* CompleteMonster: [[BigBad Duke Roger of Conté]], Alanna's ArchEnemy, was originally heir of his cousin King Roald before the birth of Prince Jon bumped him down the line of succession, and he stops at nothing to get his place back. He creates a MysticalPlague that kills many in the city of Corus before it reaches its intended target, the royal family, who were deliberately targeted last so that the palace Healers were too weak to save Jon's life. When this fails, Roger's second attempt on his cousin's life involves goading Jon into getting himself killed by exploring a cursed city. Alanna foils this too, so Roger sends multiple {{Animal Assassin}}s after her, tries to drown her, [[MoreThanMindControl turns her friend Alex against her]] so that he tries to kill her while sparring, and helps create a war with Tusaine so he can pull a UriahGambit on both of them. After the war is ended without his intended results, Roger casts a wasting sickness on his lawful aunt, the Queen Lianne, using [[NightmareFuel a wax doll of the Queen, being periodically run under a stream of running water that slowly drains her life force]]; this wrecks her already-poor health enough that she dies little over a year after the spell has been ended. When Alanna uncovers this plot and finally exposes him, [[spoiler:she [[TrialByCombat kills him]]]], but that doesn't end it. When Roger returns he has become a full-blown OmnicidalManiac, who gives up regaining the throne in favor of destroying Tortall with an earthquake out of spite. Not even his own followes (except [[TheDragon Alex]]) are told, most thinking that they're participating in a standard usurper plot and not realizing that he cares nothing for them either.
* ValuesDissonance: George shows romantic interest in Alanna when she's ''eleven'' and he's implied to be somewhere in his mid ''twenties'', and [[StalkerWithACrush stalks her for years]], and yet is presented as a perfectly fine romantic option. Readers today tend to view that as [[{{Squick}} squicky]] at best and [[StalkingIsLove very]] [[PaedoHunt disturbing]] at worst. Tamora Pierce has gone on record stating changed values do make this a lot creepier now.