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1[[quoteright:350:]] ² [[caption-width-right:350: The cover concept, Jan 2019. Baybayin translation: ''Bulaklak sa buwan.'']]²²->'''''Moonflowers''' is about an Irish guy, an American girl who ends up living with him, and the dog they rescue. Who is secretly the girl's presumed-dead father.''²²->''...Yeah, it's that kind of story.''²²->''And by story, I mean "FairyTale."''²²->''And by fairy-tale, I mean "the unsettling kind."''²-->-- '''The album summary.'''²²''[[ Moonflowers]]'' is an UrbanFantasy TroperWork published on the [=HitRECord=] website by {{Tropers/Sharysa}}, under the name "Logophile." It was started in April of 2014, and is in-progress. It was submitted in three Season 2 theme collaborations: "Home," "Secrets," and "The Dark." (Although "Home" didn't make it into the final cut for Season 2 themes.) It is also being uploaded to Inkshares, a crowdfunding publisher [[ (link is here)]].²²Alima Song is an Asian-American young woman who moves to the fictional Irish town of Cloncarrig, about two months after her parents vanish. When her hike on the Cliffs of Moher ends in an unexpected storm, she waits it out in Moher Tower with Malachy Bray and his little brother Logan. Over the weeks that she settles into her new life in Ireland and gets to know Mal and his friends, she gets pursued by the Hunter, [[TheFairFolk a Folk man]] wearing an Irish Elk skull who leads TheWildHunt.²²She then stays at the house of the town's innkeeper and cunning-man, Ogma O'Luain. Soon afterward, Alima finds an injured white wolfdog, takes him in, and names him "Moony," unaware that the dog is actually her now-cursed father Ned. ²²The main StoryArc for ''Moonflowers'' is almost SliceOfLife apart from the Fair Folk, as it follows Alima adjusting to Ireland and dealing with her parents' loss. The second one follows Ned and reveals that Alima and her parents are three of the soon-to-be victims in the [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame Fairy Raid.]] The Raid happens every seven years on Halloween/Samhain in a random Celtic country, and is dreaded since nobody knows who the marks will be or can stop it from happening.²²''Moonflowers'' draws heavily on the overlapping Myth/CelticMythology and FairyTale elements, and is quite a FantasyKitchenSink seeing as AllMythsAreTrue. While the plot focuses on an ensemble cast, Malachy and Alima are the main leads, with Ned also prominent.²²[[NamesTheSame Not to be confused]] with the Japanese folktale called "Moonflower."²²!!!Tropes in the work:²* AdultFear: Very prominent throughout the story.²** You and your spouse get kidnapped one day and it's a very difficult journey back to your daughter, so when you finally reach her, she (understandably) thinks you're dead. Later on, you find out that [[FromBadToWorse your kidnapper is targeting HER, too.]]²** Your son nearly gets killed just because he's gay.²** Owen has a vision of Alima's mother [[spoiler: hanging naked from a tree.]] Later on, he says that Alima found her. Since Owen's vision sent him into hysterical screaming for his mother, he was experiencing it as Alima.²** The Hunter disguises himself as Mal and [[FoodChains enchants the already drunk Alima with magical fruit,]] then drives off with her. The rest of the group doesn't notice, because of ''course'' they trust one of their friends. This happens over the VERY short time of the actual Mal going to the bathroom--so when he gets back and they tell him Alima's gone, [[OhCrap he has no idea what they're talking about.]]²** The Fairy Raid. Every seven years in the Celtic countries, seven people get cursed as "marks" and killed by TheWildHunt. No one can tell who the marks are until Samhain, and as Hermes only saved two people because he happened to be traveling in Brittany, it's pretty much a death sentence. [[UpToEleven And sometimes the marks are foreigners, like the American Song family.]]²** When the Lady of Scales brings Ned to the Otherworld, she asks him suddenly about who the "other" Alima was: His deceased Muslim sister-in-law. While his [[HappyFlashback memories about her start out happy]] as she and Jordan begin a relationship, get married, and have children, the last one is where Ned finally remembers that [[DeathByRacism Alima died in a hate-crime after September 11.]]²** Brighid and Owen have a shared flashback to when he nearly got killed by the Knights of Aaron in high school. While Owen's getting stitched up at Mal's house, Mal's dad Richard is on the phone, frantically begging Matthaeus NOT to come over because [[CorruptChurch the Knights are still in town and they might attack him, too.]]²* AerithAndBob: Mal (Malachy), Owen, Teis (Matthaeus), Aine, Brighid, Harry, Ogma, Mag (Margaret), and Alima. Maidin (Irish for "morning") semi-counts, [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep since he's named after his river.]]²* AlliterativeName: Several, but not enough to be unusual. The O'Luains are a slightly AlliterativeFamily, and the Hunter's full title is the Horned Hunter.²* AllAnimalsAreDomesticated: Averted. Ned/Moony acts like a dog and is assumed to be a wolfdog, but Persephone wonders why Alima hasn't noticed that a wolf is acting tame. Turns out the humans only ''think'' he's a wolfdog [[WeirdnessCensor due to the curse.]] Plus, even the technically-domestic stray cats Alima fosters aren't properly socialized, thanks to living in the woods for several years.²* AllMythsAreTrue / FantasyKitchenSink: Alima gets advice from her Louisianan friend's aunt (a Vodun mambo), and is friends with a Blackfoot guy who gave her a sweetgrass shampoo recipe. Later characters are [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hades and Persephone of Greece,]] a Chinese patron-spirit of Ned's family, Artio of Myth/CelticMythology, and Mayari the Filipino moon-goddess. Since [[MagicAIsMagicA there are heavy regional differences between different countries' magic,]] "all myths are true" is probably literal.²* AnthropomorphicPersonification: The Horned Hunter is the personification of hunting. It's also hinted that Maidin doesn't just live in the river, but that ''he is'' the river.²* {{Arcadia}}: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] when Alima buys Pete's stone shieling[[note]]traditional Irish cottage[[/note]] and its hectare of land for extremely cheap: It's only half-modern (it has no bathroom sink and a wood-burning stove), in a very bad location (right at the edge of town, noted for [[TheFairFolk fairy trouble]]), and the current price is so low because Pete's been trying to sell it for ''years''. [[SapientHouse The shieling's also bad at math,]] another reason buyers are reluctant.²* {{Bambification}}: The older and non-sugary version, tying in with Myth/CelticMythology. The Hunter wears a deer-skull with burning red sockets, and is referred to as "the deer-man" by Ned and Lucy before they learn his title. Ogma O'Luain says when the Hunter wears an Irish Elk skull instead (whose antlers are as wide as a ''car''), [[OhCrap he means business.]] As pictured, an Irish Elk skull is featured prominently on the recent cover-art concept.²** The Fianna are a positive version, as they wear brown suits and give Alima a deer-antler whistle. It turns out useful when Owen gets gay-bashed in Galway.²** Drawing on more deer symbolism, the Hunter uses his elk-skull in Westermark Howe to [[UseYourHead gore his opponents.]] The Fianna need to get him out of the throne room ''and'' get the skull off to level the field.²** Maidin states that the deer is a very masculine symbol, as he remarks that the Hunter must be [[TestosteronePoisoning testosterone-poisoned]] from wearing the skull all the time.²* BigDamnHeroes: When the Morrigan rescues Lucy, she turns into a horse, smashes a glass room to pieces, and turns the shards into crows. [[CrazyPrepared The crows then slow down the Hunter when he tries to chase after them.]]²* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: The glass room in the fairy-hill; it seems to have no doors or windows, takes a goddess to break through, and may double as a portal into rings of fairy-grass.²** The Hawthorn Fort has a MobileMaze of hawthorn trees overlooked by bridges, where people are tossed in through the thorn-covered Bloomless Door in the railing; also, said door [[DilatingDoor "opens like a mouth."]] Its throne room is an underground cave with prehistoric paintings, and the Night's Throne is carved into the wall from amethyst and lapis lazuli.²* BloodOath / MagicallyBindingContract: Ned swears to kill the Hunter before he kills anyone in the Fairy Raid, as [[PapaWolf the first known victim is his daughter.]]²* BloodyMurder: Folk blood burns humans, and can also corrode car seats and metal. In a reversal, the blood of humans who've just eaten rock-salt can burn fairies in turn.²* BondingOverMissingParents: The main point in Mal and Alima's friendship (Mal's parents died, and Alima's are missing), which [[RelationshipUpgrade becomes a relationship]] in the twenty-second chapter.²* BunnyEarsLawyer: The Fianna are a group of boisterous young men/gods wearing suits. They're also the first people Aengus Og calls for help, and two of them can ''lift a car.''²** Matthaeus is clumsy and awkward, but he's a skilled enough jeweler that Alima's impressed by Owen's runestone. The Norse gods give him weird jobs like "make jewelry out of your boyfriend's hair" and "make jewelry in the dark."²** Maidin the CloudCuckooLander river-spirit is implicitly quite powerful, since he's one of two fairies (the second being the Hunter) who can pass through Cloncarrig's walls.²* ButNotTooBlack: Averted since the non-white human characters come in a range of shades. Moreover, the Filipino goddess Mayari has indigenous Filipino features of dark skin and curly hair, which is ''precisely'' why the Irish gods trust her--because they know she's a pre-Catholic spirit.²* ByTheEyesOfTheBlind: True to Myth/CelticMythology, fairies have inherent second-sight. Maidin can see human souls as well as their bodies, and TheWildHunt have telepathy they gleefully use to torment Brighid Brennan.²* CallingCard: The deer/Irish-elk skull is the Hunter's calling card, as Ogma O'Luain has both kinds of skulls. The Hunter also leaves a carefully-reassembled orange peel in Mal's parking spot, which changes into a deer skull after Owen inspects it.²* CatsAreMagic: They have a distinct type of magic, can learn human magic, and the three cats so far (King Jareth, Dandelion the stray, and Dandelion's unnamed son) instantly see through Ned's curse.²* ChangelingTale: [[InvokedTrope Invoked;]] Owen was "suspected" to be a changeling and nearly killed by the Knights of Aaron several years ago. The group stated numerous times that it was just an excuse to kill the gay guy--not only was Owen twenty years old instead of an infant or a small child, the Knights didn't even bother testing him first.²** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in the main plot regarding the trope's character dynamics; instead of Alima getting abducted while her parents Ned and Lucy try to get her back, ''they're'' abducted for a huge chunk of the story and [[AdultFear she's left extremely vulnerable due to grief.]]²* ChekhovsGun: Alima is very protective of [[RapunzelHair her hip-length wavy hair,]] which catches the Hunter's attention. Also, her offerings to her missing parents in case they were dead helps keep her mother Lucy from getting malnourished in the Otherworld.²** Also played when Alima's revealed to have a bear tattoo, and the Tuatha de Danaan immediately bring in the bear-goddess Artio since tattoos can establish links to deities.²** The moon/night imagery is {{Foreshadowing}} for the moon-goddess Mayari.²* CompositeCharacter: "The Horned Hunter" as a title is technically a blend of the Wiccan "Horned God" and the English figure "Herne the Hunter." Of course, real-life mythology says [[ContinuitySnarl anyone from ghosts, to fairies,]] to [[Myth/NorseMythology the god ODIN,]] are leaders of TheWildHunt, so it's not much trouble either way.²* CoolOldGuy: Ogma. An unflappable DeadpanSnarker who can lift his unconscious adult grandson.²** He's named after the god Ogma, who also makes an appearance. He gets rid of the ''entire'' Wild Hunt by outwitting the Hunter.²* CorruptChurch: Shades of it with the Knights of Aaron, who are well-known enough that people in Galway have heard of Owen's near-death at their hands. And they try to finish the job.²* CultureClash: While discussing how the peach tree in Mal's garden needed a large branch trimmed off, Alima mentions that her father loved peach wood since it's lucky in Asia. Mal gives her a comb made from part of the branch as a housewarming gift. Alima's Chinese-born grandfather gets amused and has to explain that peach-wood gifts are also popular for ''[[AccidentalProposal engagements.]]''²** In a darker note, the CultureClash between TheFairFolk and humans is a huge part of the story's conflict.²** The Christian Irish are quite different from pagan old-walkers. Christians can't detect old-walker magic or recognize their deities, and people remark that Owen's HotBlooded personality is typical old-walker behavior.²* CurbStompBattle: Ned's first attack on the Hunter results in Ned getting thrown into a tree. Luckily, [[OurGodsAreGreater Artio arrives]] and curb-stomps the Hunter in turn.²* CrazyPrepared: In "Can I get there by candlelight," Brighid Brennan carries a lot of odd things around, as she's a nurse. She coincidentally has a soundproofing orb, which she uses once Duyen and Jude start loading their guns [[RealityEnsues since shooting guns in a car without ear protection is a bad idea.]] She also has nettle pills which Jude attempts to use to bolster the car's wrecked wards (it doesn't work, but the intent is clearly there), and when she's hit with elf-shot and suffering a heart attack, [[TruthInTelevision she takes aspirin to buy more time.]] However, it's more that she's resourceful than actually planning for strange situations.²** The Hunter has set up the ''entire story'' due to his machinations, making it much harder for the gods to protect people from him. When the Morrigan travels to the Otherworld and asks the Hawthorn Fort's villagers for help, [[IControlMyMinionsThrough he's already terrified them into obedience.]]²* DarkIsNotEvil: Among the first spirits who step in to help Alima's family? [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hades and Persephone,]] the rulers of the dead. Their domain over death is ''specifically'' why they're helping--[[TheSacredDarkness they're the gods of the dead, not the gods of "serial-killing an entire family for amusement."]]²* DeliberateValuesDissonance: TheFairFolk baffle and terrify humans, and even deities get fed up at how "crazy" they act. Perfectly in line with Myth/CelticMythology.²** The Hawthorn Fort's villagers are terrified that [[DisproportionateRetribution the Hunter will slaughter them all if they help his victims,]] but it's not just from the danger of disobeying a NatureSpirit [[NatureIsNotNice whose literal job is to kill people]]--the FIRST thing Ragnall tells the Morrigan is that turning against their king would make them [[TheOathbreaker oathbreakers.]]²* DontGoIntoTheWoods: Thanks to TheWildHunt roaming Ireland, Cloncarrig's inhabitants are ''terrified'' of going into the forest. Once Ogma O'Luain warns everyone about the Fairy Raid, everyone sticks close to town.²* EleventhHourRanger: The Filipino moon-goddess Mayari arrives days before Samhain to help the Songs, since Lucy and Alima are Filipino. She would have come earlier, but [[RealityEnsues most people don't even know her NAME anymore.]]²* EnhancedArchaicWeapon: The Folk's arrows are called elf-shot, which are magically enhanced and cause heart attacks. It's lifted from folklore, where elf-shot was thought to be the cause of sudden and inexplicable death/injury.²* EverythingTalks: Houses, animals, plants, and combs can talk, as per the FairyTale elements.²* EvilCannotComprehendGood: The Hunter's boxed the Irish and American spirits into a corner when trying to help the Songs, but he's too arrogant to notice (or care) that Ned's father is a Chinese immigrant with his own gods. He also has no idea why [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hades and Persephone]] stepped in to help Alima, since "basic compassion" clearly isn't in his vocabulary.²* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Encounters with TheWildHunt leave one shivering.²* ExactWords: The story runs on this, thanks to the antagonists being TheFairFolk.²** "Nobody living" can help with Ned's specific part of the curse, but that only applies to humans. Animals and spirits/deities can see Ned and communicate with him.²** "The Irish and American spirits" are largely unable to help the Song family. However, Artio (Celtic), Hades and Persephone (Greek), and the Lady of Scales (Chinese) are unhindered. Much later on, Mayari (Filipino) arrives [[DePowered with great difficulty.]]²** Traditional protection against the Folk has several caveats: Salt keeps them from hurting you, but only ''rock'' salt. Inside-out clothing gives magical protection, but ordinary clothes can't protect you against weapons. And while ColdIron is a potent defense against fairies, [[SuperSenses the Folk can smell large amounts of it.]]²** The Hunter's massive {{Pride}} is his FatalFlaw, since he only made sure the American and European gods couldn't help. However, the Song family is ''Asian-''American, and [[EleventhHourRanger Mayari has arrived from the Philippines.]]²** On a lighter note, Maidin can bypass Cloncarrig's walls ''much'' more easily than the Hunter [[MakingASplash because he's a river-spirit and he goes through the levees.]]²* TheFairFolk: Extremely feared, although the antagonists ''are'' TheWildHunt and the Horned Hunter. The goddess Aine is stated as the queen of the fairies, and is viewed neutrally since a character's named after her. Maidin the river-spirit saved Owen from drowning and is very friendly, if scatterbrained. Also, the Horned Hunter's subjects [[GoodAllAlong are NOT happy with his serial-killing]], but if they DO try to help, [[IControlMyMinionsThrough he'll kill them all.]]²* FairyTale: Contains many elements of the genre and is described as a FairyTale in the summary.²* {{Foil}}: [[HairOfGoldHeartOfGold Blonde, friendly, and Christian]] Malachy contrasts sharply with [[TallDarkAndSnarky blackhaired, snarky, and pagan]] Owen, who says that Mal's his best friend.²** Maidin's talkative, had a relationship with Owen for at least [[ReincarnationRomance one lifetime]], and takes part in baptisms. The Hunter is cruel, arrogant, dismissive of Christianity, and enjoys screwing with humans. Moreover, their color-schemes obviously follow the RedOniBlueOni trope--red for the Hunter and blue for Maidin--but the Blue character (Maidin) is the friendly and expressive one, while the Red character (the Hunter) has an extreme LackOfEmpathy.²** The Fianna and the Hunter both have deer motifs and red clothing, but the Fianna are protective of humans while the Hunter is religiously feared. Personality-wise, the Fianna are friendly and boisterous while the Hunter [[LackOfEmpathy lacks empathy]] and is a [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame serial-killer]]. The Fianna also ride motorcycles while the Hunter rides horses, though the latter is out of necessity since TheFairFolk can't handle ColdIron. They're both associated with hunting horns, but the Hunter uses a literal horn while the Fianna have antler whistles that [[MagicMusic make horn sounds.]]²* FoodChains: The Hunter disguises himself as Mal and gives Alima an orange before driving off with her. She thinks they're going home, but after she realizes who he is and stabs him, she wakes up with the car stuck in a freeway ditch. The policewoman who finds her said she was missing for at least an hour.²* FunctionalMagic: As in RealLife, most of the sub-categories show up. SympatheticMagic is one of the main plot elements, as Lucy's trapped in the Otherworld for a long time because the Hunter has a lock of her hair.²** Reversed SympatheticMagic is also implied with Alima's housewarming: Ned worries that she won't get the right gifts from her friends and won't have enough magical protection from TheFairFolk, since [[LostCommonKnowledge housewarmings are treated like parties among younger generations.]] When Marian (one generation above Ned himself) transplants a moonflower cutting into a pot for Alima's gift, she advises Owen to mix some of their yard's soil in with the regular potting soil; when he tells Alima, she's amused and calls it a gift of "Irish land."²* GenreBusting: [[AllThereInTheManual According to]] [[ this,]] the author essentially started out writing from the summary.²-->''[I]f it had to be classified, it would be [[GenreBusting a dramatic urban-fantasy with heavy shades of horror/thriller and downplayed romance.]] So yeah, "modern fairy-tale" is a lot shorter.''²* GodsHandsAreTied: Legal magic is fucking up the Tuatha De Danaan on helping Alima: She's not American anymore, so the American spirits can't help her, but she needs to live in Ireland for five years before being recognized as a citizen. Hence, the ''Irish'' gods can only help her if she's in direct danger from the Wild Hunt. (Seeing as the Hunter's pulled off at least one XanatosGambit, [[TheChessmaster he probably knew this.]]) On the other hand, [[LoopholeAbuse spirits from other countries]] are barely hindered if at all, since the Hunter is too arrogant to think anyone ''outside'' of Ireland would step in.²** Another problem Maidin brings up is how the Hunter [[AnthropomorphicPersonification embodies predators,]] and obstructing him too much would VERY technically [[NatureIsNotNice "upset the balance of nature."]] The gods could make him stop hunting ''Alima specifically,'' but only if they [[EquivalentExchange give him someone else to kill.]] They're not keen on that, so the only option left is for Ned to kill him.²* {{Grimmification}}: As stated in the summary, ''Moonflowers'' is "the unsettling kind" of fairy tale.²* HairContrastDuo: Hades has black hair (stoic, intense, and socially inept) and his wife Persephone is blonde (cheerful and energetic). Mal and Alima are a gender-flipped contrast: While both are friendly, the blonde Mal UsedToBeMoreSocial while Alima [[TheGadfly enjoys teasing him about things]].²* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Malachy is blond and very nice. Brighid Brennan has baby-blond hair and works in both a vet clinic and a human hospital. Spirit-wise, [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Persephone]] is very much this.²* HijackedByJesus: Averted in the Hunter's BreakingSpeech, when Mal tries to defend Alima from the Wild Hunt; Christians are ''less'' powerful against the Fair Folk (or at least against the Hunter himself), in spite of syncretized pagan practices. When the Knights of Aaron throw holy water at a Folk boy who helps Owen survive an icy river (later revealed to be Maidin), it just makes him itch.²** The Hunter's clearly bent the truth around to fuck with Mal, since we find out later that 1) Cloncarrig ''baptizes their children'' in Maidin's river, and 2) Maidin is the one who saved Owen.²* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: The Fairy Raid takes place on Samhain/Halloween.²* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: After [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hades and Persephone]] arrive, Ogma realizes that Alima and her parents were chosen for the Fairy Raid--every seven years in a Celtic country, seven mortals get cursed as "marks" and hunted down on Samhain/Halloween. People can't predict who they are, nor can they stop the Raid from happening. And since only two of the marks survived the ''last'' Fairy Raid due to [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hermes]] chancing upon them, survival rates are ''very'' low.²* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The chapters are named after children's games.²* InsubstantialIngredients: When Persephone asks if Hades wants raspberry jam, he declines because he doesn't like too much red. Ned also describes Hades' scent as a mix of dusty money and "the calm at the end of a life."²** Ned's contract with the Lady of Scales involves breaking the Hunter's curse in exchange for [[IntangiblePrice the color of his eyes.]] It's not a big deal to humans (though there's some risk of going blind), but the important part is that ''fairies'' think Ned's sacrifice is huge.²** Owen can sense people and spirits, often through smell. They're clearly not physical scents--he mixes up the goddess Brighid and his boyfriend Teis' scents because they both smell like "home and smithing."²* InvulnerableHorses / SomewhereAnEquestrianIsCrying: PlayedWith. Fairy-horses can reach 100mph speeds, but they can't ''keep it up'' and they wear out in a few minutes like normal horses. They're also subject to getting shot, hit with cars, and stampeding each other in a panic. However, amidst his cohorts in the Wild Hunt, the Hunter can jump his horse over a mass of panicking horses and Alima's car. Justified since both rider and mount are explicitly magical.²* InvisibleToNormals: Everyone thinks Cursed-Ned is a wolfdog, and they can't hear him talking. Only Ogma, Ned's wife Lucy, gods/spirits, and animals can speak to him and see that he's a full wolf.²* KnightTemplar: The Knights of Aaron are a Christian group who try to kill someone because people claim he's a changeling, despite said person being ''twenty years old'' with no sign of the usual Folk traits.²* LampshadeHanging: One of Mag's friends was thinking about getting a Japanese tattoo, and Mag drags him to the closest Asian possible (the Chinese-Filipino Alima) before he actually gets inked. Alima then reveals that 1) it's in Chinese since she can read it in the first place, and 2) it says "[[BabiesEverAfter Child's joyous arrival]]" instead of "warrior/soldier."²-->'''Ned:''' I knew Chinese lessons would pay off! And Lucy said [[StopBeingStereotypical we were being stereotypical!]]²** In another chapter, Ned notes that "White people love Asian stuff."²** Being in a relationship confers magical protection, since the Hunter makes a big deal that Mal isn't around in "Can I get there by candlelight." Alima reminds him that she doesn't need Mal to use her knife.²** Lucy and Ned can't talk to Mayari for very long before she's forced back into the Otherworld. Ned mentions that they could ask their ancestors about a dark-skinned woman, and Lucy mentions that ''everyone'' from [[ButNotTooBlack "kind of tan"]] to [[MistakenNationality "mistaken for black"]] is called [[InformedAttribute "dark-skinned"]] in Asia.²* LikeRealityUnlessNoted: The world works mostly like our world, except magic and the gods of many pantheons are confirmed to exist.²* LoopholeAbuse: Nobody living can help Alima, and the Irish gods can only help if she's in immediate danger. Enter Hades, the [[ExactWords Greek god of the dead.]]²** The Lady Of Scales says that while American and Irish spirits are unable to help the Song family, other countries are fine. Hades and Persephone are the Greek rulers of the dead, and the Lady is Chinese.²** Hades exploits the Hunter's lack of empathy by being a good Samaritan who "happens to find" the Fianna trying to subdue the Hunter. He also takes Lucy's hair when it falls out of the Hunter's pocket and brings it back to her. Since he technically didn't know it was ''Lucy's'' hair and didn't tell the Irish gods his plan, it worked.²** Averted with the fairy villagers forced to obey the Hunter's wishes as their king; they could ''technically'' get around his order of "don't help the marks in the Fairy Raid" by asking the gods, but [[ObviousRulePatch not only has he forbade them to help the European gods,]] [[IControlMyMinionsThrough he'll slaughter the ENTIRE VILLAGE for one person's disobedience.]]²* LossOfIdentity: Ogma O'Luain says people don't know if the Horned Hunter has a name. Maidin confirms that he doesn't, but not because it was forgotten--it's because ''he gave it up'' to become a Force of Nature.²* LostCommonKnowledge: DownplayedTrope. There's a lot of forgotten magical knowledge between generations: Pete needs to tell Alima that the offering-pool isn't a well (she last saw one when she was a child), but her father Ned immediately recognizes it and uses it to contact Lucy.²** Once Alima buys the shieling, Ned warns goddess-Brighid that most people will treat a housewarming like a party and they may not give Alima the right gifts, so it clearly used to be a magical ritual.²** Ned in turn knows that peach-wood is lucky in Chinese culture, but when Mal gives Alima a peach-wood comb at her housewarming, ''Ned's'' father Feng (who was born in China) has to tell them the extra detail that [[AccidentalMarriage it's used for engagements.]] Luckily, Mal intended it as a RelationshipUpgrade--just not that far up.²* MagicAIsMagicA / TheLawsOfMagic: Aside from real-life belief systems (Vodun, pagan/indigenous systems, and ancestor-worship), there's several basic types/rules of magic.²** University or "normal" magic is taught in schools, and applicable to a range of subjects. There's a labeling system for spell ingredients, many people use basic household spells, and first-aid magic is taught to some.²** Traditional magic is often linked to inborn abilities, and practitioners (medicine-men, Vodun practitioners, cunning-men) are on par with university graduates. Owen was taught by his grandfather Ogma.²** Deities are quite powerful. The gods have a huge range of powers, but they do have some limits. The Folk can be nearly as powerful as deities, and are often far more unpredictable. Later on, Maidin says that even gods can't interfere too much with nature--and seeing as the Hunter is the AnthropomorphicPersonification of ''hunting,'' this is a big problem for them.²** Legal magic is up there with deity magic--since Alima needs a five-year citizenship wait, it's keeping the Irish gods from helping her unless she's in physical danger. Ned and the gods are frequently lamenting how the bureaucracy is endangering his family.²** Magic's effectiveness depends on ties to the nation you're in, as Celeste mentions that American magic might not work in Ireland, and travelers are vulnerable to TheFairFolk. Artio the bear-goddess was forced to leave Ireland after the Ice Age when the bears died out, but she's been roaming Continental Europe and North America since then. Moreover, the slog with translating American-based magic to Irish magic has had the American FBI bring in the agents Duyen Khuu and Jude Cedarberg to quicken the pace with finding Ned.²** MagicMusic is a heavy theme since many people sing bits of songs or simply hum notes to activate spells.²* {{Magitek}}: Modern technology (like iPhones and laptops) coexists with magic.²* MeaningfulName: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] culturally; being named after a god, saint, or hero "gives you their luck," according to Aine. Aine never drowns (the goddess Aine was a sea-god's wife), Brighid works at a vet clinic and a human hospital (the goddess Brighid is a healer), and Ogma is a snarky BadassGrandpa (the god Ogma is an aged WarriorPoet).²** IronicNickname: Malachy is a normal Irish name, but his nickname is "Mal," which means "bad/evil" in most Romance languages. Mal is a nice guy who was PromotedToParent for his little brother.²* MixedAncestry: The youngest generation of the Song family. Alima is Chinese/Filipino, while her twin cousins Qamar and Hilal are Chinese/Indian. Alima calls her grandfather Yeye (Mandarin) and her uncle Tito (Filipino).²* {{Motifs}}²** ''The moon.'' Mal is reminded of a new-moon prayer when he first sees the white-clad Alima from a distance; the titular moonflowers are growing in Marian's garden; Wolfdog-Ned is named "Moony"; Owen's scar is crescent-shaped. Finally, Mayari the moon-goddess arrives in the 29th chapter.²** ''Home.'' SacredHospitality, the safety of the town walls, and Alima's vulnerability due to losing her old home.²** ''Oak trees.'' Owen's visions are called oak dreams, he breathes acorn powder onto the Hunter's orange peel to turn it into a deer-skull, and the police officer treats Alima's Folk-blood burn with acorn lotion while waiting for the ambulance. Fitting since the oak is a potent symbol, especially in Myth/CelticMythology.²** ''Hair.'' The Hunter cuts off some of Lucy's hair, which keeps her in the Otherworld. A homophobe chops Owen's long hair with a knife because he's restrained with a spell and can't actually hurt him, but that makes Owen [[BerserkButton go crazy]] because his head scar is now visible. His boyfriend Matthaeus is then told to make some jewelry with the hair. Maidin also remembers Owen from [[ReincarnationRomance a past life]] because of his hair.²** ExactWords. The Fair Folk, natch. No less than ''three'' countries' pantheons have been called in for help because the Irish pantheon can barely help Alima themselves. Mayari's arrival brings it to four countries.²* MrExposition: Maidin is constantly going off on tangents about things, thanks to being a MotorMouth. PlayedWith since everyone in-story just reminds him to get back on-topic.²* NameAmnesia: The antagonist is the Horned Hunter of Myth/CelticMythology with no personal name; Maidin explains that he's a Force of Nature, and must discard it on taking the position.²-->''You give up your name to wear the mask. You become a Predator that hunts Prey. That is all you are from that point on, and that is all you will be until [[KlingonPromotion something kills you.]]''²* NoNeedForNames: Maidin tells Lucy and Ned that TheFairFolk ''like'' names, but they don't ''need'' them like humans do. Plus, becoming a [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Force of Nature]] like the Horned Hunter ''requires'' [[LossOfIdentity giving up your name.]]²* NatureIsNotNice: It depends a ''lot'' on personality. Maidin, the talkative river-fairy? Good. Artio, the friendly bear-goddess? Also good. The Hunter, who takes his role as ''an embodiment of predators'' to excessive cruelty? Nope.²** Maidin mentions that no matter how upsetting it is to let the Hunter kill seven innocent people in the Fairy Raid, the gods can't interfere too much because a) "it upsets the balance of nature," and b) the Hunter would gleefully go open-season on MORE people to "correct" said imbalance.²* NatureSpirit: Maidin the river-spirit, Artio the bear-goddess, and the Horned Hunter.²* NeverSplitTheParty: Getting separated when chased by the Wild Hunt is ''very'' bad. Mal is adamant that he and Alima stay together while running from them; when Ned tells Ogma that he lost track of his wife, Ogma basically thinks she's dead. And then Alima is alone in a car with the Hunter disguised as Mal.²** The SternChase in "Can I get there by candlelight" has the situation immediately go to shit when everyone's separated, largely because [[JustifiedTrope there are only a few people against dozens of armed fairies.]]²* {{Oireland}}: Averted in general (being an ''urban''-fantasy); while the story takes place near the scenic Cliffs of Moher and Cloncarrig is a tourist town whose population is under a thousand, it's still modern and the characters run the gamut of personalities. Poked fun at early on, when Alima jokes that she was surprised to find electricity outside of Dublin. On the darker side, the homophobia Owen faces is another thing that stereotypes don't address.²* OhMyGods: "Gods in the west" has been used by Owen and the police officer who found Alima on the freeway.²* OlderIsBetter: Alluded to by a reporter: ''"Steel and titanium are '''not''' effective against the Folk."'' Also, Christians have no influence on the Fair Folk besides their own abilities/knowledge, but the pagan "old-walkers" do.²** Finn [=MacCool=] and the Fianna use obsidian weapons when going into Westermark Howe to avoid having the Folk smell ColdIron on them.²* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Ned unintentionally becomes the only one who can kill the Hunter--meaning that other people, as the Fianna found out, ''can't'' kill him.²* OurGodsAreDifferent: ²** The Fianna are minor gods, and have a hell of a time subduing the Hunter so they can get Lucy's hair back. Hades appears mid-fight and backhands the Hunter to stop him from running off.²** [[DePowered Artio isn't even full-strength yet]] and not only can she NeckLift the Hunter, she [[UseYourHead head-butts him]] hard enough to [[BrokenFaceplate break his elk-skull mask.]]²** The Hunter may not be a god, but he IS [[AnthropomorphicPersonification a force of nature.]]²* OverlyLongName: Decker goes by her last name, since her full name is "Henrietta Marian Valerie Decker." Her parents had to name her after [[DeadGuyJunior THREE of their deceased relatives,]] since all her cousins were boys.²* PaintingTheMedium: Ned's speech is all in bold, presumably to reflect his curse; other spirits and animals have normal text. Deceased spirits also speak in bold.²* PapaWolf: Ned is the normal version of this, and he's also a literal wolf due to his curse. He wants to kill the Hunter for all the trouble he's caused to Ned's family, and swears an oath to do so.²* PhysicalGod: Quite a few, since the real-life religions are all known to exist.²* PolarOppositeTwins: Qamar and Hilal Song. Qamar is outgoing and likes to hug people, while Hilal has a GreenThumb and is extremely quiet.²* RealityEnsues: The story as a whole can be seen as this, since [[TheEveryman an average civilian family]] has to rely on authorities, deities, and resourceful friends for help against TheFairFolk. And as the Folk are ''notoriously'' tricky to deal with, it's taken months to solve the Song family's tangled dilemma.²** In "Can I get there by candlelight," Ned gets {{Curb Stomp}}ed trying to fight the Hunter because he's too angry to think straight, plus he's unwittingly separated himself and Alima from the group because [[DogWalksYou Alima's too small to restrain such a large dog]].²** Calling the usually-helpful Fianna in the middle of a SternChase backfires--with the speeds they're going, the Fianna can't even ''find'' them until the car's basically demolished.²** While Aine [[CarFu uses Alima's car to ram the Wild Hunt's horses]], the Hunt still has the numbers to [[RainOfArrows pound the car with magical arrows,]] which breaks the back window and a tail-light, injures Brighid, and punctures one of the tires. By the end of the chase, Alima's car is covered in horse blood and insanely dented. [[LampshadeHanging Aine's constantly apologizing to Alima before she uses the car as a weapon.]]²** Brighid uses a soundproofing spell when the American agents Duyen and Jude come to help, because shooting guns in a car without some kind of ear protection would make them all go deaf. When she gets hit with elf-shot despite her inside-out sweater, she explains that a sweater can't physically stop an arrow.²** Later on, Jude attempts to repair the car's magical wards with a spell that needs dried nettles, but Brighid only has nettle pills. [[ClosestThingWeGot He HOPES it'll work,]] but the ward is extremely weak and Brighid gets dragged out of the car anyway.²** Mayari has a bitch of a time reaching Ireland, thanks to centuries of Catholicism in the Philippines. Lucy's family couldn't have asked her for help because they don't know her name.²** Brighid Brennan reminisces to Owen that she wanted to be an old-walker when she was little, and thinks that being an old-walker means she'd be more like Owen and wouldn't care [[spoiler: if people know she's a lesbian]]. Owen gently reminds her that religions aren't hive-minds, so she'd be the same mild-mannered nurse regardless of what she believed in.²* RedAlert / ThisIsNotADrill: When Ogma O'Luain realizes that the Fairy Raid is going to happen by the end of the month, he calls a town official about it. When Alima drives Mal home, they run into a huge gridlock since everyone's desperately going home. Ogma and Owen make a magical signal fire for the same purpose.²* RelationshipUpgrade: Mal and Alima in the twenty-second chapter.²* RuleOfSeven: The Fairy Raid. It happens every seven years on Samhain/Halloween, and there are seven mortals picked as "marks."²* RuleOfScary: The Hunter wears a ''massive'' Irish Elk's skull whose antlers could fit a car between them, but suffers no neck strain. Justified since he's a [[TheFairFolk fairy]] who [[InvokedTrope deliberately scares the shit out of his victims]].²* SacredHospitality: Taking in a guest bestows magical protection on them. However, it has its limits; the Hunter is able to bypass it because "kindness is nothing to him."²** Also works in reverse, as getting Alima her own place is very important in wearing down the Hunter's curse--she needs a physical tie to Ireland so the Irish gods can help her better.²* SapientHouse: ²** As with [[EverythingTalks other things in the world,]] houses are sentient. People have a trial period of two weeks before making their final decision to buy it.²** The Hawthorn Fort helps the Morrigan hide from its own guards, [[DarkIsNotEvil so it's clearly not as malicious as the Hunter.]] It's ecstatic when she gives it a pat on the wall in thanks, and she notes that [[TheNeedless the Hunter probably hasn't eaten or slept in the castle for a long time,]] which is a sign that [[KickTheDog he's neglecting it.]]²* SecretKeeper: Ogma and Lucy are the only two living humans who know that Ned is Alima's dog. Unfortunately, as stated above, they get TongueTied due to his curse.²** Maidin and Owen are Brighid Brennan's more traditional secret-keepers, [[spoiler: since they both know she's a lesbian.]]²* ShoutOut: Wolfdog-Ned is given the name "Moony" after getting adopted by Alima. Ogma was forced to suggest it due to the Hunter's curse, and Alima [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] that it's the nickname of [[Literature/HarryPotter Remus Lupin the werewolf.]]²** May's cat is called [[Film/{{Labyrinth}} King Jareth.]]²* ShownTheirWork: The author is an Irish pagan, so she'd be well-versed in Myth/CelticMythology.²** Ogma O'Luain has a British accent instead of Irish, since he went to school in London; since his grandson is in his twenties, it's likely that Ogma was either forced to use a British accent by the school itself, or did it on his own to avoid bullying.²** Owen was nearly killed for being gay. With Ireland being a heavily Catholic nation, it's not a good place to be LGBT even in modern times.²** The Irish Elk's antlers were gargantuan--some skulls' racks are ''12 feet wide,'' which is pretty damn close to a car's length.²** The mortal Ogma is a beekeeper. The beehive weights are accurate, as are the different types of honey (aside from the magical Moher honey, which has no real-life equivalent).²** It takes about five years to become a naturalized citizen of most countries, including Ireland.²** The Folk use bronze and obsidian weapons since they can't use [[ColdIron iron]]. It's theorized in real life that fairies are a folk-memory of Stone and Bronze Age cultures.²** Speaking of Owen, he nearly got killed due to claims that he's a [[ChangelingTale changeling.]] Technically, surviving (albeit with a giant scar and emotional trauma) means he got off EASY.²** The stray cat Dandelion and her son get an extensive vet checkup, shots, and flea-baths since they've been living in the woods; plus, Dandelion has a bad leg. They also need a few months to put on enough weight for neutering and spaying, and Alima keeps them in the smaller room in case the intact tomcat starts [[UrineTrouble spraying to mark territory.]]²* ShrineToTheFallen: Ancestor-worship is fairly well-known. Alima has an altar in her room to leave offerings for her parents after they went missing, and Mal sometimes leaves offerings on his parents' graves. Becomes a plot point when [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hades]] wonders why a young woman's presumably loving parents would completely ignore her offerings, and he finds out they're not dead.²* SpoilerOpening: The album summary gives away the fact that Alima's dad isn't dead.²* SternChase: In "Can I get there by candlelight," the Wild Hunt chases Alima's group.²* StoryArc: Two main lines. Story A is in the mortal world, and deals with Alima picking up the pieces after her parents go missing. Story B is in the Otherworld, featuring Ned's struggle to 1) reunite with Lucy, and then 2) keep Alima from getting murdered on Samhain.²* TheMagicComesBack: A cultural variant--with Mayari's arrival, ''Filipino'' magic is returning.²* TongueTied: Ogma knows that Alima's new dog is actually her father, but the curse forces him not to say it--either by locking his jaw to [[ExactWords literally keep him from talking,]] or forcing him to say something else. Later on, Lucy's affected the same way.²** Mal's deceased mother Carrie says that ''nobody living'' can help Alima, because the Hunter's too strong.²* TownWithADarkSecret: Not a ''secret'', but Cloncarrig fits. It's a small tourist town by the Cliffs of Moher, but going too far outside of the walls is hazardous due to TheFairFolk, especially at night. They also tried to kill one of their own people out of homophobia.²* TraumaCongaLine: The entire Song family. Alima's parents vanish and she goes mute for two weeks, Ned gets cursed and can't tell his own daughter that he's still alive, and Lucy is trapped in the Otherworld due to the Hunter possessing some of her hair.²** Alima is also one of the victims in [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame the Fairy Raid]].²** In flashbacks from Ned, Alima's Muslim aunt was killed shortly after the September 11 attacks.²** The O'Luain family is very close-knit, so it can't be fun dealing with the constant and sometimes violent homophobia that Owen goes through.²* UrbanFantasy: Very firmly so.²* WeaponOfChoice: Many Cloncarrig residents carry [[ColdIron iron knives]] to defend against TheFairFolk.²* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Implied. The traditionally-minded town of Cloncarrig will harass Owen for his homosexuality and refuse to give him work, but once they give a flimsy excuse that he's a fairy changeling to the [[KnightTemplar Knights of Aaron,]] they have no problem trying to ''kill him.''²* WhenSheSmiles: Owen, Mal, and Alima don't smile very often.²* WhiteWolvesAreSpecial: Ned Song is a literal and figurative PapaWolf, being one of the main protagonists.²* XanatosGambit: The Hunter implicitly set up the entire story by kidnapping Alima's parents for months and getting Alima to move to Ireland out of grief.²** XanatosSpeedChess: The gods have to do a lot of improvising around 1) their inability to help Alima, and 2) ''Ned's'' inability to talk to living humans.²** GambitPileup: The Fianna try to kill the Hunter in Westermark Howe, but [[BloodOath Ned's already sworn to do that]], so they can't. They already knew it would be hard to kill him, though, so their second plan was to [[TimeForPlanB knock him out.]] Until the Hunter called reinforcements, [[AttackAttackRetreatRetreat at which they promptly retreated.]] ...But then [[GoodVersusGood HADES comes in to help.]] As a more powerful god, all ''he'' has to do is [[OurGodsAreGreater punch the Hunter and take Lucy's hair back.]]²** Later on, the Hunter forbids his subjects from asking the European gods to help the Fairy Raid's marks, but [[EleventhHourRanger Mayari of the Philippines]] is completely unaffected.²* YearOutsideHourInside: Folk-dominated areas of the Otherworld work like this. Ned and Lucy were brought there by the Hunter, and they think they were only missing for a week or two. Ogma tells Ned that's it's actually been ''three months'' since they vanished, and Alima thinks they're dead. This leads to minor RapidAging when they come back to the mortal world or the non-Folk areas of the Otherworld.²----


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