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Hazel May is a girl who on her fifteenth birthday learns that some members of her family have an ancient ability to travel to another world while they sleep. Guided by a mysterious old man and a
growing group of friends
, she travels the "Other Side", the source of dreams and myths, searching for a mysterious object that may be the
. However, the Maia family has not been searching for as long as
one other creature...
No, these are not the
This series provides examples of: Abduction Is Love: Koschei believes this. Action Girl: Laika, Corvax, Hazel to a certain extent. All Myths Are True: Sorta. The Other Side is implied to be the source of all myths, but most of the forms known on the Wakeside are garbled. All Trolls Are Different: And there seem to be several different species. Almighty Janitor: The Lazarus is a villainous version a few times. Anachronism Stew: Present, but rather subtle, and also justified. Androcles' Lion: Cang Long, the Dragon of the East. Angel Unaware: Cang Long. Animal Motifs: Laika- Wolf (Justified in-universe), Otsi- Bear. Annoying Arrows: Averted. Arrows are deadly and treated as seriously as they deserve. The Apprentice: Hazel, to Otsi at first, and temporarily to several others. Attempted Rape: Not a serious threat to Laika. Badass Bookworm: Hazel Badass Family: The Maia family. Badass Grandpa: Otsi Barbarian Longhair: Often used together with Beard of Barbarism. Bar Brawl: Used quite seriously in Northern Man. Battle Couple: Corvax and Wulver, of course. Battle in the Centre of the Mind: Technically, all of the Other Side Bawdy Song: "Janka se Serram" is implied to be this. Bears Are Bad News: The Lazarus Symbiont/Familiar/Whistling Thing takes this form, along with Glowing Eyes of Doom. So does Shash. Big Bad: Lazarus Big Damn Heroes: Cang Long and the Chinese army. Big Eater: Laika Big Friendly Dog: Paavik The Big Guy: Moddi. The Blacksmith: These guys are useful for more reasons than one. Blood Knight: Red Tom. Body-Count Competition: Happens once. Corvax and Wulver have one when it is thoroughly justified - they must kill every member of a small band of enemies who attacked first but are beatable, to prevent any from bringing back a much larger force that would annihilate them and their friends. Thus, the usually In general, the books friendly snipers have to count carefully, and while they always have a rivalry going on, they are not cold-blooded killers. explicitly say that killing is perfectly justified when in self defense or defense of others, but only then. Boisterous Bruiser: Prince Svyatoslav. Born in the Wrong Century: Red Tom Couleton has aspects of this. Bottomless Magazines: Oh so averted.
"Wulver," Laika hissed, "See that light? Could you put it out?"
Wulver grimaced. "And waste an arrow?"
Cannot Cross Running Water: Oddly Played for Laughs. Mikki has trouble crossing water, though he is not a wizard. Instead, his trouble is caused by the superstitious Norse ferry captain, who believes that all Finns are wizards and refuses to let him on the boat. Basically: "A suspected wizard cannot cross running water unless he is very, very good at threats. Chekhov's Gun: Red Tom's BFS. The Chessmaster: Thaka, in the Wolf council. For a start, she isn't blind, and has been observing a lot of Skee-ga's shenanigans for most of the series; she devises a plan to help Otsi and Hazel against Red Tom; and she uncovers TWO Lazarus incarnations, once by causing Skee-ga to report to it while being followed, and once by manipulating him into revealing it to save his own skin. The Chosen One: Averted. Hazel is nothing special; she just happens to be the Maia family representative at the time when stuff gets real. Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Drake, though how much of it is real is debatable. His answer is: "All of it, by choice." Common Tongue: Seems to exist. No Double Sider has trouble understanding any language on the Other Side. Cool Big Sis: Laika, to Hazel, for the first few years. Cool Old Guy: Otsi Curse Cut Short: Drake's lullaby. Drake: Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
Papa's going to get you a mockingbird,
And if that mockingbird won't sing,
Papa's going to get you a diamond ring,
And if that diamond ring is glass, Cute Little Tusks: Iningizimu Dark Is Evil: The Snake-woman. Averted with Corvax. Deadpan Snarker: Several, most notable Otsi and Mikki. Dead Person Conversation: Played with. Deal with the Devil: While supernatural creatures are able to use magic, the only way for humans to use magic is to have "dealings with spirits," which, as Otsi puts it,"You'd have to be a complete bloody loony to do." Doesn't stop some people... The Ditz: The Trolls That Sort Rocks. Do You Trust Me?: Hazel, to Sabkai, as she genuinely likes him and wants to help. He ends up trusting her, and vice versa, but she is ultimately unable to help him. Dumb Muscle: "Mouse had the strength and intelligence of an ox." The Dragon: Jakosh Merkana is this to Skee-ga for a while. He eventually becomes the real leader, in all but name. The Dung Ages: Played with. Hazel has to learn to live with dirt, but people do seem to keep reasonably clean, as ancient Norsemen actually did. Enemy Mine: Happens quite a bit when Lazarus is in the picture. Erudite Stoner: Drake slips into this role once or twice. Evil Is Not a Toy: Stupid, stupid Skee-ga. Eyepatch of Power: The Volva. The Faceless: One incarnation of the Lazarus, which is hideous: "It had no features, not even fingernails. Blotchy, pale skin, like rotten milk, was stretched- smeared, even- over a lumpy frame." Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Every culture has one, that is very similar to its ancient form. Find the Cure: Sabkai wants to do this, though he realizes all along that his chances are slim. Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Hazel discusses this with Drake after his death. Freudian Excuse: Sav Mav se Serram. Freudian Trio: Hazel is the superego, Laika is the Id, and Otsi is the ego. Friendly Sniper: Corvax and Wulver. Full-Name Basis: Shan Tasa Aidahan, though not out of respect. Functional Magic: A part of everyday life on the Other Side. Unusually, not one of the main characters uses it, as it is the exclusive prerogative of magical creatures.. Genre Savvy: Hazel becomes this, due to her role as Badass Bookworm. All of her studies help her to recognise what is going on. She still is fooled occasionally, even towards the end. God Save Us from the Queen!: Prince Svyatoslav's wife. Good Scars, Evil Scars: Played with. As most of the main characters, good or evil, fight a lot, they all have scars of varying seriousness. They are seen as a Badassery metre by both sides. Gotta Catch 'Em All: Averted: they simply need to find many clues to the location of the Sampo because it is hard to find. There is no set number of objects needed. Gray Rain of Depression: "It was raining. Rain makes everyone grumpy." Grim Up North: Averted. While the North is harsh and cold, it is the homeland of virtually all the characters, who know how to survive and love it. Hair-Trigger Temper: Otsi. Happily Married: Laika and Koschei, in the Distant Finale. Historical In-Joke: Most people on the Other Side choose a name to go by, often a historical character or just something that sounds cool, but apparently Otsi the Iceman is secretly named after the Otsi the man in this universe. Also, the sea captain Raving Floki. note Holy Hand Grenade: One way of getting rid of the Lazarus. Honorable Elephant: Iningizimu. Hot-Blooded: Laika. Human Sacrifice: Several graves the gang come across contain "these poor buggers.'' Husky Russkie: Prince Svyatoslav. I Am Who??: Hazel's grandparents never had the ability to go to the Other Side, and, resenting this, they never told her parents. Hazel thus grew up unaware of her Maia heritage. As a result, her mentor and only living relative on the Other Side is Otsi, her great-grandfather. I Ate What?: Happens a few times. "REINDEER PISS? I Call It Vera: Almost everyone. Drake's sword is called You dog. An Ice Person: One of Lazarus' incarnations, the Thin Man. And Skadi. I Gave My Word: Honour is VERY important to Laika's bunch. Justified in that if your word is not widely accepted, you are not likely to live long, as no one will have dealings with you. I Know Your True Name: A major fear for most of the characters, as magic and hexes can be made using real names. As a result, most double-siders use a false name, except Drake. Indy Ploy: Drake's entire plan to impress Prince Svyatoslav. The Prince is perfectly aware of what is going on, and it is in fact Drake's ability to think on his feet that impresses him. I Need a Freaking Drink: "Someone pushed something into my hand: something warm and alcoholic, bless them." Insane Equals Violent: The sea captain in Northern Man. Jumped at the Call: Hazel. Probably Laika too, but we never learn... Junkie Prophet: Quite a few of the shamans. Killed Off for Real: Drake. Sabkai. Jackass Merkana. Argus. Red Tom (Maybe.) Skee-ga. King in the Mountain: Antero Vipunen. Knife Nut: Laika is the most prominent, but she is far from unique. Knight Templar: Red Tom Couleton is a mild case. Lie to the Beholder / They Look Like Us Now: Lazarus Loophole Abuse: Laika uses this to justify her assisting Hazel and Otsi against Red Tom Couleton. As it turns out, this is exactly what Argus, the Wolf chieftain, actually wanted her to do. Magical Native American: Shash. At least, this is how he chooses to appear. Magic Music: The Rune singing. A Match Made in Stockholm: From a Certain Point of View. Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is the old woman in the forest Baba Yaga? We will never know. May-December Romance/ Mayfly-December Romance: Laika and Koschei. Meaningful Name: Used deliberately in-universe by many double-siders. Medieval Stasis Mood Whiplash: In Firebird, a typical Drake moment ("Did you just serve him rat?")is followed a few minutes later by Drake being mortally wounded. Narrative Profanity Filter Never Found the Body / No One Could Survive That: Red Tom. Never Mess with Granny: The 300-year old Volva. The Nicknamer: Otsi. Noodle Implements: The carrot and the two bowls. Noodle Incident: The fire in Reykjavik, and what part Laika played in it. Not Quite Dead: Otsi. In an unusual case, he never "died," and was active in the story for a long and unbroken period of time before rumours of his death appeared. Also Drake, to a certain extent. The Nth Doctor: The Lazarus has many different incarnations. Then all seven show up at once. Obfuscating Stupidity: Again, Drake. Otaku: Red Tom Couleton, for his adoptive tribe. Our Dragons Are Different: Cang Long. Surprisingly, no Western dragons make an appearance, though they apparently exist. Our Liches Are Different: The titular Shaman, for a start. And Koschei the Deathless. Peek-a-Bangs: Get in the way of fighting.
Otsi: Get you hair away from your eyes, boy.
Persona Non Grata: Drake is apparently banned from numerous Wakeside places, including Walmart, Taco Bell, and Germany. However, Drake being Drake... Playing with Fire: Lazarus, in the Furnace Man incarnation. Plenty of Blondes Pregnant Badass: Laika is pregnant in the Distant Finale, and there is no reason to believe that she is less badass. Prophecies Are Always Right: Averted. It entirely depends on who you're talking to. The Volva, for instance, you should listen to. The Shaman may well be lying. There is no way of knowing what old songs may apply to. Jeremy just spouts complete rubbish. ( Maybe.) Pyro Maniac: No, not the pitch-black metal man who bleeds fire. Drake Firebrace. Reasonable Authority Figure: Argus in spades. Also Mikki. Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The living Snake tatoo on the Lazarus Woman. Rubber Man: The featureless Lazarus. It isn't funny at all. Sacred Hospitality: An important plot point, when Laika, a virtual prisoner euphemistically called a guest, declares a stranger to be under her protection. It works, but only because Laika is a respected Bad Ass. Sanity Slippage: Skee-ga, as a result of his dealings with Lazarus. Shout-Out: The Trolls argue over what to do with the heroes. Simple Staff: Prince Svyatoslav has one. It's forty pounds of solid iron. Single-Minded Twins: Alexis and Sasha. They even use only one alter ego between the two of them. Slipping a Mickey: Happens to Drake in Northern Man. The Smart Guy: Hazel. She has to be. Smart People Play Hnefetafl: And chess too, when it exists. Speak of the Devil: Lazarus is a nickname. Nobody uses its real name. Special Person, Normal Name: The Prophet Jeremy. (Though of course, Jeremy is a version of Jeremiah.) And he isn't really all that special, though he poses as such. (Or is he?) Spell My Name with a "The": Well, not insisted upon, but her band often call her "The Laika". The Spock: Hazel Stealth Pun: Mikki the Finn is always referred to as "Mikki" or "The Finn." The Stoic: Skadi, Cang Long, Iningizimu, and Shash. Makes Sense. The Straight and Arrow Path: Half the supporting cast. Thirty Xanatos Pileup : Claybody. Hazel and Otsi want to investigate old tombs. Red Tom want to force them to fight his neighbours. Using magic, which they don't have, and they don't want to let him know that. Laika wants to rescue them, but can't communicate with them or the Council. Skee-ga wants to kill Laika and break Hazel and Otsi out himself, in order to force them to find clues for Lazarus. Merkana wants to . Lazarus is off Skee-ga . And everybody's plans go haywire when Biddy's assistant the Irish show up. Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Averted. Shan throws his sword at an enemy, but it hits the wall behind him hilt-first and clatters to the ground. Took a Level in Badass: Shan Tasa Aidahan. He seems a weakling and useless, then he kills Jackass Merkana. Unusually, his badass deed is mostly a fluke, and inspires him to try harder rather than suddenly proving him a badass. Hazel too, though not dramatically. Over the series she gets a lot better at fighting and survival, but gradually, as is realistic. Totally Radical: Drake exclaims "Duuuuuude!" ("with at least 6 yoos")in front of Prince Svyatoslav, leading Hazel to collapse in a fit of nervous laughter. True Companions: You betcha. Unresolved Sexual Tension: Laika and Drake Unwitting Pawn: Skee-ga, for Lazarus. Verbal Tic: Hazel uses a lot of brackets. However, this is her and not the style, as when other characters narrate a chapter or large part of one, they do not. Villainous Crush: Well, Koschei isn't a ''villain,'' and Love Redeems, sorta. Wartime Wedding: Corvax and Wulver. Weirdness Censor: All of the main characters, particularly Drake, take advantage of this gleefully. What Happened to the Mouse?: What becomes of The Prophet Jeremy? Blink and you miss it, but he dies at Nizhny Novgorod, fighting as a common soldier. Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: In Jukka's case, Corvax does. World of Badass: Averted. Well, zigzagged. Most cultures are Bad Ass in general, as they have to be to survive, but certainly not every character is Bad Ass. World Tree: Yggdrasil, of course. The Sampo is the same thing. So is the Celtic triskellion sign. (It's complicated.) Worthy Opponent: Jakosh (Jackass) Merkana. Also Sabkai, when he happens to be on the other side. Wretched Hive: Hazel and Co. visit many of these, though the Other Side is far from a Crapsack World. You Fool!!: One of Otsi's favourite expressions. You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Skee-ga, to Lazarus. Your Mind Makes It Real: Somewhat. Scars and injuries do not carry over much, but death has a delayed reaction: if you die on the Other Side, you are really dead within a year or so. Zany Scheme: Drake makes a lot of these, one of the most notable being the plan to produce Hammerspace.