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Literature: Murderess

‘…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  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.

Contains examples of:

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  • 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.
  • Education Through Pyrotechnics: The chemistry test. It requires students to mix five ingredients from an assortment of test tubes, and actually states in its instructions that a small explosion would cause a 10 point deduction, and a large one would cause a 40 point one. Lu, having no knowledge whatsoever in chemistry, randomly mixes five ingredients and causes a major explosion… which occurs, strangely enough, on Bridget’s desk.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Hallwad and Aucasis never speak about their horrific experiences in the Dark Ones’ tunnels after their escape, particularly not about Aucasis’, who is very badly traumatised.
  • 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.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When first meeting Lu, Bridget, wearing copious amounts of lip gloss, welcomes Lu warmly while openly berating their classmate Mike.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Cleareye Fullmoonnight, princess of Ciaró.
  • Evil Is Petty: Seeing Lu as a threat to her position, Bridget and her Girl Posse threaten and taunt Lu, and she gets worse after being completely overpowered by her. Lu, on the other hand, is Not So Different, and gleefully tortures her back.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • 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.
  • Evil Overlord: Gleaborne, the king of the Dark Ones, whom no-one dares to oppose, as he is renowned for the horrendous torture methods he invented.
  • Evil Smells Bad:
  • Exploring the Evil Lair: Lu and Hallwad do this while looking for Aucasis. Lu briefly notes in appreciation the cultural advancement seen in their elaborate engravings, depicting stars and galaxies, and the torture chambers they walk past.
  • Exposition: Usually given in spades, relying mostly on Show, Don't Tell or Lu’s Inner Monologues, but two exceptions stand out after Lu reaches Greywall’d:
    • Encyclopedia Exposita:
      • The Enchiridion, which opens only in specific times when Lu needs it to, which happens only once throughout the book, allowing Lu to read about how crossing between Earth (or ‘Gæa’, as the Enchiridion calls it) and Greywall’d works.
      • 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.
  • The Fair Folk: The Dark Ones. They live in the Myles Mountains, have silvery hair, and Lu says they’re strong and beautiful. However, they are not proficient magic-wielders, using most of their ability to make anyone else unable to use magic in their domain. They were related to the elves and gnomes, but they betrayed them and turned evil.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Greywall’d is a minor example, including:
    • Fantasy Axis of Evil/Five Races: Played with. While the races featured in the book clearly rely on these divisions, they often occupy the same slot or leave some slots unoccupied. Specifically:
    • A mysterious ‘Race of the Cursed’, living in the Castle of Bayrone past the River Trocus at the easternmost side of the Land of the Sea, who are more fiction than fact.
    • A variety of different animals who are rough equivalent of those on Earth, but include also phœnices, unicorns, gryphons, Ephalius wolves and dark wolves, and Derobus cats.
    • 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.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Dark Ones, in particular their king Gleaborne. They can display courteous hospitality if need be, and their king is particularly eloquent in English, but this is just an attempt to trick Lu into thinking they believed her claim that she wants to restore the Killer’s ancient pact with them. Also, they torture Aucasis brutally to get information (which she may or may not have) out of her, and plan to sacrifice her and Hallwad to their ‘leader’.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Lu becomes this with Hallwad and Aucasis after she and Hallwad break her out of the Dark Ones’ tunnels.
  • Fish out of Water: Lu, once she reaches Greywall’d, in a sense; while ‘Hat Lad’ gives her little information about Greywall’d and she has trouble learning more, she feels much freer and more at home there, and was in fact born there and sent to Earth by her parents.
  • For Want of a Nail: ‘Hat Lad’ loses his fight with Professor Cole because he’s distracted by a pebble falling out of his pocket.
  • Foreshadowing:
  • 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.
  • The Gadfly: Shadow and Déaspor are this to each other. This exchange between them that Lu overhears in her dreams says it all:
    ‘I live to annoy you,’ he says, teasing her. I am positive he is smiling under that cowl.
    ‘And my life is so much more superior to yours. Irritating you is just a little fun I have in its course…’
    ‘Which is why I always stay calm, because you do it so badly, like an amateur,’ he says triumphantly.
  • Gambit Roulette: It’s implied that Shadow and Déaspor relied on Lu stopping to help Hallwad and staying with Cleareye as part of their master plan.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: While not colossal and destructive in scale, Lu can see Shadow summoning one against Déaspor while they’re fighting.
  • The Gift: Lu is a gifted magic- and knife-wielder, despite her initial Power Incontinence.
  • 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.
  • The Good King: Parodied in the Dark Ones’ narrative poem in Show Within a Show below. King Roythebrune is said to have been this, overlooking how he slept with his soldier’s wife and sent him to die in the battlefield when she becomes pregnant with his child, because he founded the Kingdom of Ciaró and was a ‘man of copper’, although of course, ‘Every man, bold and humble alike, must go bald!’ The Dark Ones themselves see it as a parody and roar in laughter when the cantor finishes.
  • 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.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Enchiridion.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: Cleareye Fullmoonnight’s extensive library, which Lu reads extensively to learn about Greywall’d.
  • Great Escape: Lu helps Hallwad break his sister out of the Dark Ones’ prison. Then Lu breaks both of them out.
  • Green Eyes: Several characters and/or races/species have grey or grey-green eyes:
    • Lu has grey-green eyes that change to black-green after the first time she kills.
    • The Derobus cat that saves Lu’s life has grey-green eyes.
    • Elves have slanted green eyes.
    • The Ephalius wolves have these, and they have a human look to them.
    • The girl in Lu’s vision before meeting Cleareye has grey-green eyes.
    • Tyler Killer has grey-green eyes, implying that as dangerous as she might be, she still hasn’t killed anyone.
    • Aucasis has black-green eyes, implying she already has; similarly, Hallwad’s are black-blue. Both of them are adopted Killers.
  • Groin Attack: Lu does this to one of the men who try to kill her, debilitating him for long enough to fight the other and kill him.
  • Ha Ha Ha No: One of the two figures Lu sees in her dreams (namely Déaspor) responds this way when the other tells her he’s smarter than her.
  • Hard Light: Moonfolk drink a fluid extracted from Moonlight.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Lu takes her iPod everywhere because of this.
  • Heal Thyself: The herbs and fruit Lu takes from the corpses of the two men who tried to kill her.
  • 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.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather:
    • Professor Cole wears tight black leather under his black robe, making his body look very graceful. ‘Hat Lad’ wears a white robe over dusty leather clothes.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Neutral: Lu, despite her initial reluctance.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Dress Code:
    • Lu, who wears nothing but black (although she changes to silver when she moves in with Cleareye Fullmoonnight), is snarky, hates socalising, and suffers from deep self-loathing. subverted once she crosses over to Greywall’d and becomes a more Rounded Character.
    • Mike is the Butt Monkey Nerd 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 Bitch Essex 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.
    • Evil Wears Black:
      • Professor Cole wears black when fighting ‘Hat Lad’.
      • The two assassins sent to kill Lu both wear black, and Lu takes one of their cloaks after killing them.
      • The Dark Ones wear black clothes, or at least a variety of dark colours.
  • Hostile Weather:
  • 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.
  • Humans Are Divided: While other races seem to be united in their individual kingdoms, the human Kingdom of Ciaró is divided into The Kingdom (the Royal House of Ciaró) and La Résistance (the Killers).
  • Hurting Hero: Lu, who suffers not only from self-loathing but also from being forced into being a hero.
  • 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.
  • I Have Many Names:
    • ‘Hat Lad’/‘the Wizard’/Shadow, depending on whom you’re asking.
    • Moonfolk are also known as Lavrice.
    • Tyler Rayde/Killer. When Déaspor mentions her, she’s not sure what name she is using at the time.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Lu realises that the Dark Ones know that she lied about her intentions to renew the Killers’ ancient pact with them.
  • I Never Told You My Name: ‘Hat Lad’ pulls this in his first encounter with Lu.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Cleareye’s friend, who told her to run just before the Ephalius wolves killed him. She followed his advice and lived.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • 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.
  • Inner Monologue: Lu’s are frequently given.
  • 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.
  • It Gets Easier: Subverted. While Lu seems to feel less remorse with every incident in which she has to kill (see Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable below), she is still reluctant towards the idea of killing when Cleareye offers her the knife of one of Lu’s ancestors.
  • It Was Here, I Swear: Bridget tries to tell on Lu to the headteacher after the Snowball Fight; when the teacher arrives, Lu is inexplicably dry and even hot, and her clothes are all dry.
  • It's All My Fault: Lu seems to think little of herself and blame herself thoroughly even when killing in self-defence.
  • Jerkass: Bridget, who bullies her ‘friends’ and probably the rest of her schoolmates and shows absolutely no redeeming qualities in any appearance.
  • Jerkass With A Heart Of Gold: ‘Hat Lad’/Shadow. His attitude towards Lu, Hallwad, and Aucasis is mostly smug and somewhat mean and insensitive, but it’s clear that he’s one of the good guys.
  • Just Between You and Me: Gleaborne, king of the Dark Ones, tells his subjects at the banquet that Hallwad and Aucasis are to be sacrificed to their enigmatic ‘leader’ the following day.

  • Karma Houdini: King Roythebrune in the Dark Ones’ narrative poem (see Show Within a Show below) narrowly averts this, as the end of the poem implies he will get his comeuppance eventually.
  • Kick the Dog: After The Makeover Bridget arranged for Lu goes utterly awful, with Lu accidentally breaking every window in her room by fury-fuelled Power Incontinence, Bridget starts threatening and taunting her with her Girl Posse.
    • 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.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Lu’s decisive defeat of Bridget in a Snowball Fight. Bridget is so widely despised that everyone around her joins in, and Lu becomes immediately popular.
  • Killing In Self Defense: Lu kills the two men who try to kill her.
  • The Kingdom: Ciaró, home to Hallwad and Aucasis.
    • Founder of the Kingdom: King Roythebrune, who is mentioned in the Dark Ones’ narrative poem (see Show Within a Show below).
    • 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.
  • Knife Nut: Lu, who apparently has an abnormal amount of natural talent for knife-wielding.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Professor Cole, who first reveals Lu’s heritage to her.
    • Signus, in a sense. From the very little information given about him, it’s clear that his return must be prevented at all costs, lest both worlds might end.
  • Large And In Charge: Downplayed with Gleaborne, king of the Dark Ones, who is taller than most of his subjects.
  • 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.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Hallwad resorts to this when he sees the Dark Ones tormenting Aucasis, but then runs out of the room to make them follow him and leave her alone.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang:
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • 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.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Hallwad and Aucasis Killer.
    • The last chapter reveals Shadow and Déaspor are related to Lu.
  • Lunacy: The Moonfolk, who worship the moon (the Nightdaughter, or Lady Lias, as they call it) and drink a fluid extracted from its light.
  • Magical Land: Greywall’d. People who survive the trip often gain magical powers.
  • Magnetic Hero: Lu, while starting off as being reluctant to other people’s company, crosses over to Greywall’d and befriends Hallwad, a boy she meets at the Myles Mountains (and his sister Aucasis after they rescue her), and Cleareye Fullmoonnight, a Moondaughter she meets in the Moonfolk Forest.
  • The Makeover: Bridget and her Girl Posse choose a girl every Monday to give her one, and they welcome Lu by choosing her to be it, while Bridget makes sure she can’t bring herself to decline the ‘offer’. Lu is horrified at the result; while acknowledging it is beautiful, it clashes strongly with her personality.
  • 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’.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • All of Lu’s classmates have a last name indicative of their familial history. Lu’s name, however, naturally stands out as particularly ominous…
    • 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 , ‘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.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The Makeover scene, mostly playing Lu’s deep discontent with the situation for laughs, ends with all of the windows in Bridget’s room breaking at once by Lu’s rage-fuelled Power Incontinence, deeply scaring everyone in the room.
    • Professor Cole’s lecture, starting off pleasant and somewhat dull, takes a turn for the far more intense as soon as Lu mentions her name.
    • A minor one during the massive Curb-Stomp Battle Snowball Fight against Bridget: Lu suddenly notices her Blood Knight tendencies at some point and starts reflecting in horror on her heritage.
    • Lu enjoys a pleasant walk around London, when suddenly a knife is thrown at her direction by one of the two men who try to kill her.
    • Shadow and Déaspor, who appear in Lu’s dreams twice, exchange childish Volleying Insults and comical near-fatal fights, exaggerating their Sibling Rivalry for laughs, suddenly turn in the end of the second dream into the two men who tried to kill Lu in London and stab her in the heart.
    • Lu laughing with the Dark Ones at the narrative poem (see Show Within a Show below) before she suddenly realises what danger she, Hallwad, and Aucasis are in, and struggles to breathe in fear.
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: Lu was sent by her parents to Earth just before they were murdered.
  • 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.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Lu is the fittest girl in her class, despite constantly losing weight. Justified (probably) by her magical abilities; when she crosses over to Greywall’d, they are amplified, along with her ability to jump high and far to the point it feels like flying and running much faster and for longer periods of time.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Lu develops a serious case of this after killing the two men who try to kill her, despite it being in self-defence.
    Lu: I’ve committed murder. I murdered two people. I murdered them. I am a murderess.
  • Mysterious Waif: Once Lu crosses over to Greywall’d, she becomes this herself.
  • Mystical Waif: Lu fits this trope partially—she had sandy hair and Green Eyes and a cynical, sarcastic demeanour, but she wears only black clothes, is vulnerable and prone to hating herself Beneath the Mask, and is sought after for her ancestry by the villains.
  • Mystical White Hair: The Dark Ones and the Moonfolk.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Lu, who is sent to Greywall’d with barely any information about it and has to learn on the fly.
  • Nature Lover: ‘Hat Lad’ is implied to be this, grimacing in disgust at the sight of smoke coming out of the train he boards as it crosses the beautiful scenery around it.
  • Near Death Experience: Happens to Lu twice, when one of the two men in London almost kills her before a strange magical cat intervenes, and when she almost drowns in the lake she falls into trying to avoid a persistent Ephalius wolf.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: Derobus cats have near-human levels of consciousness. The one that saved Lu’s life seems to understand Shadow and Déaspor talking to it.
  • Nerd: Lu’s Butt Monkey classmate Mike, who is awfully dressed and has No Social Skills. Lu still prefers him to her Essex Girl classmates.
  • Never Found the Body: Eleonora from Ludicrous Gibs above.
  • 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.
  • Never My Fault: Lu blames ‘Hat Lad’ in her mind for not pointing out to her that she’s not immune to her own fire, despite having noticed the dry skin on her hands and the burn marks on her sheets from practicing the use of her fire-igniting spell. Granted, she was too busy fighting off the Ephalius wolves to think it through.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bridget, trying to keep Lu from undermining her position in the school, threatens and taunts her until she winds up making Lu learn about her magical powers and suffering a humiliating defeat by her that leads to the loss of her position.
  • No Pronunciation Guide:
    • Most names in the English translation are pretty straightforward in following English spelling conventions, but there are still some ambiguities.
      • Ciaró is pronounced ‘KEE-ah-roe’ and Lias is pronounced ‘LEE-us’, following Irish-language spelling conventions.
      • Roythebrune is pronounced with th as in ‘this’; the two Es are silent. The accent is on the final syllable.
      • Eurey is pronounced ‘ewe-REE’.
      • ‘Lavrice’ rhymes with ‘grease’.
    • In the Hebrew version, Cleareye Fullmoonnight’s father’s name is pronounced ‘Konigs’ (with a voiceless /s/).
  • No Social Skills: Mike, Lu’s classmate. He stares at her awkwardly and doesn’t take the hint when she gives him a Death Glare.
  • 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.
  • Not Quite Dead: ‘Hat Lad’ loves pulling this.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Hallwad and Aucasis, who are in fact Killers.
  • Oh, Crap: Shortly after Aucasis is rescued from the Dark Ones’ tunnels:
    Aucasis: I was walking about, looking for some game, and I climbed a small cliff. From there I could see the entrance to their tunnels. They came out. And… they brought the wolves with them.
  • Older Than They Look:
  • 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.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • 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 Aucasis refuse to do it.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Lu. Despite being an orphan and very apathetic, nothing about her comes off as particularly out of the ordinary until The Makeover scene.
  • 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.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Lu sees a group of them at the Chopped Tree Inn and described them thus:
    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.
  • Party Scattering: Lu, Hallwad, and Aucasis do this to confuse the Ephalius wolves that the Dark Ones send after them.
  • Pet the Dog: ‘Hat Lad’ hugs Lu and tells her he believes in her wholeheartedly when he tells her she has to leave the Moonfolk Forest behind for the Refugee Camp.
  • Pillow Fight: Lu and Cleareye have one to show how relaxed Lu became once she’s moved in with her.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • ‘Hat Lad’ teaches Lu how to do this.
    • Fire is needed to open the gate out of the Dark Ones’ tunnels.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure/Pop-Culture Isolation: Lu tries to order some hot cocoa at the Chopped Tree Inn in Greywall’d, only to find out that they have no idea what that is over there.
  • Power at a Price: Hallwad explains to Lu that magic costs the wielder stamina at the least and memories or years of life at worst.
  • 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.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Every now and then.
  • Pursued Protagonist: The prologue opens In Media Res and seems to imply this.
  • Race Against the Clock: The last phase of Aucasis’ rescue, when their Invisibility Potion is about to wear off.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Cleareye Fullmoonnight, formerly a princess of Ciaró.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Lu’s would-be killers both have terrifying red eyes.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Stuck in the Dark Ones’ tunnels with little hope of escape, after Hallwad jumps at the Dark Ones who torture his sister Aucasis and starts running to get them to leave her, Lu simply sits on their royal throne in the main hall, tells them exactly who she is, and outright lies to them that she came to renew the Killer’s ancient pact with them. Lu realises out they don’t buy it, or at least their king doesn’t, but it gives her enough time to rescue both Hallwad and Aucasis.
  • Relative Button: Lu’s would-be killers tell her they killed her family to taunt her.
  • Remembered I Could Fly: Lu forgets she can use her fire spell twice: once when she’s freezing at night on her way, and once when she’s fighting the Ephalius wolves sent after her, Hallwad, and Aucasis.
  • Rescue Arc: Lu and Hallwad team up to rescue Hallwad’s sister Aucasis.
  • La Résistance: The Killers are this, rebelling against the Kingdom of Ciaró’s Royal House.
  • Revenge Before Reason:
    • 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.
    • Hallwad charges at the Dark Ones when he sees them torturing his sister.
  • Rightful Queen Returns: Subverted with Cleareye, who was going to claim her status as the rightful Queen of Ciaró, but accidentally became a Moondaughter and has been living in anonymity since.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Aucasis’ rescue turns into this near the end.
  • 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.

  • Sanity Slippage: Lu thinks either this is happening to her when she discovers that magic is real or that it’s All Just a Dream.
  • 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.
  • Scars Are Forever:
    • Gleaborne, king of the Dark Ones, has many scars from a war that took place long before the book’s beginning.
    • Lu notes that her injuries from her quest, while healing neatly, will leave scars.
  • School Is For Losers:
    • It’s implied that Brandon, Lu’s and Bridget’s classmate, doesn’t take school too seriously.
    • Lu herself shows little regard for her education, as part of her general apathy.
  • Scotland: It’s implied Lu is coming from there at the beginning of the book: it takes her a few hours of travelling south by train to get to London and the weather outside is a few degrees above zero. It’s implied that ‘Hat Lad’ boards it in a very rural area, seeing as no-one noticed him fall out of a big vortex in the sky, as everyone is indoors to avoid getting frostbitten.
  • 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.
  • Secret Legacy:
    • 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.
    • Hallwad and Aucasis, who have been adopted and raised in Ciaró, find out at the end of the book that they are in fact Killers.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
    • The Rescue Arc features a few homages to The Hobbit.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • 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.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Shadow and Déaspor, who appear to Lu from a distance in her dreams after she crosses over to Greywall’d. Their fights border on the lethal and are Played for Laughs.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Obviously a recurrent theme in everything Moonfolk-related, given their deep reliance on the moon and moonlight.
  • A Simple Plan: Lu and Hallwad’s plan to rescue Aucasis is to drink the Invisibility Potion, break her free, and kill anyone who stands in their way. They realise just how poorly thought of this plan is, but they can’t think up anything better.
  • Skeleton Key: Castor, the Dark Ones’ warden, is stupid enough to tell Lu he has one.
  • 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.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Mrs. Eastry Cairns, the headmistress. She is a Corrupt Corporate Executive, ugly, and displays intimidating mannerisms, and, obviously, her breath smells of cigarettes.
  • 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.
  • Space Elves: The Moonfolk, who are beautiful, live in houses carved into trees, worship the Moon, and live to be roughly 2,000 years old, seem to be inspired by the Wood Elves variety.
  • Spanner in the Works: Hallwad pulling a Leeroy Jenkins in the heat of the moment, ruining The Plan he made with Lu, when he sees two Dark Ones torturing his sister, then running off to keep them away from her, leaving Lu behind, forcing her to think up a new plan from scratch.
  • Stay on the Path: ‘Hat Lad’ tells Lu to keep going north and not delay, and later reprimands her when she does. Which is somewhat ironic, given that he misdirected her; it’s implied that he and Déaspor foresaw that she would do that, and actually relied on it.
  • The Stoic: Lu, until she’s exposed to magic and her burden in general. Then she gradually becomes Not So Stoic, particularly after she winds up killing two people in self-defence.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Déaspor meets up with Lu, who stopped at the Chopped Tree Inn to wait until the heavy rain stops, and gives her some ominous guidance before she later goes into the Myles Mountains and putting her life on the line in the Rescue Arc. May or may not be an Invoked Trope or an Exploited Trope.
  • Stupid Evil:
  • Super Senses: Lu acquires this ability after crossing over to Greywall’d.
    Lu: I feel every little detail, every sense of touch and feeling, from the fabric on my clothes to the necklace that boy gave me. I feel the stitches on my socks and the scrunchie holding my hair together. I open my eyes, then I blink, and I open them wide again in amazement: I see EVERYTHING. It’s already dark, but I see every detail easily, and much further than I’d ever seen before. It seems even my sense of smell improved, and not just that: I hear everything, from the wind whistling through the tree branches to large animals galloping on the grass apparently miles away.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The Dark Ones’ king, Gleaborne, who is particularly eloquent.
  • 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.
  • This Means War!: Lu says that in jest before she starts a Pillow Fight with Cleareye.
  • Title Drop:
    • The book title: several times, either as an accusation thrown at Lu or as part of her Self-Deprecation.
    • Individual chapters: in some cases.
  • Torture Cellar:
    • Lu thinks of Bridget’s room as this, looking in horror at all of her various beauty products and the abundant amounts of pink.
    • The Dark Ones have some of those, and Lu and Hallwad find Aucasis in one.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Lu’s is dark chocolate, and later on bloodberries from Moonfolk Forest.
  • Training from Hell: The Refugee Camp, where fighting and survival is taught. Hallwad tells Lu it’s a horrible place and that she should avoid going there.
  • The Trickster: ‘Hat Lad’ and Déaspor.
    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.
    • Trickster Mentor: ‘Hat Lad’ for Lu, giving her cryptic directions and pulling off Not Quite Dead on her twice.
    • Trickster Twins
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Lu has several, starting after she’s met ‘Hat Lad’ and moved into her boarding school.
  • 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.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Bridget, when meeting Lu for the first time.
    She had long blonde hair, blue eyes, a slim physique, and pink lips covered with enough lip gloss for at least three girls.
  • Underground City: The Dark Ones tunnels, inside the Myles Mountains.
  • Unfortunate Names: Lu sniggers at Bridget’s last name, Slave, ignoring how unfortunate her own name sounds.
  • 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.
  • Vague Age:
    • Professor Cole, who can transform into a teenage boy and back.
    • Shadow and Déaspor, who are at least in their thirties at the beginning of the book (see Man Child above), but still look very young and often behave very childishly.
  • Valley Girl: Bridget and her Girl Posse are the English equivalent, Essex girls.
  • 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.
  • Walking the Earth:
    • The woman in Lu’s visions is afraid this will be her infant child’s fate.
    • The Wizard race (as opposed to other magic-wielders), unlike other races, have no fixed domain and simply wander from one place to the next.
  • Weirdness Censor: Lu’s fight with the two men sent to kill her, the deep cuts she endures, and her changed eye colour are implied to be this.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Lu, being Locked Out of the Loop, starts to think she’s this at the beginning of the book.
  • Wham Episode: The penultimate chapter reveals that Hallwad and Aucasis are a pivotal part of Shadow’s and Déaspor’s plan on their own right; There Is Another Killer heading for the Refugee Camp and she worships Signus, and Hallwad and Aucasis Caurn, nés Killer, were actually adopted. The next one reveals that Shadow and Déaspor are also related to Lu, and that the Derobus cat that saved her life was a part of their plan too.
    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.
  • When It Rains, It Pours:
    • The book begins on September 1st, 2011, and Lu leaves Greywall’d on February 14th, 2012. Naturally, the rain falling during that period has a tendency to be heavy.
    • The rain in Greywall’d becomes so heavy at one point that Lu has to stop her quest and stay at the Chopped Tree Inn until it passes.
  • White Magic: Bridget is a case of Light Is Not Good, using Mind Manipulation in the form of a creeping white haze.
  • Wicked Cultured: The Dark Ones. Their king, Gleaborne, is an accomplished scholar and is particularly eloquent in English, and they have a narrative poem about the history of Ciaró (see Show Within a Show below) recited for them at the banquet.
  • Window Pain: Lu’s fury-fuelled Power Incontinence makes her break all the windows in Bridget’s room when she sees the end result of The Makeover.
  • Witch Species: Lu learns that Wizards (unlike other magic-wielders) are in fact a race, and, unlike other races, have no fixed domain and just wander from one place to the next.
  • 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.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • 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.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Lu resorts to this after Hallwad ignores The Plan and charges at the Dark Ones torturing his sister and quickly runs off to make them follow him and leave her alone, leading to his capture. She tells the Dark Ones she wants to renew the Killers’ ancient pact with them, then, realising they’re probably onto her, talks to their warden, Castor, and gets him to reveal that he has a Skeleton Key and keep her door slightly ajar, allowing her to slip out using the Invisibility Potion and rescue Hallwad and Aucasis.
  • 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 Not Ready:
    • ‘Hat Lad’ tells Lu she will ‘find out soon enough’ she asks him for more information at one point.
    • Invoked by Cleareye, who decided to go back and claim her title as the Queen of Ciaró only when she was sixteen, when she felt mature enough.
  • 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.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: ‘Hat Lad’ tells Lu she has to leave Earth for Greywall’d after her fight with Professor Cole, as more people will follow and try to kill her. She listens only after she winds up killing the next two people who try to kill her and is horrified at what happened and her own actions.
  • You Killed My Entire Family:
    • Professor Cole holds Lu and every other Killer responsible for the murder of his family, and tries to kill Lu for it when she tells him her last name.
    • Happens to the two men who attack Lu in London after they tell her tell her they killed her family and wind up dead by Awakening the Sleeping Giant.

Good luck, Troper, and may fortune prove your ally.
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