For her entire life, Calwyn has lived among the priestesses in the city of Antaris, which is surrounded by a wall of pure ice created and perserved by the priestesses via chantments (or magical singing that allows them (in this case) to summon ice ('ice call')). One day, while singing her chantments to mend the Wall, she comes across an injured stranger named Darrow. Soon she finds herself joining him on a journey to stop Samis, a powerful singer of chantments whose goal is to learn all nine songs from the Nine Powers in order to conquer the world and unify it under one ruler—himself.There are three books in the Chanters of Tremaris Trilogy by Kate Constable.
Badass Normal: Xanni and Tonno, the sailors who have kept the Fledgewing seaworthy; Trout, who especially comes in handy at the end, when he destroys the orb absorbing all the Nine Powers that Samis wants.
Call Back: In The Tenth Power, Mica references the first time Calwyn showed her ice, an event which occurred in the first book.
Chekhov's Gun: Trout suffered the effects of an experiment gone bad in his past, culminating in an explosion that left him deaf to sounds above a certain range in pitch. This fact comes back to haunt Samis, whose favourite tactic and primarily feared ability is to use the extremely high-pitched chantments of Seeming (read: illusion).
The Chessmaster: Keela, of all people, plays a short-term one towards the beginning of The Tenth Power. Samis also does this, and his plans are more complex.
Comically Missing the Point: Trout's exclamation of, "What are you doing? This is no time to start singing!" Justified, as he doesn't know chantments are actually real at that point.
Cool Airship: The entire City of Spareth turns out to be one of these in disguise.
Elemental Powers: The Nine Powers, depending on how far you've gotten through the last book. Ice/Darkness, Fire/Light, Wind, Iron,—hold on, now—Becoming, Tongue, Beasts, Seeming, and Goddess/the Great Power/the Power of all that is. The Tenth Power: is the awesome might of writing in general, and musical notation in the specific, which grants the world of Tremaris the ability to record and teach the chantments without resorting to oral tradition and memory.
Fantastic Racism: People who have knowledge of chantments aren't exactly loved...
Flat Earth Atheist: Trout starts out scorning the idea of chantments and the gods, even after being attacked by Samis. Although this is a Justified Trope, as he can't hear high-pitched sounds like the Power of Seeming due to an accident, so the chantments didn't affect him. Eventually, he gets better.
Glamour Failure: Samis' Power of Seeming is unable to affect Trout because an explosive accident from his past left him unable to hear sounds above a certain range. With the songs of seeming being the highest pitched Powers, ranging about falsetto, he does not even notice the chantment going on.
Magic Music: The other Powers of ~ (Ice, Fire, Iron, etc.). The Chanters of Tremaris aren't called such because they just like to engage in a little singing while not on their adventures.
The Magocracy: Antaris is ruled by the priestesses, who all have the Power of Ice. Because of this it is also a...
Matriarchy: since men are generally incapable of singing the high notes necessary for Ice Call.
May-December Romance: Occcurs between Calwyn (16 or 17) and Darrow (late 20s to 30), though on the cover art of The Tenth Power he appears a bit younger. Also occurs briefly between Calwyn and Samis. He's nearly forty...
Messy Hair: Trout sports this to go with his 'absentminded inventor' persona.
"That woman can't keep her mouth shut long enough to take a breath."
Mutually Exclusive Magic: It's originally thought that only one individual in the whole world, the eponymous Singer of All Songs, had the power to learn every chantment.
Never Speak Ill of the Dead: In a variation, Calwyn declines to speak ill of the soon-to-be-dead, but then subverts it by coming out with it later, anyway.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The crew of the Fledgwing fights their way to the tower where Samis is in order to take him down, only to find the Chantments they used have been helping him to bring the Nine Powers under his control.
Tamen also does this, by splitting the wheel in order to give part to Samis to convince him to leave.
No Ontological Inertia: Justified in that the Palace of Cobwebs didn't actually have anything holding it up other than continuous ironcraft. Generally things will continue to exist after being sung into that state (i.e. the Ice Wall around Antaris, which has to be maintained but doesn't automatically vanish).
Oh My Gods!: Calwyn uses "For the sake of the Goddess!"
Only Known by Their Nickname: Darrow doesn't remember his real name because everyone from his early childhood called him 'Mouse'. His current name is even just a contraction of another nickname, 'Gold Arrow', the name of his family's boat.
Ship Tease: Calwyn and Darrow get this, in the first book especially.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Between Xanni and Tonno, the former being easy-going and light-hearted and the latter being more serious and down to earth.
Spirited Young Lady: Mica, although she's a slave by the time we meet her, so she's not so "middle class or higher" anymore.
Switching P.O.V.: The vast majority of the series is third-person limited point of view centering on Calwyn. However, Darrow and Trout also get turns when Constable needs to show a scene for which Calwyn is absent.