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Literature: The Shamer Chronicles
Look at me!

The Shamer Chronicles is a series of children's fantasy novels written by the Danish author Lene Kaaberboel. There are four books in total: The Shamer's Daughter, The Shamer's Signet, The Serpent's Gift and The Shamer's War. The books are about Dina Tonerre who has unwillingly inherited her mother's Gift: the ability to elicit shamed confessions from even the most hardened wrong-doers, simply by looking into their eyes. Starting with the second book, her older and completely normal brother Davin becomes the second point-of-view character.

The story starts with Dina's mother being called to Dunark Castle to elicit a confession from the seventeen year old heir to the throne who is blamed for committing a bloody triple murder. Dina's mother promises to return as fast as she can, but the next day comes and she is not showing up. Which is when a yet another person comes from Dunark and takes Dina with him, telling her that Dina's mother needs her help.

In Denmark, the series is very popular and influential. Many young people credit it as one of the only books they've enjoyed reading, or the book that first got them into Fantasy or books in general. The theater that made The Musical have said that this is the reason they wanted to turn it into a musical.

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Karmiana
  • Afraid of Blood: Nico because he sat with his family's blood on his hands and clothing for days. He wasn't alloewd to clean himself before Dina came.
  • The Alcoholic: Nico. This is why it's so easy for Drakan to convince everyone, even Nico, that he comitted the murders.
  • Angry Mob Song: The Musical has two. "Dommen" is a Burn the Witch! type, while "Skidenstad" is more of a mix between the two types.
  • Anti-Hero: Sezuan is either this or Anti-Villain. Even Lene Kaaberbøl isn't sure.
  • Bastard Bastard: Drakan
  • Berserk Button: Implying Rose might have stolen something or mentioning where she grew up.
    • Hurting children emotionally or physically is Nico's.
  • Black and White Morality: Unsurprisignly, as the books are meant for 10-12 year old kids.
    • The first book is very much Black and White Morality, but the story becomes a bit more grey in the later books. The third book could even be said to be about Dina learning that the world isn't always like this, as although her father has done questionable things, he's not evil as her mother claimed.
  • Big Brother Bully: Aun Rose's half-brother, who beats her and blames her for everything.
    • Nico's older brother also had tendencies towards this, as seen when Dina looks into his memories.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Melussina and Callan. Though downplayed as it isn't mentioned until Davin figures it out in The Shamer's War
  • Burn the Witch!: It's mentioned that people have started burning shamers in the Lowlands.
  • Compelling Voice: Only those who drink dragon blood can disobey the Compelling Voice of a shamer.
  • Development Hell: Last time anyone heard about the movie was in 2004. Hopefully The Musical can give it a push.
    • A movie adaption has been announced again by a different company and they have begun casting.
  • Disappeared Dad: Melussina's kids have two different dads, and none of them is around. Until Sezuan shows up in The Serpent's Gift and Rikert is revealed to be Davin and Melli's in The Shamer's War.
  • Dub Name Change: A few examples, even though the author translated it personally:
    • Rose is Rosa in the Danish version.
    • Karmiana is Carmian.
  • Dawson Casting: In The Musical.
  • Duel to the Death The unfinished duel between Davin and Ivain Laklan, and the duel between Nik and Drakan, with villain taunting and all.
  • Determinator: Rose is willing to walk mile after mile with a heavy backpack to get what she wants.
  • Dream Weaver: The Serpent's gift.
    • Sezuan, Azuan and Dina have this gift.
  • Drowning His Sorrows: Nico, mostly in The Shamer's Daughter.
  • Emotion Bomb: Dina and her mother can make people feel buried in shame by looking them in the eyes.
  • Evil Matriarch: Sezuan's mother, according to Melussina.
  • Evil Is Hammy: In the musical:
    Dama Lizea: Let me help you... TO DIE!
  • Father, I Don't Want To Fight: Nico, which is why his father disliked him so much.
  • Fearless Fool: Davin has a tendency to be like this in the first two books.
  • Fiery Red Head: Rose, but only in The Musical, as she's blond in the books.
  • Flirty Step Siblings: Rose and Davin.
  • Friend to All Children: Nico.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The first book, when Dina sees Nico's past via Exposition Beam, mentions teenage!Nico repeatedly whispering Adela's name into his pillows. At night. Make what you will of that.
  • Gilded Cage: After Dina had been captured in The Shamer's Signet, she was kept in one of these.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Karmiana.
  • Heroic Bastard: All og Melussina's kids and Rose.
  • Honor Before Reason: Davin is like this a lot, and still have shades of it after his Character Development.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Davin.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Dina have a hard time getting friends, because people don't want to look into her eyes. Wich leads to the below.
    • The song "Alle kan vel trænge til en ven" ("Everyone can need a friend") in The Musical.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Dina would love to be normal and play with other girls the way she used to when she was younger.
    • The first book is a lot about how she comes to accept herself and her abilities and she've largely grown out of it in the Shamer's Signet where she feels a bit wrong without her abilities.
  • I Want to Be a Real Man: Davin.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: In The Shamer's Signet, Dina is forced to use her Shamer powers on anyone her captor sees fit, for trivial things. If she refuses, he'll kill Tavis, the random kid who was with her when she was kidnapped.
  • Lad-ette: Karmiana.
  • La Résistance: A poorly trained group of a few hundred men that hides in the woods and plans to somehow damage Drakan's army
  • Lean and Mean: Dama Lizea.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Sezuan to Dina. Indirectly.
  • Magic Music: Those with Serpent's gift can weave illusions and mind control people by playing a flute.
  • Medieval European Fantasy
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Nico, when he thinks he really did kill his whole family.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Drakan and Valdracu are not nice people.
  • Never My Fault: Aun.
  • Non-Action Guy: Nico doesn't like swords. Or violence. He feel he has to look past that in The Shamer's War though
  • No Eye in Magic: To use their abilities fully, a shamer has to make eye contact, but trained shamer's can use their voice too, but it doesn't work as well.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Black-Arse real name, Allin, is only mentioned a couple of times.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Would be nothing more than just oversized reptiles if not for their blood having... unusual properties.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: Nico.
  • Perception Filter: One of the abilities Sezuan and Dina have, as part of the Serpent's Gift.
  • Room 101: The Serpent's Gift featured a room that was covered head to toe in carvings of faces that would whisper the worst things you could imagine to you - remind you of horrible things you have done or play on your insecurities until you were driven mad.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Davin is the red to Dina's and Nico's blue.
  • Smart Ball: The author seems to try her hardest to prevent Fridge Logic moments, which often results in the 11 year old Dina suddenly doing genius things, and then reverting to being a normal little girl.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Though Davin isn't overly manly and Nico isn't overly sensitive, but they still have this contrast.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: This is what Melussina fears will happen to Dina, if she gets too used to using the Serpent's gift.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Lene Kaaberbøl have said that Sezuan is the reason the series is not a triology.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Orm, a huge serpent who lives in a lake.
  • The Musical: There've been made on in Demark, running in fall 2012. [1]
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The equipment of the villagers who chased the Tonerre family away from their village.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Nico.
  • Tsundere: Rose towards Davin.
    • Karmiana too.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Ebnezer had this kind of attitude towards Nico.

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alternative title(s): The Shamer Chronicles
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