"Broken; everything is broken. Wails tear through the silence, and then all is silent."
"Glorified fanfiction at its finest."
''Ashes to Ashes'': A novel by Hannah [REDACTED] currently being uploaded chapter by chapter on LiveJournal.''Dust to Dust'': The sequel to Ashes to Ashes, just try not to read it without reading Ashes to Ashes first.After a massacre in a supposedly-peaceful nomadic tribe, Alec Sullivan discovers one survivor: a child who would seem to have very little to do with the dreadful event. However, as time progresses, an elaborate plot unravels, involving a group of talented eccentrics in a complicated game where the stakes might just be the fate of the world.Also, there are twins. Twins and sexy blondes with dark, mysterious pasts and schizophrenia. Well, specifically MPD.
Alec's mother, to a certain degree. Verbal abuse counts, right?
Alec's mom actually did abuse him physically, though not to the extreme that Matt's father did.
Adorkable: Matthew Hunter and William Anden. ESPECIALLY William Anden. All together now, tropers! Awww~
Anything That Moves: It doesn't matter if you're a guy or a gal, if it's necessary, Shasta will do you.
Ass Shove: In a section that may or may not be removed in the near future, concerning an uke paddle, the question of where it is, and the answer of "You don't want to know."
Authority Equals Asskicking: Eleanor is a prominent example of this trope. Aside from being a General, she can also kill you rather brutally. Just look at the fight between her and Azar! Not only does she manage to hold her own against this crazy lady, she also wins the fight where most others would have perished long ago.
Hope Robinson is an excellent example as well. Shasta does ask her to ascend to power as the Donna of the Grey Zone, but Hope could have kicked his ass, even if Shasta is her son.
Dark and Troubled Past: Most of the characters have had one of these. For example, Shasta's had to sleep his way to the top of the Grey Zone food chain. Matthew's alcoholic father has been abusing him for years. Lilael was found abandoned as a child. Xerxes and Xylander were almost killed by the same fire that consumed their home and their parents, started by Azar. Alec was responsible for the death of his own brother.
Even the Guys Want Him: Edward, Cassius, Mattykins (at one point) and several of the Grey Zone occupants are all pretty enamored with Shasta. Everyone on that list except for Matt has had sex with him.
Eye Scream: Azar loves this trope. She's taken Shasta/Charles' eye, Kira's, almost Matt's, waiting on Emery's, and maaaaany more victims.
A Fate Worse Than Death: Getting told to kill yourself after killing your brother by your own mother must count. Or just Alec's existence in general. Even Word of God says that torturing him is great fun.
I think everybody's forgotten about poor Sibyl. She lived for over a hundred years in a body that won't die because she wants to be remembered by somebody. What does that get her? She is cornered by a couple men in an alley in a part of town she doesn't know, raped, and tortured. She finally dies, but the culprits mangle her body and obliterate her face.
Failure Knight: Alec is the embodiment of a failed knight, as proved with Kira.
Shasta tried to save Alec's life just so he could manipulate Kira, and is also using Matt in his schemes.
A lot of characters in the story fit this trope really well.
Mythopoeia: Kira pretends to be a god of the Lsyykra reborn, Kraiyya.
Mohcht is the embodied greed of the gods, devouring the souls of humans for one day every ten years.
My Greatest Failure: Alec completely failed his little brother Ashe, being responsible for his death and beating himself up about it. As a result, he's a much more serious, caring person, and this leads him to take care of Kira.
Shown Their Work: Several times through both stories, the author alludes to specific events of world history (WWI).
Also, where Shasta creates flash powder in the Grey Zone, all of those chemicals can make the actual flash powder.
Smarter Than You Look: Shasta Cassidy is a beautiful man who looks vain and vapid at first. Of course, he is actually vain, but he is far from vapid. In actuality, Shasta is such a genius that he plays mental chess games with himself.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: In Chapter 4 of Dust to Dust, when Matt gives Shasta Luxiette's journal, Shasta says, "How dare you take that and think that I... that I would want to read..." and Matt responds, "I never asked you to read it."
Title Drop: Chapter Eight of Ashes to Ashes contains the title, and the sequel's title.
Took a Level in Badass: By chapter 25 of Dust to Dust, we see Alec brutally murder several rioters trying to assassinate Kira. Not to mention that he killed a maid who tried to assassinate Kira as well, despite not having been able to "even poke one in the arm, much less hit one."
Matthew Hunter has not only taken one level in badass, he has taken several. Let's consider the fact that he was a scrawny, pale little fifteen-year-old thing at the beginning of AtA, and now is tan, pierced, and muscled. Aside from physical characteristics, Mattykins also stands up to his abusive father where he hadn't the courage to do so before.
Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: In the beginning of AtA, Emery thinks that sticking a scissor into someone's chest just puts them to sleep, and likes to sing nursery rhymes that are about death and destruction.
Kira counts as well. At twelve years old, he ascends the throne and promptly begins to abuse his power, having a girl killed with no shown feelings of horror.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Azar is a good example of this, due to her position as second-in-command of Kuroraikou, leading to her decimation of the Lsyykra due to the force she had behind her.
Charles/Shasta fits too because Charles was so clever, he ended up creating another personality for himself to take the pain of his sacrifices to ascend in standing in the Grey Zone.