a party''.
* ParentalSubstitute: In some way, Sagan and Maigrey to Dion. Lampshaded by *Abdiel* of all people in his speech concerning [[FreudianExcuse Freudian Excuses]].
** Platus to Dion is a more straight example.
* ThePhoenix: Sagan's personal emblem and the name of his battle ship. Counts as [[RuleofSymbolism symbolic, too.]]
* PleaseDontLeaveMe: In the end of Book 4, [[spoiler: dying]] Derek Sagan begs Maigrey [[spoiler: who came to him after her death]] not to leave him. [[TogetherInDeath She doesn't.]]
* PrecisionFStrike: Tusk.
* {{Pride}}: Sagan's FatalFlaw. And boy, ''how''...
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Bear Olefsky
* PsychicPowers: genetically engineered for the Blood Royal.
* RatedMForManly: Derek Sagan fits this trope to a T.
* RedOniBlueOni: Sagan and Maigrey even wear red and blue as their favorite colors respectively.
* RedHeadedHero: Dion Starfire, red-haired and blue-eyed.
* RightfulKingReturns: Pretty much the plot of the first three books.
* RoyalBlood: It is ''actual'' royal blood that is needed in order to safely operate royal [[CoolSword Cool Bloodswords]] and [[CoolShip Cool Ships]], which connect to the user the same way.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: A lot of these, actually, Dion and Astarte being the first in row. Technically, ''all'' Blood Royal count, though only some of them are "royal" in the sense of being monarchs. (And of the characters listed in the series synopsis, Dixter is the only one who ''isn't'' Blood Royal.)
* SexyPriest: Sagan is a warrior priest in the Order of Adamant.
** Brother Fideles is described as being very good-looking.
* ShoutOut: This series can probably boast the vastest amount of literary and music quotes like, ''ever''. Each chapter in every of the four books has an epigraph that is a quote of some sort and relates to the events of the chapter. Characters themselves tend to quote famous literary works and even classical opera.
** The murder of [[spoiler:the royal family by the revolutionary forces]] resembles very much the execution of [[spoiler:the Romanov royal family by Bolsheviks.]]
* ShoutOutThemeNaming:
** The planet Vangelis is named after a modern Greek composer, best known for the ''ChariotsOfFire'' theme, whose music the author obviously loves.
** Dion, one of the three protagonists, is named (in-verse) after an ancient Greek philosopher and politician, disciple of Creator/{{Plato}}. And Platus, Dion's tutor, is evidently the homage to Plato himself.
** The character Sparafucile is named (also in-verse) after a character from GiuseppeVerdi's opera "''Theatre/{{Rigoletto}}''". Both are paid assassins.
** Baroness DiLuna's name is taken from another Verdi's opera, "''Theatre/IlTrovatore''".
** When Maigrey doesn't feel like revealing her real name, she uses the alias "Major Penthesilea". In Greek mythology, Penthesilea was the queen of Amazons and fought for Trojans in the UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar. She was killed by Achilles and was said to be the only woman he ever loved (he realized it was her he killed only after removing her helmet). A [[PropheticNames Prophetic Name]], too, because, given the amount of RuleOfSymbolism and [[YouCantFightFate Power of Fate]] in this book, you may guess [[KillTheOnesYouLove what]] [[DiedInYourArmsTonight happens]].
* StarCrossedLovers: Maigrey and Sagan. First they were [[PraetorianGuard Guardians of the King]], then he took sides with the revolutionary Republic and she didn't.
* StarfishAliens: the Corasians. They are red glowing blobs which feed on raw energy and use MiniMecha to get around. Shooting them with lasguns just makes them stronger unless you ReverseThePolarity.
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Sagan
-->'''Sagan:''' I realize that thinking does require an extraordinary amount of effort for you, Aks. Perhaps you could pay attention to me now and think later."
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Kamil Olefsky vs. Queen Astarte.
* TomboyPrincess: Maigrey was this as a child.
** Kamil is as well, though Bear Olefsky's domain only includes the planet he lives on.
* TrialByCombat: Maigrey and Sagan in the first book.
* TroubledBackstoryFlashback: for Maigrey, though with her and Sagan being mind-linked it counts for both of them.
* TheUnfavourite: Platus' and Maigrey's father despised his firstborn son for becoming a peace-loving bookworm instead of a {{Badass}}.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Tusk and XJ.
* XtremeKoolLetterz: Xris the Cyborg, leader of Mag Force 7.
* WartimeWedding: Tusk and Nola. PlayedForLaughs and a BreatherEpisode.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Dion to Sagan. Sagan, being a CynicalMentor, JerkAss and DeadpanSnarker with no respect to Dion's royal status whatsoever, treats the king-to-be like shit all the time (even when providing real help), and the thing Dion wants most is to hear him say the trope-naming line. In a [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome CMOA]] for Dion in ''Ghost Legion'', Sagan eventually [[SoProudOfYou does just that.]]
* YouAreWorthHell: In the epilogue of ''Ghost Legion'', Maigrey and Sagan are offered a choice: [[spoiler: to repent and be redeemed in Heaven, or to be punished in Hell. Sagan would not repent, and Maigrey, too, renounces salvation to be with him.]] Subverted in that they [[spoiler: still have a small hope of reaching Heaven after they walk through all the paths of Hell.]]
* YourCheatingHeart: Dion, trapped in his ArrangedMarriage.