Den of Shadows (also known as Nyeusigrube) is a series of vampire/shapeshifter/witch books written by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. Although there are small crossovers among books, all of the books are stand-alone novels (with the exception of Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass). Atwater-Rhodes wrote the first book, In the Forests of the Night, when she was only 13, and published it when she was 15.The first books were published between 1999 and 2002. After Midnight Predator, Atwater-Rhodes took a break to write the Kiesha'ra series, but returned to Den of Shadows in 2008 with the release of Persistence of Memory. Following the release of Promises to Keep, Atwater-Rhodes announced that the series had officially ended, but that she would continue to write books set in Nyeusigrube.These books take place in the same universe as the Kiesha'ra and Maeva'Ra series, albeit several thousand years later.Den of Shadows books:
Aborted Arc: It's mentioned in Poison Tree that there's a conflict going on between Risika and her brother, but if Promises to Keep turns out to be the last Den of Shadows book, this will go unresolved and unseen.
Abusive Parents: Dominique is a somewhat mild example, but an example nonetheless.
Action Girl: Tons of them. There's Sarah and Adia in Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass, Turquoise and Ravyn in Midnight Predator. Also, Risika in In the Forests of the Night, after she Took a Level in Badass.
Adults Are Useless: Not entirely true, since Turquoise, Aubrey, and Risika and technically adults (despite the author writing them when she was a teenager), but nobody has useful parents - Dominique is a villain, and everyone else's parents are dead.
Aerith and Bob: On one hand, there are names like Jessica, Anne, Sarah, Nathaniel, and Dominique. On the other hand, you have Fala, Jaguar, Shevaun, and Risika.
All There in the Manual: A lot of the information about this universe can be found not in the books, but by going onto message boards about the author.
All Your Powers Combined: Both variants show up in the climax of Promises to Keep: First, it's revealed that Shantel was leeching power from basically all the other elementals; then, in order to save the day, Jay and Brina summon all the elementals in one go.
Always Chaotic Evil: Most vampires think this about witches, and most witches think this about vampires. Subverted both ways in Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass.
Ambiguously Brown: Nathaniel is described simply as "dark-skinned", with no real detail given.
Animorphism: This applies to the shape shifters. Vampires can also turn into certain animals.
Antagonist Title: Midnight Predator, sort of. There's some question as to who the 'Midnight Predator' actually is. It could be Jeshickah or Lord Daryl, meaning that this trope applies. But it could also be Turquoise, meaning that it doesn't.
Anti-Climax: Midnight Predator is a rather weird example. The first 200 pages lead up to a battle that's not quite a climax. Then we get what seems to be a resolution, and then we get the climax in the last chapter, after which the book cuts off abruptly.
Jessica gets a brief mention in In the Forests of the Night.
Caryn and Dominique both make minor appearances in Demon in my View.
If this troper's memory serves correctly, Jeshickah and Jaguar were both mentioned in Shattered Mirror.
Assassin Outclassin': It takes Turquoise and Ravyn a ridiculously long time to even get a chance to assassinate Jeshickah, although this was more due to their stupidity than Jeshickah being good. In the end, they just assassinate Lord Daryl instead.
Asskicking Equals Authority: An interesting variation. How hard a person fights as a human before being turned equals how powerful they become as a vampire.
Author Appeal: Most of the books take place in or around Concord, Massachusetts, which is where Atwater-Rhodes grew up.
Author Avatar: Jessica seems to be pretty similar to Atwater-Rhodes in a lot of ways. In the story, Jessica has just published her first story about vampires, after having written many more. According to Word of God, this was pretty much identical to Atwater-Rhodes's situation when she was writing the book.
Backstory: Jessica wrote a book called 'Dark Flame' that apparently gave Aubrey's full backstory. There's many a Fan Fic showing what that might be like.
Bad-Guy Bar: There's one in New Mayhem - Risika and Aubrey have their final showdown there, and later, Aubrey and Fala do most of their conversing there.
Badass: This being a series about vampires and their hunters, there are tons. Just a few: Sarah, Turquoise, Ravyn, Aubrey, Adia, Jay, Dominique, and Zachary. And, of course, plenty of sub tropes apply as well:
Badass Crew: The organization that Turquoise and Ravyn belong to.
Badass Minds Think Alike: Played with in Midnight Predator with Turquoise and Ravyn; they never make any plans before going into battle, but they're only somewhat successful at first, and they never kill Jeshickah together.
Children Forced To Kill: It's implied in Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass that Sarah and Adia started killing vampires at an incredibly young age.
Clear My Name: Nikolas didn't do a lot of the things the Vida line accused him of in Shattered Mirror, although he doesn't actively work to clear his name. He's eventually forgiven. The same thing applies to Kaleo, except that he actually did a lot of the crimes he was accused of. [[spoiler: He was forgiven anyway, although Sarah wanted to kill him in the beginning of All Just Glass.
Contrived Coincidence: In Shattered Mirror. Sarah just happens to meet Christopher and Nissa, Nikolas's siblings, in school right before she finally finds Nikolas.
Cool and Unusual Punishment: In Shattered Mirror, after Dominique finds out Sarah was having contact with vampires, she restricts her magic and threatens to take it away entirely.
Cool Loser: Jessica is described to actually be quite attractive, but everyone avoids her due to her origins.
Covers Always Lie: The cover of Midnight Predator. It's probably supposed to be Turquoise standing in front of the entrance to Midnight, but it's described completely differently in the book. Not to mention that Turquoise appears to be naked. We have no comment on that.
This applies to the cover of Shattered Mirror as well, albeit to a much lesser extent. It's probably supposed to be a drawing that Nikolas gave to Sarah. The only problem is that in the actual drawing, the two people were standing back to back, not side by side.
Death by Genre Savviness: Jessica gets turned into a vampire (a form of dying) due to her being so Genre Savvy that she released books accurately chronicling the lives of vampires without their permission.
Deceased Parents Are the Best: The series is fond of this trope. Risika, Jessica, and Turquoise all have both parents dead, Sarah's father is dead, and Erin's mother is dead. The only living parents we ever see are Dominique and Erin's father.
Defictionalization: Inverted then subverted in the transition from In the Forests of the Night to Demon in my View; at first, it seems like defictionalization in reverse (so it's fictionalization?), but then it turns out it all really did happen.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: It's incredibly easy to take Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass as a metaphor for homosexuality. Considering that Atwater-Rhodes herself is gay, this is very likely.
Emergency Stash: Sarah, and presumably other Vida witches, are shown to keep weapons everywhere. Literally, everywhere where people won't be suspicious, she has weapons.
Emergency Transformation: Sassy gave Erin some of his blood, allowing her to change into a hyena, in order to save her life while Shevaun's mind was breaking down.
Aubrey made Jessica a vampire so that Caryn could heal her more effectively.
Also happens at the end of Shattered Mirror to Sarah.
The End... Or Is It?: Turquoise and Ravyn never manage to kill Jeshickah by the end of Midnight Predator.
Demon in my View ends with Jessica turned into a vampire... yet she's still writing stories, and there are plenty of vampires that would probably like to kill her.
Enfante Terrible: While not what Jessica's mother thought, going unborn for two decades in a vampiric womb made Jessica more Siete's child than the child of either of her parents. Her mother gave her up because she couldn't take the reminder of that portion of her life.
Epigraph: All of the books begin with a poem. The title of the story is often taken from that poem, as in In the Forests of the Night and Demon in my View.
Of course, there is some question as to whether or not Jaguar counts as evil. Yes, he was running Midnight, which is basically a command center for the slave trade, but he is much less harsh than other slave owners, and he ends up helping Turquoise more than he harms her.
There's also the fact that New Mayhem, a city for vampires, doesn't allow the slave trade.
Everybody Lives: There's a surprisingly small amount of death in these books. Nobody dies in In the Forests of the Night, Shattered Mirror, Persistence of Memory, or All Just Glass.
Evil Pays Better: Presumably the reason Jaguar allows the slave trade in Midnight despite not really liking it.
Expy: One of the criticisms that the series receives is that its characters are all carbon copies of each other. In particular, this criticism applies to the similarities between Aubrey, Christopher, Jaguar, and Zane (from the Kiesha'ra series).
It probably doesn't help that Aubrey and Jaguar are somewhat underdeveloped, making superficial similarities seem much larger.
Fully-Embraced Fiend: In the Forests of the Night is about Risika gradually accepting her place in the world as a vampire.
Also, Fala, Moira, Aubrey, Kaleo, Lord Daryl, Jaguar, Jeshickah, Jessica, and Nikolas are all pretty accepting of their vampirism.
Generation Xerox: Sarah falls in love with a vampire and rebels against her family to keep this romance. Turns out, so did Dominique.
Genre Savvy: Jessica is one of the best examples there is. Having written almost 20 novels about the vampire world, she knows more about it than some actual vampires.
The Ghost: Siete in Demon in my View. He never shows up and is only mentioned in Jessica's thoughts, but ends up having a pretty big impact on the plot anyway.
Ghost Memory: Erin has some hints of Shevaun's memories because of the way that they're linked to each other, such as how they're both good at foreign languages.
Jessica's stories come from Siete, whose memories she gained because her mother was kept pregnant with her for twenty years due to his magic. (Ironically enough, Siete acts as The Ghost in Demon in my View.)
Gone Horribly Right: In Promises to Keep, Jay's attempt to free Pet's mind leads to the elemental bonded to her starting a war with Leona, causing horrible "natural disasters" and nasty side-effects to every being bonded to Leona (read: basically all of Nyeusigrube).
Good Is Boring: Jessica's favorite character in "Tiger, Tiger" (In the Forests of the Night) is Aubrey, the villain.
Good Is Not Nice: Every single protagonist the series has ever had, with the possible exception of Erin.
Gray and Grey Morality: The entire point of Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass is that this applies to real life. Ironically enough, some of the other books don't have this morality.
Gray And White Morality: Risika is definitely good, but Aubrey is more of an Anti-Villain. The same thing applies to Turquoise and Jaguar in Midnight Predator, although it's zigzagged somewhat in that Lord Daryl (and probably Jeshickah) really are evil.
Growing Up Sucks: Played with in In the Forests of the Night and Midnight Predator.
This could also apply to Dominique's backstory that we get in All Just Glass.
Happily Ever After: Persistence of Memory ends with Erin becoming a hyena shapeshifter with Sassy, apparently doing nothing but roaming around and having a good time with him. All her problems were solved, and she doesn't appear to have a whole lot of difficulties.
Happily Married: They're not technically married, but Shevaun and Adjila sure do act like it.
Hero Antagonist: All Just Glass basically features a bunch of protagonists trying to kill each other. The only major character who isn't a protagonist is Dominique, and even she's more neutral than evil.
Hypocrite: Caryn Smoke. Despite being part of Single Earth, an organization working to stop witches and vampires from hunting each other, she still gives medical support to the witches who hunt vampires.
Really, everyone who appears in Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass act hypocritical at one point or another.
I Am a Monster: Christopher struggles with this. Nissa does too, to a lesser extent.
I Am Not My Mother: Sarah feels this way, and Adia does too, to a lesser extent. Neither of them state it outright.
I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Adia uses this in All Just Glass to get away from a vampire who was talking to her about Sarah's whereabouts.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Very powerfully done with Siete towards Jessica's mother. He'd offered to turn her for years, and it's clear he was in love with her, but he backed off when she married. However, when an accident left her widowed, pregnant, and desperate, he agreed to turn her when she asked. He also didn't seek revenge on her or Jessica after she found a way to turn back.
I Will Find You: It's been the Vida line's mission to find and kill Nikolas for two hundred years! And he was in the same town as them the entire time! And by the end of All Just Glass, he's still not dead!
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass, the only two books in the series to be closely interconnected, both have titles that reference glass.
Idiot Ball: Nikolas in Shattered Mirror. He's aware that Sarah is trying to kill him and knows where he lives, yet he does nothing about this.
Or, to cite a much bigger example, Turquoise and Ravyn in the beginning of Midnight Predator. They go into Midnight planning to kill Jeshickah. Yet, they go in without a weapon because they think it will be detected. For... some reason.
Important Hair Cut: One of the times that Shevaun took over Erin, she tried to cut off Erin's long hair, due to Shevaun having shorter hair. This resulted in some pretty bad cuts on Erin's neck. Erin cut her hair to shoulder length and never wore it longer.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold / Villain Decay: In a very extreme example, Aubrey goes from being the villain in In the Forests of the Night to being one of the two protagonists in Demon in my View.
Karma Houdini: In spite of the fact that he did do good things, the fact stands that Nikolas did indeed kill Elizabeth Vida, as well as a whole lot of others. But he never owns up to this, and everyone seems to forget about it.
The same thing happened to Kaleo.
Karmic Death: The Rites of Kin are all about doing this to any vampire that kills a Vida witch. They're not used a whole lot until Sarah becomes a vampire.
Turquoise kills Lord Daryl because of his mistreatment of her while she was a slave, in order to further her happy ending.
The reason that the Vida line is so dedicated to killing Nikolas is that he killed Elizabeth 200 years ago. But they never succeed.
“Love is the strongest emotion any creature can feel except for hate, but hate can't hurt you. Love, and trust, and friendship, and all the other emotions humans value so much, are the only emotions that can bring pain. Only love can break a heart into so many pieces. ”
Mid-Season Twist: It's hard to say whether or not this really applies, since the books are so loosely connected. But there were three reveals in All Just Glass, the seventh episode of the series. The twists were that Dominique killed Sarah and Adia's father, Zach was blood-bounded to Olivia, and Dominique was a rebellious teenager.
Mind Rape: Battles between vampires basically consist of them trying to do this to each other.
When Jessica publishes a book featuring the real lives of a bunch of vampires, general consensus from the vampire community is that she must be killed. Aubrey is originally sent to do it, but it stops working out when he finds out that she's his Anti-Magic and he falls in love with her. So Fala decides to do it herself. This doesn't really work out either, although it comes pretty close.
It's deconstructed in Shattered Mirror with Dominique a couple times. She thinks she has to kill Nikolas as punishment for his killing of Elizabeth Vida, so the Vida line hunted him down for years without much success. Then, Sarah gets turned into a vampire and Dominique calls on the Rites of Kin to get her killed. Both cases result in Dominique being proven wrong, and neither Nikolas nor Sarah die.
Jaguar thinks this about Jeshickah, which is why he had Turquoise and Ravyn go into Midnight to kill her. Then, when Turquoise finds out that Jaguar is in Midnight, she takes a roundabout journey to decide that he has to die. She actually succeeds, for once, and without even going through much trouble.
New Rules as the Plot Demands: The series is hilariously inconsistent about whether vampires can shape-shift or not. In some books, such as In the Forests of the Night and Midnight Predator, vampires shape-shift all the time. In others, such as Demon in my View and Shatterd Mirror, it doesn't even occur to them, even in situations where it would really make sense to.
Can getting a certain shapeshifter's blood in your veins turn you into that kind of shapeshifter? It can now!
Only Known by Their Nickname: Turquoise purposely keeps her real name (Catherine) a secret from others. And then when she gets into Midnight, she comes up with another pseudonym so that no one will recognize her as Turquoise or Catherine.
Even a lot of fans forget that Risika's human name was Rachel, despite the fact that she's referred to by it for half of In the Forests of the Night.
What, you didn't actually think Sassy was his real name, did you?
Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Midnight Predator ignores the resolution of everyone except Turquoise and Lord Daryl. And the only reason that it even addresses Lord Daryl is because he's dead.
Our Vampires Are Different: Not only can they pass for normal humans, they can also turn into animals. Sort of. They can also walk in sunlight, although it's implied that they're naturally nocturnal. Also, they have no weakness for holy objects.
Out-of-Genre Experience: Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass read much more like traditional vampire novels than the rest of the series.
Also, Token of Darkness is the only book in the series to feature no vampires, witches, or shape shifters.
Parental Marriage Veto: More like parental dating veto. In Shattered Mirror, Dominique didn't approve of Sarah being in love with Christopher, to say the very least.
Pitbull Dates Puppy: Sarah and Christopher, although Christopher has his moments. Also, Sassy dating Erin.
Plot Armour: In-universe, Shantel gives this to Jay before declaring war on Leona and wreaking havoc among the magical population.
Plot Triggering Death: Sarah technically died when she became a vampire, which fueled the plot of All Just Glass. Not to mention that Dominique insists on saying that she's dead, even though she's just a vampire.
Poor Communication Kills: Pretty much fuels the plot of All Just Glass. If everyone had talked to each other from the beginning, there would be no plot.
Purple Prose: One of the criticisms that the earlier books (the ones Atwater-Rhodes wrote when she was a teenager) have gotten is that she used fancy words just to prove that she could. The later books toned toned this down some, although not very much.
Reluctant Warrior: Sarah. Adia becomes this in All Just Glass because she has to kill Sarah or be disowned.
Supervillain Lair: Whether or not the 'supervillain' part really applies or not is debatable, but Nikolas has a really nice house.
Swiss Cheese Security: There's nothing to stop witches or vampire hunters to intrude on vampire get-togethers.
Take Me Instead: When Brina comes looking for her lady's maid, Jay offers to come "help out for a while" rather than risk Midnight coming after his family and SingleEarth because he was the one who freed Pet.
Taking the Bullet: In one of the more touching moments of Demon in my View, Anne lets herself be killed instead of Jessica, showing that despite their dysfunctional relationship, they really did care about each other.
What Could Have Been: According to Word of God, there were around 5 books that were written before In the Forests of the Night that were never published. One was lost entirely after Atwater-Rhodes got a computer virus, and the others are probably still sitting around in her computer.
What Is Evil?: The whole theme to Shattered Mirror and All Just Glass is asking if vampires, witches, both, or neither are evil.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: After Sarah is turned into a vampire, Dominique refuses to exist that Sarah still exists, and wants to kill "the creature that replaced her".
Your Vampires Suck: Averted in Demon in my View. In fact, it probably would've turned out better for Jessica if her vampire sucked - instead, they were so accurate that vampires tried to kill her for releasing personal information about their lives without permission.