Literature / Night World

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Nightworld_Books_1_to_3_Omnibus_-_Cover_Art_740.gif
Not a woman you want to mess with.

Four to stand between the light and shadow,
Four of blue fire, power in their blood.
Born in the year of the blind Maiden's vision;
Four less one and darkness triumphs.

One from the land of kings long forgotten,
One from the hearth which still holds the spark,
One from the Day World where two eyes are watching,
One from the twilight to be one with the dark.
Aradia, Huntress

L.J. Smith's YA fantasy/supernatural/romance series Night World was first published between 1996 and 1998. It was designed as a ten-book series. After a ten-year hiatus, the tenth and final book Strange Fate is now scheduled for publication.

The series deals with the existence of a secret society of witches, vampires, and shapeshifters, and how they interact with the inhabitants of the human world. Although humans have long since gained control of the world over the Night World's minority, the supernatural members of the society treat humans with disdain and prejudice, calling them "vermin" and plotting ways to regain power over the world.

It is fine for Night World inhabitants to treat humans in whatever way they please as long as two essential rules are upheld:

  1. Do not tell humans about the Night World.
  2. Never fall in love with a human.

What follows is a series of stand-alone yet interrelated stories that tell what happens when (wait for it...) these rules get broken. The first four or so books set the ground-work for the series as a whole, introducing characters who turn up in later books and concepts such as the Soulmate Principle and Circle Daybreak, as well as the mythos and history of the Night World. Book Six, Soulmate, introduces the onset of the apocalypse. The rest of the series deals with the measures that good and evil forces take to prepare for it.

This series provides examples of:

  • The '90s: The series was first published in the 1990's and is presumably set then, with the upcoming millennium being a plot point in later books and references to 90's pop culture. Some later additions of the books tried to update the setting by switching out words like "Walkman" for "iPod", but the majority of fans accept The 90's as the series' setting (including on the wiki) and most editions stick with this.
  • Abusive Parents: A few examples:
    • Delos's father (and later his great grandfather) pretty much forces him to repetitively use his power (which later starts to be damaging to his left arm and implants it into his head that he has no feelings whatsoever. He's also forced to kill his own teacher.
    • Keller's mother (or possibly her father - she never really knew which of them it was and assumes it was her mother), who abandoned her as a baby...in a cardboard box in the street.
    • Morgead's mother, who was neglectful at best before doing a runner.
  • Action Girl: Three in particular: Rashel Jordan, Jez Redfern and Raksha Keller. Lupe Acevedo and Nissa Johnson count, too.
  • Adult Fear:
    • In Secret Vampire, your teenage daughter is fine one minute, the next she's been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer which will be extremely painful and debilitating, she only has three months to live, tops, and there is nothing you can do about it.
    • Suzanne Blanchett's backstory: Forced to Watch as your young siblings are tortured into confessing they're witches, then burnt alive.
    • The parents of the babies Maya sacrificed to become the first vampire probably went through this.
    • In The Chosen, Rashel kills a vampire who has been specifically targeting young children. Because he's a vampire, no one will ever find out what really happened to the missing children - the only comfort is that other kids will be safe.
    • Jez's parents had to beg for their four year old daughter's life to be spared when vampires came to execute them for breaking Night World law.
  • Aerith and Bob: You have names like Eric, Thea, Gillian, Phillip and Maggie along with names like Raksha, Azhdeha, Rashel, Azarius and Autolykos.
  • The Alcoholic: Gillian's mother.
  • Afraid of Needles: Poppy.
  • All There in the Manual: There are some extra stories on Smith's website that show other part of characters' lives. Link.
  • Alpha Bitch: Tanya in Dark Angel. She's a Type 2, with some shades of Academic Alpha Bitch thrown in.
  • Arranged Marriage:
    • Galen and Iliana. Averted, much to Keller's relief.
    • Maeve Harman and Hunter Redfern also count.
  • The Atoner:
    • Ash, who leaves his soulmate at the end of Daughters of Darkness to make up for what he's done in the past.
    • Also Jez Redfern, who joins Circle Daybreak after realizing that she's half-human.
    • Thierry too, for inadvertantly slaughtering a tribe of humans, including his soulmate Hannah's first incarnation.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Ash and Mary-Lynnette, Jez and Morgead.
  • Badass Longcoat: Quinn wears one briefly.
  • Badass Normal: Rashel Jordan. Mary-Lynette may count as well.
  • Battle Couple: Rashel and Quinn.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Played with. Mary-Lynnette questions whether Jane Austen and Galileo were possibly vampires.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ash and Mary-Lynnette.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't call Jez by her full name. It pisses her off so much, that when her soulmate calls her "Jezebel" as she lies dying, she actually comes back in order to tell him never to call her that.
    • Don't call Keller by her first, either.
    • Don't say anything Anti-Feminist or make any Stay in the Kitchen remarks to Mary-Lynnette, you will regret it.
  • Better as Friends: Jez and Hugh.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Black Dawn Castle in the Dark Kingdom is a massive, centuries' old castle made of black stone that dominates the landscape and looks straight out of a gothic novel/film. Naturally, it's the home of the resident Vampire Monarch and lends its name to the title of the eighth book.
  • Big Fancy House: A few appear, most notably Thierry's luxurious mansion in Las Vegas and the old mansion on the island enclave.
  • Bigger Bad: In Witchlight, the gang goes up against an astoundingly powerful dragon, who tells them he was woken from his slumber by "a witch who is not a witch." Whoever that is, is bound to be even more terrifying.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Redferns, starting all the way back with its founder, Maya, who drank the blood of babies to achieve immortality, turned a fellow tribesman into the first made vampire against his will, and fought her sister to the death.
    • The Harmans fare a little better, but not when they are forced to marry into the Redfern clan.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Maya, Sylvia, Tanya.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Quite a few.
    • Secret Vampire: ends with Poppy talking to her mother while she sleeps and gives her an happy dream, telling her "I'm okay now, Mom. You don't have to worry about me anymore." before driving off into the night with her soulmate, James.
    • Daughters of Darkness: Ash leaves to start his Redemption Quest and tells Mary-Lynnette, "Even when we're apart, we'll be looking at the same sky!" while an meteor shower takes place.
    • Dark Angel: Gillian and David watch, hand in hand, as "Angel" is finally able to pass on.
  • Blind Seer: Aradia.
  • Blood Magic: The Wild Powers. When they bleed they are able to unleash blue fire magic, the most powerful and lethal form of magic in the Night World. Up to Witchlight blue fire has been used to stop trains, destroy large groups of people, kill a dragon, and even extinguish regular fire in a house fire. And only four people in the world possess it.
  • Broken Pedestal: Two examples in The Chosen. Nyala hero-worships Rashel so when she lets Quinn go and later falls in love with him, she is bitterly disappointed (which doesn't help her already shaky sanity). Later, Quinn gets this towards his maker and adoptive father Hunter Redfern. Quinn had a love-hate relationship with him, as it was, but still respected him and believed him to be a man of honor. It's a blow when he discovers Hunter broke his own rules and was behind the blood feast all along.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Thierry and Hannah, and James and Poppy to an extent (overlapping with Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl). Also a Gender Flip version with Galen and Keller.
  • Burn the Witch!: Played with in Spellbinder. After accidentally releasing the vengeful spirit of a witch whose siblings were burnt at the stake, Thea and Eric reenact the burning with dummies in the attempt to draw the spirit away from the school dance.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Claire Goddard. Her brother Ricky also counts, he just doesn't look it.
  • Cain and Abel: Maya and Hellewise, respectively.
  • Care-Bear Stare: Delos, meet Maggie.
  • The Casanova:
    • Ash before meeting Mary-Lynnette.
    • Blaise is the Female version.
    • James has a well known reputation as this but in actuality he simply feeds on the girls rather than fooling around.
    • Kierlan is said to be one too, even rivalling Ash in this regard.
  • Cassandra Truth: Claire.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • Rashel says: "This kitten has claws" every time she kills a vampire.
    • Keller also seems to be fond of "I'm just a grunt."
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Poppy and James in Secret Vampire, Jez and Morgead in Huntress. Downplayed between Gillian and David in Dark Angel; she has loved him ever since they met as kids, but he's is initially Oblivious to Love.
  • The Chosen One:
    • Technically the Wild Powers are the Chosen Four: Jez Redfern, Prince Delos, Iliana Dominick and an as-yet unnamed fourth power. According to Word of God, it's Kierlan Drache, a main character in the as-yet-unreleased Strange Fate.
    • Iliana counts twice over considering she's also the Witch Child, prophesied to secure peace between the witches and the shapeshifters.
    • Also Maggie in Black Dawn who is identified among the slaves as the Deliverer, come to free them from captivity.
  • The Clan: The Harmans and the Redferns, and to a lesser extent, the Draches (who are known as the First House of the Shapeshifters).
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: because of her heritage, Jez's eyecolor is an in-between of blue and silver.
  • Continuity Cameo: L.J. Smith loves these. Ash and Thea have small roles in Secret Vampire, and the two subsequent sequels feature them as the protagonists. Ash turns up again in Dark Angel and Soulmate. Likewise, Quinn features in Daughters of Darkness and then stars in The Chosen, Aradia is in Spellbinder and then Black Dawn, Hunter and Lily Redfern are introduced in The Chosen: the former reappears in Black Dawn and the latter in Huntress, and all the soulmates introduced up to that point appear in Soulmate.
    • Timmy is implied to be at Thierry's Summer Solstice party in Secret Vampire.
  • Coolest Club Ever: The Black Iris Club. Well, the ones that aren't hurting humans.
  • Covers Always Spoil: The original book covers' back blurbs pretty much spoiled what the book's plotline was, the outcome and who was whose soulmate.
  • Cool Shades: James sports a pair.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Witchlight has a Badass Crew consisting of two witches, a werepanther, a were leopard and a vampire vs a dragon.
  • Coupled Couples: Mary-Lynette and Ash, coupled with their respective siblings, Mark and Jade, in Daughters of Darkness. The relationships serve as a Foil to each other; Mark and Jade pretty much fall in love upon sight, have a rather smooth transition into Official Couple and go around holding hands and making goo-goo eyes at each other like the love-struck teens they are. Meanwhile, Ash and Mary-Lynette are almost instantly hostile, yet also unwillingly attracted, to each other, spend much of their time bickering and making snarky comments, and eventually fall for each other kicking and screaming all the way.
  • Curse That Cures: One of the books is about a girl with cancer whose vampire boyfriend offers to turn her to save her life.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Rashel Jordan fits this trope perfectly. After her mother and brother are killed by Hunter Redfern she becomes a cynical, driven, Jerk with a Heart of Gold vampire hunter.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: On top of being extremely negligent, James's parents responded to him growing fond of his human nanny by, essentially, forcing him to kill her. When he was four.
  • Dead Pan Snarker: Quite a few characters, almost always vampires: Ash, Quinn, Kestrel, Morgead and Nissa.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Rashel and Keller, to an extent.
    • Quinn and Delos are the Male versions.
  • Determinator:
    • Maggie Neely. There's a reason she's called "Steely Neely".
    • Rashel also counts since she trained since she was an kid to avenge her mom.
  • Dhampyr: Jez Redfern.
  • Did They or Didn't They? / G-Rated Sex: In Spellbinder, there’s a scene late in the book where Eric and Thea end up falling into each other arms in a secluded spot near the desert after declaring their love for each other. It’s mentioned that “some time” passes before the action picks up again and they’re lying in each other’s arms, and although it’s never made explicitly clear that anything sexual happened, it’s quite easy to interpret it this way.
  • Disappeared Dad: Hannah's father was said to have died years ago.
  • The Ditz: Daphne Childs.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Ash, after coming to terms with his feelings for Mary-Lynnette.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul":
    • Averted in the case of James. Poppy is the only one who can call him, "Jamie".
    • Keller, on the other hand, does not like to be called by her first name.
  • The Dragon: Lily Redfern, the Dragon to her father Hunter.
    • In Book 9, a literal Dragon, who served some as-yet unknown mastermind.
  • The Dreaded: Quinn at the beginning of the series. Because of his reputation for being cold-blooded and an emotionless, he was feared by vampire and human alike. Ash is uncomfortable by him in Daughters of Darkness, and even the fact that Quinn came with Ash to find Ash's sisters scares all three girls.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Many examples, most notably Hannah and Thierry, who went through centuries of suffering before finally getting a Happily Ever After.
  • Everyone Is Related: Many characters in the series belong to or are related in some way to the Redfern or Harman families. They're actually related to each other too; due to the blood-tie between Maeve Harman and Hunter Redfern, moderns Harmans and Redferns consider each other as 'cross-kin' or 'distant cousins'. They're biologically related as well; most modern Redferns are descended from Garnet Redfern (a notable exception being the Redferns of the Dark Kingdom), whilst most modern Harmans are descended from Roseclear Harman, both of whom are the daughters of Hunter and Maeve. Furthermore, both families share a common ancestor in Hecate Witch-Queen; her daughter Hellewise is the founder of the Harman family, whilst her grandson Red Fern (through her other daughter, Maya) is the founder of the Redfern family. Many of the most prominent lamia families are also implied to be related in one way or another due to them often intermarrying.
  • Evil Redhead: Hunter Redfern and Tormentil Redfern. This is a running trait in their family (both the hair and the evil part).
  • Expy: Numerous characters are very similar to characters from other past L.J. Smith works. For instance:
    • Quinn and Thierry have shades of Stefan In which they: Had traumatic Vampire transformations, Lost their loves and spent the rest of their lives brooding or self-loathing themselves.
    • Ash is an mix of Damon and Julian.
    • Keller, Nissa and Winnie are pretty much Elena, Meredith and Bonnie.
    • Maya is (arguably) Katherine, but less crazy.
    • Thea and Blaise are reminiscent of another pair of Witch cousins.
      • Double goes for Maya and Hellewise.
    • Keller was likely based on Rashel.
      • This is justified because it's revealed that Keller and Rashel are twin sisters.
  • Eyes of Gold: A common trait for the Redferns; Delos, Hunter, Tormentil and Lily all have them. Most likely inherited from Maya.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Surfaces briefly in Witchlight. When the Crone of the witches, Grandma Harman is murdered by shapeshifters, witch and all-around nice girl Winnie goes off on a tirade against shapeshifters in general and basically condemns shapeshifters Keller and Galen as though they had a hand in the crime. But Illiana quickly puts her in her place and Winnie apologizes for her behavior.
    • This actually comes up quite a bit, with other races looking down shapeshifters and werewolves and treating them as 'second class citizens', werewolves having no representation on the Council, and the human genocide against Night People, in particular witches, in the Renaissance.
  • Fantastic Slurs: "Vermin" (for humans), "Leeches" (for vampires) and "Puppies" (for werewolves).
  • Femme Fatale: Blaise.
  • Fiery Redhead: Jez, Jeanne and Winnie. Poppy gets moments too, though she's usually more hyper than aggressive.
  • Filler: Dark Angel. Though it features a cameo from Ash, it's the one book in the series that can be skipped without doing much damage to one's understanding of the over-arching story.
    • Though it does better explain the Lost Harman babies back story.
  • Five-Man Band: Keller’s team in Witchlight.
  • Flower Motifs: Flowers are used to symbolize the different species of Night World and are commonly wore as pins or rings, for instance:
    • Born Vampires' (Lamia) symbol is an Black Iris.
    • Made Vampires' symbol is an Black Rose.
    • Witches' symbol is an Black Dahlia.
    • Lost Witches' symbol is an Black Violet.
    • Werewolves' symbol is an Black Foxglove.
    • Shapeshifters' symbol is an Black Lily.
      • Poppy has a dream in Secret Vampire during which she's given a black poppy. It foreshadows that she was never really human in the first place.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Maggie and Miles. To a lesser extent, Poppy and Phil.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Galen's eyes are described as gold-green..like an leopard's.
    • Jez is present at or witnesses all the instances where blue fire is used.
    • It's not clear if it's intentional, but at the end of Daughters of Darkness, Ash jokingly comments that he'll fight dragons for Mary-Lynette, which literally happens in later books.
    • The Wild Power prophecies foreshadow the identities of the Wild Powers:
      • One from the Day World where two eyes are watching foreshadows it will be a hybrid; Jez Redfern is a vampire-human hybrid.
      • One from the land of kings long forgotten foreshadows Delos Redfern, who is prince of the secret Dark Kingdom.
      • One from the hearth which still holds the spark: foreshadows Iliana Dominick, a lost Harman witch.
    • Hannah has nightmares and subconsciously writes herself notes about the upcoming apocalypse.
    • There's a good reason why Rashel is called "kitten" or "the Cat" and described as being cat-like...she's the long lost twin sister of panther shapeshifter Keller.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch:
    • In Spellbinder, Thea (the good witch) is fighting with Blaise (the bad witch) for Eric. Played with in that Blaise is more of an Anti-Hero than truly evil and Thea actually breaks several witch laws opposing her. A straighter example would Thea vs the real Big Bad: a vengeful witch spirit named Suzanne she accidentally released.
    • In the past, good witch Hellewise vs her evil twin sister Maya (who was also the first vampire).
    • In Black Dawn, Aradia vs Sylvia until the latter's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: If the hybrid's half human, the typical response from the Night World is to kill the "freak" and its parents. The only exception is lost witches, as they don't realise they are Night People, though even they get looked down upon sometimes: in Black Dawn, Sylvia resents the fact that "half human" witches get welcomed into the Harman family because they're descended through the female line, whilst she, a 'pure' witch, is shut out.
  • Happily Married: Mr and Mrs. Goddard, Mr and Mrs. Neely. According to Word of God, Hannah and Thierry.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Mother, maiden and crone are shown as witches' ranks. The 'mother' of all witches is Hecate Witch-Queen.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Dark Kingdom.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lily wanted the Wild Power, she got it.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: In Huntress:
    Morgead: “DON'T YOU DARE DIE ON ME, JEZEBEL! DON'T YOU DARE! Or I'll follow you to the next world and KILL you.”
  • Hyper-Awareness: Maggie in Black Dawn, upon discovering a hole in Sylvia's story claiming that Maggie's brother Miles had died in a hiking accident from not securing his equipment properly—when Miles had in fact had always put safety first when hiking, she quickly notices that the "hysterical" Sylvia isn't actually crying, and she spends the whole time explaining the tragedy staring at Maggie's mismatched socks.
    • Jez in Huntress realized that Iona was going to throw herself off the roof during the Wild Power test, when none of the others expected an eight-year-old to do it.
  • I Am Spartacus: Morgead, Hugo, and Claire invoke this in Huntress after they get kidnapped with Jez by Lily Redfern after she demands to know which of the four of them is the Wild Power. This also serves as an inversion of the troupe as well, as none of them do know who the Wild Power is and are just trying to buy some time. Unfortunately the stunt ends up annoying Lily who stakes Jez after a suggestion by Pierce in order to force the Wild Power to emerge and save Jez's life. However, since the blue fire is Blood Magic, Jez's mortal wound causes her to unleash the blue fire herself and she is revealed to be the Wild Power.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal / Refusal of the Call: Iliana.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Implied with Delos and Maggie.
    Maggie: "You can kill me. But that's all you can do. I told you, you can't control me. And you can't change what's between us."
  • Info Dump: Jez and Hugo partake in a bit of this in Huntress where they go over essentially the entirety of human history, and the different time periods in which humans, werewolves, witches, and vampires were in total control before each world "ended" via natural disaster, for seemingly no other reason than to inform the reader exactly why everybody in the Night World is looking for the Wild Powers. And so Claire can hear the whole thing.
  • The Ingenue: Invoked when Winnie explains that Iliana is "Too pure for this stuff," not a coward. Not to mention Iliana's silver-gold hair, violet eyes, 'glow,' and the fact that a small character is described as almost as small as she is.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: All kinds of Night People, though particularly vampires.
  • Interspecies Romance: Almost all the main couples are from different species (it's a major plot point throughout the series). The only main couple this doesn't apply to is Keller and Galen, as they're both shapeshifters.
  • In the Blood: There are three royal families at work in the series, pertaining to the three major Night World species: the Redferns (vampires), the Harmans (witches) and the Draches (shapeshifters), all with particular gifts that elevate them from the rest of their kind and commonly found traits (both physical and personality-wise).
  • Just a Kid: Subverted and used: People fighting vampires remind themselves that the vampires are not really kids, and should be treated as a threat. Used in that even a child vampire has the potential to be very dangerous, so this mantra does not make very much sense.
  • Karma Houdini: Blaise. She mind-rapes (and probably sexually rapes) human boys with her love potions to get gifts and popularity and we even meet one particular boy that she has completely destroyed. Her punishment? Not a damn thing. Instead, we're supposed to like her at the end of the story!
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Rashel's weapon of choice. As she is a vampire hunter, it is of course wooden.
  • Kill It with Fire: Witches are harmed by iron and fire, werewolves and shapeshifters are harmed by silver and fire, vampires are harmed by wood and fire, humans are harmed by the normal assortment (so, fire). Fire: the only thing where you can be sure, regardless of the type.
    • In The Chosen, Nyala attempts this with an Molotov cocktail to kill all the vampires in the house having the bloodfeast.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: When the victim is willing or in a trance.
  • Last-Name Basis: John Quinn, Raksha Keller
  • Lightning Bruiser: Pretty much all vampires automatically qualify as this in a fight; they're inhumanly strong, fast, agile and also very durable – unless i'’s inflicted with wood or fire, they can heal from virtually any injury in minutes.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Technically Poppy isn't a child, but she's described as "petite" and "pixie-like," and everyone is suitably devastated when she's diagnosed with cancer. Luckily she's also got a vampire for a best friend, which comes in handy if you're terminally ill.
  • The Load: Iliana, for most of Witchlight.
  • Long Lost Sibling: According to Word of God, Rashel and Keller are twins Separated at Birth.
  • The Lost Lenore: Dove Redfern is this for Quinn.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Keller's motto.
  • Love Potion: Used in Spellbinder after Thea accidentally challenges Blaise.
  • Love Triangle: Type 8. Yes, Soulmate Principle is in effect.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Jade. On meeting her Mark thinks: "Okay, so she is crazy. I don't care. I think I love her."
    • Poppy. Just Poppy.
  • Matriarchy: Witches are depicted as having a matriarchal society. The three highest ranking positions in their society, Maiden, Mother and Crone, are always held by women and most of the Inner Circle (the main governing body) are women. Lineage is passed down through women and witches belong to their mother's clan and take her surname. They also have a tendency to worship goddesses or 'the Goddess'. They don't really seem to look down on men though; they still worship male gods as well as female ones, male witches seem to generally have the same rights and opportunities as female witches and are allowed to become members of the Inner Circle. The matriarchy seems to also partly be out of practicality – male witches are much rarer than female witches (in the distant past, before it was outlawed, it wasn't uncommon for female witches to take human husbands as a result of the unbalanced male to female ratio amongst their species). The only time this really becomes a problem is in Black Dawn, where Sylvia Weald is deeply unhappy about not being considered a Harman because she's not descended from the female line (whilst her distant cousins, who have human fathers, are still accepted despite not being 'pure' witches because their mothers are descended from the female line).
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Quinn and Rashel. She's 17, he was born in the 1600s.
    • Thierry and Hannah, sort of. Technically they were born at around the same time, but he's immortal and she's been reincarnated many times and at the time of Soulmate, is 16.
  • Meaningful Name: Galen means "Calm", Gavin Means "Hawk"
  • Missing Mom: Mary-Lynnette and Mark's mom died when Mark was still young.
  • The Mole: Pierce in Huntress and Jaime, who is actually The Dragon in disguise in Witchlight.
  • My God, What Have I Done??:
    • Thierry when he realises, in his bloodlust, that he has killed almost all the members of a human tribe, including his soulmate.
    • Gillian when she realises she's inadvertantly given her rival flesh-eating bacteria and landed in her hospital.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Phillip think this to James about Poppy.
  • Never Trust a Title: Daughters of Darkness give off the idea that the focus is on Ash's sisters when actually it's about Ash and Mary-Lynnette's relationship development along with an murder mystery.
  • Non-Action Guy: Hugh. He does his best though, bless him.
    • Galen At first.
  • Not So Different: Rashel and Quinn in The Chosen. Both have spent most of their lives hating a different species because of personal tragedy— Rashel hated vampires because a vampire killed her mother, and Quinn hated humans because his human father killed his fiancee—and in turn have killed quite a few people from the side they hate, all the while justifying their actions because of the aforementioned tragedies experienced. Though when they realize this they decide to put aside their hatred once and for all.
    • Hannah sees herself and Thierry as this with another Soulmated couple (Ash and Mary-Lynnette) after talking to Ash and seeing how much he truly wants to make it up to his Soulmate...Just like Thierry.
  • Oblivious to Love: In Huntress Morgead had always loved Jez, even though they were intense rivals and their relationship was mostly Snark-to-Snark Combat. Jez however had believed Morgead saw her as a threat and always expect him to try and kill her when the opportunity arose.
  • Older Than They Look / Really 700 Years Old: Maya, Thierry, Quinn, Hunter Redfern, Thistle, Timmy.
    • Gillian of Dark Angel is seventeen years old but her petite frame and short stature (less than five feet tall) make her look like a little kid.
  • Opposites Attract: Ash and Mary-Lynnette, Maggie and Delos, Galen and Keller,
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: In this continuity, ghouls are humans that did not successfully complete the transition into vampirehood, leaving them nearly brain-dead, difficult to kill, and with an insatiable bloodthirstiness. They're also really, really gross.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: As with Twilight the only aspects of vampirism retained from folklore is their need for human blood, and their immortality. Unlike Twilight the condition is not glamorized, and is considered a somewhat lonely, melancholy state of existence.
    • There are two types of vampires at work in the world: those known as the lamia, who are born to the condition, are able to procreate, and can control their aging process, and made vampires, who are (obviously) humans who have been turned. All made vampires are also teenagers, because the stress of conversion can only be handled by people under the age of twenty. Attempts of conversion on someone twenty years old and over causes their bodies to "burn out".
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They have powers that allow them to track people by something that appears to amount to psychic scent. They also can transform into a variety of animals, and, though it is never outright stated, look like they pick up some characteristics of their animal.
    • There is some confusion over the difference between "werewolves" and "shapeshifters" in the series. Shapeshifters can seemingly change at will, whereas werewolves are bound by lunear cycles. Likewise, werewolves are prone to more prejudice within the Night World, whereas the shapeshifters of Witchlight (book 9) seem fairly respected.
      • Werewolves aren't bound by lunar cycles in he series, Jeremy Lovett changed at will and Mary-Lynnette even mentally commented on the fact that it wasn't a full moon.
  • Parental Abandonment: Whoo, Boy...
    • Morgead: was neglected by his mother who kept leaving him to fool around with other men until she finally left altogether. Doubles as Freudian Excuse when Jez later leaves the gang. You really feel for the poor guy.
    • Keller: Because of the fact that she couldn't control her shifting (especially when she was frighten) her mother left her in an cardboard box like someone would for kittens and puppies, Stuck in her half and half form with an note basically saying that she will always be alone.
    • Poppy and Phillip's dad (though it's implied he does love them, he's just not good with responsibility).
    • Gillian: her mother is a neglectful alcoholic and her father leaves in the middle of the night, only to return right at the end of the story.
  • Polar Opposite Twins:
    • Poppy and Philip. She's a carefree, fun-loving petite redhead, he's tall, Viking blonde and very "strait-laced" as Poppy puts it. They love each other anyway.
    • Hellewise and Maya are far more extreme example (see above).
  • Prophecy Twist: In her capacity as the Witch Child, Iliana is told that she is destined to secure an alliance between shapeshifters and witches by marrying the crown prince of the royal shapeshifter house. Instead she declares herself blood sister to werepanther Keller.
  • Psychic Link: Some soulmate couples have one to each other (usually ones including a vampire, due to their ability to use Telepathy). It's hinted that all soulmates have a psychic connection, vampires just display it more strongly due to already being able to read minds.
  • Red Herring: In Daughters of Darkness Ash is widely believed to be the one that murdered his aunt but it's actually Jeremy.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Poor, Poor Sylvia.
  • Red String of Fate: Or in this case, a silver thread. Destined soulmates describe this thread as the energy that connects them and pulls them together.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Hannah and Thierry. Several times over. Also implied with Ash and Mary-Lynnette, though post-story.
  • Reincarnation: Known as "Old Souls" among the Night World; individuals who are reincarnated are reasonably common in the series, most prominently Hannah Snow, protagonist of Soulmate. Others include Catherine (who doesn't know she's an Old Soul), Hugh (who does), and Iona (a child who is said to be the oldest reincarnated being on earth, an impressive claim since Hannah dates back to prehistoric times).
    • So far all Old Souls have been human, and it has been explicitly stated that it's impossible for a vampire to be reincarnated.
    • They're said to regain memories of their past lives in times of stress or danger, after which they are referred to as "awakened" Old Souls.
  • Romantic False Lead: Jeremy and Mary-Lynnette, Jez and Hugh
  • Romantic Vampire Boy: Several, including James, Thierry, Quinn and Delos.
  • Sarcastic Confession: One of Quinn's tactics.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Delos, who has been raised in a kingdom cut off from the human world, and with very little idea of what's going on in the outside world (or in his own kingdom, judging from his reaction to Jeanne's scars).
  • Shrinking Violet: Gillian.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Ash and Mary-Lynette. Complete with literal slapping.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: All the couples to some extent, considering they're all breaking the No. 2 rule of Night World society, but Rashel and Quinn get special mention: he's a vampire, she's a vampire hunter (and yes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is referenced by another character).
  • Theme Naming: It is traditional for lamia to be named after natural things (birds, plants or precious stones); ie. Rowan, Kestrel, Jade, Garnet, Lily, Dove, Hunter (all of whom belong to the Redfern clan). There is also the tradition of any werecreature being named after whatever animal s/he happens to be able to change into in his/her native language. Witches also tend to be named after deities or legendary figures.
  • Title Drop: Black Dawn is the name of the castle in the Dark Kingdom.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Gillian in Dark Angel. Would you go investigate a strange noise, in a forest, by yourself, in the middle of winter? By yourself? Somewhat subverted in that she does actually die from this stupidity...
  • The Topic of Cancer: A major plot point in Secret Vampire is Poppy learning she's dying of pancreatic cancer, leading to James attempting to turn her into a vampire to save her.
  • Tsundere: Mary-Lynnette in Daughters of Darkness, deredere.
  • Unequal Pairing: Crops up occasionally.
    • Thierry is a Night World Elder, addressed as Lord and has a boatload of cash to spare, whilst Hannah is a mere high school student with a roughly working class/lower middle class background. However, by Witchlight she’s also addressed by the title of Lady and is strongly implied to be co-running Circle Daybreak alongside Thierry, subverting this to an extent.
    • In Black Dawn, Prince Delos makes sure Maggie is well aware of their difference in station…at first. Maggie, for her part, doesn’t really care all that much about his title and does whatever she wants anyway.
  • The Unfettered: This is a pretty good definition of what Rashel appears to mean by zanshin.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Thea in Spellbinder, while sending back the spirit she unintentionally summoned.
    Thea: By the power of Earth and Air and Water! By the power of Fire on this night of Hecate! By my own power as a daughter of Hellewise! Go speedily, conveniently and without delay, you bitch.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: If the victim is not willing and aware.
  • Vampire Hunter:
    • Rashel.
    • Jez counts as well.
    • There's also a whole group of vampire hunters known as the Lancers who show up in The Chosen.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Poppy eventually manages to win over James, her friend-since-preschool.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Poppy, upon Phil's fight with James.
  • We Are Everywhere: The Night People, as James points out.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Lancers of The Chosen.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After The Chosen, Timmy is never mentioned again.
    • Blaise's fate after Spellbinder is still unknown and she hasn't been mentioned since except for Witchlight which just rules her out as an Wild Power.
  • Witch Species: Way back in the beginning of the world there was a 'blessed tribe' and now they're a race.
  • Woman Scorned: A significant part of Maya's motivation.
    • Murder the Hypotenuse: What Maya has essentially done to Hannah since prehistory, and has further poisoned Thierry's relationship with her by manipulating Hannah into thinking Thierry killed her all those times. He only killed her once, which was pure accidental, but the rest of her deaths were caused by Maya.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Rashel's katana cuts through a vampire like "razor-sharp steel" through a human.
    • Jez also has an bamboo knife.
  • Would Hurta Child
    • Maya sacrificed her tribe's four babies and drank their blood to become the first vampire.
    • Hunter turned a four year old into a vampire and tried to kill five year old Rashel and, aside from keeping the Night World hidden, no legitimate reason is given for his actions. He also has no issue with orchestrating the kidnapping of young girls to be used in a blood feast, some of whom are as young as twelve.
  • You Already Changed the Past: In Black Dawn Prince Delos goes back in time to warn Maggie to leave the Dark Kingdom. However, when Maggie sees Delos in present-time, the fact that she recognises him from her dream ensures her determination to learn more about him, and events proceed as they originally did. Interesting, as she tells him about the dream, so he is aware that he already changed the past.
    "I know," [Delos] said, and his voice was tired and a bit forlorn. He sounded very young, just then. "But it was worth a try."

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/NightWorld