A young-adult fantasy
series written by Chris Wooding
The series follows the lives of twins Ryushi and Kia after their secluded home in the mountains is attacked and they find themselves in the world they've been sheltered from for so long. Unfortunately for them, this world (called the Dominions) happens to be controlled by the insane monarch King Macaan who is slowly gaining total control of the people. The rest of the series follows the efforts of Parakka
in the beginning world of the Dominions and eventually its mirror world of Kirin Taq (controlled by Macaan's daughter, Aurin).
Magic power in the series is based on how many "spirit stones" a person has. These (extremely expensive) stones are implanted along the spine shortly after birth by a group called Deliverers, and change at implantation depending on what the Delivers feel the person will become. Kia and Ryushi each have six (as does their brother Takami). Kia's allow her to control earth, Ryushi's concussive force, and Takami's green fire. There are also people called Resonants who it is impossible to implant stones in who can travel between the two worlds.
More information on this series' worlds and species can be found on The Other Wiki
The series is inspired heavily by anime
, as stated by Word of God
in Wooding's webpage for the books.
This series provides examples of:
- Alien Sky: Kirin Taq's sky is forever twilight, with the sun permanently eclipsed, and the Dominions is stated to have two moons.
- Badass Normal: You discover at the end that the character Hochi has never had spirit stones, and instead gotten by on their own strength.
- Bishōnen: Macaan◊.
- Creepy Twins: In Kia's Vision Quest, she repeatedly sees Princess Aurin and leader of Parakka Calica as near-identical children with the same clothing and hairstyles, who speak in unison and are always holding hands. This is because the two are Splitlings, a pair of people born at the same time in the mirror universes.
- Little Miss Snarker: Elani
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Princess Aurin when she develops feelings for Ryushi while he is her captive
- Dungeon Punk: There's a pretty high level of technology in this world, like the Machinists' devices, the Lava-based heating system in Tusami City, and the transport devices powered by people with Pilot stones.
- Fantastic Racism: The twins' new guardian Hochi inherently mistrusts the Kirin Tochaa. That is, until Tochaa takes a Keriag spear to the gut to save his life.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Resonants that Macaan captures are usually made into elite assassins known as Jacyra, an extremely painful process that leaves their minds tattered and their bodies more mechanical augmentation than flesh. In addition, they are unable to rise against Macaan, who can instantly end their lives using the trigger stone implanted in his forehead.
- Half-Human Hybrid: people of the Dominions (who in pretty much every aspect resemble humans) and Kirin Taq (who are the same as humans except for their yellow eyes and gray skin) are able to produce children together. It is revealed that Macaan is a halfbreed. Aurin also turns out to be quarter-Kirin. One of the minor characters in the later books is half-Kirin,with all the social rejection it typically entails.
- Heroic BSOD: Hochi is tramuatized and guilt-ridden about how he treated Tochaa after Tochaa dies Takingthe Bullet for him.
- Hive Mind: played straight with the Keriags, massive spider-like beasts with a shared consciousness whose only concern is for the well-being of the hive. Subverted with the race of the Koth Taraan who, although they share consciousness and knowledge, are all individual beings who resent having their connection compared to that of the Keriags.
- Hive Queen: there are several Keriag hives, each with its own Queen. These Queens, however, are not solely connected to their own hive, but instead connected to the Queens and Keriags of the other hives. This is to such an extent that when one Queen is poisoned by Macaan, the others immediately agree to a lifetime of slavery, as losing one Queen would be like losing an arm for them.
- La Résistance: the group of Parakka who fight against Macaan's empire.
- Mind Rape: There is a method of torture/interrogation known as Scourging that is described as though someone is physically ripping apart your memories.
- Mirror Scare: the Jacyra actually travel through mirrors, and as such there are numerous scares with one coming out of a reflective surface.
- Our Dragons Are Different: the Wyverns of the books only have two legs, and although they can be bonded with human riders, they are presented more as beasts than sentient companions.
- Parental Abandonment: Macaan's parents both die of a disease while he is at a young age.
- Disappeared Dad: Macaan seeks to conquer the world to give to his daughter to prove how much he loves her. These efforts cause her to see him rarely while she is being raised by various nannies, and she resents any attempt of his to be a "father" to her.
- Missing Mom: Kia and Ryushi's mother never returned from an expedition when they were children. turns out she was killed for being a Parakkan. Also, Aurin's mother dies from the same disease that killed Macaan's parents.
- Power Incontinence: Ryushi at the beginning of the series has no control over his immense power, and inevitably burns himself out anytime he uses it.
- Power Limiter: the aforementioned spirit-stones' power is nullified by "Damper Stones".
- Title Drop: There is no indication of what "Broken Sky" stands for until the third book when the dying Tochaa gives Hochi his pendant and it is revealed to be a translation of old Kirin meaning something divided with the hope for eventual unity.
- Took a Level in Badass: Ryushi.
- Vision Quest: before the Koth Taraan will aid Parakka, they want to test one the group's representatives to see their motives. Kia accepts and enters a vision quest under the head Koth Taraan's observance.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Macaan.