[[quoteleft:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Lightstone_cover_7297.jpg]]
%%[[caption-width:300:some caption text]]

%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.

The ''Ea Cycle'' is a fantasy tetralogy by David Zindell narrated in first person by Valashu Elahad, a prince of Mesh. In the beginning, Val goes on a [[WalkingTheEarth continent-spanning quest]] for the Lightstone, a holy artifact [[CosmicKeystone that the fate of the universe hangs on]]. But Val and his stereotypically diverse group of friends also need to keep the Lightstone safe from Morjin, the BigBad leader of TheEmpire, until the Lightstone can be claimed by its rightful wielder, [[TheChosenOne the Maitreya]].

Expect a lot of talk about chakras and meditation and ascending to a higher state of existence. Zindell is obviously heavily into New Age and [[AuthorTract it shows]].

[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NeedsWikiMagicLove Needs Wiki Magic Love]]
----
!! This book series provides examples of:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: [[{{Medusa}} Jezi Yaga]] ''really'' likes Maram, while he thinks she's hideous.
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Alkaladur can cut through most armor with minimal effort.
* ActionGirl: Atara joined the [[AmazonBrigade Manslayers]] [[RebelliousPrincess against her father's wishes]] and is a crack shot with a bow.
%% AndYourLittleDogToo
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Liljana uses her blue gelstei to read [[BigBad Morjin's]] mind late in ''The Lightstone''. She learns a lot, but [[PerpetualFrowner at the cost of never being able to smile again]].
* ArchEnemy: Valashu and Morjin to each other.
%% AuthorTract
%% AwesomeMomentOfCrowning
%%BackFromTheDead
* BadassBookworm: The Librarians of Khaisham maintain the Great Library and also train themselves to fight and defend it. Unfortunately for them, [[SmugSnake Count Ulanu]] [[WeHaveReserves shows up at the Library with a much larger army]]. They give two apprentices [[FlingALightIntoTheFuture the Library's complete index]]. They think this will be the best thing they can give to future generations as [[HeroicSacrifice they are completely overmatched]] and [[BookBurning the enemy wants to destroy all the books in the Library]].
* BarbarianTribe: The Sarni are nomadic herders and hunters, and don't care very much about history or scholarship.
* BearsAreBadNews: Maram is afraid of bears, and he keeps running into them.
* TheBigGuy: Maram tries to be this. He's overshadowed by Ymiru, and really, [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti all the Ymaniri]].
%% BlackMagic
* BlindSeer: Atara uses her white gelstei to become one after Morjin gouges out her eyes.
* BlindWeaponmaster: Morjin blinds Atara, but she's no less deadly with her bow after that.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Ostriches are seen in desert areas and called "ostrakats". The "barkbark nuts" are identical to betel nuts.
%% TheChosenOne
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: The gelstei crystals.
** Silver can be much harder than diamond and is much less brittle. Val's sword [[CoolSword Alkaladur]] is made of this.
** White allows the user to [[CrystalBall see things that are far away in space or time]].
** Blue is used to communicate across long distances, [[TranslatorMicrobes remove language barriers]], [[{{Telepathy}} or read another person's mind]].
** Green provides the ability to [[HealingPotion heal most injuries]].
** Red allows the user to [[PlayingWithFire shoot firebolts]] if the crystal has been exposed to light.
** Purple can be used to [[MagicTool rearrange the structure of inanimate objects]]. The purple gelstei is [[PurpleIsPowerful rare and difficult to use]].
** Black is [[PowerNullifier the stone of negation]] and is often used to restrain the power of red gelstei.
* CommonTongue: Everyone on Ea except the isolated Maiians speaks the same language.
* CoolHorse: Val's horse Altaru is more intelligent, stronger, and has more endurance than most other horses.
* CoolOldLady: Liljana is this, along with [[MasterChef the cook]] [[SpyMaster and the lady who knows everybody who knows everyone else]].
* CosmicKeystone: The Lightstone is the only piece of golden gelstei in the universe. As such, it's insanely important.
* CrystalDragonJesus: All of the people who don't worship [[BigBad Morjin]] seem to revere a deity known as The One. This deity combines various elements of [[{{UsefulNotes/Deism}} Deism]] and [[{{UsefulNotes/Buddhism}} Buddhism]].
%% CrystalSpiresAndTogas
* CuteMute: Estrella, for the most part. [[ColdBloodedTorture Morjin's priests tortured her, which burned out something in her head.]] The Brotherhood Masters are able to get her to speak for a while by combining their power. Unfortunately, everything she says is [[ProphecyTwist true, but no one can understand it at the time]].
%% TheDarkSide
%% DisneyDeath
%% EarthAllAlong
%% EitherOrProphecy
* ElectiveMonarchy: Mesh is one of these. When the king of Mesh dies, the warriors of Mesh elect a new king from available candidates by simple majority vote.
* TheEmpath: Val has an empathic gift called ''valarda'', which makes him able to feel what anyone nearby is feeling. [[BlessedWithSuck This means if he hurts any of his enemies, he feels all of the pain he's caused them]]. Val does not let this stand in the way of slaughtering any of his opponents.
%% TheEmpire (Morjin's)
* EngagementChallenge: Atara's father demands that Val bring [[MacGuffin the Lightstone]] to him before he will allow Atara to marry Val.
%% EnergyAbsorption
%% EvilCounterpart (Morjin to Valashu)
* EvilOverlord: Morjin plays this almost as straight as it can be played with an [[SupervillainLair underground lair]], [[{{Mooks}} multiple armies]], the ability to create [[PeoplePuppets ghuls]], and the [[LargeHam tendency to brag about his plans]]. Of course, Morjin [[APupilOfMineUntilHeTurnedToEvil used to be an angel]] until he met [[BiggerBad Angra Mainyu]].
%% EvolutionaryLevels (human -> Valari (better human) -> Elijin (angel) -> Galadin (arch-angel) -> Ieldra)
%% {{Expy}} (Kane ~ Kane from Karl Edward Wagner, Astors ~ [[LordOfTheRings mallorns]]...)
* FiveManBand:
** TheLeader: Valashu.
** TheLancer: Maram.
** TheBigGuy: Kane and Ymiru.
** TheSmartGuy: Master Juwain.
** TheChick: Liljana.
** SixthRanger: Atara.
** TagalongKid: Daj and Estrella.
** TeamPet: Flick
* TheGodsMustBeLazy: The Galadin (archangels) are not allowed to set foot on Ea. The Elijin (angels) are not allowed to act on Ea, except for Kane, who's been grandfather-claused in. [[AllUpToYou Humanity is supposed to save itself]] even though Morjin is an immortal [[EvilOverlord Evil Overlord]]. Later, some of the Star People explain the reason behind this: [[WeAreNotGoingThroughThatAgain "The last time we sent angels and powerful warriors to retrieve the Lightstone]], [[NiceJobBreakingItHero they went crazy, killed each other, turned evil, and created the current horrible mess."]]
* GRatedDrug: The ''timpani'' fruit that is available in [[HiddenElfVillage the Vilds]] seems very similar to psychedelics.
%% GreenRocks (gelstei crystals)
%% HeroicSacrifice (used straight and subverted)
* HiddenElfVillage: Multiple locations in Ea are linked to the Vilds, extradimensional forests where [[OurElvesAreBetter the Lokilani]] live. The protagonists tend to find one of these whenever it'd be really convenient for them.
* IHateYouVampireDad: Morjin created (or mutated) a shape-changing creature named Meliadus and called him his son. [[OmnicidalManiac Predictably, he hates everything and everyone, especially his father]].
%% IdiotBall
* JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant: Early on, the protagonists are looking for the Sea People. You'd expect them to be humans who live near the sea. [[FriendlyPlayfulDolphin No, they're dolphins]] [[SapientCetaceans and whales]].
%% TheKingdom
%% LostColony
* LostTechnology: Everyone has forgotten how to create gelstei crystals.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Val immediately falls in love with Atara. She falls in love with him too. [[HeroicVow However, she's vowed to slay 100 men before she marries anyone]], which causes problems.
%% MessianicArchetype
%% MineralMacGuffin
* MuggingTheMonster: A Sarni warrior challenges [[TheAlcoholic Maram]] to a beer-drinking contest. [[CrazyAwesome Maram drinks more beer than any Sarni has ever managed to drink]] while still standing up.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Late in ''The Lightstone'', Maram breaks his firestone by trying to use it when it hasn't absorbed enough sunlight. He continues to carry it. When [[{{Medusa}} Jezi Yaga]] kidnaps him, he convinces her that [[FreudWasRight all his "male power" is bound up in the firestone]], and he'd be better able to satisfy her if it was fixed. [[TheSocialExpert She falls for it]].
* NonActionGuy: [[TheSmartGuy Master Juwain]], [[MasterChef Liljana]], and [[WaifProphet Estrella]] are definitely not action people. Master Juwain is a healer and a [[EncyclopaedicKnowledge walking encyclopedia]]. Liljana is great at support and [[SpyMaster spycraft]]. Estrella has [[MagicCompass a supernatural ability to find lost things]]. All of these things are vital to the success of the quest.
* NorseMythology: Ymiru, Burri, and Audhumla of the Ymaniri, as well as Morjin's dragon Angurboda, take their names almost directly from Norse myth.
%%NotQuiteDead
* NotSoDifferent: Morjin sends Val several messages accusing Val of being just like him. [[JerkassHasAPoint He's not entirely wrong.]] Unlike Morjin, Val is [[YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre always trying to be a better person.]]
%% OnlyOne (subverted)
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: The dragons don't breathe fire. They spit out a thick liquid that bursts into flame not long after being exposed to oxygen. [[ArtisticLicenseBiology This is slightly more plausible than biological creatures breathing fire]].
* PeoplePuppets: Morjin can take control of people who serve him, creating ''ghuls'' who [[ProfessionalKiller generally attempt to kill Morjin's enemies]] in a [[AxCrazy very unsubtle way]]. Later, Morjin is able to make ''droghuls'', [[TrulySingleParent creatures shaped out of his own flesh]] that Morjin can control remotely.
%% PlotCoupon
%% PowerCrystal
%% ThePowerOfLove
* PreClimaxClimax: Val and Atara slip away before the final battle and [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex have a good time]].
%% ProphecyTwist
* ProudWarriorRace: Practically every nation, possibly because [[MedievalStasis the world seems to be stuck at a medieval level of technology]] [[PowerCrystal that doesn't involve gelstei]]. The Sarni and the Valari value skill in war more than some other nations.
%% PsychicPowers
* ReallyGetsAround: Maram. If he's anywhere near women, he's always trying to seduce at least one and frequently succeeding. It's implied that he did ''something'' with one of the [[OurElvesAreBetter Lokilani women]], [[HotSkittyOnWailordAction who are about half the size of regular humans]].
* ReligionOfEvil: Morjin's Path of the Dragon is a borderline case that claims to be [[PathOfInspiration good]] but is very bad at hiding it.
%% ScrewDestiny
* SealedEvilInACan: [[BiggerBad Angra Mainyu]], the most powerful evil archangel in the universe, was imprisoned thousands of years ago. If he's ever released, [[{{Precursors}} the Ieldra]] will [[GameOver hit the reset button on the entire universe]]. [[spoiler:During the final battle, Morjin is able to release Angra Mainyu, but refuses to, because he wants to defeat Val himself.]] [[SchmuckBait This does not work out well]].
* StayInTheKitchen: The Valari want their women to raise children, keep house, and be spiritual. In ''The Diamond Warriors'', Behira calls them out on this, says that any women who want to train as warriors should be allowed to, and [[TrainingThePeacefulVillagers takes initiative]]. The women are told to stay behind and defend their homes. [[BigDamnHeroes They disobey that order and ruin Morjin's plans]].
* TakeOverTheWorld: Morjin's goal. [[NearVillainVictory He almost succeeds]].
* TimeAbyss: Kane is thousands of years old and has forgotten more history than any other character knows about.
* TookALevelInBadass: Maram is constantly drinking, trying to seduce women, not very good in combat, and saying [[LovableCoward how much of a coward he is]]. ''Everyone'' is surprised when he wins prizes in wrestling and archery at the Valari Games. Later, he [[TheDragonslayer fights a flying dragon single-handedly and wins]].
* TraumaCongaLine: The second half of ''Lord of Lies'' for Val. First he claims to be [[TheChosenOne the Maitreya]], and when that claim is proved false, [[WeAreStrugglingTogether the alliance of free kingdoms he was trying to set up falls apart]]. Then [[ShapeshifterDefaultForm they find that King Kiritan has been replaced by a shapeshifter]] and the kingdom of Alonia descends into anarchy. Val and his friends ride back to Mesh. Morjin's army then invades Mesh. [[AdultFear They kill all of Val's brothers]], [[YouKilledMyFather kill Val's parents]], [[MacGuffinDeliveryService steal the Lightstone]], and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking trash the castle]]. The warriors of Mesh [[WhatTheHellHero lose all confidence in Val as a result]]. So even though he's the last son of the last king, [[ElectiveMonarchy he doesn't win the support of the majority of the warriors]].
* WaifProphet: Estrella is a young girl who can [[MagicCompass find things]], including [[DowsingDevice water in a part of a desert where everyone believes there is no water]]. [[spoiler: She is also the Maitreya.]]
%% WalkingTheEarth
%% WeCanRuleTogether (Morjin tries this)
%% WhiteMagic
* VerbalTic: Kane is very fond of the word "So." When a word starts with "h", Ymiru replaces it with "hr".
%% YouKilledMyFather
----