Literature: The Tale of the Five
aka: The Tale Of Five
The Tale of the Five is a fantasy series by American author Diane Duane. It is also referred to as "The Door Into ..." series, because of the volumes' Theme Naming.It is set in the Middle Kingdoms, particularly Darthen and Arlen. It concerns the protagonists' fight to keep the Shadow from taking over the Middle Kingdoms. The main characters are Herewiss, the first man in a very long time to wield the power of blue Fire; his lover, Freelorn, the rightful heir to the throne of Arlen; Herewiss's other lover, Sunspark, a fire elemental; and Freelorn's other lover Segnbora, sorcerer/bard/swordswoman. The three books in the series are The Door into Fire, The Door into Shadow, and The Door into Sunset. A fourth book, The Door into Starlight, might come out at some point.All three books are now available as eBooks from http://www.dianeduane.com/.
This series contains examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Skadhwe.
- Angel Unaware: The inkeeper they meet, though they do figure out who She is.
- Anti-Villain: Cillmod turns out to be this.
- Bad Ass: Herewiss and Segnbora in particular.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Segnbora wanted to be different...
- Blessed with Suck: Blue Fire could be considered this, because using it uses up your life.
- Contemptible Cover: This cover for Door Into Fire. Good lord. This cover◊ was at least done by someone who'd read the book, but is still pretty embarrassing.
- The Dragon: Rian.
- Everyone Is Bi
- Fighting a Shadow: Fighting the Shadow, in fact, and it can't be destroyed.
- Gender-Restricted Ability: The blue Fire; Herewiss's possession of it is universally met with shock (and sometimes horror, especially from more rigid-minded Rodmistresses), and he has a lot of trouble getting properly trained because of this.
- God's Hands Are Tied: The Goddess needs the characters to act for her.
- Good Is Not Nice: The Goddess sometimes.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Segnbora sort of becomes this.
- Happy Place: Segnbora can go into the part of her mind where the Dragons are.
- The Hecate Sisters: The Goddess, who is a true-to-the-archetype Maiden/Mother/Crone three-in-one.
- I Know Your True Name: People have powerful, secret true names. Plenty of people don't know their true name, though.
- Interspecies Romance: Herewiss and Sunspark; Segnbora and Hasai.
- King Incognito: Freelorn for much of the series, Eftgan at one point, and Herewiss, who is a prince.
- Mandatory Motherhood: Everyone must have a child before they can get married.
- Meaningful Name: Segnbora becomes Freelorn's standard-bearer.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Segnbora complains about hearing everyone's thoughts.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Nice job letting out the soul-eating monsters, Herewiss.
- Orphaned Series: The chances of it being finished seem small. (Come on Diane Duane, prove us wrong!)
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're immortal by reincarnating (sort of - it's complicated) into their children and from another planet.
- Polyamory: It's accepted and normal. Almost all the main characters get married to each other in the end of The Door into Sunset.
- Power Glows: Both of the magic swords glow with blue fire.
- Rape as Backstory: Segnbora
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Freelorn and Herewiss, respectively.
- Rightful King Returns: Freelorn in the end of The Door into Sunset.
- Royal Blood: Only those of royal blood can do everything necessary to be a king or queen.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Freelorn, Eftgan, and especially Herewiss.
- Satan: The Shadow is basically the Devil.
- Telepathy: Called "bespeaking" if they're both talking on purpose and "underhearing" if not.