A novel by Simon R. Green
that follows the exploits of Prince Rupert of The Forest Kingdom, Princess Julia of Hillsdown, his unicorn, and her dragon. And The High Warlock
The Forest Kingdom has always had Heroes. Kings with mighty swords of legend, princes who slew dragons by the thousands, champions and knights galore. As well as the occasional mage.
Prince Rupert is not one of them.
He is in fact, the second, unwanted, less skilled, less charming, politically inept, son of and possible danger to the kingdom and throne of King John. John deems it necessary for Rupert to die, and sends him off a perfectly reasonable reQuest
to slay a dragon and bring back its hoard - for the Forest Kingdom's Royal Treasury is a little... thin
- Badass Princess: Julia.
- Bad Moon Rising: The titular Blue Moon, bringer of unstoppable Wild Magic.
- Broken Pedestal: The King's oldest friend, Thomas Gray the Astrologer, turned out to have been The Dragon all along.
- But Now I Must Go: Rupert is not gonna be king, and no way is Julia gonna stay around for an Arranged Marriage with Harald.
- Chaos Architecture: The Forest Castle, which is believed to average about five thousand rooms. The entire south wing has been inaccessible for years, and when they finally found a way back they had to go through a Gravity Screw to get there. Inconvenient, since that's the wing that contains the treasury and armory.
- Court Mage: The Astrologer, and before him the High Warlock.
- Cerebus Syndrome: This book is practically the poster child. The story starts out as a lighthearted Fractured Fairy Tale, but about halfway through the entire world becomes literally hell on earth.
- Dark Is Evil: The Darkwood, a demon-infested blot of absolute darkness. Later in the book it expands to cover everything. Averted with the castle's moat monster, which despite being a borderline Eldritch Abomination is still loyal to the kingdom.
- Deadly Decadent Court
- Determinator: Prince Rupert, oh so much.
- Evil Sorcerer: The High Warlock was set up to be one of these, but turned out to be more of a crabby-but-mostly-harmless old drunk instead.
- Evil Weapon: The Curtana, known as the Sword of Compulsion. Also the three Infernal Devices: Rockbreaker, Flarebright and Wolfsbane
- Fashionable Evil: The reason why the dragon used to raze villages, why the High Warlock polymorphs people who annoy him, and why goblins rob travelers; because it's expected.
- Gut Punch: Finding out that the expanding Darkwood has engulfed the Forest Castle.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Champion.
- I Lied: About the Demon Prince making The Dragon the king of Forest Land. see You Have Outlived Your Usefulness below.
- Kill It with Fire: Pretty much the only way to kill a really big demon, since they are Weakened By The Light.
- The Legions of Hell: The demons, although without the Demon Prince's influence they're just random monsters.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: A political variant. Sending Prince Rupert out to battle the dragon was essentially an Uriah Gambit to keep him from being a rival for the throne.
- Once in a Blue Moon: When the Blue Moon rises, demons rampage across the land, and this time the Blue Moon isn't setting...
- Our Demons Are Different: These demons are mindless Mix And Match Creatures with no drives except to cause pain. Except for the Demon Prince, who isn't mindless.
- Our Dragons Are Different: This one is a Retired Badass who collects butterflies instead of gold and gets rescued from the princess.
- Upper Class Twit: This and all the other Blue Blood tropes appear, but are zig-zagged all over the place.
- Was Once a Man: The castle's moat monster was originally a messenger who made the mistake of disturbing the High Warlock in the middle of an experiment. It turns out that he could have changed back, but liked life in the new form so much he refused to.
- The sequel, Beyond The Blue Moon, reveals that the demonic hordes were originally human also, but were warped by the Darkwood.
- We ARE Struggling Together: The barons are just unbelievable. They actually tried to stage a revolution in the middle of a continent-wide demonic incursion!
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When the Demon Prince is done with the Astrologer, he turns him into a low-grade demon.