Literature: The Age of the Five
The Age of the Five
is a fantasy trilogy by Trudi Canavan. The books in the series are Priestess of the White
, Last of the Wilds
and Voice of the Gods
The series takes place in a continent named Ithania. The Northern Ithania worships five gods collectively known as the Five, the only survivors of a war of the gods. The five gods of the Southern Ithania are claimed to be false and this leads to eventual conflict.
The Five have chosen five humans as their representatives in the world. These five people are called the White and granted extraordinary powers by the gods. Auraya, the main character, is the last of the Five to be chosen. She tries to get adjusted to her new position, starting as a diplomat. During the series she discovers her innate magic is stronger than it was thought to be and goes forth unearthing secrets that have been resting for a very long time.
- The Ageless: All of the Wildsnote . The most extreme example is The Gull - the oldest of the Wilds, who has the physical body of a prepubescent child.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The author renames everything to the point of needing a glossary in the back of each book. She justifies this in an interview by saying that coming across the word 'sheep' during a fantasy novel can kinda spoil things.
- Cessation of Existence: What everyone believes happens with the Dreamweavers when they die, since they do not worship gods. It is revealed that the gods have no power over the souls of the dead or knowledge of what (if anything) comes after. They claim that they do so that they would always have worshippers to serve them.
- Color-Coded Patrician: Ordinary priests' and priestesses' circs (kind of cloaks) are rimmed with blue. High Priests and Priestesses have rims of gold. The White... well, white.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Auraya is torn between her duties as a White and her loyalty to the Siyee.
- Defector from Decadence: Chaia at the very end, in order to protect mortals from further influence by the gods.
- Divine Date: Auraya and Chaia
- Even Evil Has Standards: None of the other gods seem to like Huan all that much. It's one of the things that ultimately drives Chaia to turn against them, killing himself and take her (and the other gods) with him.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Imi is the daughter of the Elai King.
- First Guy Wins: Auraya ends up with Leiard.
- Functional Magic: Spells are cast using background magic, which is depleted through usage, though it regenerates extremely slowly. As in, several-thousand-years slowly.
- God Guise: The Pentadrian faith is thought to be the high priests taking advantage of people, since everybody knows there are only five true gods and these are the Five. It is revealed that any human with sufficient magical ability could become a god and they are not special or worthy of worship
- It is further revealed that the Pentadrian gods are actually the Circlian gods in disguise, making this a double example.
- Later in the story, it's revealed that there used to be other gods around once, during what was called the Age of the Many. From the perspectives of the immortals, a number of them seemed to be quite benevolent. Which probably made it easier for (implied to have been) Huan to carry out her plan with the Five to kill them all off, although one of the gods who initially helped them committed suicide out of guilt over her actions.
- Half-Identical Twins: The Twins (though it is implied that they used to be the same gender until one of them changed him/herself magically as a disguise).
- The Heretic: Ellareen believes Auraya to be this.
- I Am Who?: Leiard is Mirar, leader of the Dreamweavers, who is supposed to be long dead
- Immortality Begins at Twenty: Both played straight and subverted. Most of the White and the Wilds are grown-ups when they stop aging, but the Gull is only a child. (Also Emerahl's innate ability is to change her age.)
- It Amused Me: Why the gods decided to set up the Circlians and Pentadrians.
- Jerkass Gods: Both sets of gods in fact being as they are actually one and the same. They set up the entire war as a game to keep themselves amused.
- Special mention should go to Huan. Not even the other gods like her very much, although they keep up a facade of cooperation when appearing to their followers.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The other Voices to Nekaun, hitting him with enough fire and heat to leave him a scorch mark. This was for raping three young priestesses.
- Manipulative Bastard: All the gods.
- May-December Romance: Auraya with both Leiard and Chaia. Leiard's reveal as Mirar and Auraya's subsequent acquisition of immortality means that this will no longer be an issue.
- Memory Gambit: Mirar deliberately forgot everything about his identity in order to survive.
- Never Grew Up: The Gull who is the oldest of the Wilds, but appears to be a child.
- No Immortal Inertia: Averted. An ancient priest left a warning on a tomb stating that only mortals could enter. The tomb was only notable for containing a magical void. Emerahl suspects the priest thought cutting off an immortal's access to magic would lead to this. It is implied that the warning was not addressed at physical immortals, but at non-physical immortals, a.k.a. gods, to whom such a void is indeed lethal.
- Older Than They Look: The White, who stop aging when chosen by the gods. Also the Wilds, who achieve immortality by themselves.
- Our Angels Are Different: The Siyee. Descended from humans after a goddess decided to experiment. Their wings are more similar to those of bats than birds.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: The Elai. Descended from human ancestors after a goddess decided to try a eugenics experiment. They are hairless and human-shaped. Lampshaded when an Elai sees a statue of a mermaid and is annoyed with its appearance.
- Psychic Link: What the dreamweavers do when they gather.
- The Reveal: Several. The more noteworty are the gods' true nature and Leiard's identity.
- Running Both Sides: Auraya eventually discovers that the Circlian Gods and the Pentadrian Gods are the same five. After the war of the Gods they set up two religions in isolation from each other then spent the next century building each one up in strength in order to finally pit them against each other in war (just for fun).
- She Is All Grown Up: Leiard discovers Auraya has done that.
- Split Personality Merge: Happens eventually to Leiard/Mirar
- Taking You with Me: Chaia to the other gods.
- Talking Animal: Mischief and the other veez, although their ability to talk is limited.
- Talking to Themself: Leiard/Mirar
- Telepathy: Standard ability of most priests, especially the White.
- Time Abyss: The Gull. It took him a thousand years to find the sea, and then he spent however many more thousands building his legend. He's pretty clearly the oldest of all the surviving immortals by a large margin.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Usually averted or even inverted - immortality is generally seen as a great thing, with one exception: Chaia. He explains to Auraya that he grew tired of an existence beyond mortality hundreds of years ago, and that frankly he'd rather not spend another thousand years trapped with Huan. So he sucks in all the magic in the trap, killing himself and the other four gods with him.
- Wizard Duel: Several between the Circlian and Pentadrian priests.