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* TheGoodKing: King Merrill of Donderath, for what little he appears on-page. His most notable act is at Blaine's murder trial, when he remarks that while Blaine's father was one of his strongest political and military allies, Merrill wasn't blind to his faults and therefore commutes Blaine's sentence from beheading to exile.

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* DiscOneFinalBoss: ''Talishte'' lord Pentreath Reese is set up as the primary villain, [[spoiler:but is convicted of various crimes by the vampire government in book two, which brings his sire Thrane out of hiding]].


* BigBad: In the first two books the heroes are up against a ''talishte'' lord named Pentreath Reese as a recurring villain. He's eventually convicted by the vampires' High Council of crimes and imprisoned, but this brings his creator Thrane out of hiding, and he starts a vampire CivilWar. Thrane intends to reduce all humans to subjects of vampires and to that end controls warlords from Meroven and Donderath against Blaine's forces and their allied vampires. (It's even theorized that he may have had a hand in originally sending the Great Fire, but this is never confirmed.)

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* BigBad: In the first two books the heroes are up against a ''talishte'' lord named Pentreath Reese as a recurring villain. He's eventually convicted [[spoiler:convicted of various crimes by the vampires' High Council of crimes and imprisoned, imprisoned]], but this brings his creator Thrane out of hiding, and he starts a vampire CivilWar. Thrane intends to reduce all humans to subjects of vampires and to that end controls warlords from Meroven and Donderath against Blaine's forces and their allied vampires. (It's even theorized that he may have had a hand in originally sending the Great Fire, but this is never confirmed.)

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* BigBad: In the first two books the heroes are up against a ''talishte'' lord named Pentreath Reese as a recurring villain. He's eventually convicted by the vampires' High Council of crimes and imprisoned, but this brings his creator Thrane out of hiding, and he starts a vampire CivilWar. Thrane intends to reduce all humans to subjects of vampires and to that end controls warlords from Meroven and Donderath against Blaine's forces and their allied vampires. (It's even theorized that he may have had a hand in originally sending the Great Fire, but this is never confirmed.)

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* TheMagicComesBack: It technically never fully went away, but the main driver of the series is the efforts of Blaine and his friends and allies to restore magic to human control, without which humanity will never recover.


* WifeBasherBasher: In Edgeland, Blaine uses death threats to stop a man from forcing a woman into marriage, pointing out that he killed the man who dishonored his sister (leaving out that it was their father). In general he does ''not'' like people who mistreat women.

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* WifeBasherBasher: In Edgeland, Blaine uses death threats to stop a man from forcing a woman into marriage, pointing out that he killed the man who dishonored his sister (leaving out that it was their father). In general he does ''not'' like people who mistreat women. Meanwhile, Kestel states that most of her targets in her assassin career were adulterous or abusive husbands.


** Blaine's friend-turned-LoveInterest Kestel Falke is an exception to the rule, given that she's a ProfessionalKiller. However, she informs Blaine that [[WifeBasherBasher most of her targets were adulterous or abusive husbands]].

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** Blaine's friend-turned-LoveInterest Kestel Falke is an exception to the rule, given that she's a ProfessionalKiller.ProfessionalKiller (she was apparently sentenced to Velant after a hit went south). However, she informs Blaine that [[WifeBasherBasher most of her targets were adulterous or abusive husbands]]. She also killed the first two guards to force themselves on her, after which nobody else dared.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: [[spoiler:Blaine gets two coronations at the end of ''Shadow and Flame''. One takes place in the crypts below Castle Reach after the final battle, and is meant to magically anchor Blaine, the founder of a new dynasty, to the lineage of warrior-kings of Donderath. It involves a steel crown placed on his head by the shade of King Merrill himself. The second is his public coronation, with a golden crown.]]
* CavalryOfTheDead:
** Tormod Solveig's magical talent is necromancy, but he's one of the good guys. In addition to helping lay spirits to rest, he raises armies of the dead to fight for Blaine's alliance of warlords (which includes ''talishte'', who are literally dead during the day).
** [[spoiler:Blaine's younger brother Carr, who is captured by Pollard and commits suicide by cutting his wrists, turns out at the beginning of book four to be protecting his brother from the malevolent spirits of his father and the warden of Velant. His shade appears in the real world during the final battle and shields Blaine and Kestel from hostile magic.]]



* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They prefer the term "''talishte''", but they're essentially classical Creator/BramStoker vampires in most respects. They don't seem to require human blood specifically, they can compel mortals but only one at a time, staking is an immobilizing wound but not an instantly fatal one if the vampire is old enough (decapitation or crushing the head, however, ''is''), and [[BurnTheUndead they burn easily]] and [[WeakenedByTheLight are incinerated instantly by sunlight]]. The ''talishte'' notably fight on ''both'' sides in the series: Lord Penhallow and the Wraith Lord (the ''ghost'' of a vampire [[spoiler:and the only other Lord of the Blood still around, though without a body he doesn't count as far as the magic is concerned]]) want Blaine and his friends to succeed, preferring order in human civilization for [[EnlightenedSelfInterest self-interested reasons]], while Pentreath Reese wants to stop the magic from returning so that ''talishte'' can rule.
* PenalColony: Edgeland is geographically Iceland but culturally Australia. If an inmate survives their first three years working hard labor in the ruby mines of Velant, they earn a Ticket of Leave that permits them to leave the prison, set up a homestead in the colony itself, and find gainful employment. They still [[YouCantGoHomeAgain Can't Go Home Again]]. It's notably a place where the guards are worse than the inmates: the really heinous civilian criminals tend to be executed rather than transported, whereas the guards are mainly soldiers who were given a choice between Velant and the hangman.

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* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They prefer the term "''talishte''", but they're essentially classical Creator/BramStoker vampires in most respects.respects (a favorite of the author). They don't seem to require human blood specifically, they can compel mortals but only one at a time, staking is an immobilizing wound but not an instantly fatal one if the vampire is old enough (decapitation or crushing the head, however, ''is''), and [[BurnTheUndead they burn easily]] and [[WeakenedByTheLight are incinerated instantly by sunlight]]. The ''talishte'' notably fight on ''both'' sides in the series: Lord Penhallow and the Wraith Lord (the ''ghost'' of a vampire [[spoiler:and the only other Lord of the Blood still around, though without a body he doesn't count as far as the magic is concerned]]) want Blaine and his friends to succeed, preferring order in human civilization for [[EnlightenedSelfInterest self-interested reasons]], while Pentreath Reese wants to stop the magic from returning so that ''talishte'' can rule.
* PenalColony: Edgeland is geographically Iceland but culturally Australia. If an inmate survives their first three years working hard labor in the ruby mines of Velant, they earn a Ticket of Leave that permits them to leave the prison, set up a homestead in the colony itself, and find gainful employment. They still [[YouCantGoHomeAgain Can't Go Home Again]]. It's notably a place where the guards are worse than the inmates: the really heinous civilian criminals tend to be executed rather than transported, whereas the guards are mainly soldiers who were given a choice between Velant and or the hangman.



* ReluctantHero: During his exile, Blaine did his best to forget that he was ever a nobleman, but as "Mick", he gets a reputation in Edgeland as a good man, deft at settling disputes and [[BewareTheNiceOnes not to be trifled with unnecessarily]]. After the colonists revolt against Warden Prokief and the guards when the magic fails, he reluctantly accepts a new role as a member of the town council, then rises to the challenge of returning home to become a warlord in Donderath and restore the magic.

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* ReluctantHero: During his exile, Blaine did his best to forget that he was ever a nobleman, but as "Mick", he gets a reputation in Edgeland as a good man, deft at settling disputes and [[BewareTheNiceOnes not to be trifled with unnecessarily]]. After the colonists revolt against Warden Prokief and the guards when the magic fails, he reluctantly accepts a new role as a member of the town council, then rises to the challenge of returning home to become a warlord in Donderath and restore the magic.magic, [[spoiler:and is ultimately crowned king of the restored Kingdom of Donderath]].


* MessianicArchetype: Blaine to some extent. It's probably not a coincidence that there are supposed to be thirteen Lords of the Blood: reference {{Jesus}} and his twelve apostles.

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* MessianicArchetype: Blaine to some extent. It's probably not a coincidence that there are supposed to be thirteen Lords of the Blood: reference {{Jesus}} UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} and his twelve apostles.


* AssholeVictim: Ian [=McFadden=], who Blaine murders, resulting in his being sent to Edgeland. Blaine's father, and an abusive, brutal lout who beat his sons and raped his own daughter, which was the final straw for Blaine.

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* AssholeVictim: Ian [=McFadden=], who Blaine murders, resulting in his being sent to Edgeland. AssholeVictim:
**
Blaine's father, father Lord Ian [=McFadden=] had beaten Blaine and an abusive, brutal lout who beat his sons and raped his own daughter, which was younger brother Carr for years, but the final straw for Blaine.comes in the first chapter when Ian rapes their younger sister Mari; Blaine grabs a sword and [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice runs his father through]]. Due to the extenuating circumstances, King Merrill commutes what should be a beheading offense to transportation to Edgeland.
** Blaine muses that most of the other murderers in Edgeland are probably either innocent, or people like him who killed one person who had it coming and aren't likely to be repeat offenders. The really nasty criminals tend to be executed instead of exiled.
** Blaine's friend-turned-LoveInterest Kestel Falke is an exception to the rule, given that she's a ProfessionalKiller. However, she informs Blaine that [[WifeBasherBasher most of her targets were adulterous or abusive husbands]].


* SympatheticMurderBackstory: Blaine runs his father through for raping his sister Mari in the first three pages of ''Ice Forged''. He also mentions that most of the other murderers in Edgeland are either [[MiscarriageOfJustice innocent]], or people like him who [[AssholeVictim killed one person who had it coming]] and weren't planning on repeating it (the really nasty ones usually get executed instead of exiled).

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* SympatheticMurderBackstory: Blaine runs his father through for raping his sister Mari in the first three pages of ''Ice Forged''. He also mentions that most of the other murderers in Edgeland are either [[MiscarriageOfJustice innocent]], or people like him who [[AssholeVictim killed one person who had it coming]] and weren't planning on repeating it (the really nasty ones usually get executed instead of exiled). Kestel, an assassin, is an exception, but she mentions once that many of her victims were philandering and/or abusive husbands.


* AssholeVictim: Kestel comments to Blaine at one point that the scandal around him murdering Ian [=McFadden=] wasn't the murder itself: she herself was frequently hired to kill adulterous or abusive husbands and MakeItLookLikeAnAccident. What pissed people off was Blaine killing Ian out in the open and refusing to deny it.

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* AssholeVictim: Kestel comments to Ian [=McFadden=], who Blaine at one point that murders, resulting in his being sent to Edgeland. Blaine's father, and an abusive, brutal lout who beat his sons and raped his own daughter, which was the scandal around him murdering Ian [=McFadden=] wasn't the murder itself: she herself was frequently hired to kill adulterous or abusive husbands and MakeItLookLikeAnAccident. What pissed people off was Blaine killing Ian out in the open and refusing to deny it.final straw for Blaine.


* CruelMercy: Because Blaine had a damn good reason for killing his father (in addition to raping his own daughter Mari, he had beaten Blaine and his brother Carr for years), one of King Merrill's advisers convinces him to commute what should be a beheading offense to transportation. It's not much of an improvement: despite Merrill sending the prison warden a note saying he is explicitly forbidden from killing Blaine, it's only Blaine's own determination and {{badass}}ery that let him survive. Downplayed in that Merrill ''is'' genuinely being merciful here, but can't simply pardon him for publicly killing a nobleman.

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* CruelMercy: Because Blaine had a damn good reason for killing his father (in addition to raping his own daughter Mari, he had beaten Blaine and his brother Carr for years), one of King Merrill's advisers convinces him to commute what should be a beheading offense to transportation. It's not much of an improvement: despite Merrill sending the prison warden a note saying he is explicitly forbidden from killing Blaine, it's only Blaine's own determination and {{badass}}ery badassery that let him survive. Downplayed in that Merrill ''is'' genuinely being merciful here, but can't simply pardon him for publicly killing a nobleman.

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* AfterTheEnd: A HighFantasy take on the concept, with a fairly standard MedievalEuropeanFantasy setting reduced to warlord barbarism after [[FantasticNuke the magical equivalent of a major nuclear exchange]] causes humanity's access to magic to be lost entirely.

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* {{Omniglot}}: Carensa's main magical talent is the ability to translate text and speech.


* WifeBasherBasher: In Edgeland, Blaine stops a man from forcing a woman into marriage, pointing out that he killed the man who dishonored his sister (leaving out that it was their father). In general he does ''not'' like people who mistreat women.

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* WifeBasherBasher: In Edgeland, Blaine stops uses death threats to stop a man from forcing a woman into marriage, pointing out that he killed the man who dishonored his sister (leaving out that it was their father). In general he does ''not'' like people who mistreat women.

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