Literature: The Cavaliers Series
The Cavaliers Series is a Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy trilogy by Georgiana Derwent. It is made up of three novels: Oxford Blood, Screaming Spires and Ivory Terrors.The series resolves around the Cavaliers, a dining society at Oxford University whose members are vampires that are secretly controlling the United Kingdom. The books are predominantly told from the point of view of Harriet French, a student at Oxford University who becomes involved with the society through both romantic entanglements and family connections.
The books in the series are:
- Oxford Blood (Released October 2012)
- Screaming Spires (Released April 2013)
- Ivory Terrors
The series contains examples of the following tropes:
- The Cavalier Years
- English Civil War : As the name of the society implies, most of the Cavaliers most powerful vampires are from this period. Harriet studies the war as part of her history degree whilst also getting flashbacks from having drank George’s blood.
- Black and Nerdy : In Oxford Blood, Olamide is by far the hardest working of Harriet’s group of friends. She dresses in a fairly dowdy manner, has an equally nerdy boyfriend and is generally more at home in the library than the bar In Screaming Spires, she reacts to the trauma of her boyfriend’s murder by becoming glamourous and barely working, to the extent that she’s almost kicked out of Oxford. :
- Historical Domain Characters : It’s never made explicit, but Civil War vampire Rupert is presumably Prince Rupert of the Rhine. More obscurely, there was a Lord George Stewart who was killed in the English Civil War. The Piso are also a real family from Ancient Rome.
- Oxbridge : As the name of the first book, Oxford Blood, suggests, the series is set at Oxford University.
- Up North : Harriet French is from somewhere in Yorkshire. She’s often conscious of her northern accent and her lack of familiarity with the posh southern traditions of the university.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods : The Cavaliers are generally both very good looking, rich and charming, and able to mind control people into doing what they want. Unsurprisingly, this results in most of them getting a lot of sex.
- Kiss of the Vampire : Most vampires feed using mesmerism, which either knocks the victim out completely or makes the experience completely blissful for them. When they don’t use their mind control powers however, Vampire Bites Suck
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad : Augustine killed his maker, the first vampire, though whether this was out of hate or a wish for power isn’t currently clear. In the present day Archie is seeking revenge on George for having made him kill Stephanie to complete his transformation:. Most of the time though, vampires seem to get on well with their makers .
- Stronger with Age : played fairly straight with most of the vampires, although other factors such as their maker and the amount of blood they consume also plays a part. Adelaide is disproportionately powerful for her age, thanks to being made by Augustine and both Archie and Tom gain extra power through drinking the blood of other vampires:
- Vampires Are Rich : a defining characteristic of all members of The Cavaliers. Most of them were rich before they were turned, and since then, hundreds of years of the society getting its members all of the countries top jobs has ensured that their wealth only increases.
- Vampire Monarch : Augustine is this for the Cavaliers (though their ultimate loyalty is always to the human King or Queen of Britain). Fea seems to play a similar role to the Roundheads.
- Parental Abandonment : Harriet’s father died when she was a baby and her mother walked out soon afterwards. Somewhat unusually, this didn’t result in a traumatic childhood. Her aunt and uncle loved her and treated her the same as their biological children.
- Evil Matriarch : A borderline case. Adelaide seems to have few traces of human morality left, and is ruthless about interfering in Harriet’s life. Looked at logically however, her matchmaking genuinely seems to have Harriet’s best interests at heart.
- The Beautiful Elite : The Cavaliers could probably just change the name of their society to this. They are rich, stunningly attractive vampires who combine running the country with throwing great parties.
- Ancient Conspiracy : Since the seventeenth century, The Cavaliers have been keeping the United Kingdom under vampire control, by turning promising young lords, and more recently university students, then getting them all the best jobs.
- Luke, I Might Be Your Father : In Screaming Spires Augustine claims to Harriet that he’s her father. Her mother fervently denies that this is the case. At this stage in the series, it’s difficult to tell whether this is true or not, and if it’s false, whether Augustine is deliberately lying or mistakenly believes this to be the case. :
- Decoy Protagonist : Oxford Blood opens with Stephanie French, social climber extraordinaire, attending the Cavaliers Summer Party and having Archie, the heir to a dukedom declare his love for her. And then Archie is turned into a vampire and kills her to complete his transformation. From then on, the action skips a year and focuses on Harriet, Stephanie’s cousin. Although Stephanie continues to have a major influence on the story, most notably by being the major motivation for Archie’s murder spree.
- Author Avatar : Harriet French is a student from northern England who studies history at Oxford University. According to the book bio, “Georgiana Derwent studied History at Oxford University (as you might have guessed from the books!). Aside from the vampires, The Cavaliers is an exaggerated but fairly accurate portrayal of her time there.”
- Love Triangle : Harriet, George and Tom have a pretty classic take on this. Towards the end of the second book it seems as though the older generation are going to get in on the act, with an Adelaide, Augustine and Sam triangle:.
- Reincarnation Romance : Augustine firmly believes that Adelaide is the reincarnation of his wife Amelia, whom he killed to complete his transformation 2000 years ago. Adelaide usually seems less than convinced, but is happy to go along with it.
- Black Best Friend : Olamide