''Wars of Light and Shadow'' is an epic fantasy series by JannyWurts, chronicling the conflict among many different factions as they battle for control of the fictional world of Athera. The main story explores in depth the ambiguities of good and evil; both sides are portrayed with equal sympathy, avoiding the usual tendency to portray the winners as justified heroes and the losers as unequivocally evil.

When completed, the series will consist of five story arcs, of which the first three are currently complete.

'''Books in the Series:'''

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Arc 1: ]]

* ''Literature/CurseOfTheMistwraith''

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[[folder: Arc 2: ]]

* ''Literature/ShipsOfMerior''
* ''Literature/WarhostOfVastmark''

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[[folder: Arc 3: The Alliance of Light: ]]

* ''Fugitive Prince''
* ''Grand Conspiracy''
* ''Peril's Gate''
* ''Traitor's Knot''
* ''Stormed Fortress''

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[[folder: Arc 4: Sword of the Canon: ]]

* ''Initiate's Trial''
* ''Destiny's Conflict'' (to be confirmed)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Arc 5 ]]

* ''Song of the Mysteries'' (to be confirmed)

'''Short Stories'''
* ''Child of Prophecy''
* ''The Sundering Star''
* ''Reins of Destiny''

This series has a [[Characters/WarsOfLightAndShadow character sheet]]. All character-specific tropes should go there.
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!!This series contains examples of:

* AllThereInTheManual: The FAQ section of the author's website has a lot of information about the setting that can't be fully described in the books, such as background of some major conflicts and an in-depth look at how Athera's magic works, as well as an art gallery. Be warned, though, as the FAQ does contain spoilers.
* AnotherDimension: There are very powerful, very ancient Worldsend Gates linking different worlds together; Dascen Alur is described as a "splinter world", a sort of buffer zone between major worlds.
* ApocalypseHow: It is implied that the humans of Athera initially escaped to that world from a Class 5 or Class X, caused by the Fellowship - and if anything happens to jeopardize the Paravian races' return, the Fellowship may have to do it ''again''.
* BarbarianTribe: The clans of Deshir.
* CainAndAbel: The cursed enmity between Lysaer and Arithon touches off the bulk of the story.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: According to WordOfGod, the clothing and eye color for many, if not all, of the characters have significance; for example, Arithon's green eyes and the colors of s'Ffalenn royalty represent the inherited gifts of empathy and compassion. The Fellowship Sorcerers and Lysaer, at the least, also share this for their respective clothing.
* CostumePorn: Even the simplest of clothing is described in loving detail.
** SceneryPorn: So are the surroundings.
* {{Doorstopper}}: Most of the books are pretty hefty, even in paperback form. Wurts indicated that she originally wanted to have each story arc be its own book.
** Arc two was its own book when it was published in hardcover (Entitled ''Ships of Merior''). It turned out to be too large to convert to paperback, so [[DividedForPublication the paperback version was split into two books]], ''Ships of Merior'' and ''Warhost of Vastmark''. So anyone looking for a hardcover edition of ''Warhost of Vastmark'', don't bother.
* ElementalPowers: The powers of Light and Shadow commanded by Lysaer and Arithon, respectively.
* FantasticDrug: Tienelle, or seersweed, a highly toxic herb valued by spellcasters for its mind-expanding properties.
* {{Fictionary}}: Anything in Paravian.
* FisherKing: The High Kings appear to be this. Their coronation ceremonies link them with the elements and directly connect them to the lands they rule, as [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome dramatically demonstrated]] in ''Peril's Gate''. Exactly ''what'' this connection means isn't clear yet, though.
* FunctionalMagic
** IKnowYourTrueName: Knowing something's true name is to know absolutely everything about that individual, making it possible to cast binding magic on a given creature. The inscrutability of the Mistwraith's true name has made it nigh impossible to stop it, until the events of ''Curse''.
* GreyAndGreyMorality: Wurts portrays both sides with equal sympathy, allowing the reader to decide who is right.
* HighFantasy
* LanguageOfMagic: Played with, as most spells are cast in Paravian.
** SubvertedTrope: Not all spells are cast in Paravian.
* {{Ley Line}}s: Each of the Twelve Lanes of power offers a conduit for scrying and magical travel as well as energy for spellcasting. They seem to be arranged along the longitudes of the planet.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Each with their own agenda.
* MageTower: Many of these are left over from previous Ages, built by the Paravians and often used by the current magic users for their research.
* MagicMusic: A lyranthe, a type of Paravian stringed instrument capable of complex harmonics, is the primary means of especially talented bards utilizing their brand of magic. A Masterbard's voice alone can achieve the same effects.
* MeaningfulName: Just about everyone and everything. The {{Fictionary}} in the back helps clarify things.
* MedievalStasis: Enforced by the Fellowship. Or Else.
* NarrativeProfanityFilter: A number of characters mutter unspecified speculations on the parentage or personal habits of others.
* NotSoDifferent: The respective trials, successes, and failures of Lysaer and Arithon are frequently set up as counterpoint to each other.
* ObstructiveCodeOfConduct: The Law of the Major Balance, which states that "no force of nature should be used without consent, or against the will of another living being."
* OhMyGods: Characters often utter oaths referencing Ath creator, Dharkaron (an angel of vengeance), and Daelion Fatemaster.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: The Fellowship because they do know better.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: The Khadrim, described as flying, fire-breathing reptiles.
** As well as the great drakes themselves, [[RealityWarper Reality Warpers]] whose dreams created life without understanding the emotions behind it. Although long dead, their remains must be kept contained inside Fellowship-maintained grimwards, or the remnants of their dreams ''in death'' could tear apart the fabric of the world.
* OurFairiesAreDifferent: The Paravians, which included such creatures as elves, unicorns, and centaurs.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Three characters, Davien, Kharadmon and Luhaine, exist in a "discorporate" state. Kharadmon and Luhaine seem to be unhindered by their lack of body, and in fact use it to their advantage, traveling nearly instantaneously across Paravia. They can manifest, looking much as they did when alive, but usually only do so when talking to someone. [[spoiler:Davien is the only one who can manifest in an actual, physical body.]]
* {{Poltergeist}}: Iyats are invisible minor spirits that feed on miscast magic and strong human emotions. Once attracted by the former, they will do everything in their power to get the latter, mainly by annoying the hell out of nearby mortals.
* PsychicDreamsForEveryone: Those with the gift of foresight tend to have these, either spontaneously or induced by trances or herbs. Dakar stays astonishingly drunk to avoid them, with varying levels of success.
* PsychicPowers: A number of characters are gifted with prophecy or foresight, often to their detriment.
* PunctuationShaker: The names of the noble families follow the example of s'Ffalenn and s'Ilessid.
* RestrainingBolt: The gifted geases granted to the five royal bloodlines to emphasize certain traits that the Paravians believed would make the resulting kings and queens immune or resistant to corruption from outside.
* RoyalBlood: The founders of the five royal dynasties were all given a certain trait (compassion, justice, etc) which would be inherited by their successors. Plus, the charters under which the monarchies were established were an important part of the deal which gave humanity permission to settle in its current home. The fact that the monarchies were all overthrown a few centuries before the start of the story is a significant plot point.
* SiblingYinYang: Lysaer and Arithon, though technically half-brothers, are nearly polar opposites. Lysaer, the master of Light magic, is a blonde, charming, and charismatic prince, possessed of an irresistible geas to seek justice (even where none exists), and becoming a hero to the townsfolk and merchants. Arithon the Master of Shadows, meanwhile, is quieter, keeps to himself, is an outlaw in their homeworld despite his own royal blood, and possessed to an irresistible geas of compassion, to the point that he "will forgive the knife that kills him", becoming a hero to the poor.
* StarCrossedLovers: Arithon and Elaira love each other deeply, but Arithon knows that Lysaer's people might strike at her to hurt him, and Elaira knows that the Koriani Order will use their bond to cast baneful sorcery against him. The simplest solution is for them to stay as far away from each other as possible.
* UnEqualRites: There has been a long-standing rivalry between the Fellowship of Seven and the Koriani. One of the results is that Sethvir has possession of the Great Waystone, a powerful Koriani artifact, which he states he will happily give back if Morriel asks - knowing full well that Morriel would rather eat her own arm than ask him for ''anything''.
* UnstoppableRage: The Mistwraith's curse causes this whenever Lysaer and Arithon see each other, even through magical means.
* WarIsHell: The battle sequences are described in unflinching detail, with no effort made to gloss over or glorify the often horrifying violence.
* WhatTheHellHero: Lysaer receives several of these speeches throughout the series as he sinks deeper and deeper into KnightTemplar territory (One example being shortly after legalizing the enslavement of clansmen in ''Grand Alliance'', when he had decreed that he'd rather be in chains himself than permit slavery in ''Ships of Merior''). Unfortunately, they all fail to penetrate his Desh-Thierre enhanced self-righteousness.
* WizardsLiveLonger: The Fellowship have been around for over 10,000 years, and will not even be stopped by dying. They have also taught their apprentices various ways to stop or reverse aging. Even the Koriathain have their methods.
* WorldBuilding: Hells yes.
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[[/folder]]

[[folder: Warhost of Vastmark ]]

* ComingInHot: Kharadmon's return to Athera, with nine unbound wraiths in hot pursuit.
* DeathWorld: The two splinter worlds that originated the Mistwraith, now lifeless and abandoned.
* DontYouDarePityMe: When Tharrick, helping rebuild one of Arithon's ships while recovering from injuries suffered when he was caught torching the whole fleet, finds a pile of silver coins waiting for him in his room at the inn, he is initially livid, thinking Arithon was offering him a token of charity. Turns out they were his wages.
* TheFlorenceNightingaleEffect: Possibly the root of the romance that develops between Tharrick and Jinesse while the latter cares for the former's injuries.
* GoneHorriblyWrong: The scientific research carried out beyond the South Gate. Small wonder the Paravians had forbidden it in the first place.
* HeelFaceTurn: Tharrick.
* WeaponOfMassDestruction: [[spoiler:The Mistwraith apparently started off as this, but it broke loose.]]
* YouHadUsWorriedThere: Sethvir's battle to allow his voluntarily disembodied spirit to escape the nine wraiths trying to possess him is carried out largely in the aether, with his colleagues largely helpless to aid him other than to craft a magical ward to sift out the attached wraiths. It is hours before his shed body finally stirs, and they are still cautious until they determine that Sethvir is back (instead of a wraith possessing his body).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fugitive Prince ]]


[[/folder]]

[[folder: Grand Conspiracy ]]


[[/folder]]

[[folder: Peril's Gate ]]

* SecretTestOfCharacter: The Kewar Tunnel.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Traitor's Knot ]]

* CannotSpitItOut: Sulfin Evend. Sulfin finds out his best friend and king, Lysaer, has been cursed by necromancers. There is a special ritual to save him. The ritual requires sneaking into Lysaer's room, stabbing him with a magic knife to wake him up, and then ''miming'' that Lysaer needs to make a specific gesture with the knife, all the while dealing with the fact that Lysaer really hates Magic. Justified in that if he had spit it out, the ritual would have been interrupted.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Stormed Fortress ]]


[[/folder]]

[[folder: Initiate's Trial ]]

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