Long ago, a great crisis
destroyed and remade the world. Generations later, the people of the Southern Isles know better
than to go near
the Tower of Regrets
But Princess Anghara
, driven by curiosity and resentment
of her sheltered life
, breaks that ancient law. Seven demons
, representing the sins of humanity, break loose and destroy all that she holds dear. And Anghara—now calling herself Indigo—is granted immortality
by a divine emissary, so as to have time to undo what she has wrought
This Low Fantasy
series, written by the late British author Louise Cooper, has been called "an original take on the Pandora's Box myth."The eight books in the series are:
This series provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Indigo is something of one.
- The Ageless: Indigo and Grimya, maybe. They do not age, but even they don't know whether they can be killed by injury or disease.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Several aversions. Jessamin in Infanta and Carlaze in Troika come to mind. Conversely, Niahrin in Aisling is decidedly a good character; and, while she's attractive enough otherwise, half of her face is horribly scarred.
- Beauty Is Bad: While not every attractive character is evil, most of the evil characters are attractive (and immediately described so). Indigo herself is a subversion; she's stated several times to be fairly attractive, although not much focus is put on her looks.
- Bittersweet Ending:Indigo's long-lost fiancé Fenran resurfaces. Indigo kills him. It's for the best. The endings of several specific books count as well. (For example, in Infanta, Luk Copperguild—aged thirteen—becomes the king of Khimiz after losing his father, his uncle, and the girl he's loved since childhood. And in Troika, Fenran's relatives are freed from a family curse, but not before it devastates them.)
- Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: How Indigo's immortality and Grimya's speech and telepathy are treated at first. (Grimya's immortality, on the other hand, was a reward for being such a loyal friend, and is never treated otherwise.)
- Blind Seer: Karim Silkfleet, in Infanta. Niahrin may partially count as well; she has the second sight in her bad left eye.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp"/Horse of a Different Color: A "chimelo" is either a dromedary (as described by someone with no point of reference except horses) or a sort of impossible camel/horse hybrid.
- Crapsaccharine World: In Nocturne, Indigo and friends see "a breathtakingly beautiful landscape...redolent with an aura of complete and implacable evil" through one of the demon's doorways.
- Dark World: Seen in several volumes, notably Nemesis and Nocturne.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: In Troika, Indigo falls in love with Fenran's identical grandnephew Veness. Veness, unsurprisingly, is dead by the end of the book.
- Dystopia: Joyful Travail, a town devoted to efficiency at any cost. Also Vesinum, ruled by a brutal demon cult.
- Elemental Powers: The most obvious example is Jasker, who's a pyromancer and a priest of a fire goddess.
- Enfant Terrible: Jessamin—a sweet and innocent orphaned princess, raised from infancy to be the bride of a warlord and legitimize his claim on her kingdom—turns out to be the second demon in human form. Bear in mind that Indigo spends over a decade mistakenly thinking that the warlord is the demon's avatar.
- Eyepatch of Power: Niahrin, although her eyepatch represents less outright badassery than the fact that her ruined and very unnerving left eye is magic.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Subverted with Niahrin, half of whose face is a mess.
- Gotta Catch Them All
- Identical Grandson: Veness, a relative of Fenran's, looks eerily like him.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Phereniq Kala will do anything for Augon Hunnamek—who's oblivious to her feelings for him—even if it breaks her heart and ages her before her time. After he's killed by the Serpent who Devours, she sinks into apathy; it's only by challenging her to avenge him—since Augon would have approved—that Indigo gets her to help defeat the demon.
- Lady Macbeth: Carlaze's scheming does a number on the Bray family. She and her husband get their just deserts in the end, but it's pyrrhic as hell.
- Lolicon: Augon Hunnamek plans to marry Jessamin on her twelfth birthday. He later steps that up to her eleventh birthday. Of course, she turns out to be the avatar of the Serpent who Devours...but even so.
- Love Hurts
- Meaningful Name: Indigo takes on that name because the color represents death and mourning in her homeland. The seeress Phereniq is instrumental to Augon Hunnamek's successes; her name is a derivative of Veronica (although she's decidedly not one) or Berenice, both of which mean "bringer of victory." Augon himself has a surname containing the word "human," which may foreshadow the fact that he is not, in fact, the demon in Infanta. The Brabazon family in Nocturne are all named after virtues...and while some of them live up to their names, the rather insufferable Modesty is a blatant subversion.
- Mind Screw: Lots of them.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Grimya again; she usually poses as Indigo's guard dog.
- Our Demons Are Different: They embody the misdeeds and fatal flaws of humanity.
- Our Werewolves Are Different, although Indigo is never expressly identified as a "werewolf."
- Red-Headed Hero: Indigo. (She goes gray in Nemesis, but her hair gradually regains its color as the series progresses).
- Red Herring: Infanta is the most blatant one. Indigo spends the entire book plotting to bring down Augon, thinking that he's the avatar of the Serpent who Devours. And then the real demon—Jessamin—ends up eating Augon.
- Satellite Love Interest: Fenran (to Indigo) and Jessamin (to both Luk Copperguild and Augon Hunnamek). Or so you're led to think; both end up subverted with a vengeance, and not in a good way.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: What sets the entire story in motion.
- Similarly Named Works: While there's some use of Elemental Powers in the series as a whole, that's not a plot point in Avatar, the seventh book. And there are certainly no blue aliens to be found, either. Nor was it written by Poul Anderson.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Indigo and Fenran, or so you spend most of the series thinking, anyway. Also, Moia and Gordo in Troika—until Carlaze interfered, with tragic results—and Yima and Tiam in Avatar (probably the only example in the series that ends well).
- Talking Animal: Again, Grimya, who can also communicate telepathically with (at least) Indigo. She can also speak aloud, although it takes significant effort. When she's first introduced, she's ashamed of her abilities: Her mother and siblings tried to kill her as a pup—although the wolves of the pack she befriends in the final book accept her as she is—and humans tend to mistake her for a demon.
- The Undead: The hushu in Avatar and the ghost in Troika...but not the "vampire" in Nocturne, as that's just one of the demon's illusions..
- Unrequited Love: Infanta practically runs on it. Also seen in Nocturne, Troika, and Aisling.
- Together in Death: Moia and Gordo, again.
- Walking the Earth
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Indigo's immortality is initially presented as a curse.
- Wife Husbandry: Augon Hunnamek's plan for Jessamin in Infanta. It ended very, very badly.