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The ''Chronicles of Chaos'' is a fantasy trilogy by Creator/JohnCWright. Amelia Windrose, a sheltered tomboy who dreams of travel and adventure, narrates the story of herself and her four foster siblings: Victor, logical and imperious, Vanity, who is giddy and curious, the domineering bully Colin, and the quiet, withdrawn Quentin. They are the only five students at a private school somewhere in the English countryside, so sheltered that they wonder if the "Earth" their teachers have taught them even conforms to the world they live in?

But over the events of a few days, these children slowly discover their own heritage and the nature of the beings imprisoning them.

!! Works:
* ''Orphans of Chaos''
* ''Fugitives of Chaos''
* ''Titans of Chaos''

!!!Tropes featured Include:
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Wright's writing style contains ''numerous'' interludes between action sequences where the characters take stock, discuss or think about morality, future repercussions of their actions, and their own emotional responses to danger.
* AirVentPassageway: Vanity's powers can find-slash-create passages where none ought to exist. The first book contains a passageway accessed through a grandfather clock.
%%* AlienGeometries: Has an unusual take on the 4th dimension.
* AmnesiacHero: The plot of the first book revolves around the orphans realizing that their memories have been tampered with--multiple times. The book also ''ends'' with [[spoiler: them losing their memories.]]
* AmnesiaLoop: Some discoveries have to be made more than once.
* {{Arson Murder and Jaywalking}}: When Amelia confronts the possibility of getting back her memories, she fears that her true self could be someone terrible, like murderess, an adulteress... or an environmentalist, she also fears to be someone that can't do math, or who likes UsefulNotes/TonyBlair.
* ArchangelGabriel: In Orphans, Amelia says that rather than pray to God, she prefers praying to Gabriel, seeing him as the only one mentioned in the major religions (Christianism, Judaism and Islamism)
* AsYouKnow: Subverted; "Headmaster Boggin" begins one of these, but is quickly stopped. Double subverted later, when you find out his [[InvokedTrope reason]].
* AuthorAppeal: The curricula that the orphans are taught are taken directly from Wright's alma mater, St. John's College.
* AmazonBrigade: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Amazons.]]
* AxeCrazy: Artemis, the Maenads.
** The Maenads are so completely crazy that they have to be mind controlled in order to be a useful force....otherwise they would be tearing each other to pieces. Literally.
* BackFromTheDead: Because of MutuallyExclusiveMagic, by several means.
%%* BadDreams
* BeingWatched: A natural consequence of their hostage situation
* {{Blackmail}}: Amelia attempts to blackmail another character [[spoiler: with the fact that said character is ''not'' working for Boggin as per their employment contract.]] It doesn't work to begin with because Amelia is a complete amateur [[spoiler: and also because it's a double-cross.]]
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Explicitly invoked; Mrs. Wren asks Vanity and Amelia to pray for her, because God will hear the prayers of the "young and sweet" better than hers.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: Colin's powers run on this, at least as Amelia interprets them. Note that this is explicitly incorrect; due to the interactions between their powers each orphan has one other whose powers they are literally incapable of understanding (the one whose powers trump theirs).
* CloseKnitCommunity: The Prelapsarians, who will not act to distress Helion despite his holding no official position.
* ComesGreatResponsibility: Victor was warned of this as a child.
* ConversationalTroping: There are several discussions as to what kind of book the characters are or would be in.
* CoolShip: Which, as it turns out can be:
** CoolBoat: Vanity's ''Argent Nautilus'' can sail through any sea--in any dimension--and responds to her telepathic commands.
** CoolStarship (This one takes some aftermarket modifications....)
* CrossoverCosmology: Features Grendel, [[Myth/GreekMythology Greek gods]], and figures from {{nursery rhyme}}s -- among others.
* DeadpanSnarker: Amelia is a bit to ladylike to qualify as a FirstPersonSmartass.
* DeathOfPersonality: This is referenced by Vanity, upon learning that all of them are [[spoiler: Uranians (or Titans) and prisoners of war of the Olympians, who had their memories erased, forced into human bodies, and raised as such she cries that they commited murder by making them forget their true selves.]]
* {{Determinator}}: Telegonus was sent to protect [[spoiler: Vanity]]. He continues to do so ''long'' after he was dead, and ''while'' he is being dragged down to hell.
--> '''Glum''': "He ain't going to run away, that one. I seen him fighting Neptune's men when they killt him. Fought even after he'd lost. Even after he'd died. He don't give up."
* DistractedByTheSexy: Multiple times by multiple characters, but most notably when [[spoiler: Hermes]] pauses in mid-rampage to chat up Vanity, complete with a WeCanRuleTogether pitch.
%%* DontExplainTheJoke
* TheDreaded: Even for the [[spoiler: four faction of Chaos]], the Army of the Dead seems to be this, [[spoiler: Boggin recalls that the four armies either fled or stoped their advances when The Unseen One (Hades) opened the Gates of hell]]:
-->''"Yet even they, yet even they were held back by one more terrible still: the great lord whom I will not name, the Unseen One, the Lord of the House of Woe, came forth that day in all his horror, opened the hell-gate, and drove his armies of shadow before him; the dead walked, and the Great Fear was at hand: the dreamlords shrieked and fled like mist; the Fallen spirits cowered, aetherial spear and shield a-tremble in their airy hands; and the cold brains of the war-machines of the Lost would not open fire with their planet-destroying weapons without the support of their allies. Even the deathless Titans of your timeless people, the prelapsarians, were astonished, and they paused, even though they could not be made afraid."''
* DueToTheDead: They have to bury some corpses they come upon, though they know nothing of the dead.
* DumbBlonde: Used as an insult to the blonde, quite brainy, but also quite inexperienced/naive Amelia.
* EnemyCivilWar: Part of the backstory, and connected to why the orphans are in the school.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Grendel, who has a reverence for his mother more honest than his reverence for "marriage."
** Mavors, who has been terse but polite until then, summarily threatens to break the kneecaps of anyone who speaks ill of Hera:
--> '''Mavors''': "When she stood up to dad and his philandering, she was called a bitch. When she said nothing, she was called a doormat. No one will speak ill of the Queen Basilissa in front of me."
* EvenEvilHasStandards: [[spoiler: Grendel]] may have drowned hundreds of sailors and drunk their blood, but damnit, he's ''never'' molested a woman outside of wedlock. He's got the skull of a preacher in his shed to officiate, too....
* EveryoneKnowsMorse: Amelia muses that every conspirator should know Morse code, as it makes things simpler.
* ExactEavesdropping: slightly subverted in ''Orphans'', played straight in ''Fugitives''.
* TheFairFolk: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Quentin when he theorizes that Vanity's people [[spoiler: The Phaeanicians]] could have been this in the Homer's ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', he mentions some similarities, like not having to suffer heat, cold, the seasons or weather, having food always ripe etc.
%%* FamedInStory
* FeedTheMole: Amelia ponders what her actions might reveal when the orphans are being spied upon, and how to manipulate it.
* FiveManBand: Played with, in that different characters rotate in and out of the Hero slot according to different circumstances.
** TheHero: Victor, when the situation requires logical, careful planning. Amelia is his Lancer.
** TheLancer: Amelia, who tends to take the lead during battles.
** TheSmartGuy: Quentin. When he takes the Hero role, Victor is his Lancer.
** TheBigGuy: Colin (although he fits TheBrute better). Only gets leadership of the team ''once'' when everybody else is out cold.
** TheChick / TeamMom: Vanity, who enjoys playing up her femininity more than tomboyish Amelia does. Vanity is also unanimously appointed leader after she procures food, dry clothing, and fire (from a single match) after their previous leader dumps them into the ocean.
* FlawExploitation: Every paradigm is vulnerable to another, and a third is vulnerable to it. Working out how to exploit flaws is a major plot thread.
* ForcefulKiss: Amelia tends to run into these:
** Quentin forces a kiss on her to prevent her from saying words that will cause the aerial spirits to drop them out of the air.
** Colin forcefully kisses her several times (it's how he recharges his powers).
** [[spoiler: Boreas]] kisses her after cornering her in a bathtub.
* {{Forgiveness}}:In Titans, Amelia is told to speak the word and the universe will be destroyed in {{Revenge}} [[spoiler: for her killing]]. It is, it turns out, a SecretTestOfCharacter; when she does not speak, they proclaim she forgives her killers and shows that a human can make correct moral judgments. Later, Quentin manages to nullify a {{Curse}} against him [[spoiler: for killing Lamia]] by forgiving her for the injuries she did him.
** Also, this is represented by [[spoiler: Queen Basilissa (Hera)]] who is said by [[spoiler: Cupid]] to be the Lady of Forgiveness, and one of the three goddesses that can [[spoiler: grant the Throne of Heaven]] by this.
* AFriendInNeed: Several people spontaneously help the children.
* GildedCage: The orphanage where the story begins, though the gilding is in the education available, and thus not even apparent to the imprisoned orphans.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Explicitly invoked by Vanity in hopes of [[spoiler: giving Colin the will to turn himself from eagle back to a young man.]] Also see CrowningMomentOfFunny.
* GoGoEnslavement: Grendel has his mother dress up his kidnapped girls like this. ''Her future daughters-in-law.''
%%* GreatBigBookOfEverything
* HappinessInSlavery: Well, not happiness, but [[spoiler: Miss Daw, who as a siren is also a POW, admires and is loyal to Queen Hera.]]
* HiddenDepths: Every character is more than he appears. Even Grendel, though not ''much'' more in his case.
* HiddenInPlainSight: [[SueDonym "Terrance Miles"]] wears punk gear and conceals knives and throwing stars among the zippers and chains on his clothes.
* TheHighQueen: Queen Basilissa (Hera), whom Miss Daw deeply admires and says that she's the only decent one of the Olympians who she respects.
* HomeSweetHome: [[EmotionlessGirl Emotionless Stoic Victor]]'s secret personal desire is to have a wife, home, and children--it being totally logical, after all, to want stability, companionship, and the propagation of his genetic material and personal ideals. Amelia thinks that this view lacks romance.
* HumansAreSpecial: In Titans, [[spoiler: Boggin]] certainly seems to think so, and assures to [[spoiler: Amelia]] that she will come to realize this too, when questioned about [[spoiler: being raised among humans, as humans]] he says:
--> ''You will not believe this now, but in times to come you may. The art and science, poetry and literature, philosophy and thought and myth of mankind exceed the best efforts of the immortal races. Our muses need their artists as much as their artists need our muses. What men had to teach was more rational, fair, and lofty and, in a word, better, than the lessons you would have learned from the Olympians. They are the creatures of Prometheus.''
** There were already mentions of this in Orphans:
--> ''In every human being, there is a spark of divine fire, which makes them sacred. We have nothing like that in us. We are mightier, older, wiser than man, and we do not violate our laws; but Mankind is a finer thing than we are, and some day we will save them from the Demiurge, who made them merely to be playthings. He did not know what he made.''
* IHaveManyNames: The children, as it turns out. And everyone who works in the orphanage.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: In ''Fugitives'', this briefly happens to Amelia when Grendel gets hold of her. He intends to marry her. See EvenEvilHasStandards as to ''how''.
* IKnowYourTrueName: Done by one of the villains late in the trilogy, as an attempt to control Quentin.
* InHarmsWay: Amelia says boys want this: Victor points out that ''she'' dos.
%%* InsubstantialIngredients
* ItWasaGift: Mrs. Wren gave them peculiar birthday gifts. Romus also gives Amelia and Quentin gifts in Fugitives of Chaos.
* JerkassGods: Ingeniously examined. In this universe, moral laws have definite weight, which is why every supernatural species is leery of breaking them. Olympians, however, can define and change morality and destiny, which means they don't have to pay heed to them. At all.
* KingIncognito: The "head of the board of visitors and governors," [[spoiler: Hephaestus.]]
* LanguageOfMagic: Quentin's power isn't the "blast them" kind of power--he merely knows things like [[ArcWords the true name of the first salmon.]]
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: At the end of the first book. And, as it turns out, [[spoiler: the beginning as well]].
* LastOfHisKind: Miss Daw is the last of the [[spoiler: sirens.]]
* LikeBrotherAndSister: The orphans--theoretically. In the first book, Amelia states that she has long been aware that they are, mostly, ''not'' "the Three Musketeers plus two". However, Amelia and Vanity are noted to be "sisters, though not by blood," and the same to be said about the boys.
* LosingYourHead: Orpheus and Bran. In Orpheus' case, it doesn't prevent him from showing up to the conference, or playing his music.
* LoveTriangle: Amelia, Victor and Colin, though amusingly Amelia fails to figure this out for a long time.
* MadeASlave: The music teacher, Miss Daw, claims to Amelia that she is a POW. [[spoiler: as a Siren, she is also a Uranian and has the same powers as Amelia.]]
* MagicAIsMagicA: Each of the orphans has their own distinct magical system, with extremely defined worldviews and interactions (and limitations) with each other. And Magic B is Magic B, and Magic C is Magic C... they get up to Magic F.
%%* MaliciousSlander
* MamaBear: Echidna, [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes Grendel's mother.]] Her son dying sets off a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the ''God of war'' himself. See CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* ManipulativeBastard: Headmaster Boggin can usually play the orphans like violins.
* ManlyTears: after Amelia explains to Colin that a certain picture shows [[spoiler:his loving parents being forced to [[ParentalAbandonment give him up at birth]] as a hostage, and Colin contemplates how he has lived his entire childhood in the care of hostile strangers]], Colin cries.
* {{Masquerade}}: The gods are secret from man.
* MeaningfulName: The orphans chose their own names. This became quite important towards the end.
%%* {{Metaphorgotten}}
* AMillionIsAStatistic: Characters discuss saving a cruise ship that they are on vs. ''endangering the universe''.
* MindOverMatter: Colin's power allows him to shape reality via his desires.
* MoreDeadlyThanTheMale: Amelia, as the most dangerous of the orphans.
* MsFanservice: [[ReluctantFanserviceGirl Amelia from necessity]], [[UnreliableNarrator so she keeps insisting]], Vanity far more enthusiastically
* MutuallyExclusiveMagic: There is a sophisticated system involving four paradigms of power, each with a specific weakness to a different paradigm and the power to trump another. Plus two composite paradigms.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Several characters have or were noted not to have left any remains behind, in most cases because they were indeed still alive.
* NotQuiteDead: In Book 2, [[spoiler: Colin]] is temporarily presumed dead after falling off a roof, whilst trying to brain Boggins with an axe handle.
* NumericalThemeNaming: Their original names -- Primus, Secunda, etc.
* OmnicidalManiac: One god is out to destroy and remake the universe.
* OrderVersusChaos: The Olympians vs the Uranians. The Olympians want to make the universe run according to established laws (including morality and gravity); while the Uranians want to demolish the tyranny of said laws.
* OrphanageOfFear: The orphans are aware that they are being drugged and held prisoner, though they don't know why, how, or by whom.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent
* ParentalAbandonment: The title orphans never knew their parents. [[spoiler: All of whom are, in fact, alive, but had to surrender their children as hostages to the [[Myth/GreekMythology Olympians]].]]
* PhysicalGod: Lots of them, including some mythological gods.
* ThePowerOfRock: [[TricksterArchetype Colin]] unlocks his powers by playing rock music. DeadpanSnarker Amelia notes that if he hadn't been playing in the middle of a war, the resultant noise would have been [[DreadfulMusician pretty bad.]]
* PowerOfTrust: Amelia recounts a fantastic story and all the other children immediately vote that they are in a crisis and must take all precautions. She is moved by their trust.
* PowerNullifier: Half the purpose of the school is this.
%%* ThePromise
* PromotionToParent: Amelia and Victor, being the oldest, consider themselves to be the de facto parents of the other children.
%%* RestrainingBolt
* RunningGag: Quentin's "The true name of the first Salmon." It later becomes a CrowningMomentOfAwesome when he uses said name [[spoiler: to turn a group of Maenads into fish.]]
* SacredFirstKiss: Amelia is saving hers for Victor. [[spoiler: She kisses all of the other orphans first, though. Even Vanity.]] Chronologically, Victor is the ''last'' person she kisses in the entire trilogy.
%%* SecretLegacy
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Amelia is at one point offered the ability to save herself from a nasty scrape by destroying Earth. [[spoiler: this is a test of whether someone raised on Earth, as a human, can have the strength of character to resist.]]
* ShoutOut: Many. There is banter mangling together the ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' and [[Creator/RichardWagner Wagner's Ring Cycle.]] When Amelia and Victor are talking on [[spoiler: the ''Queen Elizabeth 2'']], about what a young man wants, she rattles off something very similar to the "Roc's Egg" monologue from Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/GloryRoad''.
** Also notable is one point in the second book when the Orphans need to get past a locked, magically trapped door and Quentin uses one of the incantations Gandalf used on the Moria-Gate. Nothing happens.
--> ''Quentin:'' That would have worked if these had been dwarf doors.
** Also per WordOfGod, the series is a PerspectiveFlip of''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'', with the Olympians mapping out to the various Amberite factions.
* ShownTheirWork: Concerning the gangs trip to Mars: "astronomers can figure out what year the scene takes place, because I established the orbital positions needed for a Hohmann transfer orbit".
* ShowSomeLeg: exploited by both Vanity and Amelia in order to distract male captors/adversaries.
* ShutUpKiss: Don't tell a boy to put you down when you're both being held aloft by aerial spirits.
* SoProudOfYou: Most notably in the final book when [[spoiler: Boreas]] tells Amelia that he is proud of who and what she has become.
* SophisticatedAsHell: All over the place. Most amusingly done by Mavors, who speaks in a combination of FloweryElizabethanEnglish and military(esque) slang.
--> '''Mavors:''' "Whoso seeks to slay one of the Children of Chaos, dies. No second chances, no repeals, no phone calls from the Governor, just a pilum up the fundament."
* SpeakOfTheDevil: Saying certain beings' names draws their attention. This is especially bad when someone called [[PeopleToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Mother of Monsters]] has just found out where you are.
* SpockSpeak: Victor and Dr Fell, being [[spoiler: robotic.]] This makes their pre-battle banter somewhat... odd.
* StandardFemaleGrabArea: Amelia has a slight tendency towards this, at least at first.
* StealthInsult: Boggin's conversation with [[spoiler: Centurion Infantophage]] is loaded with these.
* TheStoic: Victor and Quentin both behave like this most of the time.
* SuccessionCrisis: Part of the reason the orphans have been in the school so long is [[spoiler: there is dispute over who should take the throne of Olympus now that Zeus is dead.]]
* SympathyForTheDevil: Amelia feels sorry for Glum--despite his trying to kidnap/rape her--because he is simply so pitiable, lonely, and outclassed.
* TalkingAnimal: Lelaps the hound, Glum's dog, pops up for one scene. He hopes that the kids will remember him helping them out later on.
%%* TalkingInYourDreams
%%* TakeAThirdOption
* TakeThat:
** Amelia's musing after reading Literature/{{Ulysses}} on how Joyce should have sued his publisher for all the typographical errors. Probably a general TakeThat to TrueArtIsIncomprehensible.
** Also done to Kant, whose books are the only ones in the library that don't give off any [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience usefulness-light]] when Amelia looks at them with her higher senses.
* TapOnTheHead: Amelia tried to do this to Headmaster Boggin, but failed, probably because she didn't really want to cave his head in.
* TheyHaveTheScent: Namedropped when Grum sets Lelaps on Vanity and Amelia's trail: he finds them, turns away, and starts to bay, running off. Grum comments that he's found the scent.
* ThroughHisStomach: The first sign of Victor returning Amelia's regard is when he complements her cooking.
* TimeAbyss: [[spoiler: Amelia's]] people, The Prelapsarians, are said to be from before the Fall of Man (or Adam) and said not to suffer the pass of time whatsoever
** It's also implied [[spoiler: by Cupid]] her own son, that Lady Cyprian (Venus) may be older than Chaos or Old Night
%%* TricksterArchetype:
* TrueLoveIsExceptional: Mulciber attempts to bribe Amelia by offering her her True Love on a platter.
* UnableToSupportAWife: A motive to keep quiet about love.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Amelia remembers Quentin like this.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Quentin can eventually create golems and swap shapes between them. Colin, whose power is "wishing really hard" can transform himself into other shapes, notably an eagle and a pterodactyl, if he '''really''' wants to.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Sort of, [[spoiler: The four factions of Chaos]], want to overthrow the [[spoiler: Olympians]] and destroy Cosmos, but one of their main motivations (well at least for two of them) is to free humans form the suffering of time and fate,the later being indeed controlled by the gods, who according to the [[spoiler: Creatures of the Void]] sees them as playthings (see {{Humans are Special}} above)
* WeNeedADistraction: This is Colin's default job, being loud, distracting, and obnoxious. His finest hour? Staging a "conversion experience" in a crowded Easter service to allow Amelia to begin arrangements for their escape.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: See SecretTestOfCharacter
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