is a Science Fiction
novel by Andre Norton
The planet Clio had been seeded by the now gone Psychocrats, whose experiments are invariably sealed when found, for fear of what discovering their origin will do to the inhabitants. The possibility of a Forerunner installation, however, has Roane accompanying her Uncle Offlas and cousin Sandar to an attempt to secretly retrieve it.
Roane, however, stumbles into a princess's kidnapping and becomes deeply involved in the Feudal Future
world and learning what the Psychocrats did.
- Abusive Precursors: The Psychocrats
- Action Dress Rip: Princess Ludorica does this once Roane has broken her loose; her skirt won't let her run
- Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The lure that brought them to the planet.
- A Father to His Men: Nelis Imfry, leading to their loyalty
- A Friend in Need: Roane; the locals are shocked that she would be rejected for it.
- After-Action Patchup: Roane for Nelis Imfry
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: Human non-interference actually
- All of the Other Reindeer: Roane's family does not treat her well.
- Angry Guard Dog: The dire hounds. Hiding behind them works very well.
- Arranged Marriage: Imfry mentions his sister was "ringed" to the son of his father's best friend.
- Beauty Is Bad: Sandar is amazingly good looking; Nelis Imfry, less so.
- Because Destiny Says So: Why Roane told Imfry — according to Imfry.
- Bothering by the Book: One rescuer jests that he is doing his duty.
- The Chase: A fake trail is set to distract from a man too wounded to move.
- Come to Gawk: Nelis Imfry is exposed as part of his punishment.
- Damsel in Distress: Princess Ludorica, abducted from her bed and chained
- Damsel out of Distress: Princess Ludorica thinks quickly even while prisoner.
- Dances and Balls: The princess is looking forward to one, in a place where she thinks herself safe.
- Distressed Dude: Nelis Imfry, charged with crimes once the Ice Crown controls the new queen
- Dream Apocalypse: Threatened, but by a madman
- Dream Spying: Roane does this once.
- Due to the Dead: The new queen and her women wear formal mourning for the king.
- Feudal Future: Kings, nobles, etc.
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!: Nelis concludes that the dangers of breaking the device are worth it.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Under the crown's influence.
- Heir Club for Men: Downplayed: the king would have preferred a prince, but his granddaughter can inherit.
- Human Sacrifice: Roane saw one in the Back Story.
- Hypnotize the Princess: Used after the second kidnapping
- Love at First Sight: Downplayed; Roane merely finds Nelis Imfry striking.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Roane doesn't believe something is destiny but only pure chance.
- Mind-Control Device: the crowns, with a long reach
- Nice to the Waiter: The princess remembers those presented to her once, and knows peasant customs.
- The Oath-Breaker: Princess Ludorica realizes she let slip too much to Roane.
- Obstructive Code of Conduct: Roane must not make contact
- Parental Abandonment: All the main characters
- Parental Favoritism: Uncle Offlas toward Sandar
- Parental Substitute: Uncle Offlas appears to be Roane's guardian; her parents are never mentioned
- The Pardon: When Princess Ludorica thinks Roane a smuggler, she promises this and money to for help.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Princess Ludorica says that her grandfather is quite right to use her as a tool to save the country.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: The title crown, and those of other countries. They are used as mind control devices
- Ruritania: IN SPACE!
- Secret Underground Passage: For penetrating the city.
- Succession Crisis: The disappearing Ice Crown is a problem — she has a cousin whose title is not as good as hers, but if he gets the crown. . . .
- Textile Work Is Feminine: An inn maid mentions she made the clothes Roane's getting.
- They Have the Scent: The Duke insists the hound master try for this.
- Thicker Than Water: At the end, used to explain a relationship.
- Waking Up Elsewhere: Roane and the princess are drugged in a coach, and get this trope
- Youngest Child Wins: Clio practices ultimogeniture.