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Literature: In Serein
"For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a Serein.
The more they warned me to stay away from the Serein, the more I wanted to be one of them.
As simple as that, really.
Of course, there was more.
They told me the Serein were dangerous I thrilled inside.
They told me the Serein were evil I shuddered deliciously
They told me the Serein were insane and I saw the fear in their eyes and wanted that kind of power so badly, I could taste it in my soul.

In Serein is a Dark Epic fantasy/Fantastic Romance trilogy written by Silvia Hartmann following the headstrong Isca on her quest to become one of the Serein, revered and feared alike powerful Magician Monks/Nuns. She is sent by them to the gloomy and angry Lord Lucian Tremain to be trained, and he couldn't care less.

The entire trilogy can be read online at http://inserein.com/

Tropes:

  • Dark Fantasy: So dark it has its own disclaimer: http://inserein.com/sex-and-violence.htm
  • Medieval European Fantasy:
  • Fantastic Romance: Isca and Lucian
  • Epic Fantasy: let's just say that their Fantastic Romance reverberates through the world and reshapes it fundamentally on multiple occasions
  • Love Redeems: So that at the end of the series, Lucian finally can smile and relax and die.
  • Genre-Busting: As the author puts it: It "falls between" established easy-sell categories. It's fantasy fiction, but there are no dragons in it. It's got soldiers and fighting in it, but it is also an intensive love story so you'll have trouble promoting it strictly to the boys, or the girls, and both will be horrified in places. It's got magic in it, but it isn't the sort of fantasy magic that is the staple of fiction.
  • Survival Mantra: "It is the hardest thing of all, the one thing that will show if you have the one true courage. To know that you have failed, that your best efforts have been defeated, to not be able to stand it, to not be able to go on and yet to go on nonetheless."
  • The World Is Just Awesome: When Isca (or another main character) has a good day
  • Constructed World & World Building: With its own fully developed map, kingdoms, detailed cities, rules of magic, history and a High King and the Serein.
  • Web Original: Web Serial Novel
  • Full Spectrum Morality: Almost all characters are this. Some characters, especially Isca and Lucian, even travel all over the spectrum in the course of the series.
  • When He Smiles: Chay Catena: "Chay played with the now empty bottle in his hands, then looked up at me and a smile came across his face. He had an extraordinary smile, like the sun came from behind the clouds. It lit up his face entirely and made him look boyish, charming and quite irresistible."
  • Point of View: First Person Narration
    • Switching P.O.V.: told mostly by Isca, but also Lucian, Marani etc.
    • Sympathetic P.O.V.: experiencing things from Lucian's POV makes you see him in a different light
    • Unreliable Narrator: We only find out that Isca has been in love with Lucian and that he knew it all along the moment she admits it.
  • Character Development: Isca and the other main characters go through tremendous growth during the series and and the end are at a very different place than where they started.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: averted (also serves as a Dramatis Personae of a sort, thus contains minor spoilers)
  • Wham Episode: happens quite alot:
    • Isca and Lucian being in love
    • Lucian technically dying
    • Isca and Lucian killing all the Serein
    • Lucian breaking up with Isca
    • the flashback to Lucian's terrible childhood traumas
    • even the ending itself manages to be this, in a huge way, too huge to spoil here in fact
  • Meaningful Name: Lucian is Latin for light, Isca is Brythonic Celtic for flowing water
  • Unholy Matrimony: How the commoners perceive Isca/Lucian

How to Succeed in EvilFantasy Web OriginalsAn Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom

alternative title(s): In Serein
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