Literature / Hurog

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Hurog is a series of two books, Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood, written by Patricia Briggs. It is mainly about Ward, who pretended to be stupid ever since his father gave him a beating that would almost have killed him. At the start of the novel, his father died, and Ward has problems to convince everyone that he is fully capable of inheriting and managing the estate.

The death of his father brings about many changes, among them the fact that he inherits Oreg, who he thought was just a ghost. Oreg is actually an immortal being, ''made'' into castle Hurog so that the man who did it (Oreg's own father) would not need any other servants. Things are further complicated by the fact that two noblemen ask Ward to deliver a slave, who had fled to Hurog. Ward will do no such thing, stating that "There are no slaves in Hurog", and flees the place, with his Cute Mute sister Ciarra, Oreg, the slave, and two loyal men of the castle staff in tow.


This series provides examples of:

  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Tisala has a distinctively masculine face that is Covered with Scars from years of fighting. Ward also notes that she's not "slim-fragile" like most tall women, instead having a broad, "square build" that is lean and heavily-muscled, " ...stronger, I [Ward] darsay, than many men."
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Averted. Other, spoileriffic examples aside, having an abusive father failed to make Ward even a tiny bit evil.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Ward towards his younger siblings.
  • Brawn Hilda: Tisala is a practical application of this trope. She's taller than most men, has a masculine face and a short, practical haircut, is Covered with Scars and callouses, broad-shouldered, lean, and muscular enough to match most men in strength. Ward, of course, is completely smitten by her.
  • Court Mage: Ward's father kept one of those.
  • Dictionary Opening: The book starts with "Hurog means dragon" under the chapter title, and the protagonist repeats the definition in an inner monologue on the second page. It foreshadows much of the plot.
  • Dumb Muscle: Ward pretends to be this.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Oreg's father. Turning Oreg the child into a castle Powered by a Forsaken Child, and, despite Oreg being a powerful mage himself, making it so that Oreg is enslaved to whoever wears a certain ring and can't break this curse ... no mean feat. That evil sorcerer is long dead when the story begins, but there are others, such as Bastilla who is a very powerful, very sadistic mage and the antagonist of the protagonists for much of the plot.
  • Evil Tainted the Place: Castle Hurog is stained by the evil magic that turned the place into a Powered by a Forsaken Child building. This is implied to be the reason why an unusual high number of people don't survive their childhood there, turn mad, or have other things wrong with them. Ciarra, for example, was born mute, with no physical reason to be found. She gets better once the place is de-cursed and she goes to live somewhere else.
  • Faster Than They Look: Ward is assumed to be slow, because of his huge size. He's actually quite fast.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: It turns out that the family's castle was built using magic that involved doing this to a child.
  • Friendly Ghost: Oreg, the family slave/ghost.
  • Half-Human Hybrid:
    • Half the cast have a dragon ancestor several generations back. (Dragons can assume human form.)
    • Axiel is half-dwarf.
  • Haunted Castle: See above.
  • Heroic Build: Ward and Tisala are both extremely tall and heavily-muscled for their respective sexes; Tisala in particular stands out since she is not a busty, statuesque, "slender-yet-toned" Amazonian Beauty, instead having a wide, blocky, muscular frame that rivals most men in strength.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Ward seems to be immune to mind control to some extent. Doesn't help him much, though. The villains have other means. A magician who tried to compel him to do something complained that her magic didn't work on him. She theorized it could be due to his stubborn character and thick skull.
  • Incredibly Inconvenient Deity: In Dragon Bones, the god Aetherveon takes possession of Cute Mute Ciarra, and uses her body to tell the other protagonists cryptic things. This causes Oreg, who tried and failed to protect Ciarra to suffer horribly note  Ciarra's protective big brother Ward is not amused. But that's what you get for camping in the ruins of an ancient temple. Ward is angry at Aetherveon for quite some time afterwards, and refuses to pray to him out of spite, instead summoning Siphern, the god he usually worships, from his homelands. (Deities seem to be usually bound to a place in that universe, but as Ward proves, that is not absolute.)
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Tisala, who has her father's homely, masculine features, including a huge hawklike nose, small, close-set eyes, a long, angular face, a heavy brow ridge and jaw, and a wide, thin-lipped mouth.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When Ward's father is thrown by his horse, causing his death, this is directly connected to his mistreatment of said horse. People believe the stallion to be too dangerous to ride, but Ward manages to tame him, proving that the horse only behaved like a monster because it had been mistreated.
  • Man in the Iron Mask: King Jakoven built the Asylum specifically to lock up his brother Kellen, having been warned in a prophecy that it would be a very bad idea to kill his brother. While it's common knowledge that he's in there, most of the common people seem to have bought the idea that he's genuinely nuts, rather than unjustly imprisoned.
  • Naïve Animal Lover: Ward is thought (partly due to his Obfuscating Stupidity) by other characters to be this with regard to a very vicious horse, but in fact is really a Friend to All Living Things, as he knows his way around horses and the horse in question is actually not so much aggressive as ruined by his violent father. The horse actually killed his father, but Ward decides to keep it and give it a cutesy name.
  • Nice to the Waiter: One of the more obvious signs that Ward is not like his father is the way he treats Oreg.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Brought up and discussed. The heroes come to the conclusion that rape is rape, regardless of any accidental "enjoyment".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Ward started feigning brain damage as a young boy to protect himself from his abusive father. As Ward is officially next in line for his father's title, his apparent incompetence becomes something of an obstacle later on.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Hurog means "Dragon". It turns out the family has dragon blood - dragons can take human form.
  • Our Ghosts are Different: Oreg, who is bound to the head of the family through magic.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Averted with Tisala. It is lampshaded, as Ward notices that despite her badassery, she knows how to wear a dress.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Ward is confronted with the fact that a runaway slave has hidden in his castle. He is asked to return the slave to Ladislaw, a noble he dislikes, because Ladislaw bought the slave from someone who didn't actually own her, and will get in big (maybe lethal) trouble if he doesn't give her back. Ward states that "There are no slaves in Hurog", and therefore, the slave is not a slave, and he won't deliver her to the noble. His uncle later asks him whether he made this decision out of principle, or whether he would have decided differently if he didn't dislike Ladislaw. Ward himself isn't quite sure about his reasons.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Oreg has a flashback to being whipped after laying a curse on one of his old masters. His powerful magic makes the damage real, at least until he can get enough of a grip to heal himself again.
  • Tyrannicide: In Dragon Blood, high king Jakoven is an overall bad ruler, who also kills innocent men and rapes children. La Résistance has been planning his carefully timed demise for some time, and is only waiting for him to dig himself a bit deeper so that even more people will oppose him. After the revolutionaries get the Hidden Backup Prince out of prison, there is nothing that stands between the tyrant and a sharp blade anymore ... at least nothing that would hinder the heroes in any meaningful way.


Alternative Title(s): Dragon Bones, Dragon Blood

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