…And listen: now they know who you are. They think you’re here and will look for you obsessively, so it is dangerous for you to come back here. You must be careful, because you mustn’t be caught. And there is something of utmost importance you must know: the war will exterminate everyone. You might be the only one able to stop it. When you come back here again, go north straight away, to the Refugee Camp. Do not delay, and most importantly: let no-one know who you are.’
Murderessnote רוֹצַחַת, rotsakhat is a fantasy novel, and is the first novel by Israeli writer Daya Marnin, the first in The Exiles of Greywall’d Saga series of six parts in total; Marnin started writing it when she was 13 over the course of two years, and is currently working on the next book in the series, Priestess.Lu Killer is a teenage orphan girl from England, who’s been transferred from one boarding school to the next throughout her life, having learned to care little for anything or anyone. One day, when travelling to the next boarding school, James Centre Boarding School, a young boy comes into her cabin and gives her some cryptic instructions, then walks out. She doesn’t think much of it, but then she notices after he’s gone that he knew her name without her ever telling him what it was, but he’s long gone somehow, leaving only his blood-soaked hat for Lu to find.Once she’s arrived at her boarding school, Lu feels strangely compelled to befriend a group of Essex girls, despite her deep contempt for them. She quickly discovers the group leader, Bridget, is holding the girls in line by bullying them using magic, and, more importantly, she has some formidable magic powers herself that she needs to learn how to control, and fast, once she encounters a few people who, strangely enough, call her a murderess and try to kill her.As it turns out, to her horror, she hails from a lineage with the questionable reputation of being horribly, murderously violent. Not only this, but when she meets the boy again, she finds out she has a crucial mission to save the magical world of her ancestors, Greywall’d, and possibly even this one…You can find more about the book on its official website here.
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Action Girl: Lu, to the point it’s instinctive for her.
Adults Are Useless: It seems none of the adults is aware of Bridget’s magical bullying; even if they were, there’s little they could do. It’s implied that the headmistress doesn’t hold her in high regard, but as Bridget mentioned that she uses connections to get what she wants, the other staff members’ position is left unclear.
Aerith and Bob: Minor example on Earth, where there is a girl named Dakota in an English school (Justified, as she’s American), but Greywall’d absolutely loves this trope, featuring relatively normal first names alongside names comprised of legitimate words (translated in the English version) and fantasy names with a vague European sound. Justified again, as Greywall’d is a big place divided into multiple nations and races.
Afraid of Blood: Lu has this in spades, thinking it makes little sense in light of who she is ‘supposed to be’.
Almost Dead Guy: ‘Hat Lad’ parodies it, disclosing as much information as he can to Lu before dying from the wounds inflicted by Professor Cole. Of course, he’s only pretending, and is amused by Lu’s reaction when she discovers he’s alive and well.
Animals Hate Her: Lu, at least on Earth (she seems perfectly capable of riding a horse in Greywall’d). Not that she minds in particular, as they just keep their distance, and she has little interest in them.
Anti-Magic: The Dark Ones use most of their magical ability to prevent others from using theirs in their domain, making Lu unable to cook the rabbit she hunted.
Arboreal Abode: The Lavrice live in the giant trees that grow in their forest.
Arc Words: ‘Hat Lad’ repeats a few key messages to Lu whenever he meets her, but most notably, ‘Good luck, and may fortune prove your ally,’Hebrew בהצלחה לך, ושהמזל הטוב ינחה אותךthe traditional Killer blessing.
Lu, who manages to defeat Professor Cole, an apparently skilled fighter in a magic fight (despite her Power Incontinence) and two men who try to kill her, and later on outwit the Dark Ones and pull off a heroic rescue in their tunnels, killing any of them who stand in her way at the end, and, most impressively, take on a pack of Ephalius wolves and killing and injuring a significant amount of them, ignoring the deep wounds they inflict on her.
Took a Level in Badass: While she has proven herself quite a Badass back on Earth, ‘Hat Lad’ teaches her how to control her powers, she gains more powers once she crosses over to Greywall’d, and Hallwad teaches her some survival skills.
Beauty Equals Goodness: Mostly averted. Lu remarks that the Dark Ones are beautiful, but they are clearly evil; Cleareye Fullmoonnight is beautiful, like all Moonfolk, but Lu has to hide from any other member of her race; and Hallwad comments that Lu herself is beautiful, although she denies it. On the flipside, Mrs. Eastry Cairns, the headmistress of James Centre Boarding School, doesn’t care about the school, only about money and her own image, and is described as ‘a fairly corpulent woman with a slender aquiline nose, thinly plucked eyebrows, a mean-looking face riddled with acne’, but Mike, who is dressed awfully, is very awkward but benign enough for Lu to prefer his company over that of Essex girls’.
Deep down beneath the layers of acquired apathy and sarcasm, Lu is rather miserable, distraught by never having had a family or someone who cares for her and with a poor opinion of herself. She adopted this demeanour as a child and it became natural for her. The mask slips only once Lu becomes aware of her heritage and abilities, and particularly after killing two men in self-defence.
Headmistress Mrs. Eastry Cairns gives Lu a warm welcome when she first arrives, but Lu later learns she is in fact only interested in money and her own image.
Bridget originally tries to make the impression of a friendly classmate who wants to welcome Lu warmly, albeit with some Jerkass tendencies shown by her attitude towards their awkward classmate Mike. That mask falls and tears entirely by the end of The Makeover scene.
Big Bad: Bridget at the beginning of the book, followed by the Dark Ones later on.
She tells her chemistry teacher, Mrs. Roderick, she’s arranging the vials so they’ll be easier to work with during the chemistry test, when she’s basically putting off actually completing the test, having never bothered to study chemistry as required. Mrs. Roderick doesn’t seem to buy it, pointing out that Lu is arranging the vials not by class, compound, or position in the periodic table, but by colour.
She boldly tells the headmistress she never even went outside, let alone participate in the massive Snowball Fight.
Lu pretending she didn’t ask for hot cocoa at the Chopped Tree Inn in Greywall’d and insisting the boy welcoming her misheard her once she realises they have no idea what cocoa is.
Being stuck without any Invisibility Potion in the Dark Ones’ tunnels, Lu tells the Dark Ones she’s there to renew the ancient pact the Killers had with them. They only pretend to buy into it, or at least only their king, Gleaborne, does.
When Lu asks Cleareye why she is interested in her as a friend despite being a Ciaró princess, as the Killers rebelled against the Ciaró Royalty, she says her definition of good and evil has changed after becoming a Lavrice.
Boarding School of Horrors: Downplayed. The James Centre Boarding School is shabby and grey, the food served in the cafeteria is awful (rumours say that a boy who ate everything he was served for a week died because of it), the teachers are a bit mean and grating (but by no means blatantly sadistic), and the magic-wielding Alpha Bitch Bridget seems to terrorise her fellow student, but all in all, it could be much worse.
Book Dumb: Lu. She’s fairly intelligent, though she doesn’t care enough to show it. She stops fitting this trope after reading Cleareye Fullmoonnight’s library as extensively as she can over the course of the month they live together.
Bookworm: What Lu becomes when she moves in with Cleareye Fullmoonnight, eagerly reading her extensive library.
Break the Cutie: After her rescue, Aucasis, who used to smile a lot and was very talkative, hardly spoke, ate, or smiled, bothering to smile at Hallwad only when he seemed worried about her.
Break the Haughty: Lu does this to Bridget pretty much as soon as she arrives at her new school, albeit by accident. Then the Snowball Fight happens, and it’s not by accident anymore.
Britain Is Only London: Averted, to some extent. While the James Centre Boarding School is next to London and its students visit London on their monthly days off on the town, Lu needs a few hours of riding the train south to reach London—in other words, she’s coming from Scotland. This seems like a narrow aversion, but most of the plot until Lu moves to Greywall’d takes place within the school anyway.
British Weather: Portrayed rather accurately—Lu is coming to school from Scotland in early September, and the realistic heavy rain is mentioned, and Lu points out how the days growing shorter and shorter as months pass. While snow, and especially heavy snow, is rare in London, the Snowball Fight scene happens in late December 2011 or early January 2012, which happened to be an abnormally cold winter in Real Life.
The Bully: Bridget, who keeps her Girl Posse and possibly even the rest of the school, excluding Lu, under her thumb using magical bullying.
Bullying a Dragon: Bridget should have known better than to throw snowballs at Lu’s window…
Burning with Anger: Lu feels ‘the Fire’, a strange feeling reminiscent of fire inside her, whenever she gets extremely angry. ‘Hat Lad’ teaches Lu to channel her anger and contempt to produce fire, and later on to produce fire at will.
Butt Monkey: Mike, the boy who Lu was supposed to sit next to. He’s extremely awkward, and Bridget openly mocks him to his face in front of Lu.
Cats Are Magic: A magic cat saves Lu’s life when she battles two people sent to kill her. Lu discovers later on that there is a special type of cats named Derobus cats, which are ‘large black cats with glistening eyes and almost human consciousness’; she doesn’t make the connection though.
The Chosen Many: It turns out Hallwad and Aucasis are actually still on a mission given by Déaspor and Shadow, not just Lu.
It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Lu definitely thinks so, enough to offer Hallwad, a boy she meets on the Myles Mountains about halfway to the Refugee Camp, to help him resuce his sister, and even simply stop her journey in the middle to move in with Cleareye Fullmoonnight, a Moondaughter she meets in the Moonfolk Forest after crossing the mountains. ‘Hat Lad’ calls her out on this, emphasising in no uncertain terms how incredibly important her mission is.
Church Going Villain: Whether or not he actually is a villain is debatable (and yet to be seen), but King Roythebrune is said to have been a devout follower of the god Promius.
Cold-Blooded Torture: The Dark Ones seem to have a special fondness for this; they inflict it on Aucasis and Hallwad after he’s caught, and Lu realises she will probably be next.
Death World: The Myles Mountains. The terrain there is almost barren, the rocks are jagged, and the ruthless Dark Ones live in tunnels dug therein, devoting most of their magical capacity to keep anyone else from using theirs. Hallwad realises Lu is not from Greywall’d, as people native to Greywall’d know they should not come ‘a day’s walking worth of distance’ near them.
Easy Evangelism: Invoked for laughs. Apparently, the people of the Land of the Sea worship gingers, believing them to grant good fortune. Lu comments in jest about how the fun rhythm of the narrative poem at the Dark Ones’ banquet makes her toy with the idea of worshipping gingers herself.
Eating Lunch Alone: Lu does this frequently, out of disdain both for the food the cafeteria serves and for her classmates, although the disdain is mutual―other students think she’s a loner freak and a black-clad basket case.
The Ending Changes Everything: After having wondered throughout the book if she’s naturally inclined to be one because of her heritage, it turns out most other Killers mentioned by name in the book—Hallwad and Aucasis Caurn, nés Killer, as well as Shadow and Déaspor, who are related to Lu somehow—are heroic, as well as Lu herself, who never kills anyone unless it’s for self-defence, self-preservation, or to save herself and others, rendering the entire debate moot.
Epic Battle Boredom: Lu easily burns the Dark Ones charging at her, Hallwad, and Aucasis with her sword, and Hallwad joins in using a sword he picks up, right before they escape the Dark Ones’ tunnels with Aucasis.
Lu smiles contentedly during the Snowball Fight, and is terrified of the thought that as a killer, fighting is her natural state. She tries to supress this thought, but winds up laughing uncontrollably like this, unnerving a few students around her.
Lu does this again while fighting off the Ephalius wolves, but doesn’t particularly mind it this time.
Cleareye Fullmoonnight’s library is full of those, and Lu reads them eagerly, explaining the basic geography of Greywall’d and discovering that for some reason, ‘Hat Lad’ gave her inaccurate directions to the Refugee Camp.
Instructional Dialogue: A kind, mysterious stranger (who is actually Déaspor) explains to Lu the different races and nations in the Land of the Sea and the types of currency they use.
Eyes Never Lie: Hallwad can tell Lu is a Killer based on her eyes, which had changed colour from grey-green to grey-black after she kills the two men who tried to kill her in London; it’s implied this change happens to all Killers after they kill for the first time.
Fainting: Happens to Lu when she goes after ‘Hat Lad’ on the train and finds only his blood-soaked hat.
A variety of different Gods worshipped by different sects: Promius by the Dark Ones (and probably humans, whom he created, according to Cleareye), Lady Lias (moon goddess) by the Moonfolk, and others not mentioned by name.
‘Hat Lad’ gives Lu an ellipse-shaped pendant, with a burning eye was carvedand in its centre that merges with a jagged knife, with the letter K in the background. She notices that the chain is made of the same substance, condensed ivory and seashells, as the silvery string connecting the feathers and diamonds to the earrings that her parents equipped her with before sending her off to Earth, which have the letter K engraved on them. While the pendant undoes the Anti-Magic the Dark Ones use, this also foreshadows that ‘Hat Lad’ is actually related to Lu.
Lu’s practicing with the ‘Noxa, fioaz’ spell makes the skin on her hands very dry and leaves burn marks on her sheets. Later on she discovers she is not immune to her own flames when fighting off the Ephalius wolves.
Friendless Background: Lu. She doesn’t seem to care in particular, and is very irked when she becomes popular after defeating Bridget and suddenly everyone wants to socialise with her.
Friendly Fireproof: Played with. While the smaller flames Lu produces are mostly harmless, floating above her hand in the air and merely keeping her fingers warm and slightly tingling, her skin becomes dry and her sheets have burn marks left on them because of her practicing. She discovers too late she isn’t immune to it when she uses when she accidentally traps herself while taking on the Ephalius wolves.
Beware the Superman: Invoked. The man in Lu’s visions quotes a prophecy saying that his and his wife’s daughter will either save the world or destroy it. The daughter is actually Lu.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: Bridget’s eyes have a pale-blue glow whenever she activates her magic that makes her target feel as if they were knifed in the stomach.
Good Is Not Nice: Despite being a heroic character, Déaspor comes off as this, exaggerating her smug, dismissive qualities and showing so much disregard for the well-being of Hallwad and Aucasis that Aucasis is terrified of her. Still, Hallwad says she is marginally better than Shadow, who at least has a Pet the Dog moment proving his gentle side.
The cat that saves Lu’s life is fairly irritable.
Good Is Not Soft: Lu gradually becomes this, starting off having a Heroic BSOD when she kills two people who try to kill her in self-defence and eventually killing Dark Ones without any remorse to save Hallwad and Aucasis.
Goth: Lu, in a sense. She wears nothing but black clothing (though she switches to silver when she moves in with Cleareye Fullmoonnight) and is very snarky and hates Essex girls, but doesn’t show many other traits of the subculture.
Goth Girls Know Magic: Averted. Lu is a competent magic-wielder, but this has nothing with her being goth―even Bridget, an Essex girl, is one too.
Perky Goth: She has her moments, particularly after moving in with Cleareye Fullmoonnight.
Gray Rain of Depression: The heavy rain that naturally falls in England in the period of time Lu spends there neatly coincides with her near-perpetual moodiness most of the time, but not always.
Heartbroken Badass: Both Professor Cole, who manages to defeat ‘Hat Lad’, albeit due to the latter’s momentary dstraction and not fatally so, and Lu, who defeats Professor Cole. Cole’s family were murdered en masse by Killers, and vise-versa.
The Dark Ones coming into their tunnels after hunting wearblack leather.
Lu, Hallwad, Aucasis, and Cleareye wear some leather articles of clothing, though this is mentioned only in passing.
Hell Hound: Ephalius wolves, which are much stronger and more vicious than the ones on Earth.
Herald: ‘Hat Lad’ and Déaspor, for Lu, Hallwad and Aucasis and Cleareye.
Come with Me If You Want to Live: Déaspor and the Wizard warn the Caurns to come with them immediately because they were no longer safe where they were. This doesn’t work very well: their mother dies and Aucasis is captured by the Dark Ones.
Hereditary Curse: Lu learns that there is a race known as the ‘Race of the Cursed’ in Greywall’d, who live in the Castle of Bayrone passed the River Trocus at the easternmost end of the continent, which no-one can cross. Granted, they are more fiction than fact, given that since no-one can get there, it’s actually Shrouded in Myth.
The Hermit: Lu, as much of a hermit as she can be, being a teenager in a boarding school, shunning her classmates’ company as much as she can.
Loner-Turned-Friend: She later befriends Hallwad Caurn, a boy she meets on the Myles Mountains in Greywall’d, and his sister Aucasis.
Heroic BSOD: Lu suffers two: when she first hears about her heritage from Professor Cole and is devastated by it, and when she’s utterly horrified the first time she winds up killing, even if it’s in self-defence. She still regrets killing when she has to do it later on.
Hidden Elf Village: The Lavrices, though they’re not actually elves (which are a completely separate race).
Hollywood Atheist: The Killers are said to be of the evil variety, ironically putting all of their faith in luck instead. This is why Shadow, who is revealed to be Lu’s relative at the end of the book, blesses her using the traditional Killer blessing, wishing for fortune to be on her side.
Mike is the Butt MonkeyNerd who sits next to Lu and seems to have No Social Skills. His wears ‘glasses that made his eyes several times larger, as well as horrid grey trousers and a jumper several times his size’. Lu still prefers his company over the Essex girls in the school.
Bridget, the Alpha BitchEssex Girl, is described as wearing ‘enough lip gloss for at least three girls’, and her room is overwhelmingly pink. Her Girl Posse seems to share her sense of æsthetics, but not her villainy.
Human Sacrifice: The Dark Ones plan on doing this to Hallwad and Aucasis. Apparently it’s a very serious issue, as they needed Hallwad specifically, but they send the vicious Ephalius wolves after them anyway after their Great Escape.
I Choose to Stay: Cleareye Fullmoonnight, formerly a Ciaró princess, chose to stay at the Refugee Camp incognito instead of coming home, finally leaving only after four years, when rumours of her disappearance from Ciaró began to surface.
Professor Cole, by Lu, once in the classroom and once at the end of his fight with Hat Lad. Apparently, it’s non-fatal.
One of the two men who tries to kill Lu, again by Lu, who stabs him to death in the heart.
Lu herself gets stabbed in the stomach by them; fortunately, it was just a dream.
Important Haircut: Lu does this to herself to avoid recognition when she has to leave Cleareye for the Refugee Camp. Cleareye is shocked to see the result.
In a Single Bound: Lu manages to jump at least two and a half metres high during her fight with the two men who try to kill her. This ability is amplified further once she arrives at Greywall’d.
In Media Res: The book’s prologue, narrated by Lu, is uttered at some undetermined time after she kills the two men who try to kill her in London.
In the Blood: A recurrent theme, frequently discussed. Lu was warned not to reveal her heritage to anyone, for fear of people reacting based on this; some apparently do, others don’t. Lu herself struggles with this notion, wondering whether or not she is naturally inclined to kill: she has instinctive knowledge guiding her to kill efficiently, to the point she can tell the intended use of a knife by the shape of its hilt without being taught, but she seems to be too horrified when she has to kill, even to save her own life. At the end of the book, it turns out Hallwad and Aucasis and probably Shadow and Déaspor are actually Killers, which means that the one Killer mentioned by name and said to be evil is actually the exception to the rule.
Inn Security: Chopped Tree Inn, where Lu stops to eat and rest. She’s greeted by a boy speaking in Creepy Monotone, a mysterious figure which may or may not be malevolent gives her some basic details about the Land of the Sea, and she’s awoken in the middle of the night to be given some instructions on her journey in a rather creepy way. Subverted, as she was never in danger the whole time; the mysterious figure was Déaspor, who is one of the good guys.
Invisibility Cloak: Lu and Hallwad use an invisibility potion to look for Aucasis in the Dark Ones’ tunnels without being detected.
Irony: The end of the book reveals that all Killers mentioned by name in the book, save perhaps Lu’s father, are heroic: Hallwad, Aucasis, and (at the very least partially) Shadow and Déaspor, the only exception being Tyler Killer, meaning Lu was probably never genetically inclined to be evil.
The Dog Bites Back: Lu, who has so far tried to ignore and circumvent Bridget and her posse and retaliates only by accident, eventually goes to fight back when she and her posse throw snowballs at her window one day, throwing snowballs at Bridget and turning it into a full-on warlike Snowball Fight when she notices Bridget somehow can’t see her, ending in a massive Curb-Stomp Battle.
Princess Incongnito: Cleareye was the Ciaró Crown Princess daughter. When she was only twelve, she found herself stranded when Ephalius wolves attacked her and her friend, killing him just after he urges her to run. Like Lu, she reached the Moonfolk Forest, and stayed there for a while before Shadow sent her to the Refugee Camp. She came to call it home and enjoy her incognito life there, seeing it as her home, but two years later, rumours of the Ciaró princess’ disappearance came in; two years after that, once she felt mature enough, she decided to return and reclaim her royal status, but on her way back to Ciaró she became a Lavrice while wandering through the Moonfolk Forest again, and has been living in anonymity since.
Laser-Guided Karma: Mrs. Eastry Cairns, headmistress of James Centre Boarding School, who cares only for money and her own image, agrees with Lu when she says Bridget is not entirely sane and might need some counselling. Shortly after, Lu leaves Earth for Greywall’d, presumably leaving Mrs. Cairns with a PR nightmare.
Last of Her Kind: Professor Cole is certain all Killers were killed before he meets Lu. He’s apparently very wrong, as ‘Hat Lad’ mentions a Killer camp.
There Is Another: The last two chapters reveal that not only is Lu not the only Killer left, but Hallwad and Aucasis are adopted Killers as well, and a fourth Killer, named Tyler, is on her way to the Refugee Camp.
Invoked. At the end of the book, Déaspor tells Hallwad leave for the Wild Regions and Aucasis to stay at the Chopped Tree Inn for a few more months, then, when told, to meet Tyler Killer and the Priestess to lead them to the Refugee Camp, where Lu already is, and try and kill Tyler or at least injure her seriously.
Lu, who knows less about magic and Greywall’d than anyone in Greywall’d, obviously, and Bridget and ‘Hat Lad’, the only people she meets on Earth who practice magic, refuse to give her sufficient information. While she does gradually learn more about both, she gets barely any reliable information about the Killers.
The Priestess, mentioned in the penultimate chapter. Déaspor tells Hallwad and Aucasis who she is and that she has no idea who she is yet—the Grand Prime Priestess, the Priestess of All Gods. The only detail aside from this she is willing to give is that she’s ‘some ginger’.
Long Lived: The Lavrice, who live till they’re roughly 2,000 years old.
Ludicrous Gibs: Eleonora, whose relationship with the couple Lu sees in her dreams is undetermined, went with the royal groom, Rus. When they failed to return from a ride for supper, they looked for them and found his body, dismembered and covered in blood.
Man Child: Shadow and Déaspor. Given that they are twins, and that Shadow sent Cleareye to the Refugee Camp when she was twelve and he was sixteen (or at least looked like it) and that Lu meets her when she’s 30, they have to be at the very least in their thirties at the beginning of the book. Justified somewhat by their Vague Age.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: The narrative poem about King Roythebrune mentions that ‘many wives did he husband, as proof of his might’.
King Bagid (roughly translated to ‘betrayable’ in Hebrew), in the poem recited at the Dark Ones’ banquet, who slept with his soldier’s wife; his name was translated as Roythebrune (from the Icelandic rauðbrúnnnote The <au> is read like the German <eu> and the <ð> is read like the English <th> as in ‘this’, ‘red-brown’), a ‘man of copper’.
In the English translation, Cleareye Fullmoonnight’s father, Kuningas, the Ciaró Crown Princess’ consort, whose name derives from Proto-Germanic *kuningaz, ‘king’. The Hebrew version names him Konigs, although the orthography is unclear, and the translator seized this opportunity to be creative.
Meanwhile Scene: Chapter I, in which a Moondaughter prepares for a Moonfolk ceremony, happens at the same time ‘Hat Lad’ first contacts Lu.
Million-to-One Chance: One of the ways to become a Lavrice, one has be inside the Kingdom of Myles, inside a perfect circle, and have a beam of moonlight shine on you at a 90° angle (which is what happened to Cleareye).
The Millstone: After her famous decisive defeat of Bridget in the Snowball Fight scene, Lu becomes to popular other students constantly want to be around her in various ways, including laughing at anything she says, partnering up with her in P.E, and writing papers for school with her. The first two make sense, as a lot of her snarky remarks are legitimately funny and she is the fittest student in her class, but they seem to ignore how she never contributes anything to writing the paper. All in all, she hates all of this attention.
Mind Manipulation: Bridget manages to get Lu to join her posse against her every instinct. She is very disturbed by her mindless agreement to join them and even undergo a makeover, while feeling a strange mist clouding her mind.
Most Writers Are Adults: Averted. Marnin started writing the book when she was 13, and it shows: the characters act and talk the way teens would. On the other hand, Lu’s extensive vocabulary, especially after crossing over to Greywall’d and discovering she’s now an Omniglot, was somewhat amplified in the English translation by the 22-years-old N. L. Lumi, who felt that it would make sense for an omniglot to be well-versed in their native tongue.
Multiple Narrative Modes: The book interchanges between being told in the first- (from Lu’s perspective) and third-person.
No Infantile Amnesia: An unusual case, as Lu sees her infancy flashbacks in her visions from a third-person perspective, implying that they’re the result of something other than this trope being played straight.
Not Listening to Me, Are You?: The girl who helped Lu after fainting on the train goes on to talk at length about the dress her school formal and the summer collection by the company that made it, while Lu, who has no interest whatsoever in fashion, is wondering who Hat Lad was. It takes the girl a while to notice Lu isn’t listening.
Omniglot: Lu is surprised to find out she is one once she reaches Greywall’d.
One Dose Fits All: It’s implied that the Invisibility Potion works this way: Lu, Hallwad, and Aucasis have presumably the same body mass, give or take, but Hallwad, and especially Aucasis, have both been injured pretty badly by the Dark Ones, and their loss of blood does not seem to be accounted for when dividing the potion Lu still has.
One Girl Army: Lu becomes this when she burns down groups of Dark Ones easily to escape their tunnels with Hallwad and Aucasis.
One Steve Limit: Averted. Eleonora, of undetermined relation to Lu’s parents, and Eleonora from the Dark Ones’ narrative poem, are most likely two different people.
The boy from the train. Lu calls him ‘Hat Lad’, Hallwad calls him ‘the Wizard’; near the end of the book, he tells Lu she can call him ‘Shadow’.
Eurey (derived from the Biblical Uriah) in the Dark Ones’ narrative poem (see Show Within a Show below) was simply called ‘the Eastern Emorite’ (as opposed to the Hittite Uriah) in the original Hebrew.
OOC Is Serious Business: ‘Hat Lad’, who usually has a rather smug and somewhat condescending yet benign attitude, becomes very serious when talking to Lu about her mission, and both he and Déaspor become very angry when Lu or Hallwad and Aucasisrefuse to do it.
Orphan's Ordeal: Lu’s quest is clearly related to the murder of her parents.
Orphan's Plot Trinket: Lu has several mementos from her past beyond the point she can remember, that her parents equipped her with all of these before sending her to Earth, shortly before they were killed and were given to her by the headmistress of the first boarding school she attended, who refused to tell her where they came from:
a bracelet with seven green leaves made of metal welded onto it, which turn out to be special stones used to cross between Earth and Greywall’d;
a pair of black earrings she never wears, each with long, bluish-grey coloured feathers connected and a fine silver string tied to a small, blue diamond hanging from them by beads, one of which has the letter K engraved on it;
an old leather scroll, sealed with red wax she has never been able to open, that even her mother, who gave it to her, didn’t know its contents, only that she should give it to her; and
a vial-shaped crystal bottle containing a constantly moving golden liquid, which she could never open, but will open when the time is right.
Lu: […] short and stout, wearing resilient brown-coloured work clothes; axes, hammers, and work tools dangle off their trouser belts, each of them has impressive arm muscles, and when they talk to one another their expression is grave. I presume they are men, due to their long, brown beards growing on their face that reaches their bellies. Their faces are furrowed, but their light-brown eyes indicate joie de vivre and exuberance. They drink out of their wooden mugs, and their coarse laughter roars across the room.
Our Elves Are Better: The little information given about them seems to indicate that they’re of the Wood Elves variety. Lu describes them thus:
Lu: […] short, thin figures in warm green cloaks, with fine cotton clothing underneath them. I examine them curiously: they all have dark complexions, men and women alike, and long hair reaching the middle of their backs. Their green eyes are slanted, and their pointed ears reach above their heads. They are beautiful.
Our Vampires Are Different: Very little information is given about the Vampires of Greywall’d, except that they feed on blood and have their own domain, the Kingdom of Caminore, which is implied to have diplomatic relations with Ciaró.
Power Incontinence: Lu has trouble controlling her powers at first. ‘Hat Lad’ helps her with this, teaching her a spell for igniting fire.
Precision F-Strike: Up to Professor Cole’s lecture, the novel is fairly tame and comes off as a rather typical teen drama with some fantastic elements. As soon as Lu tells him her last name, however, things take a turn for the darker, and he openly calls her a bitch.
Prepare to Die: Professor Cole and the two men who try to kill her in London openly tell her that they intend to kill her.
Professor Cole is so blind with rage he outright tells Lu to her face that he will kill her. This makes her so overwhelmed with emotion she defeats him fairly easily, instinctively channelling her emotions to produce powerful magic. The two men who try to kill Lu make the exact same mistake and wind up dead in her stead.
Robbing the Dead: Reluctant as she may be, Lu does this to the two people sent to kill her.
Robinsonade: Lu, after crossing over to Greywall’d, with a brief break at the local Chopped Tree Inn, up until she meets a boy named Hallwad Caurn on the Myles Mountains and helps him rescue his sister, and briefly after the Rescue Arc until she meets the Moondaughter Cleareye Fullmoonnight in the Moonfolk Forest and moves in with her.
Saving the World: Apparently, this is the ultimate goal of Lu’s mission. In fact, Shadow and Déaspor seem to have orchestrated a massive operation for this purpose, involving not only Lu, but also Hallwad and Aucasis, as well as Cleareye.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Hallwad tries to tell Déaspor he’s had enough of her attitude and wants out, expecting her to say that if he wants to go so bad, so be it. Instead, she reacts violently and tells him that his mission is far too important for him to be in any position to do anything like that.
Lu, who grew up not knowing about her relatives’ reputation as violent murderers. As a child, whenever she would ask about her family, whomever she asked simply avoided the question, until she eventually stopped asking; she finally finds out only when she meets a victim of theirs.
Self-Deprecation: Lu suffers from this, increasingly so with the course of the plot, at least until she moves in with Cleareye Fullmoonnight.
Heroic Self-Deprecation: She suffers from this even after heroically saving Hallwad and Aucasis from the Dark Ones’ tunnels.
Sequel Hook: The book ends with the introduction of a character named Tyler Killer, who is apparently very evil and probably not too bright, but extremely dangerous nonetheless, and the Grand Prime Priestess, Priestess of All Gods, who has no idea who she is. Both of them are heading for the Refugee Camp, and Aucasis is instructed to guide them there, protect the Priestess, and try and kill Tyler, or at least injure her severely.
Shoot the Dog: Lu tries to hunt a rabbit to avoid starving on the Myles Mountains, which are notoriously difficult to survive in. Subverted, as she has no idea how to cook it, has to bury it, and feels horrible about the whole thing.
The Enchiridion’s title, while a rather faithful translation of the original Hebrew, is indeed a reference to Adventure Time by the translator.
The Dark Ones’ narrative poem in Show Within a Show mentioned below is clearly a reference to the Biblical story of (the ‘man of copper’) King David’s conquest of Canaan and establishment of Jerusalem as his capital, and his affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a Hittite officer in King David’s army. However, unlike in the original, in which King David pays horrifically for his transgressions, Roythebrune never does, but the poem implies he will one day: he might get a free pass for being ginger (see Blue and Orange Morality above), but of course, ‘Every man, bold and humble alike, must go bald!’ Also, very much unlike the original story, the whole thing is Played for Laughs, and the in-universe audience roars in laughter after the poem is finished.
At the Dark Ones’ banquet, a bard recites a poem about the ancient King Roythebrune, who founded the human kingdom, Ciaró, by war, and made Orce-Blatt its capital. He sleeps and impregnates a woman named Eleonora, who’s married to a soldier named Eurey (the original simply refers to him as ‘the Emorite’); he tries to escape trouble with a plan he manages to think up, but it fails, and he resorts to making sure he dies in battle instead, and marries his wife. The poem implies that while he never suffers any consequences, his luck will eventually run out.
Cleareye Fullmoonnight sings a song about a girl who takes bloody revenge against a former lover, sneaking into his room, cutting his throat, and telling him how happy she will be knowing he’s dead.
Shrouded in Myth: Bayrone, or the ‘Wild Regions’ past the River Trocus, and the ‘Lands Beyond the Sea’ past Kelt Ocean.
Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable: A minor recurrent theme. Lu kills on three separate occasions in the book: in London, where she kills two men who try to kill her in self-defence; on the barren Myles Mountains, where she kills a rabbit she wants to cook and eat, and finds out she can’t; and in the Dark Ones tunnels, where she burns to death a few of them when they try to keep her, Hallwad, and Aucasis from escaping. The first occasion shocks her, filling her with regret; the second makes her feel awful and remorseful, but only briefly; and she barely feels anything about the third.
Snowball Fight: Bridget throws snowballs at Lu’s window to taunt her. Lu goes outside and starts one of these in retaliation. It quickly escalates into a school-wide Curb-Stomp Battle against Bridget.
Sorting Algorithm Of Threatening Geography: Played with. The notorious Myles Mountains are about halfway through Lu’s journey, followed by the pleasant Moonfolk forest; Doubly Subverted, as it turns out Lu’s prolonged stay in the forest could make her stay a Moondaughter permanently and unable to finish her quest. The road from the forest to the Refugee Camp is fairly calm and beautiful (and brief), while the Refugee Camp itself is where Lu has to get a Training from Hell.
The Southpaw: Lu, who takes it into consideration when hiding the knives on her clothing to draw more easily. Whether or not this is means anything remains to be seen.
Take That: Before leaving for Greywall’d, Lu stops to cross Bridget’s name off the sign she put on her door, changing its writing to from ‘THIS ROOM BELONGS TO BRIDGET SLAVE’ to ‘THIS ROOM BELONGS TO A PSYCHOTIC SADIST’.
Teen Pregnancy: Cleareye’s mother was only 16 when she gave birth to her.
Telepathy: Déaspor has this ability. She has the audacity to scold Hallwad for thinking curses about her.
Those Two Guys: Shadow and Déaspor, whom Lu can see in dreams from a distance after crossing to Greywall’d.
Thwarted Escape: Subverted. Lu and Hallwad kill the Dark Ones standing in their way just before they reach the exit and manage to escape the tunnels.
Déaspor: We should make a list like that, of people whose lives we should mess up… It will make ours simpler.
The Chessmaster: They planned for the Derobus cat to save Lu from the men who attacked her, and are implied to have been those men in disguise, and have sent to the Refugee Camp not only Lu, but also Hallwad and Aucasis, and, eighteen years before the book’s beginning, Cleareye.
True Companions: Lu and Hallwad become this on the Myles Mountains, when Hallwad gives Lu some important advice and she in turn offers to help him rescue his sister, Aucasis. After the rescue, Aucasis joins their pact.
Try Not to Die: Shadow tells Lu to ‘try and stay alive’, and Hallwad tells her he told him he will meet ‘someone in the mountains’ and advised him the same.
Unreliable Narrator: Minor example. Lu mentions many characters by name, most of them minor and non-crucial to the plot, and admits while listening to the poem recited at the Dark Ones’ feast that she has trouble following the different names, so presumably some characters she names actually have different names.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Shadow makes his first appearance, he falls out of a vortex in the sky that no-one notices. Granted, it was a gloomy, rainy day, and people had other things to care about.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Narrowly averted with Cleareye, who lets Lu drink Moonfluid every day and almost makes her transform into a Moondaughter without realising it, which could have made her unable to continue her quest. Fortunately, ‘Hat Lad’ points this out to Lu before the transformation is complete.
Uriah Gambit: King Roythebrune in the narrative poem (see Show Within a Show above) resorts to this when his original plan to avoid his affair with Eleonora, a married woman, being discovered. The whole story is actually a Shout-Out to the Trope Namer.
Volleying Insults: The two characters Lu sees in her dreams from a distance, Shadow and Déaspor, engage in a very puerile versions of this that often deteriorate to (apparently) almost fatal physical fighting that come off as either impressive in technique or hilarious, sometimes continuing the tirade of mutual mockery.
Wacky Wayside Tribe: The Dark Ones in Myles Mountains, en route to the Refugee Camp. Their defeat strengthens Lu’s connection with Hallwad and makes Aucasis a part of their pact.
Aucasis:Killer. We are Hallwad and Aucasis Killer.
What Measure Is a Mook?: An interesting case. Lu mentions individual and mostly plot-irrelevant Dark Ones by name, but has no remorse for killing the Dark Ones who try to stop her and Hallwad escaping with Aucasis.
With Great Power Comes Great Perks: Lu enjoys the newfound powers she gains after crossing into Greywall’d, running to feel the soft grass, jumping freely up treetops to look at the view, and enjoying her newfound sense of freedom.
Hallwad tells Lu he knows she’s not a native of Greywall’d because he met her on the Myles Mountains, a place that every other native would steer clear ‘at least a day’s walking worth of distance’ away from. She comes out practically unscathed. Cleareye Fullmoonight is astounded by this feat.
The Castle of Bayrone is in a place Shrouded in Myth that’s impossible to reach that Wizards tell each other tall tales about. In the last chapter of the book, Déaspor casually mentions that she’s going to spend some time there.
World Building: A moderate amount—the basic geography of Greywall’d is described, along with some of the races therein and the relations between them, and just a bit of its fauna. The next installments in the series will elaborate further.
Xtreme Kool Letterz: The English translator had some fun with coming up with stylised (yet mostly legible) spellings for characters’ and places’ names, as Hebrew orthography barely allows any flexibility in that respect. The most obvious example is the names of different currencies, derived mostly from existing metals.
You Are What You Hate: Subverted or at least downplayed by Hallwad, and to some extent by Aucasis, who seem to harbour the same prejudice about Killers that ‘Hat Lad’ warned Lu about, but can tell that Lu is not malevolent and have no ill will towards her. In the penultimate chapter, Déaspor reveals that they are both Killers themselves.