Literature / The Duel of Sorcery Trilogy
This fantasy trilogy (Moongather
, and Changer's Moon
) by Jo Clayton
, far removed from the standard model
, was published in the early to mid 1980s.
It was followed by the Dancer
trilogy, in which Serroi also featured.
Provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Serroi, and meien in general.
- Adipose Rex: Subverted with Domnor Hern Heslin: While he's often dismissed as a tubby, ineffectually good-natured doofus, he's less outright fat than stocky and well-padded, and is surprisingly strong and agile. He's also neither ineffectual nor a doofus.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Subverted; Serroi's green skin (she's a mutant) is a dead give-away unless she takes pains to hide it. (There are other green-skinned people; however, Serroi, not being scaly, would never be mistaken for a silkar.)
- Amazon Brigade: The Biserica, although meien usually just travel in pairs.
- Big Beautiful Man: Hern's sweet face and beautiful hazel eyes are mentioned more than once.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": If it wasn't obvious enough that chinin are dogs (or such a close analogue that someone from our world would automatically consider them "dogs") in Moongather, they're explicitly identified as such in Changer's Moon.
- Convenient Miscarriage: Averted. The Biserica equivalent of a morning-after pill is nasty stuff.
- Death by Origin Story: Tayyan's suicide in Moongather.
- Equivalent Exchange: At the end of Changer's Moon, Serroi turns Ser Noris into a tree. But because of his power, she turns into one herself (and isn't restored until several generations later).
- Evil Sorcerer: The Nearga-Nor, especially Ser Noris.
- Feminist Fantasy, to at least some degree.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Floarin, although she's pretty much a puppet.
- Half-Identical Twins: Tuli and Teras; subverted when Teras hits a growth spurt.
- High Fantasy: Kind of.
- Horse of a Different Color: Macain are monotremes resembling ornithopod dinosaurs. Rambuts are somewhere between a zebra and an antelope. And a vinat is a moose with porcupine quills.
- Kick the Dog: Ser Noris pulls an almost literal example in Moongather. If by "kick" you mean "drain out the life force—using a little girl as a conduit—then transform what's left into demons," that is. And if by "dog" you mean "entire litter of puppies, followed by the rest of the menagerie," that is.
- Little Miss Badass: Serroi is a Magic Knight who's been training as a soldier since she was thirteen. She's about four and a half feet tall, and at the age of twenty-seven to thirty, doesn't have to put much effort into passing for twelve.
- Love Hurts: And how.
- Low Fantasy: Kind of.
- Little Miss Badass: Serroi, at the beginning of Moongather, is twenty-seven years old and can pass for a preteen without much effort. You do not want to mess with her.
- Magic Knight: Serroi is quite the fighter, but also has quite impressive healing and nature-magic powers.
- Older Than They Look: Serroi is tiny and baby-faced enough to pass herself off as a preadolescent. She's twenty-seven in Moongather, thirty or thereabouts by Changer's Moon.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They vary incredibly widely in size, seem to be lighter than air, and communicate by changing the colors of their transparent bodies.
- Rape as Drama: Happens to Tuli in Moonscatter and Julia in Changer's Moon.
- Rebellious Princess: Tuli, although it's more accurate to call her the daughter of a minor noble.
- Shout-Out: To the Dragonriders of Pern series, in Changer's Moon.
- Standard Fantasy Setting: Averted.
- Stout Strength: Short, pudgy Hern is surprisingly effective in a fight.
- Transflormation: Changer's Moon ends with Serroi and Ser Noris both transformed into trees.
- Tykebomb: In Changer's Moon, the Followers of the Flame are doing their best to turn Dris Gradin into one.
- Waif-Fu: Serroi is well under five feet tall and lightly built, but can kick some serious ass. Justified by her extensive combat training and by a tendency to outmaneuver her opponents rather than overpowering them.