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Literature: Light and Dark: The Awakening of the Mage Knight

Are you a Knight of The Light?

Danny Firoth is on the verge of beginning his final year in middle school. The only odd thing to happen on that fateful day is the appearance of new student in school, a beautiful girl named Sabrina Drake. Fascinated by not only her spellbinding looks, but her interest in a popular fantasy card game called Knights, Danny develops a school-age crush. He soon discovers that she is not a human but a drake and her dad is the real life inspiration for a Knights card! They are members of the Order of the Light, a knighthood that protects the world from Shadows and the forces of The Dark.

Seeing his potential, Danny is invited to the White Rock Academy of Illumination to train to become a Knight of the Light. There everyone eagerly awaits the return of the "Mage Knight" who led the Order to victory against the Shadows in ages past and whose return is supposed to mark the end of the war in the Light's favor. However, there are those within the order that would use such a figure to their own advantage. With the help of his friends, Danny must use everything he has learned to thwart the betrayal of someone within the Order of Light before a pricelss treasure is swept into the Eye Of Darkness.

Not to be confused with "Mage Knight" a miniatures wargame using collectible figures, created by Wiz Kids, Inc. This is a YA fantasy novel written by Daniel Fife.


Are these the Tropes of The Light?

  • Action Girlfriend: Sabrina is this for Danny. She's his crush and a Lightborn drake that draws him into the world of knights and monsters.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The shadows don't seem to have any reason for attacking humans.
  • Amazon Chaser: Three of them:
    • Danny has his eyes on Sabrina, a squire one year his senior who can transform into a drake.
    • Doug was first taken by Briza's beauty but becomes even more smitten after seeing her skill with a sword.
    • Chris is Hot for Teacher and that teacher is the hand-to-hand combat instructor.
  • Anchored Ship: At first Sabrina refused to consider a relationship with Danny because she didn't want him to distract her from the Chalice of Light tournament. After she discovers he's the Mageknight, she considers herself a distraction to him.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence / And I Must Scream: Bonded weapons are powered by the souls of former knights. Danny considers it the latter because being trapped in a sword forever sounds like a raw deal. This is part of what drives Syndil to the Dark Side. Sabrina and other knights consider it the former; an afterlife as a new and different being, and consider it a great honor.
  • Audience Surrogate: Daniel Fife makes his target audience clear by stating in the narration that Danny is an Ordinary High-School Student and starting the book on the first day of school when the plot doesn't truly start until the following summer. Until then he's occupied with bullies and crushes.
  • Big Good: The King of the Light, Sir Koltair.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early on, Tyramear gives Danny a dagger to protect himself from future shadow attacks and tells him to never ever go anywhere without it. It seems to have served its purpose when his friends can see it as a dagger instead of a pen, thus proving they have the 'gift of sight' but it turns up again later. In the squire duel. Also subverted He still has the dagger in the climax but realizes it is useless against Gran shadows.
  • The Chosen One: Danny who is revealed to be the Mageknight prophesied to end the war between Order of Light and the Shadows in the Light's favor.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Ghost-Sight. As the name implies, a ghostly foreimage warns the user what their opponent will do just before they do it and thus giving the user precious seconds to counter.
  • Combat Pragmatist: There ain't no rule about bringing a dagger to a sword fight and hiding it on your person until the time is right. Danny wins the squire duel against Rigil this way.
  • Confusion Fu: Alsono's preferred form of combat is being unpredictable. Combined with Fragile Speedster and his opponents have no idea what he's doing at any given moment.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Shadow monsters and everything to do with them involves darkness. Ironically, Dark Is Not Evil comes into play with Calador's awakenings.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sir Fredrick drills his 'sorry lot' of first year squires into the ground.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Elfin culture is based on being straight forward, to the point, and concise. It's very easy for them to sound like this to others and therefore give offense without meaning to.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Rigil has no respect for newbs, including Danny. Then Danny defeats Rigil in a duel and thus proves himself a Worthy Opponent. From then on Rigil calls him 'friend' and 'newb'.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Justified. Danny has good reason to believe Sabrina likes him back but refuses to acknowledge it due to their respective roles. He fully intends to change her mind in the sequel.
  • Empathic Weapon / Living Weapon: Bonded can be one or the other depending on how much of their personality they retain from the conversion and whether or not they're broken. The sword of the Mageknight the latter trope because this knight retains their full sense of self and is capable of lucid communication with his wielder.
  • Evil Mentor: Played with. While Syndil is hinted to be this from his intro and does eventually Face-Heel Turn it's implied that he wouldn't have if the Mageknight had met his expectations. He did his best to develop his powers and those of the other knights until then.
  • Evil Plan: The Shadows want to wipe out life on earth. They're the reason for the trouble. On a more personal level: Syndil wants to find the Bonded containing Danny's father's soul so he can find the Black Bonded. He manipulates Danny into providing him with clues to which one it is. It's implied that his plan is expanded to include measuring the Mageknight's power.
  • For Science!: This trope is why mages are rarely granted membership in the Knights of the Light; they are generally more concerned with research and study than fighting the Shadows. On the whole they are a grey lot.
  • Lady of War: Both Sabrina and Briza are described as fighting with deadly grace and elegance that is also a wonder to behold. The latter has the classy reserve while the former is simply aloof and focused.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Chris is fast, he's tough, and he's strong.
  • Light The Way / Casting a Shadow: Ironically, it's the traitor knight that uses light based awakenings and the loyal knight that uses darkness based ones.
  • Going Native: Doug is so taken by elfin culture (and one member in particular) that he chooses to spend the school year studying abroad in the elfin capital.
  • Jumped at the Call: Danny can't wait to become a Knight of the Light, and neither can his friends. Their first year of training is a test of their comittment to the call.
  • The Obi-Wan: Syndil is set up to be this as he is an old and mysterious veteran who takes Danny under his wing. It's actually Calador who fills the role and almost fufills the death aspect.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: The sword of the original mageknight can only be grasped by his succcessor. This is because only his successor has Ghost Sight, which is necessary to by-pass the optical illussion protecting it.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Downplayed. The elves aren't arrogant and don't look down on others but if a human asks how they heard something or recovered so fast the elf will be quick to respond that their hearing is better and their bodies respond better to magical healing.
  • Magical Incantation: Necessary to use a Bonded's Awakenings. The knight must say the command's name followed by the Bonded's name to activate the spell.
  • The Smurfette Principle: For a long time Sabrina was the only prominent female character other than Danny's mom. When she left the group, she was promptly replaced by Briza. Also, there is precisely one female among the White Rock Academy Instructors.
  • A Spot Of Tea: Elves like their tea. The older generation likes it bland to the point it's hard to find any kind of flavoring in their capital. Briza's generation likes it sweeter. In any case, a guest must accept the tea as it is brewed or give great offense.
  • To Be a Master: No, it's not The Protagonist but Alsono who wants to become the King of the Light.
  • Tsundere Instead of the 'ulra-violent mood swinging' of the modern tsundere, Sabrina is more complex like the classic tsundere. Her 'civilian mask' is friendly and sweet but she's actually aloof and focused on knight training. When she develops feelings for Danny she stubbornly refuses to acknowledge them yet still shows tantalizing displays of affection.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Anthony prefers to mow down opponents with sheer strength. The narration notes that he's so strong this tactic works against opponents with greater skill.
  • Magical Knight School: It's a supernatural school in a hidden location that involves magic and fighting monsters.
    • At one point Danny asks if there are schools like White Rock Academy for wizards instead of knights and the answer is yes.
  • Younger than They Look: Sabrina matures faster as a drake and thus is much younger than Danny.
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alternative title(s): Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight
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