Literature: Bloodlines

Bloodlines is a spin-off series of the Vampire Academy series written by Richelle Mead. The series follows Sydney Sage, an Alchemist who is assigned to protect Jill Dragomir, a Moroi princess and the illegitimate half-sister of the new Moroi Queen, Vasilisa Dragomir.

Jill, Sydney and Jill's dhampir guardian Eddie Castile enroll in the human boarding school, Amberwood Prep. However, they are not as safe as they initially thought.

The books, in order of publication:

  • Bloodlines (August 2011)
  • The Golden Lily (May 2012)
  • The Indigo Spell (February 2013)
  • The Fiery Heart (November 2013)
  • Silver Shadows (July 2014)
  • The Ruby Circle (February 2015)

If you were looking for the Magic: The Gathering novel, that's here. Not related to the 1993 DC Comics storyline which created fan favorite Nineties Anti-Hero Hitman


This series provides examples of:

  • 2 + Torture = 5: The Alchemists in the Re-education facility subject prisoners to extreme nausea and pain to have them denounce the Moroi as inherently evil. Sydney, Emma, and others are forced to repeat the party line in order to escape torture. They still maintain their actual beliefs, but manage to hide them.
  • Absentee Actor: Jaclyn Terwilliger, Sydney's Eccentric Mentor, is mentioned but not seen in Silver Shadows. She prepares a bag of magical supplies for Sydney and has other characters deliver it, but this is the extend of her role in the book. She reappears in a major role in The Ruby Circle.
    • Angeline is absent from The Ruby Circle, aside from a line explaining she's still in school.
  • Abusive Dad: Both Sydney's & Adrian's fathers. They are both control freaks and verbally abusive.
  • Academic Athlete: Trey Juarez is both an excelent athlete and a scholarly student. He gets scholarship offers on both fronts.
  • Academy of Adventure: Amberwood Prep.
  • Accidental Truth: More of an accidentally accurate insult. Due to Jill's pale complexion and weakness to sunlight, her enemy Laurel dubs her "Vamp Girl". Jill is actually a vampire, and these details on her are a result of being one.
  • Action Girl: Angeline Dawes is a petite girl who can take down large guys in a fight.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Sydney's surrogate family has trouble remembering Brayden's name and constantly misname him.
  • Addiction Displacement: Addison, the art teacher of the Re-education facility, is trying to quit smoking. She is shifting into chewing gum instead.
  • Affably Evil: Lee Donahue is a Serial Killer who is polite, friendly, and helpful to Jill and her friends. This is not fully an act. He regrets having to kill everyone but Jill.
  • A Friend in Need: Adrian's plans for a special birthday celebration for Sydney have fallen apart. At this point Rowena Clark and Cassie, his friends from college, respond by helping him "salvage" this day. Preparing everything for a very special date.
    • Adrian attends Carlton College as an art student. His last weeks in college pass in a drunken blur, he writes his final exam in mixed media without having studied, and he fails to submit a final project for his other two classes before moving back to Court. In effect dropping out of college and giving in to despair. Jill and Trey choose two of his paintings, left behind in his apartment, and submit them to Carlton in his name. Adrian passes his college semester and, he is grateful when he sobers up.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Averted. The Alchemists focus on chemistry and reject magic as not meant for humans.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Hopper the dragon wags its tail when happy.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Adrian is initially still heartbroken over Rose but then falls for Sydney, who resists him due to him being a vampire. Adrian is also oblivious to Nina's feelings for him.
    • Eddie is in love with Jill but doesn't say anything because she's a Princess and both Leo and Micah like her too. When Jill realizes she likes Eddie back he's begun dating Angeline, only for her to cheat on him with Trey.
  • Alpha Bitch: Laurel, the redhaired enemy of Jill. She comes up with many plans to torment the "Vamp Girl", as she calls her.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Sydney rarely uses a gun but has excellent aiming skills.
  • American Accents: Angeline speaks with a "slight southern drawl". Reflecting her origin from West Virginia.
  • Amicable Exes: Adrian is still on good terms with his ex-girlfriend Rose.
  • Ancient Grome: In-Story. Trey Juarez can't tell the difference between the Greek and Roman cultures.
  • An Ice Person: Jill is a wayer user. But has been able to freeze the water of a shower to retaliate against her tormentor, Laurel.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Zoe Sage as a roomate and junior partner to Sydney turned out to be clingy, nosy, and judgmental. A bit unusual as she is not a child but a teenager.
  • Antimagical Faction: The Alchemists hate vampire and human magic as having no place in nature. Though their Power Tattoos rely on magical Moroi blood and their brainwashing techniques depend on vampire compulsion techniques.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Dimitri Belikov outclasses the four assassins targeting Sonya Karp.
  • Attempted Rape: Toyed with. Brent Badica, Wesley Drozdov, and Lars Zeklos attempt to drink the blood of Sydney in a manner resembling a gang rape. She escapes and Adrian arrives to defend her.
  • Auto Erotica: Sydney loves cars so much that Adrian suggests they have sex in his car as a special birthday treat for her, even though they have access to his apartment. And it ultimately leads to disaster after Sydney loses Adrian's phone (containing text messages referencing their relationship) in the car, where it is found by her sister.
  • A Wizard Did It: In-universe, the explanation the Warriors of the Light use to claim Sonya Karp is still a Strigoi. They thing it is all due to an elaborate magical disguise. Despite the fact that Strigoi can not use magic.
  • Badass Longcoat: Dimitri, when he rescues Sonya and Sydney twice, one in the alley, and one at the vampire hunters compound. Sydney recognizes his coat.
  • Back from the Dead: Jill, who was brought back by Adrian after getting killed during the first attempt on her life. Also, Lee comes back from being Strigoi.
    • Olive Sinclair comes back from being Strigoi, turned back to a dhampir by her spirit user, half-sister Nina Sinclair.
  • Badass Princess: Jill has twice been involved in Strigoi battles. She is a princess, but insists that "a princess of her people has no business sitting off to the side while said people are in danger."
  • Barrier Warrior: Jaclyn Terwilliger uses a spell to withhold a magical shield for up to six hours.
  • Baths Are Fun: Sydney spends her three first months in the Re-education facility with no bath or shower allowed. Then a month of showers allowed, during which she craves having a real bath. Once she is free, one of the first "luxuries" she seeks is a real bubble bath. Which she thoroughly enjoys.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: The Alchemists, in a big way. Their jobs are their number one duty, and since they feel Moroi, Strigoi, and Dhampirs are evil creatures, it's against an alchemist's upbringing to socialize with them. In the rare cases they lighten up, they often revert back to being professional once they realize it.
  • Berserk Button: Do not threaten or harm anyone Sydney cares about. She'll make you pay dearly for it.
    • For Adrian, hurting or endangering Sydney is his Berserk Button.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sydney Sage, usually friendly, has her moment when she goes after Laurel the Alpha Bitch. She uses a chemical to turn Laurel's beautiful hair into a greasy mess. Warning her to stay away from Jill. It works.
  • Big Applesauce: Duncan Mortimer served as an Alchemist in Manhattan. He discusses his experience there: "Intense. And busy and loud and noisy. I hated it ... and now I'd do anything to be back there." He also suggests that Sydney and Adrian could move there. He even speculates what their lives would be like in Manhattan: "You guys can get some sketchy apartment that you work two jobs to afford while you take classes on anything imaginable and he hangs out with his unemployed artist friends in Bushwick. Come home at night to eat Korean food with your kooky neighboors, then make love on your shabby mattress on the floor. The next day, start all over again. Not a bad way of life. "
  • Big Brother Instinct: Big Sister Instict. Spirit-user Nina Sinclair risked her life to turn her Stringoi half-sister Olive back to a living Dhampir. Then she was worried when her recently turned alive little sister stayed up late with a guy.
    • Sydney was used to comforting her little sister Zoe when they faced a scary place. She still likes to take care of her.
    • Carly Sage, Sydney's older sister, offers information to Adrian and Marcus Finch in order to help Sydney who was held in a Re-education facility. She cares deeply about her younger sisters.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The Re-education facility has cameras installed in every room the prisoners use. The only exceptions are the toilet stalls.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Eddie and Jill bursting through the door to save Sydney and Adrian from two female Strigoi.
    • Trey and Angeline (unknowingly followed by Jill) coming to save Sydney, Eddie and Neil from a powerful Strigoi.
    • Adrian, Eddie, Trey Juarez, Marcus Finch and three of his rebel Alchemists breaking into the Re-education facility to rescue Sydney and her fellow prisoners. Bonus points for Sydney having ended up in a long-term torture session.
  • Bit Character: Several characters, recurring and otherwise, in Amberwood Prep play only small roles. Offering some useful information, socializing with the main characters, or causing them trouble. Only to then fade into the background.
    • In the opening book, Adrian has a lengthy conversation with a tattoo artist in "Nevermore". The character remains unnamed and never reappears. He was only relevant as Keith Darnell's accomplice.
    • The untrained witches Sydney is trying to help in The Indigo Spell only appear briefly. Never to be heard of again.
    • Marcus Finch's fellow rebel Alchemists turn up in several chapters of The Indigo Spell, The Fiery Heart, and Silver Shadows. Other than resident gunslinger Sabrina, none receive much attention from the narrators.
    • The members of the Stelle Witch Coven, other than Jaclyn Terwilliger and Sydney herself, are only seen in one scene of The Fiery Heart. They play no further part in the plot.
    • Silver Shadows has Adrian and Sydney interacting with entire crowds of bit characters in the Re-education facility, the Moroi Court, and Las Vegas. Few appear in more than one or two scenes, receive actual names and characterizations.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Alicia DeGraw appears as a friendly and helpful teenage girl. She is actually an evil and sadistic witch.
  • Black Boss Lady: Donna Stanton, Sydney's superior in the Alchemists. Complete with an iron fist rule and an icy demeanor.
  • Black Magic: Veronica Terwilliger and her assistant Alicia use Black Magic to feed on the youth and power of other witches.
  • Black Market: Palm Springs has a black market for vampire blood and saliva. Traded through the tatoo parlor Nevermore.
  • Blindfolded Trip: Sydney is blindfolded when driven to the headquarters of the Warriors of the Light.
  • Blind Obedience: That is the ultimate lesson that Alchemist Re-education teaches. Follow the orders "of those who know best" (the superiors) without thinking. No insubordination tolerated.
  • Blood Magic: Toyed with. The blood of human witches is coated with elemental magic and tastes bad to Strigoi, repelling them. The blood of former Strigoi is coated in spirit magic and protects them from ever being awakened again. A tattoo made with their blood also prevents awakening into a Strigoi.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Eddie Castile, Jill's guardian, has a crush on her. She develops a crush on him by the second book. They kiss in the fourth book.
    • Jill also toyed with the idea of dating her other guardian, Neil Raymond. Neither one of them was ultimately interested.
  • Bookworm: Sydney and Brayden.
  • Brainwashed: Keith Darnell, after his months-long stay in re-education, is turned to an automaton. "My happiness doesn't matter. Only the work does. That and continuing to do penance.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: The Alchemists call it re-education and reserve it for rule-breaking members. Their objective is to have reformed members ready to defend humanity from vampire corruption.
  • Break the Haughty: Toyed with in the first book. Laurel the Alpha Bitch is proud of her beautiful hair. Sydney turns them into a greasy mess to humiliate and intimidate her. It works.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Adrian is a brooding, moody guy. Sydney is the gentle, patient girl who takes care of him.
    • According to Duncan Mortimer, a prisoner of the Re-education facility, "Alchemists never fall for the Moroi who aren't cute and brooding". He hints that Brooding male Moroi and female Alchemists are not an uncommon pairing.
  • Bully Hunter: Christian Ozera intends to go Brent Badica, Wesley Drozdov, and Lars Zeklos for "bullying" Sydney. They actually attempted to drink her blood.
    • Sydney Sage is another example. Once she finally has enough of Laurel the Alpha Bitch tormenting Jill, Sydney takes action and scares Laurel away.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Subverted in the relationship between Jill and her tormentor Laurel. Jill is a magic user while Laurel has no powers. But even when Jill briefly retaliates, Laurel has no way of knowing her chosen victim is dangerous. So she does not back down. It takes Sydney's intervention to end the conflict.
  • Cain and Abel: The conflict between sisters Veronica and Jaclyn Terwilliger is deadly. Complete with Veronica being the evil, older sister.
  • Came Back Wrong: Lee Donahue following his resurrection. He misses being a Strigoi so much that he has killed lots of people (including his own cousin) so he could turn back again. Though he fails.
  • The Cameo: Rose escrots Jill to Palm Springs in the opening novel. She only appears briefly.
  • Cannot Dream: When Sydney is held in the Re-education facility, the Knockout Gas puts her in a dreamless sleep, preventing Adrian from locating her with his Dream Walker powers. This situation lasts for months, until she finds a way to disable the ventilation system which distributes the gas. She eventually makes contact with Adrian after disabling the gas allows her to dream again.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Rowena Clark, a talented art student, suffered one when her hand was broken. Adrian managed to heal her in time.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Aspects of Sydney's and Adrian's characterisation that were generally seen as amusing in the previous series are revealed here to be due to serious mental issues. Sydney's tendency not to eat is revealed to be due to body issues caused by her abusive father, with Adrian even lampshading that her not-eating isn't a 'cute quirk'; in turn, Adrian's buying Rose a massive box full of perfumes shortly after meeting her is due to his bipolar disorder.
  • Chekhov's Gun: the amulet that Sydney has to make for Ms. Terwilliger turns out to have quite a bit of significance later.
    • Chekhov's Gunman: Ms. Terwilliger. She at first seems as an inconsequential character. She proves to be Sydney's new mentor and takes the series to a new direction by introducing human magic users.
    • Happens again in the Re-education facility. We learn early on that Addison, the art teacher, likes chewing gum. Later, the prisoners steal her gum sticks to use in their plans. Later still, we learn Addison is fighting a smoking habit and substituting one fixation for another. The prisoners use her hidden stash of cigarettes and matches to start a fire to aid in their escape.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Sydney's lesson in punching came in handy later on.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Averted. After Sydney is taken at the end of book four, Adrian returns to all his vices except smoking.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Toyed with. Following the escape from the Re-education facility, both Sydney and Adrian are in the Alchemists' "most wanted" list. Adrian is protected by his status as a subject of the Moroi Court, but there is no such protection for Sydney. The two lovers marry in hopes of convincing Lissa to accept Sydney as a new subject. It works.
  • Cliff Hanger: The ending of The Fiery Heart definitely counts as this. Sydney is left in re-education at the hands of the Alchemists.
    • In Silver Shadows, the ending has Jill disappearing and Lissa threatened with deposition.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Used on prisoners in the Re-education facility. The most common form is a "purging", a chemical-induced vomiting session. Happens to most prisoners once or twice a week. Then there are chemical-induced pain sessions for punishment or interrogation purposes. Extremely painful, while not leaving a single scar.
  • Compliment Backfire: Brayden, on Sydney's Halloween costume. He tells her she looks very pretty, but later argues the costume isn't historically accurate, and then admits she could be dressed like a prostitute. Adrian actually tricks him into admitting it using a Bait and Switch, and then tries to get into an argument with Brayden over it.
  • Computer Voice: When Sydney is held in solitary confinement in the Re-education facility, her captors speak to her a computerized, feminine voice.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Clarence Donahue and his theories on human vampire hunters.
    • Properly Paranoid: He has had a history being stalked by them. He just tends to blame everthimg on them, but he is prety accurate on their mentality.
  • Consummate Liar: Keith Darnell managed to convince many Alchemists that he was an upstanding guy, and fooled Clarence Donahue into donating his blood and saliva for treatment of sick humans, while promising the old vampire that he was investigating the murder of his niece in the process. In actuality, he was selling the stuff on the black market and investigating nothing.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Adrian takes a flight from Los Angeles and Sydney one from Palm Springs, flying first class and coach respectively, both heading to Philadelphia. Sydney's flight is overbooked and she is transferred to another flight. The company compensates her by booking her in first class. She ends up sitting right next to Adrian. When she mentions the odds of that happening are incredible, he calls it fate.
  • Convenient Slow Dance: Sydney and Brayden learn how to dance at the Halloween party. Their slow dancing is one of their better moments as a couple.
  • Cooldown Hug: Toyed with. Sydney manages to calm down an angry Adrian by simply squeezing his hand.
  • Cool Helmet: The members of the triumvirate that rules the Warriors of the Light wear golden helmets with a sun sigil.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Ms. Terwilliger. She owns thirteen cats.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Marcus Finch.
    Marcus: Really, my main goal is getting to my escape car.
    Adrian: Your escape car? You have an escape car?
    Marcus: I'm Marcus Finch. Of course I have an escape car.
  • Culture Police: Enforced in the art class of the Re-education facility. Art is not judged on actual artistic merit, but on the accuracy that it represents reality. "The Alchemists didn't want creativity or embellishment. This was about copying what you were told to do, no questions and no deviation."
  • Cute Bruiser: Angeline Dawes. Attractive dhampir girl, able to brawl.
  • Cute Bookworm: Sydney has the looks, shyness, social awkwardness, and conservative dressing of the trope.
  • Cute Witch: Sydney. Attractive young woman with magical powers.
  • Daddy's Girl: Subverted with Sydney, who wants her father's respect, but doesn't dote on him in the slightest.
    • Played more straight with Zoe Sage. She admires her father Jared, wants to make him proud and is eager to follow in his footsteps in the Alchemists. When her parents' marriage ended in a divorce and there was a custody battle over her, Zoe was detetmined to stay by her father's side. Seeing her mother as an enemy.
  • Damsel in Distress: Sonya Karp when captured by the Warriors of Light. She was helpless and in need of rescue.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Toyed with. Sydney and Sonya are taking an evening walk, darkness is falling. Four men emerge from a darkened churchyard to attack them, one wielding a sword. They only escape death because Dimitri shows up to rescue them.
  • Date Rape: The situation under which Keith Darnell raped Carly Sage.
    • The Moroi vampire equivalent is called "dabbling". As explained by Rose: "It's when Moroi go out and drug a random human so that they can drink from him or her. Usually her, since it's usually guys behind it. The human's kind of out of it from the drug and doesn't remember anything later, just that they somehow ended up with bruises on their neck. It's essentially date rape for blood drinking."
    • Adrian once met a drunk human girl at a bar. He drank her blood and abandoned her.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Jill and Adrian grow accustomed to walking in the sun, though lengthy exposuse exhausts them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Adrian, in almost everything he says. "Nice blouse, Sage. It realy brings out the khaki in your pants."
  • Dead Person Conversation: Adrian is having conversations with his deceased aunt, Tatiana Ivashkov. This is treated as a symptom of mental instability rather than an actual encounter with her ghost.
  • Defector from Decadence: Marcus Finch and his rebel Alchemists defect because they are fed up with the racist ways of the organization.
  • Demonization: The Alchemists in the Re-education facility indoctrinate their prisoners in the demonization of the Moroi, including showing prisoners photos of happy, friendly Moroi and having them denounce the Moroi as "creatures of evil".
  • Demoted to Extra: Laurel was a relatively significant antagonist in the first book. She appears as a silent extra in The Golden Lily. She is then written out.
    • Brayden Cartwright is Sydney's first boyfriend and appears in several chapters of The Golden Lily. He is mentioned only briefly in The Indigo Spell and gets a small appearance The Fiery Heart.
    • Micah started off a major supporting character but becomes less and less important until finally he is written out.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: A slightly more elaborate version is used in the Re-education facility. Prisoners who have spoken out are injected with a substance that causes them nausea. They eventually vomit the contents of their stomach in a forceful "purging", which leaves them unable to consume food or beverages for a while, effectively forcing them to skip at least one meal. As further punishment, for the next meal, all prisoners are served one of the punished prisoner's favorite foods or beverages. Not only is the prisoner denied food, but is forced to see everyone else enjoy something that they crave.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Duncan Mortimer passed his Horizon during his lenghty stay in the Re-education facility. He was convinced there was no way out of his prison and gave up on even thinking about one. When Adrian and Marcus Finch reach out to him in a spirit dream, they have hard time convincing him to assist in an escape plan.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Abe Mazur is an earth user.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Duncan Mortimer is the son of powerful Alchemist leaders Gordon and Sheila Mortimer. He broke the rules of the organization to help some Moroi. So they sent him to Re-education and made sure that they hold him there indefinitely, ensuring Duncan stays out of public sight and won't hurt their own reputations. The parents effectively sentence Duncan to a life sentence for a not uncommon rule violation.
    • Emma's "crime" that landed her in Re-education seems minor to Sydney. According to Emma: "I sent away some guardians that had been assigned to help my Alchemist group in Kiev. There were some Moroi I knew that I thought needed the protection more than we did."
  • Doesn't Like Guns: The Alchemists have trained Sydney in how to use guns and she is a good in target practice. But she opted out of carrying one while on duty, disliking the idea of using one on a living target. She does borrow one from Malachi Wolfe, though, when she is preparing for a potentially lethal attack from Veronica Terwilliger.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Brent Badica, Wesley Drozdov, and Lars Zeklos lay in ambush of Sydney and try to drag her away to have their way with her. They want to drink her blood but the situation is played as an Attempted Rape.
    • Similar to how Lissa's spirit use was an expy for depression and self-harm in Vampire Academy, Adrian's spirit use is compared to bipolar disorder.
  • Domino Mask: Jill wears one to disguise her identity while modeing. Later Angeline borrows it to attend a Halloween party.
    • Eddie wears a domino mask to the same Halloween party.
  • Doomed New Clothes: Adrian buys Nina Sinclair a silk dress that highlights her eyes. She wears it for about a week. During a party, Nina is pushed into the pool. The water ruins the fancy dress.
  • Doting Parent: Daniella Ivashkov has shades of this. She really loves her son Adrian, seems proud of him, and is willing to support him even when he makes controversial decisions about his love life. But she is mostly blind to his struggles with alcoholism and bipolar disorder.
  • Double Entendre: Trey Juarez to Angeline, who is holding a geometry book: "Time to check out your curves". He means her body but listeners fail to understand until later.
  • Dream Walker: Nina Sinclair has this power. She mentions visiting her half-sister Olive's dreams.
  • Dress Code: Amberwood Prep enforces one. Angeline gets in trouble for wearing an overly revealing pair of jean shorts and blouse.
  • Driving Stick: Adrian tells Sydney he can't drive his new Mustang because it's a stick. He's lying.
  • Dude Magnet: Jill. Sydney's on her way.
    • Julia Cavendish is described this way, though we are not introduced to her many guys.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Adrian spends the months of Sydney's absence mostly depressed and drowning his sorrows, alone or with company.
  • Duels Decide Everything: According to Angeline that is how it works for the Keepers. If a gut wants to date a girl, he has to duel her brother first. If a girl wants to lay claim to her former boyfriend, she can keep challenging his new girlfriends to duels.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: In the Re-education facility of Death Valley, this is the experience of prisoners newly released into the general population. Someone has to invite them to their table before they are allowed to sit with others. Also happens to prisoners who just returned from a punishment, as their fellows don't want to appear sympathetic and attract the attention of the authorities.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Jaclyn Terwilliger serves as one to Sydney. She is seemingly absentminded, dresses like a refugee from The Sixties, and is addicted to coffee. She is also very intelligent and an experienced witch. She trains Sydney to be one as well.
  • Elaborate University High: Amberwood Prep. Not only does it have a campus for boys and girls, both with cafeterias, but it also has a central campus where all classes are held and administration is at.
  • Elemental Powers: The Moroi have these, each excelling at either earth, air, water, and fire, or more rarely, spirit.
  • Empty Promise: Sydney and Eddie are about to be taken by the Alchemists. She suggests splitting up and promises to teach him a sleep spell that can knock out their assailants. She has no such spell and the whole idea is for Eddie to escape following the split.
  • Encyclopaedic Knowledge: Sydney and Brayden have knowledge in a varied selection of subjects.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Rose assumes that Adrian is having one-night stands with "every Moroi girl in southern California". At the time he is completely devoted to a human girl, Sydney, and abstaining from sex.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Sydney is betrayed by her beloved younger sister Zoe. It hurts her.
  • Everyone Is Related: The claim of siblings (and cousin) is used to explain why Sydney, Eddie, Jill & Angeline are always hanging out together at school, and why Keith and Adrian are often around.
    • Zoe Sage is later passed off as another cousin.
  • Evil Counterpart: Sydney Sage and Alicia DeGraw are both talented young witches, both in their late teens, and both mentored by one of the Terwilliger sisters. But Sydney is loyal to her mentor and does anything in her power to rescue people. While Alicia betrayed her own mentor and is using her powers to suck the life out of other people.
  • Evil Redhead: Laurel, the redheaded tormentor of Jill in the first book, is a teenaged villain.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Sydney and Duncan Mortimer briefly duscuss about the gas used to put prisoners of the Re-education facility to sleep. Emma overhers the conversation. She later approaches Sydney to ask why she wanted to know about the gas. Proving she heard everything. Emma offers information on how the gas is distributed to the cells. This leads the two women to co-operate in disabling the ventilation system releasing the gas in their cell.
  • Extreme Doormat: Duncan Mortimer is assessed as one by Emma. He seems too docile and spineless while imprisoned in the Re-education facility. Emma doubts he would be able to resist vampire influence if released. The situation is a result of Duncan passing the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Malachi Wolfe, Sydney's self-defense instructor, wears an eyepatch. He is an experienced fighter and claims he lost his eye to a moose.
  • Faction Motto: Sydney is given one by the other Alchemists while held in a Re-education facility. "Evil and deception are not our ways. We relish in light and honesty." Which is ironic for an organization devoted to maintaining the Masquerade concerning the existence of vampires. Their entire methodology is deceiving humanity. They also deceive the Moroi concerning the extend of their disdain for them.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Sydney has to be told about the upcoming Halloween dance, after having failed to notice multiple signs, including one hanging over the main door of her dorm.
  • Failure Knight: Eddie feels this way after losing Mason Ashford and Sydney. According to Adrian: "Eddie had lost another person. ...He was one of the most badass, capable guardians out there, but he couldn't believe that about himself, not when he kept seeing these failures laid at his feet."
  • Famed In-Story: Adrian gets this treatment in Silver Shadows. Everyone seems to know that he is a "badass" spirit user, that he has been helping in anti-Stringoi research, and that he has publicly humiliated Wesley Drozdov. He is treated like a celebrity by twenty-something Royal Moroi, who all want to hang out with him. In a single day, Adrian receives enough invitations to social gathering to keep him preoccupied for months.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Evident in the different lifestyles of royal Moroi and the guardians that serve them. Adrian is uncomfortable when he realizes that his guest housing quarters are larger and more luxurious than the house shared by Mikhail Tanner and his wife Sonya Karp. He even notes that their modest house itself is larger and more presentable than the houses or apartments reserved for unmarried guardians.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Alchemists see the Moroi and dhampirs as unnatural and evil despite the fact the the Moroi and dhampirs are mortal beings like humans. If an Alchemist is seen being even remotely friendly and sympathetic to a Moroi or dhampir, their loyalties are questioned. Not to mention they might be sent to a re-education centre for it.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Jared Sage forbids any distraction, recreation, or friendship to his daughters Sydney and Zoe. He wants them to devote themselves to their Alchemist duties alone.
  • Fashion Show: Jill appears in one, while serving as a model for fashion designer Lia DiStefano.
    • Jill is also a member of a fashion design and sewing club. Her designs appear in another fashion show.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Grace Sheridan is smiling to her prisoners and is relatively soft-spoken. Sydney notices that her smile does not reach her eyes. When Adrian meets her, his impression of her is "She was pretty in the kind of way that said she'd run a dagger through your heart and still keep smiling the whole time."
  • Fiery Redhead: Angeline Dawes is described as having "strawberry blonde" or simply red hair. She is flirtatious, has a violent temper, and is not afraid to fight or speak her mind.
  • First Kiss: Sydney, with Brayden.
  • First-Person Perspective: The first three books are narrated entirely from Sydney Sage's perpspective. From the fourth book onward, there are POV chapters for both Sydney and Adrian Ivashkov.
  • Fish out of Water: Angeline has trouble adjusting to Amberwood and its rules due to coming from a tribe of isolationist Moroi, dhampirs, and humans.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Jared Sage is a devoted Alchemist who has managed to built quite a reputation. He trained his daughters Sydney and Zoe to be Alchemists as well, denying them a chance at a normal life in the process. Sydney has different aspirations, though Zoe is eager to follow in her father's footsteps.
    • It is established that this is common for Alchemists, who raise at least one of their children to take their place in the organization. The children in question are not given a choice.
  • Forbidden Friendship: The Alchemists forbid their members from socializing with Moroi vampires and dhampirs, who they see as inherently evil. This does not prevent members like Sydney Sage from befriending them. As punishment for the Forbidden Friendship, she is send to a Re-education facility.
    • Prisoners in the Re-education facility are discouraged from socializing and befriending each other. "Friends are armor, and they don't like that here." Prisoners Duncan Mortimer and Chantal befriended each other and then were forcibly separated by the authorities.
  • Forced to Watch: Grace Sheridan at first interrogates Sydney through torture, but Sydney doesn't break. Then Grace forces her to watch as her cellmate Emma is tortured instead. Unable to endure Emma's screams, Sydney cracks and confesses to being a witch.
  • Force Feeding: When Sydney is held in the Re-education facility, she goes into a hunger strike. Her captors force feed her in response. She finds the experience too humiliating to attempt a second hunger strike.
  • Forgets to Eat: Adrian in Sydney's absence, regularly skips meals and forgets to drink blood, exhausting himself, as he is a vampire after all.
  • For Your Own Good: Jared Sage, when leading the Alchemists trying to capture Sydney alive, argues: "This is for your own good. It's for your soul. For your humanity. ... Come with us so that we can save you from further damnation and defilement."
  • Friendless Background: Sydney was homeschooled and had no friends before joining Amberwood Prep.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Toyed with. Angeline threatens to sue Amberwood Prep for misrepresentation after learning the War of 1812 lasted to 1815.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Brayden Cartwright gets turned on when Sydney passionately argues with him on the merits of alternative energy sources. He kisses her on the spot and then goes to buy her flowers.
  • Girl Posse: Laurel, the Alpha Bitch, comes with one. They don't get to do much other than vandalize Jill and Sydney's room.
  • Gladiator Games: Used by the Warriors of Light to determine who wins the right to execute a captive. The games are fought in an an arena and watched by a frenzied audience.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: After risking her life in a Strigoi battle, Sydney wants to celebrate being alive and goes straight to Adrian. They have passionate sex to celebrate living.
  • Global Ignorance: Angeline is given a school assignment to create a map of Central America. She misunderstands the task as making a map of the central United States and turns up with a map depicting Nebraska and Kansas.
  • Go for the Eye: Toyed with. Jill temporarily incapacitates a Strigoi by blinding him with mist, which leaves an opening for Angeline to attack with a silver stake.
  • Go-to Alias: "Jet Steele" is the Go-to Alias of Adrian.
  • Good Parents: Mrs. Sage cares deeply about all three of her daughters and was always there for them.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Sydney and Adrian have a healthy sex life, every sexual action enhanced by their passionate love. Sydney can not even comprehend how people can have unemotional sex. It seems like a waste to her.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Sydney wears a Halloween costume consisting of a red-coloured, Greek-style chiton. Sleeveless, with a low neckline, form-fitting, and accessorised with golden jewelry. She gets many compliments for it.
  • Gray Eyes: Nina Sinclair has striking gray eyes. Fitting for a spirit user with healing abilities.
  • Greed: This turns out to be the motive for Keith Darnell in the opening novel. Keith does not care who he has to hurt, as long as his plans earn him money and a comfortable lifestyle.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Laurel is jealous of Jill, because Micah Vallence prefers Jill to her. She torments Jill in a futile attempt to remove her from the equation.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Inez Garcia is a Grumpy Old Woman who complains about the flighty young witches of this day and age. "We didn't have those problems in my day. They'd send us off to our mentors and lock us away. No boys. No temptation. "
  • Happily Married: Averted. Jared Sage and Mrs. Sage have been unsatisfied with their married life for quite some time. That and her views on the Alchemists is why they want a divorce.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Nathan and Daniella Ivashkov do not love each other, but they stay together for the sake of appearances. They feel that a divorce would be socially embarassing by the standards of Moroi high society.
  • Harmful to Minors: Through her Psychic Bond to Adrian, innocent Jill is exposed to vicarious hangovers and one-night stands. Sydney does not tolerate this.
  • Hates Being Touched: Toyed with. Angeline reacts to a pushy motivational band member grabbing her hand by punching him and going berserk.
  • Healing Factor: Sydney's tattoo grants her one. A bleeding wound in her cheek heals over night.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Re-education facility in Death Valley. Rule-breaking Alchemist prisoners are held there, forced to live in dark, cold, isolated cells for months, eating nothing but gruel. Then when they break and ask for forgiveness, they are allowed to the general population of the prison facility. Once out of solitary confinement, they are subjected to mind games and brainwashing, all aimed to further break their spirit. Prisoners are discouraged from socializing and are subtly trained to betray each other. Personal privacy is not allowed. Free thought is forbidden. Torture is used regularly, though they aim to not leave visible scars.
  • Hermetic Magic: Sydney and the other witches' style of magic.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Both Adrian and Eddie reserve it for themselves, after losing Sydney.
  • Hidden Depths: The series shows Adrian to have an artistic side.
  • High School Dance: The Halloween dance of Amberwood Prep is featured in The Golden Lily. Sydney brings Brayden as her dance partner. Adrian and Brayden discuss the historical accuracy of Sydney;s costume and almost fight.
  • Holier Than Thou: The Alchemists have religious beliefs that cast them as pure warriors of the light, facing the evil darkness represented by vampires and magic. The prisoners in the Re-education facility are Alchemists who are deemed to have sinned against humanity and must seek redemption for their sins. From what readers see, most prisoners are decent people whose "sins" were treating Moroi vampires and dhampirs as people, rather than monsters.
  • Homeschooled Kids: Sydney was homeschooled by her father Jared Sage. Her younger sister Zoe Sage was also homeschooled until joining Amberwood Prep.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Ian Jansen, a fellow Alchemist, is hopelessly in love with Sydney. She is not above using that love to her advantage, but the feeling is not mutual.
    • Nina Sinclair, a fellow Spirit user, is attracted to Adrian. He is already taken.
    • Laurel is attracted to Micah Vallence. He simply is not interested in her.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Sydney's father is so fond of Keith that he fails to see how immoral he really is. On the other hand, he fails to see Sydney for how loyal, talented and dedicated she is.
    • Hell, Sydney's father even seems to be this to himself, thinking he was actually being caring all this time towards his daughters.
  • Hostage Situation: Averted. The Warriors of the Light plan to hold Sydney hostage and negotiate with the guardians. She escapes on her own.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Sydney changes her worldview after her encounter with human vampire hunters. From humans are the good guys to "humans are some of the most vicious creatures out there, not vampires".
  • Hypocrite: Adrian is angry at his mother Daniella for being financially dependent on his father Nathan. She points out his hypocrisy, as Adrian has no money of his own and depends financially on the allowance his father gives him. The ghostly voice of aunt Tatiana helpfuly points out: "She's calling you a hypocrite".
  • I Am Very British: Neil Raymond, a British-educated guardian, supposedly speaks with a proper British accent. Adrian nicknames him "Buckingham Palace".
  • I Gave My Word: As Master Ortega of the Warriors of the Light proclaims: "Our word means everything". They gave their word that Sydney will have a chance to talk to them. She is given the chance, though they are not obligated to listen.
  • I Have No Son: Trey Juarez's father is a former member of the vampire-hating Warriors of the Light. Once he found out his son is in love with Angeline Dawes, a dhampir, he disowned him.
  • Immortality Seeker: Lee Donahue was a Moroi who was turned into a Strigoi while a college student. After spending years as an immortal being, a mysterious spirit user turned him back into a mortal. He spend the next six years as a Serial Killer. Killing and drinking the blood of Moroi, dhampirs, and humans in hopes of being "reawakened". He then switched into seeking Alchemist blood. When that failed too, he invited female Strigoi Dawn and Jacqueline to "awaken" him. Jacqueline gave it an honest try but the process killed him instead. Turns out that people who come back from being Strigoi can nevere be "awakened" again. They are simply immune.
    • This is why Alchemists want to keep the existence of vampires secret from humanity. They believe that many humans will willingly serve the Strigoi in order to become immortal.
  • I'm Not Hungry: While held in isolation in the Re-education facility, Sydney is regularly drugged. She assumes the drug is given to her through her food or water and goes on a hunger strike.
  • Implied Love Interest: Duncan Mortimer, a prisoner of the Re-education facility, mentions that missing prisoner Chantal was his friend. Sydney suspects that they were more than friends. This is not confirmed.
  • Imprinting: Hopper the dragon imprints on the first persons he sees when summoned: Sydney and Adrian. He thinks of them as his parents.
  • In-Series Nickname: Sydney is called "Melbourne" by Jaclyn Terwillinger and Trey Juarez.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Toyed with. Eddie used to have a best friend called Mason Ashford, who died back in the Vampire Academy series. His new roomate Micah Vallence is inexplicably identical to Mason in both appearance and attitude.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Sydney passes one to join a witches' coven.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Adrian doubts if he has anything to offer Sydney.
  • In-Series Nickname: Marcus Finch is nicknamed "Robin Hood" by Adrian.
    • Jill retains her affectionate nickname "Jail Bait", though only Adrian calls her that.
  • Institutional Apparel: Once released into the general population, prisoners of the Re-Education facility receive a tan prison uniform, consisting of loose pants and a shirt. Sydney wears this uniform for much of Silver Shadows.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Sydney's intelligence has always set her apart from others. Even at an elite boarding school, she's way beyond everyone else's capacity, and has to dumb things down to relate. It gets better.
  • In the Back: Angeline stabs a Strigoi in the back with a silver stake. It is not treated as a cowardly move, just pragmatic.
  • In the Blood: The Alchemists in Re-education seem to believe in the trope. Emma, a model prisoner, was denied release as her loyalty was still suspect. Her sister went rogue twice, and Emma was seen as having "bad blood".
  • Interspecies Friendship: Sydney Sage (a human) is close friends with the Moroi Jill Mastrano Dragomir and the dhampirs Eddie Castile, Angeline Dawes, and Neil Raymond. She also maintains good working relationships with the Moroi Sonya Karp and the dhampirs Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov.
    • Trey Juarez is also human. He befriends Moroi vampires Adrian Ivashkov and Jill, and dhampirs Eddie and Neil.
    • Micah Vallence is a human who befriends his dhampir roomate Eddie Castile.
  • Interspecies Romance: Sydney with Adrian. According to Duncan Mortimer, a prisoner at the Re-education facility, it is not uncommon for female Alchemists to fall for cute, brooding Moroi vampires. Such cases end in tragedy, as the girl is send to a Re-education facility.
    • Trey Juarez and Angeline Dawes. He is a human, she is a dhampir.
    • A lesser example is Moroi Vampire Jill Mastrano Dragomir and her human boyfriend Micah Vallence. He never finds out that she is a different species from him.
  • Invisibility: Sydney has learned an invisibility spell. People and cameras can not see her, unless someone is already looking for her.
    • Later she learns other invisibility spells. Limitations include the spell ending abruptly once she makes eye contact with someone.
  • Ironic Echo: Zoe Sage is advised by Sydney to treat her like just another Alchemist rather than her sister. When Zoe turns Sydney in to their superiors for falling in love with a vampire, she explains "You're just another Alchemist and I'm treating you like one - just like you told me to."
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Eddie feels this way towards Jill. That is why he never objects to her dating other guys, though he is in love with her.
  • I Will Find You: Adrian never gives up on searching for the missing Sydney, months after the Alchemists imprisoned her. He uses his Dream Walker abilities to conduct regular searches for her. His determination wavers for a while during his stay in Court, though. He goes into drinking binges which disable his powers. He contacts a half-hearted search when sobering up ... and finally makes contact with her.
    • Marcus Finch also searches for Sydney for months. He feels he owes it to her, and uses leads from other rebel Alchemists. He is instrumental in locating her and planning her escape.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Used by Grace Sheridan, the warden of the Re-education facility, on Sydney, to force her to confess how she managed to escape her cell at night and move around the facility. It fails to make Sydney confess her status as a witch. Then Grace brings in Emma, Sydney's cellmate and tentative ally, for another torture session.
  • Jail Bait: Yes, Jill is still known as this. Despite the fact Adrian has no romantic interest in her.
  • Jerkass: Keith Darnell. Likes to put Sydney down and tried to have her send to Re-education, mocks Clarence Donahue's senility and takes advantage of his trust, and endangers the human students of Amberwood Prep just to earn money. Revealed to have also been a rapist, feeling no remorse about it.
    • Wesley Drozdov notices Adrian and Nina Sinclair hanging out together. He calls Nina a "cheap date" and asks is Nina is sleeping with Adrian in hopes of geting a better job.
  • Jerk Jock: Greg Slade, a violent football player.
  • Killed Off for Real: Lee Donahue in his last attempt to turn Strigoi.
  • Knockout Gas: Used extensively in the Re-education facility of Death Valley. In the initial dark cells, prisoners are knocked out by gas every time a conversation with the jailers ends. Among the general population, gas is used to put them to sleep at night, preventing them from interacting much with their cellmates. Sydney and her cellmate Emma find a way to disable the ventilation system of their cell. There is also a contingency plan to knock out the entire prisoner population in case of an emergency. Sydney manages to disable this while waiting for her allies on the outside to break her out.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Addison, the art teacher of the Re-education facility, looks like a man. With a shaved head, hard-angled face, and no jewelry, there is nothing feminine about her. As Sydney thinks: "It would not have been clear to me that Addison was a "she", if not for that introduction."
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Our trio of heroes are facing a powerful Strigoi. Neil Raymond is out of it, Sydney has frozen after a near brush with death, and Eddie is getting tired and a bit too slow to gain an advantage. At that point Angeline (who has been treated as comic relief for much of the book), Trey Juarez (who was mostly preoccupied with his own love life), and Jill (who has not been involved in a fight in quite a while), turn up as reinforcements and save the day.
  • Lets Wait Awhile: Sydney and Adrian waited until she felt ready to do it, about a month into their relationship.
  • Life Drinker: Veronica Terwilliger and Alicia DeGraw absorb the youth of other witches.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Adrian and Jill.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Angeline has only her school uniforms and some worn out clothes from back home.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Rowena Clark and her girlfriend Cassie, Adrian's friends and fellow college students.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Lee Donahue has this attitude towards being a Strigoi. He spends his time as a Moroi desperately seeking to regain his lost immortality.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Sydney increasingly serves as the crutch to Adrian. She is the only one able to take care of him through his spirit-induced madness and alcoholic binges. He can't function properly without her. Nina Sinclair also serves as a crutch to him when he falls Off The Wagon during his stay at Court. Though she is much less effective in that regard.
  • Living Lie Detector: Adrian can detect when someone is lying through his Aura Vision. Alicia DeGraw, a witch, manages to deceive him though. Her magic amulets make her aura look nondescript.
  • Locked In The Dungeon: The Re-education facility in Death Valley has the "persuasion floor" for prisoners intended for long term torture. A missing prisoner called Chantal was eventually revealed to have been locked there and tortured for over a year.
  • Long Distance Relationship: Neil Raymond and Olive Sinclair start one while he lives in California and she in Pennsylvania. They communicate over the internet.
    • The epilogue of The Ruby Circle reveals that Eddie and Jill have this kind of relationship while she's at court and he guards Adrian and Sydney.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Sydney at first fears Moroi vampires and magic. Interacting with eccentric Moroi, dhampirs, and human witches help her break out of her cell. She becomes friendlier, more self-confident, and braver.
  • Lovable Jock: Trey Juarez, one of the first friends Sydney makes at Amberwood. He competes at every sport available in the curriculum. He turns out to be a loyal friend to the rest of the gang.
  • Love at First Sight: Malachi Wolfe and Jaclyn Tewrwilliger fall for each other on their first chance meeting.
  • Love Dodecahedron: The love relations of the supporting cast falls into this around the middle of the series.
  • Love Triangle: Eddie and Angeline dating causes two, Jill/Eddie/Angeline and Eddie/Angeline/Trey.
  • Lured Into a Trap: Adrian had lost the cell phone he used to call Sydney with. She suddenly receives a message from said phone telling her to meet him and Marcus Finch at an anbandoned restaurant on Indian Canyon. She believes Adrian relocated the lost phone and goes to the meeting, falling right into a trap.
  • MacGyvering: Sydney takes a metal page corner froom a library book, She uses it as a flathead screwdriver to unscrew a ventilation panel.
  • Magic Is Mental: Magic studied by humans like Sydney requires mental focus.
  • Magic Prerequisite: Some of the scrying spells Jaclyn Terwilliger teaches to Sydney can only work when the moon is full.
  • Making a Splash: Jill is a water magic user and at time uses her magic to impressive effects.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: When Adrian and Sydney are married, Jared Sage, Nathan Ivashkov, and Ian Jansen react with outrage. Even more symphathetic characters act shocked, as the marriage violates a taboo said to have lasted since The Middle Ages. Uncertain if they will ever get acceptance.
    • Averted when Moroi Sonya Karp marries dhampir Mikhail Tanner. Their marriage seems accepted by Moroi society despite violating a long-standing taboo.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Adrian proves a Master of this in his treatment of Nina Sinclair. During his stay in Court, Adrian introduces her to the social scene there, goes partying with her almost every night, and even buys her clothes. She is under the impression that they are starting a romantic relationship. He is oblivious to her feelings, and acts shocked when he realizes it.
  • May-December Romance: 15-year-old Jill Mastrano Dragomir and 34-year-old Lee Donahue as a romantic couple.
  • Meaningful Look: After given her first taste of Pavlovian conditioning, Sydney says out loud: "Y-you need repeat sessions for this to take effect". Grace Sheridan, the warden of the Re-education facility, gives her a look that "spoke legions about what I could expect in the future." Sydney realizes that there are a lot more conditioning sessions in her future.
  • Mind over Matter: Adrian uses telekinesis in Silver Shadows. He completely immobilizes an attacking Wesley Drozdov. He later uses it disarm or forcibly move Alchemists.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: Sonya Karp is judged as a Strigoi and sentenced to death by the Warriors of the Light, desite overwhelming evidence she is a Moroi.
  • Missing Mom: Olive Sinclair's mother died.
  • Mission Briefing: Lissa briefs Adrian on a mission to Texas over the phone.
  • Moment Killer: Sydney and Brayden are slow dancing and getting into it. Then Angeline crashes the dance and a drunk Adrian arrives.
  • Mood-Swinger: Adrian as as result of his bipolar disorder.
  • Morality Pet: Abe Mazur has his loved ones. "You think I'm so manipulative and scheming, Miss Sage? It's all for them. For my loved ones first. ... don't think for an instant I wouldn't sacrifice myself if it could save someone I love."
  • More Expendable Than You: Toyed with. Eddie insists that he and the others are more expendable than Jill, thus she should not risk her life. She has already did so and helped win the day by this point.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Sydney, to the point she names her car Latte and keeps a one-cup coffee maker in her dorm room. Almost every time she drinks something, it's coffee.
    • Jaclyn Terwilliger shares her student's addiction to caffeine.
  • Mutants: Adrian suspect Sydney is a mutant human when he finds out she is a magic user. In this setting, the Moroi are the only ones born with innate magic powers.
  • Naked on Revival: Toyed with. Sydney wakes up naked in re-education. Her captors meant it to be symbolic of her rebirth: "You're being reborn into the world, cold and naked..."
  • Never Found the Body: Alicia DeGraw is last seen trapped in the basement of a burning house. Her remains are never recovered and Sydney figures she will return.
  • Never Going Back To Prison: Toyed with. Keith Darnell, once released from the Re-education facility, lives with the fear of being returned there. He contacts Carly Sage and tries to convince her to turn him in to the human police. He is fully prepared to serve a prison term for rape, rather than go back to a Re-education facility.
  • Never My Fault: Angeline keeps repeating "It wasn't my fault" in any number of situations. She insists that she just has bad luck.
  • New Super Power: In Silver Shadows, Adrian uses telekinesis for the first time. His narration reveals that he already knew it was within his range of powers. He just did not get to familiarize himself with this power before.
  • Nice Guy: Micah Vallence is a friendly student who takes Jill under his wing. He also befriends Eddie Castille. He never gets much character development beyond that.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Nathan Ivashkov is verbally abusive to his son but acts courteous to Sydney for her services in driving Adrian to their meeting.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: While in the Re-education facility, a particularly strong-willed prisoner Renee is exposed to a thorough session of brainwashing. She emerges docile and disoriented, unable to even eat without instructions. Guards and fellow prisoners are fully prepared to let her grow hungry. Kind-hearted Sydney takes her under her wing and makes sure Renee has a full meal. Grace Sheridan, the warden, immediately singles out Sydney for punishment for taking an initiative.
  • Nominal Importance: Subverted throughout the series as several extras receive names. Played straight in Silver Shadows where many Alchemists, prisoners of the re-education facily, and rebel Alchemists are not given any name at all. They are simply not important enough.
  • No Name Given: The Stringoi foe faced in The Fiery Heart is never given a name.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Sydney has joked that Hopper the dragon is her adorable sidekick.
  • Nonindicative Name: Angeline finds confusing the term "meerkats", because they "aren't cats at all".
  • Non Sequitur: One is used intentionally by Duncan Mortimer. One minute, Duncan and Sydney are discussing about where the gas used on prisoners on the Re-education facility comes from. Then Duncan abruptly changes the subject to one of botany: "Come on, just because a fern's a vascular plant doesn't mean it's producing carbon dioxide any differently. All the chemical reactions in basic photosynthesis are still there. It's just a question of using spores instead of seeds." Duncan had realized that Emma was overhearing their conversation and abruptly changed the subject to something else.
  • No Periods, Period: Subverted. When Sydney is reeducation she plans on using her period to help her keep track of time. She soon finds out that the Alchemists have somehow blocked her from getting it, keeping her in the dark about her timeline.
  • Noodle Incident: In Sydney's absence, Adrian is said to have made her replacement Maura's life "a living hell". No further elaboration on how he managed to do this.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: A member of the band Koolin' Around, caught up in his feel-good mood, invades Angeline's personal space and grabs her hand, intending to get her to sing and dance along despite her repeated protests. He drags her to her feet and gets punched.
  • No Sparks: Sydney has her first kiss with Brayden Cartwright. She feels no sparks.
  • Nothing but Skin and Bones: Sydney, who was already skinny, loses weight in the Re-education facility due to being malnourished for months. After a month of relatively regular eating, Adrian can still count her ribs.
  • Not So Different: Lissa points that she has no business telling Alchemists how to discipline their own people, pointing out that "guardians often seize dhampirs who run away from training and then punish them."
  • Numerological Motif: Jaclyn Terwilliger owns 13 cats by design. Likely after the number of witches in a coven.
    • Sydney and Emma occupy cell 8. Grace Sheridan tells Sydney that she feels 8 is a lucky number.
    • When Sydney is released into the general population of the Re-education facility, she realizes she is the 13th prisoner there. She feels 13 is a lucky number.
  • Oblivious to Love: Adrian remains oblivious to Nina Sinclair having fallen hard for him, even when he receives a warning from Sonya Karp. Until she kisses him and Adrian pushes her away.
  • Official Couple: Sydney with Adrian in The Indigo Spell.
  • Off The Wagon: Adrian finally quits drinking in the fourth book, as he takes mood stabilizer pills. Once Sydney is captured by the Alchemists, he quits taking the pills and starts drinking again.
  • Off with His Head!: Sonya Karp is sentenced to death by decapitation, though she is rescued at the last minute.
  • Oh, Crap: Neil Raymond, Eddie Castile, and Sydney Sage have set a trap for a Strigoi who they assume to be recently awakened and inexperienced, in other words an easy target. Only for the foe in question to take out Neil easily, making Eddie realise: "He's a strong one. And old. Very old. We were wrong."
    • Hope, a prisoner of the Re-education facility, does the mistake of expressing pride. Grace Sheridan the warden immediately arranges her punishment. As Hope realizes, she goes pale as a Stringoi from fear.
  • Older Than They Look: Lee Donahue appears to be 19. He is actually 34 years old.
  • Only Friend: While in the general population of the Re-education facility, Sydney is avoided by her fellow prisoners. The first person to reach out to her is Duncan Mortimer. He remains her only true friend for the rest of her stay, though she does eventually gain other allies.
    • Nina Sinclair serves as the only remaining friend to Adrian during his stay in Court. He spends a lot of time drinking with fellow royal Moroi, but barely remembers their names and faces. He sees her as a friend only, though, while she falls in love for him.
  • On The Rebound: Both Jill and Angeline toy with the idea of dating Neil Raymond while they are On The Rebound. It does not work out.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Daniella Ivashkov keeps an open mind concerning the marriage of her son Adrian to Sydney, and is the first character to express support to them.
  • Our Demons Are Different: As demonstrated by the callistana Sydney summoned, demons can be benign. Jaclyn Terwilliger explains that they are not creatures of hell.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Sydney has summoned a callistana, a benign demon in the form of a tiny crystalline dragon. She is able to turn him into an inanimate statue with a spell. She names it Hopper.
  • Out of Focus: Angeline Dawes and Neil Raymond have minor roles in the Silver Shadows. Angeline does not appear at all in The Ruby Circle.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Jared Sage and Nathan Ivashkov both object to Sydney and Adrian's marriage, though it is only after the fact. It seems likely they will disown them.
  • Parents as People
  • Parents in Distress: Olive Sinclair , a dhampir, faced Strigoi to save her Moroi father. She managed to give him a chance to escape, but the Strigoi turned her into one of them.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Kelly Hayes, a dhampir girl attending Amberwood Prep. She "participated in nearly every sport that Amberwood offered and had been exceptional at all of them."
  • Playing with Fire: Sydney learns to magically summon and throw fireballs.
    • Inez Garcia used fireballs to incinerate Strigoi.
  • Please, I Will Do Anything!: Toyed with, with the prisoners of the Re-education facility. Sydney once released from solitary confinement, where she was held malnourished, dirty, nearly naked, and constantly cold, figures out what the purpose of the entire ordeal was: "There were probably plenty of people who emerged from that darkness and were willing to do anything and everything for a return to ordinary comforts."
  • Plot-Sensitive Snooping Skills: Angeline has yet to find out about Adrian and Sydney's relationship. But when Sydney, Eddie, and Neil Raymond conspire to go after a Strigoi, she is the one who picks on subtle clues that something is up. She snoops around and manages to recruit reinforcements.
  • Posthumous Character: Kelly Hayes was killed by Lee Donahue years before the events of the first novel. She is fleshed out quite a bit in said novel, through narratives of her past.
  • Power Parasite:Veronica Terwilliger and Alicia DeGraw absorb magical powers.
  • Power Tattoo: The Alchemists have tattoos that stop them from talking about vampires and their own organisation to anyone who does not already know of their existence. The tattoos also give them a better immunity system than normal humans. Many students at Amberwood Prep also get these tattoos without the knowledge of the Alchemists. The tattoos either give them an athletic boost or work to make them feel high.
  • Pretend to Be Brainwashed: The Re-education facility uses both mundane and magical methods at brainwashing to ensure the prisoners' loyalty to the Alchemists. But certain prisoners, like Emma (Sydney's cellmate), act well-behaved and docile just in hopes of release. There are examples, like Emma's unnamed sister, who went rogue after their release. Marcus Finch's rebel Alchemists include people who were released from Re-education.
  • Pretty Freeloaders: Nathan Ivashkov is wealthy and seems perfectly willing to finance the fashionable lifestyle of his gorgeous wife Daniella Ivashkov. She is also royal (a member of the Tarus clan) but has no personal fortune, does not work for a living, and does not even sleep with him. The only thing Nathan asks in return is her playing the happy wife in social gatherings. The situation comes to an end in Silver Shadows when she makes a stand in support of Adrian and moves out of their house.
    • Though they do not share a house, Nathan is perfectly willing to financially support Adrian, who is a full adult. As long as he stays out of Nathan's way and does not do anything to embarass the family name. Adrian's taboo marriage to a human seems to be a dealbreaker.
  • Pride: Expressed by Hope, one the prisoners in the Re-education facility. She expresses her belief that she is better than Sydney, cause she only violated orders. She did not have sex with a vampire.
    • Pride Before a Fall:Grace Sheridan, the warden, immediately shatters her belief and sends her for a torture session. To teach her some humility.
  • Propaganda Machine: The Re-education facility has a class devoted to propaganda about current events in the Alchemist world. It blames Strigoi attacks on the Moroi's suppposed unwillingness to face the threat. Moroi are thoroughly villainized.
  • Properly Paranoid: The prisoners at the Re-education facility are constantly paranoid about their words and actions leading them to a new torture session or another attempt at brainwashing. This is reasonable as they are constantly monitored for the slightest act of insubordination, and their fellow prisoners are encouraged by the authorities to tell on them. Their plans towards resistance or escape only work when they co-operate. Which is why the authorities like to see them turn on each other. Eventually Sydney manages to make some tentative allies.
  • Protective Charm: Used by Sydney, Alicia DeGraw and untrained witches to protect from detection by other magic users. Sydney's stops working once she encounters Alicia, but she does not find out until later.
    • Sydney finds a way to make a tattoo charm which protects against the magical ink the Alchemists use for compulsion. She finds a way to reproduce it while held in the Re-education facility, and shares it with her fellow prisoners.
  • Proud Beauty: Laurel, the attractive Alpha Bitch. Particularly proud of her red hair.
  • Psychic Link: Jill has one with Adrian.
  • Put on a Bus: Rowena Clark and Cassie, Adrian's college friends, are put on a bus in Silver Shadows. College ends for the summer and there is no chance for them to interact again. As Adrian says: "I'm sure we'll see each other again". In fact it is uncertain if he will see them again.
    • Olive Sinclair, the former Strigoi, is also put on bus in the same book. She leaves Court, severing relations with her half-sister Nina Sinclair and long-distance boyfriend Neil Raymond. We only learn that she wanted some "alone time", to figure out what to do with her life. She returns in The Ruby Circle, hiding out in a dhampir commune and pregnant with Neil's child, something that should have been impossible considering dhampir biology.
  • Quitting To Get Married: Averted. Mikhail Tanner marries Sonya Karp but continues to serve as a guardian at Court.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Desiree Weathers, the dorm matron of the girls' dorm, is strict on discipline matters, but ultimately a caring and reasonable figure.
  • Rebel Leader: Marcus Finch leads a group of rebellious Alchemists and Warriors of the Light.
  • Redemption Quest: Sonya Karp is on a quest to immunize people against turning Strigoi, to redeem herself for her crimes as a former Strigoi.
  • Replacement Flat Character: Maura, the Alchemist replacing Sydney and Zoe Sage in Palm Strings, is just your typical arrogant Alchemist. No real character traits of her own.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: The Alchemists do not actively recruit people. Senior Alchemists raise their children to take their place. The child is not given a choice. If their values or decisions end up clashing up with the organization, they are not allowed to retire. They are send to Re-education to be brainwashed back into service. Rebel Alchemists are defectors who are still wanted by the organization at large.
  • Retired Badass: Inez Garcia, a 90-year-old witch and former Strigoi fighter. She survived her share of fights and now lives in seclusion.
  • Reverse Mole: Sabrina, a heroic rebel on the side of Marcus Finch, has infiltrated the extremist Warriors of Light.
  • Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: A minor example. Both Adrian and Lissa Dragomir face college exams. Adrian did not put much work into it, while Lissa is serious about studying. A bored Rose describes Lissa as "Miss All-Study-and-No-Play". Adrian admits: "I think Lissa's doing it the right way."
  • Romantic False Lead: Brayden who turns out to be perfect for Sydney: he's smart, good looking, works in a coffee shop, drives a nice car, and thinks windmill tours and textile museums are a good time. Too bad he's not the one.
  • Royal Blood: Jill, who recently found out she's a princess.
  • Scholarship Student: Toyed with. Brayden gained a college scholarship for an essay "on the psychosocial implications of Pavlov's associative experiments". We do not get to see him actually graduate.
    • Trey Juarez receives college scholarship offers as both an athlete and a scholar. Good thing, because his father has disowned him and Trey would not be able to attend college otherwise.
  • Secret Keeper: Neil Raymond and Eddie know the secret about Sydney's magical powers. Eddie also knows about her relationship with Adrian.
  • Secret Relationship: When Adrian and Sydney start a relationship, they decide to keep it a secret from everyone except Jill. Jaclyn Terwilliger and Malachi Wolf seem to figure it out soon. Then Eddie finds out, Zoe Sage finds out, the Alchemists find out. Once Sydney is abducted, Adrian seems to confide in Trey Juarez, Angeline Dawes, and Neil Raymond. The relationship becomes public once they marry in the ending chapters of Silver Shadows.
  • Serial Killer: Lee Donahue killed at least four girls by draining their blood, then slicing their throats to cover the bite marks from his fangs and prevent guardians and Alchemists from hunting for a Strigoi, or wannabe-Strigoi in his case.
  • Settle for Sibling: Alchemist Ian Jansen was an unwanted suitor for Sydney Sage. Afterwards, he shifted his attention to her younger sister Zoe Sage.
  • Sexless Marriage: Nathan and Daniella Ivashkov have a loveless marriage. They moved to separate rooms once Daniella was released from prison. Not much of a surprise. In the original series, Adrian already mentioned his belief that his parents don't sleep together.
  • Sexy Secretary: Nina Sinclair is an attractive girl and works as a secretary at Court.
  • She Will Come for Me: While in Re-education, Sydney is certain that Adrian will find her. The Knockout Gas used in the facility gives her dreamless sleep, though, which prevents his Dream Walker powers from locating her. So she finds a way to disable the ventilation systems and has her first dreams in months. She wavers a bit in her faith in Adrian, as he fails to make contact for a while. Then he does make contact.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Jill kisses Edddie this way. He was chastising her for risking her life against a Strigoi. She told him "Oh, shut up" and kissed him on the spot.
  • Sigil Spam: The Warriors of Light use the Sun as their sigil. It turns up in tatoos, pins, earrings, helmets, etc.
  • Slut Shaming: Sydney is exposed to this treatment while held in the Re-education facility, because of having slept with a vampire. Fellow prisoners call her "slut" and "Vamp whore". When she comments on the low number of dhampirs to her instructor, Harrison, he replies with: "Well, from what I understand you are an expert at reproduction with Moroi. Perhaps you'd be personally interested in helping increase those dhampir numbers yourself, yes?"
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Sydney seems to thinks so. She notices that Duncan Mortimer wears glasses and concludes that they give him an intellectual air.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Both Jill and Angeline act this way for Neil Raymond. Both are at the time attempting to recover from other crushes and see him as their rebound guy. Eventually they both go back to their previous crushes.
  • Snowed-In: Sydney, Adrian, and Neil Raymond get Snowed In for two days in a cosy bed-and-breakfast in Pennsylvania. Sydney and Adrian have sex for the first time during this period.
  • Socialite: Vanessa Szelsky, is a "society girl" who regularly throws weekend parties at her parents' house. She dresses in designer dresses.
  • Soulsaving Crusader: The whole purpose of Alchemist Re-education is supposedly to save the prisoners' souls for vampiric corruption. Grace Sheridan, the warden of the facility, is perfectly willing to torment, torture, and brainwash prisoners to achieve this goal. Unclear if she genuinely believes that she is doing good.
  • So Proud of You: Jaclyn Terwilliger is very proud of her apprentice Sydney. In Sydney's initiation ceremony, she expressed this in words: "You're going to do great things. I'm so proud of you, prouder than I could be of any daughter."
  • Spell Book: Jaclyn Terwilliger makes Sydney learn magic by studying and summarizing such books.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Sonya Karp and her associates are stalked by members of the Warriors of the Light.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Vampire hunter Trey Juarez and dhampir Angeline Dawes have an ill-fated love affair in the third book. It ends because he is afraid of his family's reaction. They then get back together in the fourth book.
    • Moroi Adrian Ivashkov and Human Alchemist Sydney Sage. When they marry they have to seek sanctuary from Moroi court to protect them from the Alchemists...only for most of the Moroi to turn their backs on them too.
    • Eddie views his love for Jill as this because she's a Moroi Princess and he's a dhampir.
  • Summon Magic: Used by Sydney to summon Hopper the dragon.
  • Supreme Chef: Cassie, a culinary student, is extremely talented.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Sydney learns to use a scrying spell to help locate the headquarters of the Warriors of the Light.
    • She later uses another scrying spell to see the current locations of Veronica Terwilliger and Marcus Finch.
    • Averted when Jaclyn Terwilliger tries to scry for the location of abducted Sydney. She only sees darkness.
  • Sympathetic Magic: Sydney needs a strand of hair from Sonya Karp to perform a scrying spell.
  • Take Me Instead: The Alchemists are trying to capture Sydney and kill Eddie. She willingly surrenders so that Eddie can escape unharmed, because he is her friend.
  • Taken for Granite: Hopper the dragon is trapped in statue form once Sydney is abducted. According to Jaclyn Terwilliger: "... if he ever comes out of this state, he'll be weak and sick."
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Used by Adrian, the Dreamwalker, to communicate with others.
  • Tame His Anger: Ian Jansen took a two-week anger management seminar to learn to control his anger around the Moroi.
  • Teacher's Pet: Sydney Sage in Amberwood Prep, particularly in Jaclyn Terwilliger's history class, is the "star pupil" who volunteers to answer any question. Teachers appreciate her and afford her special privileges. In the Re-education's facility "classrooms" for prisoners, Emma serves the same role. Warden Grace Sheridan expresses pride in her progress.
  • Team Mom: Sydney acts like the voice of authority and reason in her surrogate family.
  • Terrible Trio: Brent Badica, Wesley Drozdov, and Lars Zeklos, the three Moroi royals who attempt to drink Sydney's blood The Fiery Heart. They face Adrian again in Silver Shadows, making them recurring villains. Wesley is the dominant one, Brent and Lars are described as his "lackeys" and "toadies".
  • Textual Celebrity Resemblance: Ronald Mikoski, Adrian's psychiatrist, looks exactly like Albert Einstein.
  • The Alcoholic: Adrian, who drinks to calm down his spirit magic, and to help Jill, since when he's drunk enough, the bond is numbed.
  • The Apprentice: Sydney is Jaclyn Terwilliger's apprentice. Alicia DeGraw was the apprentice to Veronica Terwilliger.
  • The Bait: Neil Raymond volunteers to play The Bait for a Strigoi. He has a tattoo supposedly preventing conversion into one and wishes to see if it is effective.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Sydney and Adrian have one at the end of The Golden Lily.
  • The Casino: Several figure in the plot of Silver Shadows. Adrian and Sydney find refuge in one right after the escape from the Re-education facility. They spend a few chapters reconnecting there, until the Alchemists track them down. They then escape to Las Vegas. They find temporarily refuge in the Moroi-owned "the Witching Hour", have their wedding in the Italian-themed "The Firenze", and find a Moroi-owned helicopter waiting for them in the "Blue Lagoon.
    • Adrian even finds some time to gamble to win some money. His Aura Vision makes him able to determine the other players' intentions, giving him an advantage.
  • The Cavalry: A small army of guardians storm the Warriors of the Light headquarters just in time to save Sonya Karp from execution.
  • The Charmer: Marcus Finch tends to charm every woman around him, but never takes advantage. Sydney is resistant to his charm, however.
  • The Confidant: Sydney was the only confidant to Carly when her sister got raped. She was sworn to secrecy about it.
    • Jill acts this way to both Adrian and Sydney. She already has key information on their problems through her psychic bond.
  • The Conspiracy: The directors of the Alchemists have been conspiring with the Warriors of the Light despite their differences in name and philosophies.
  • The Matchmaker: Trey Juarez plays matchmaker for his friends Sydney and Brayden.
  • The Munchausen: Malachi Wolfe always has an improbable story about his past to share.
  • The Old Convict: In Silver Shadows, the role is played by Duncan Mortimer, a prisoner in his late twenties. He is held in the Re-education facility for over a year, longer than anybody else. He knows how the glorified prison works and offers information to new prisoners, like Sydney.
  • The One That Got Away: Malachi Wolfe mentions a past love called Silver Tooth Sally. They used to be partners in adventuring, but Sally was eventually planning to settle down. Malachi left her to pursue further adventuring. A few years later, Malachi realized his mistake and wanted to get back with her. But he was unable to locate her. The loss haunts him.
  • The Proud Elite: Nathan Ivashkov is proud of his royal status, wealth, and sophistication. He treats his own son and wife coldly, and shows no emotional side.
    • Jared Sage is proud of both his high status among the Alchemists and his scholarly education. He treats his wife and daughters coldly, and seems to have no time for other people.
  • The Reveal: Bloodlines has a few of these, particularly about Sydney, Abe and Keith's history.
  • The Scrounger: Abe Mazur comes up with the supplies Sydney needs for her experiments, which are hard to find.
  • The Shrink: Ronald Mikoski is Adrian's psychiatrist and gives him some stern advice.
  • The Slacker: Adrian, who comes from a moneyed background and has never set out to accomplish much of anything. Coming to California for Jill and taking painting classes are the most responsible things he's ever done.
  • The Sleepless: Adrian has chronic problems sleeping. Only with the mood stabilizer pills, can he sleep soundly.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There is only one female guard among the Warriors of the Light. She is named Sabrina and is the Reverse Mole.
  • The Starscream:Alicia DeGraw was the apprentice to Veronica Terwilliger but managed to betray and feed on her.
  • The Unfavourite: Jared Sage likes Keith better than Sydney and her sisters, mainly because he sees Keith as the son he never had.
  • The Voiceless: Baxter, the cook of the Re-education facility, gets no speaking lines. He is described as either silent or responding only in grunts. A rare exclamation of disgust, when Sydney accidentally touches him, is the closest he gets to actually speaking.
  • Their First Time: Sydney and Adrian, after a traffic accident in Pennsylvania, ended up spending two days in a bed-and-breakfast. Sydney invited Adrian to her room and they had their first time. Plus repeat performances during the rest of their stay.
  • Thoughtcrime: The whole purpose of Alchemist Re-education is to eliminate free thought and make subjects obedient to superiors' decisions. In Grace Sheridan's words: "That's the problem. You thought. Just like you thought it was okay to help Renee. The only thing you need to be doing is what you're told."
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: The Alchemists don't kill their human captives, including rule-breaking members of their organization. "They prize their people too much."
    • When the guardians attack the Warriors of the Light, they use weapons that sedate and do not kill. They want to rescue Sonya Karp without starting a lethal feud with the Warriors.
    • When the rebel Alchemists and their allies attack the Re-education facility, they make sure not to kill anybody.
  • Through His Stomach: Through Her Stomach. Adrian is trying to learn cooking in order to impress Sydney.
  • Throw the Book at Them: Angeline nearly gave Trey Juarez a concussion by throwing a book at him.
  • Throwing the Fight: Toyed with. Trey Juarez has the chance to finish off his cousin Chris and win the right to execute Sonya Karp. He throws the fight because he does not feel right about killing a helpless woman.
  • Token Minority: Olive Sinclair is the only known dhampir with Native American ancestry.
    • Emma is the only known Asian-American Alchemist.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sydney's friends, Kristin Sawyer and Julia Cavendish are briefly described in such a way. Kristin is athletic, while Julia is more into fashion.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sydney. She starts as a non-combatant. She learns self-defense and ways to use magic offensively.
  • Torture Is Ineffective:One of the torture and brainwashing techniques used in the Re-education facility is based on Pavlovian conditioning. They show Sydney (and presumably other prisoners) images of happy Moroi while they are experiencing "extreme discomfort and suffering". The goal is that they come to associate the actual vampires with the same painful experiences. Based on Sydney's reaction to reuniting with Adrian, first in spirit dreams and then in person, this does not work. She is elated, not experiencing the intended discomfort.
  • Torture Technician: There are some nameless ones in the Re-education facility of Death Valley. Though warden Grace Sheridan does not mind acting as a torture technician herself.
  • Tracking Device: A pair of earings placed in Sydney's purse are used to track her movements.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Used by the guardians against the Warriors of the Light. Their intent was to have a non-lethal way to take out opponents.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Adrian is a hot guy. He struggles with his sanity and is an alcoholic.
  • Tsundere: Sydney is this towards Adrian, mostly in type A.
  • Unnamed Parent: The mother of Carly, Sydney and Zoe Sage has not been given a name.
    • The father of Nina and Olive Sinclair has not been named.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Angeline discusses the cupcakes that Adrian made. Zoe Sage figures they are the same cupcakes that Sydney claimed to have bought, finding out that Sydney is lying and allowing her to figure out Adrian and Sydney's forbidden relationship. With this and the Love Phone Adrian lost, she uses said info to turn Sydney in.
  • Unwitting Muggle Friend: Kristin Sawyer, Julia Cavendish, and Micah Vallence are all such friends to Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Angeline.
  • Vain Sorceress: Veronica Terwilliger feeds on younger witches to maintain her youth and good looks. She does this for the sake of vanity.
  • Vampire Dance: Moroi vampires dance at the wedding of Sonya Karp and Mikhail Tanner, including Adrian dancing with Sydney.
  • Vampire Hunter: Alluded to in Bloodlines and the primary story line of The Golden Lily. A group of vampire hunters are out to destroy Strigoi, and aren't too concerned if Moroi get hurt in the process.
  • Vampire Vannabe: Liam, a Strigoi servant captured by the Alchemists. He willingly served his Strigoi masters in hopes of eventually joining them, and imitated their behavior while in captivity.
  • Virgin Power: Sydney is taught a scrying spell that can only be used by a virgin.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Grace Sheridan, the warden of the Re-education facility of Death Valley, wastes no opportunity to belittle prisoners, play mind games with them, or personally torture them. She seems to love her job.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Sydney is overprotective of her Subaru station wagon "Latte". In "The Indigo Spell", the car is destroyed by Alicia DeGraw . An interior explosion causes Latte's doors to blast off and its windows to shatter. The damage is irreparable and Sydney is left near tears.
  • Wedding Day: The Wedding Night of Sonya Karp and Mikhail Tanner is covered in "The Indigo Spell". It is quite eventful.
    • Adrian and Sydney have their own wedding day in Las Vegas, during Silver Shadows, while being chased by the Alchemists bent on recapturing Sydney.
  • Weight Woe: Sydney is constantly angsting over being overweight. She is actually too skinny but can't match the measurements of a female Moroi, which is repeatedly pointed out to her by her father.
    • Zoe, too, angsts about her weight after her role model father advises against foods containing fat and sugar.
  • Weird Moon: Sydney uses a scrying spell that only works under the full moon. She uses it two nights in a row and never needs it again.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Trey Juarez tries to excel in sports, joins the Warriors of Light vampire hunters, and fights in gladiator-like games. All to win the approval of his dad.
    • To a lesser extent, Adrian tries to win the approval of his verbally abusive father. A recommendation by Lissa Dragomir to his dad earns him an increase in allowance and enough money to buy a 1967 Ford Mustang. He receives a genuine compliment later: "You did well, Adrian...:
    • Sydney Sage has given up on ever winning the approval of her father. Her younger sister Zoe is still trying.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Both the Alchemists and the Warriors of the Light have the heroic goal to protect humanity against vampires, yet they are blind to their own less than honorable methods.
  • We Need a Distraction: Sydney sets a computer on fire to distract other Alchemists and gain access to the online archives in the St. Louis headquarters.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Adrian used to be drinking buddies with Brent Badica, Wesley Drozdov, and Lars Zeklos. Now he finds them obnoxious. Once the trio try to drink the blood of Sydney, they become Adrian's enemies.
  • What Are You in For?: In the Re-education facility, prisoners usually stay incarcerated for months. When Sydney learns that fellow prisoner Duncan Mortimer has spent over a year there, she asks "What did you do to get here?"
    • Sydney also asks Emma: "You're pretty much the poster child for model Alchemist behavior. What did you do to get here?" "Here" being the Re-education facility.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We learn at their introduction that Nina and Olive Sinclair had a loving father. Olive quit training as a guardian to serve as his protector. She sacrificed herself to rescue him from Strigoi attack. But both sisters are later seen living on their own, with no other family contact. What happened to their father?
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Sydney disguises herself with a brown wig to go undercover.
  • Women Drivers: Averted. Sydney counters the stereotype by being a careful and skilled driver.
    • Her sister Zoe is following in her footsteps as a skilled driver.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Marcus Finch punches Sydney. She responds in kind.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The motivational band Koolin' Around spell cooling with a K.
  • You Can See Me?: Sydney was invisible when Marcus Finch punched her. He was actively expecting her, the one weakness of the spell.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Sydney does this constantly for Ms. Terwilliger.
  • Younger Than They Look: The victims of Veronica Terwilliger and Alicia DeGraw are left comatose and looking like old women. Most are actually college-aged.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Angeline dated Trey Juarez while she was Eddie Castile's girlfriend.
  • Youthful Freckles: Wendy Stone, an untrained witch and college student, has freckles.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Happens to Sydney twice in the Re-education facilty. Once when she recovers from sedation to find herself in an isolated, dark cell with no furniture. It takes time to find out the confines of the room while crawling in the dark. The second time she wakes from another sedation to find herself in a cell of the "persuasion floor". It takes her a little time to discover she is scheduled for long-term torture.