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The Royal Line

     Ganelon de la Courcel 

Ganelon de la Courcel

King of Terre D'Ange during Kushiel's Dart.
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     Lyonette de Trevalion 

Lyonette de Trevalion

The sister of Ganelon and Benedicte de la Courcel. She is wed to Marc de Trevalion and has two children, Baudoin and Bernadette.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She is very attractive, but is known by most of the public to be proud and arrogant. She can also be very mean.
  • Character Death: She is executed for treason along with her son Baudoin.
  • Drama Queen: Oh, so much. Even the characters point it out. During the trial she parades into the judging room with her chains on full display, just to create a spectacle. Later when planning the means of her death she considers being hanged in public to take her revenge on Ganelon but in the end opts for drinking poison, deciding that her pride and dignity is more important.
  • Mother Makes You King: She plots with her son Baudoin to get him on the throne. Defied Trope when both mother and son get caught, put on trial, and executed for treason.
  • Pride: Is known to be full of this trope. The only reason she doesn't arrange a public hanging for herself is because she knows it would be a humiliating experience and is too proud to stoop so low just to get back at her brother Ganelon.

     Benedicte de la Courcel 

Benedicte de la Courcel

Brother of Lyonette and Ganelon. He was sent to La Serenissima to wed a Serenissiman lady of the Stregazza some decades ago and had two children with her, Marie-Celeste and Therese.
  • Character Death: He dies of wounds sustained during the chaos in the Temple of Asherat during the ceremony of investiture. Phedre notes that even if he'd lived he still would have had to return to Terre D'Ange to face justice and would have been executed there for treason anyway.
  • Evil Uncle: He is the great-uncle of Queen Ysandre, and an influential parental figure in her life. He uses this trust and influence to lure Ysandre to La Serenissima for the investiture, where he attempts to assassinate her.

     Rolande de la Courcel 

Rolande de la Courcel

Crown prince or dauphin to the throne of Terre d'Ange in Phèdre's trilogy and father of Ysandre. He was killed during the Battle of the Three Princes twenty or so years before the main action of Dart. He and Delaunay were lovers.

     Ysandre de la Courcel 

Ysandre de la Courcel

"Steel beneath a fragile bloom."

Queen of Terre d'Ange, daughter of Prince Rolande de la Courcel and Isabel L'Envers. Both of her parents die when she is very young, and she inherits the throne after her grandfather's death. She has to deal with numerous plots to overthrow her (mostly orchestrated by Melisande) and family members who want to take her place. Ysandre is a lot tougher than she appears, which frequently causes people to underestimate her. She marries Drustan mab Necthana, the Cruarch of Alba, and they have two daughters, Sidonie and Alais.

Tropes applying to Ysandre:

  • Adult Fear: Heaps of it. Her father died in battle. Her mother was poisoned. Ysandre herself grew up under the shadow of being named a murderess' get, with other members of House Courcel trying to wrest her throne from her just because she was a woman. Her childhood was loveless and lonely. In fact, the only close friends she had were with people far older than her, such as Thelesis de Mornay and her own uncle Barquiel L'Envers.
    • The day Phedre and Joscelin break the news of the Skaldi invasion plan is one big Adult Fear moment for her. One can see the blood drain from her face as she realises that she'd been betrayed by two of her people in the very heart of her own country.
  • Babies Ever After: In Kushiel's Avatar Ysandre and Drustan have two daughters, Alais and Sidonie.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Other members of House Courcel attempt to take her throne twice. One of these was her own great-uncle, who she had always trusted implicitly.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: One of her Cassiline guards, David de Rocaille, tries to assassinate her to avenge his sister, who was killed by Ysandre's mother.
  • Celibate Hero: Ganelon forbade her from visiting the Night Court so he could make her a foreign alliance through marriage. Justified in that while Terre d'Ange is very liberal about sex, other countries are not. Naturally this trope no longer applies once she marries Drustan.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Ysandre has to fight to retain her throne on multiple occasions and the strain begins to show in later books.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her father died when she was just a baby; her mother died when she was seven. She had to live under the shadow of being named a murderess' get because of the actions of her own mother, which killed Rolande's first betrothed. Because she was a woman, nearly every male noble was plotting to steal her throne from her, including her own great-aunt Lyonette and cousin Baudoin, and she was expected to wed strategically and for foreign alliance one day, and it wouldn't have mattered if she liked the match or not. The one match she did like was cancelled, and she had to fight for her chance to actually wed the man she loved. She also grew up alone in the palace with only an old man for company.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She uses a cold and icy front as a defense mechanism to mask her true feelings. With those she trusts she's much warmer.
    • Phedre notes that she rarely loses her temper in public, and considers it a huge sign of trust that Ysandre chooses to do so in front of her and Joscelin.
  • Determinator: After the betrothal between herself and Drustan is cancelled, Ysandre does everything she can to make her dream of wedding him come true, going so far as to enlist Anafiel Delaunay and Thelesis de Mornay's aid in finding a way to convince the Master of the Straits to allow Drustan to cross onto D'Angeline soil so Ysandre can marry him.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She is generally a wise ruler and beloved by her people, but in Mercy she declares war on them (at least, the ones outside the City of Elua) while under Carthage's spell.
  • GoodParents: Both she and Drustan are this to their children. Considering the genre, which usually has more of the other type, it's very surprising.
  • Heroic BSoD: Has this in bucketloads after the Carthaginian spell over the city is broken. She is guilt-stricken at the knowledge that she declared war on her own people and her daughter and almost tore apart the country, and tries to abdicate the throne in favour of Sidonie, believing that she is no longer fit to rule as queen. Sidonie refuses to accept the abdication, however, and only agrees to act as reagent for a month as the nation recovers.
  • The High Queen: Becomes this after the events of Dart.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: She is well-loved by the D'Angeline people. At least, until she attacks them in Kushiel's Mercy. Though they do end up understanding that she wasn't herself at the time and don't hold it against her for long.
  • Ice Queen: Can be this at times, especially when she is in public.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: She and Drustan only spend half the year together because his duties require him to spend the other half of the year in Alba. They manage to get by like this quite happily.
  • Marry for Love: What Ysandre and Drustan end up doing, after the war against the Skaldi has been won.
  • Offing the Offspring: While enchanted during Mercy, she declares war on her daughter Alais.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Her engagement to Drustan started out as a political match, but they happened to fall in love.
  • Politically Active Princess: She sat with her grandfather during Parliament sessions as Dauphine. She also rules as regent when Ganelon is dying.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Her grandfather, King Ganelon, raised her after her parents died.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She rules as regent of Terre d'Ange when Ganelon is dying. Later she becomes queen herself and leads the nation in preparing for war against the Skaldi.
  • Ruling Couple: She and Drustan rule their respective nations side-by-side.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Ysandre is made of this trope (see: quote). Phedre notes when she first meets her that she is like those of Cereus House—she appears to be fragile, but underneath she is strong and made of steel.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Much is made of how greatly she resembles her L'Envers mother, from her blonde hair to her purple eyes.
  • Winter Royal Lady: Wears white at the Midwinter Masque in Chosen.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: On the outside, she appears cool, confident and in complete control of herself. However, at times, mainly during private moments, one can see the mask slip.

     Imriel de la Courcel 

Imriel de la Courcel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Kushiels_Justice_front_cover-from_Amazon_website_7179.JPG

"I will try to be good."

The hero and narrator of the second trilogy. Son of Prince Benedicte de la Courcel and Melisande Shahrizai, the realm's most infamous traitors. Imriel spends his childhood innocent and unaware of his parentage until he is kidnapped by slave traders and sold to the Mahrkagir. He suffers all sorts of horrific abuse until he is rescued by Phèdre and Joscelin, who take him back to Terre d'Ange and adopt him into their household. Imriel's trilogy focuses on his struggles to accept his own nature, his attempts to find a place for himself, and his forbidden romance with Sidonie de la Courcel, Ysandre's daughter and heir.

Tropes applying to Imriel:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Both Imriel and Sidonie deliberately try to invoke this trope in the hopes that it will be played straight. Ultimately it doesn't work and has very tragic consequences for all.
  • Adult Fear: As a child he was abducted and sold into slavery by Carthaginian slave-traders, and ended up the property of a madman who revelled in thoughts, words and actions that caused only darkness and death. What Imriel endured there does not bear repeating. It was so bad that he had nightmares about it for months afterward and even was affected by it well into adulthood. It is because of what he endured in Darsanga that Imriel has difficulty accepting his Shahrizai heritage and his own sexuality and dark desires.
    • In Scion he ends up trapped in a beseiged city because the enemy leader Valpetra refuses to let him pass if he is not willing to let his sword-arm by chopped off (as Imriel had chopped Valpetra's sword-arm off to save Helena Correggio from him).
    • In Justice he has to endure Dorelei's murder and see his own son slain in the womb. Then when he runs to try and defend them in Clunderry he is accidentally wounded severely in the chest by Berlik and almost dies of fever while the wound is healing.
    • And in Mercy Imriel gets this when he wakes up after his month of madness to find everyone he's known and loved is under a spell and his beloved Sidonie has gone off to wed Astegal of Carthage, having believed herself to be in love with him. No one remembers his and Sidonie's relationship—not even Sidonie herself. Imriel has to rescue Sidonie from Astegal, break the spell over the City of Elua and avert civil war, all before the next full moon.
  • Always Save the Girl: Happens twice—in Scion he rescues Helena from Valpetra by lopping the man's hand off, and in Mercy he goes on a quest to rescue his beloved Sidonie from Astegal and free her from the love spell which has ensnared her.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Is on the receiving end of this in Mercy when Joscelin snaps at him for having disappeared from Terre D'Ange for so long before returning with Sidonie.
  • Angst: Especially in Scion.
  • Arranged Marriage: He agrees to marry Dorelei out of a sense of duty despite being in love with Sidonie. It doesn't end well.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Thinks it will be this way with Dorelei, but he is proven wrong after he is bound with an ollamh's bindings. Even before then, he tries to avert this, so that they can both be happy together.
  • Badass Bookworm: Imriel is as well-read as Phedre, and just as badass.
  • Bad Dreams: Imriel is plagued by nightmares in the days after Darsanga, though they eventually go away completely. It's said by Drucilla that he also had them soon after he arrived there, for very horrific reasons.
  • Badass Normal: He's very good with a sword, and it's often hard to defeat him if he's using the Cassiline style of fighting.
  • Babies Ever After: Imriel and Sidonie end up having a brood of children, the eldest of which becomes Queen and is named Anielle, after Imriel's slain unborn son.
  • Becoming the Mask: After Imriel takes on Leander's face and memories he is at risk of becoming this. Sunjata says at one point that in the very beginning, he almost was Leander Maignard.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: He tries hard to avert this, and succeeds.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Has a lot of it towards Sidonie.
  • Betty and Veronica: Imriel is torn between his dutiful love for gentle brunette wife Dorelei, and his socially inappropriate and fairly kinky attachment to glamorous, feisty blonde heiress Sidonie, a Defrosting Ice Queen.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Avatar he travels with Phedre and Joscelin to find the Name of God, and later witnesses the summoning and banishment of Rahab by Phedre.
    • Takes part in the battle in front of Amilcar in Mercy alongside the Euskerri which defeats Astegal and frees the besieged city.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Imriel's mother is the most famous traitor in Terre D'Ange; his father is also a traitor who tried to have his own great-niece assassinated. Practically anyone in Imriel's family tree has been guilty of some sort of treachery and treason at some point; the only one who is entirely treasonless is Severio Stregazza.
  • Body Horror: Imriel was branded by Jagun in Darsanga, and as a result bears the mark of the tatars on his left buttock.
    • After Berlik's attack in Clunderry, Imriel gains an impressive set of 'raked bear's claw' scars on his chest.
  • Break the Cutie: Undergoes a Break the Cutie process in Drujan, to an unimaginable degree.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: In two different couples. First with Dorelei as the gentle girl and Imriel as the brooding boy. Second with Imriel as the brooding boy and Sidonie as the gentle girl (though not as gentle as Dorelei).
  • Coming-of-Age Story: His trilogy is very much one of these.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was kidnapped by slavers as a child and sold to the Margkaghir in Drujan as a Sex Slave, where he witnessed and endured horrors which stay with him well into adulthood.
  • Declaration of Protection: Imriel makes a vow to protect Sidonie de la Courcel, long before he knows he's in love with her.
  • Determinator: Oh so much. When he was fourteen, a Priest of Elua prophesied that he would 'find love and lose it, again and again'. This was proven true repeatedly through the course of the trilogy, and with each loss Imriel matures and never gives up. When Sidonie is abducted by Astegal of Carthage, and the City of Elua is put under Bodeshmun's spell, Imriel swears that he will do whatever it takes to rescue Sidonie and not lose her and her love for him, for, having lost love so many times before, he is not willing to let it slip away from his grasp again.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father died when he was a baby.
  • Drowning Our Romantic Sorrows: Imriel does this with Maslin in Vralia in the dead of winter over Sidonie.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And boy does he ever.
  • Enemy Mine: In Mercy, Imriel is forced to seek the aid of Barquiel L'Envers who he hates (and who hates him right back) to defeat the Carthaginians.
  • The Evil Prince: Subversion. Some people think he is this and that his relationship with Sidonie is a plot to get the throne. It's not true.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Imriel actually meets his mother once as a child without knowing she's his mother. Phèdre tells him the truth later on.
  • Family of Choice: His is Phedre, Joscelin, Montreve's household, Alais and Sidonie.
  • Frame-Up: Is framed in Scion by Barquiel L'Envers who is determined that he be outed as a villain. Though Queen Ysandre, Phedre and Joscelin don't believe it, many people do and it results in Imriel's reputation decreasing rapidly among his peers at Court. This also leads to Bernadette de Trevalion attempting to assassinate Imriel in Tiberium as she believes that Imriel is finally following in his mother's footsteps and plotting treachery similar to what brought her family down. She is understandably distraught and guilt-stricken when she realises the truth of the matter.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Imriel has a set of bear-claw scars on his chest; he is basically a good guy.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: After his experiences during the siege in Lucca and the things Gallus Taddeus did to protect that city, Imriel eventually decides that nobody is entirely good or entirely evil. This finally convinces him to set aside his anger toward his mother and read her letters.
  • Happily Adopted: By Phedre and Joscelin at the end of Avatar. Imriel is ecstatic at the outcome.
  • Happily Married: To Sidonie after the end of Mercy.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: While in Tiberium Imriel is very attracted to auburn-haired Claudia Fulvia, which says quite a bit about his romantic choices.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Seems to be cursed by this. Because he is Melisande's son, most of Court expects him to be a traitor like her. Everywhere he goes there is always some suspicion aimed at him, and whenever there seems to be hints of rebellion and calls for a pure-blooded heir (like the faked treasonous plot in Scion) Imriel is immediately viewed with suspicion. When he and Sidonie openly reveal their relationship to the entire Court, Imriel is instantly thought to have seduced her to get at the throne.
  • The Hero: Is certainly viewed as this a century after his death. Imriel strives to be a hero like Joscelin, wanting to live up to his foster parents' example, and part of his character arc involves realising that being a hero is not always the most exciting thing in the world and comes with a lot of grief, stress and pain. Ironically enough after Imriel gives up wanting to be a hero, he becomes one anyway when he quests to rescue Sidonie from Astegal and break the Carthaginians' spell over the City of Elua.
  • Heroic BSoD: Has a huge one after Dorelei's death. For a long time afterward, he is so deep in guilt and despair that he wishes for death. The only reason he comes to life again is to hunt down Dorelei's murderer and avenge her and their unborn son.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Imriel's main weapon over the course of his trilogy is his sword, though he uses Cassiline daggers as well.
  • Hope Bringer: Fills this role in Mercy.
  • Hurting Hero: Hurts badly after hearing the news that Sidonie has sailed away to wed Astegal and forgotten all about their love for one another, and is badly tormented by images of Sidonie willingly in Astegal's bed. Jeanne de Mereliot offers to sleep with him to ease the hurt somewhat and strengthen him for the time ahead, but Imriel refuses, wanting to keep Sidonie's memory clear in his mind.
  • I Am Not My Father: Or in this case, 'I am not my mother'. Imriel is given so much flack for what Melisande did that he ends up saying this more than once.
  • I Am Who?: Imriel is shocked when Amaury Trente greets him as a Prince of the Blood, as he never knew before then who is parents really were. His reaction is as much as anyone would expect.
  • I Gave My Word: Like Melisande, he always keeps his promises.
  • In the Blood: Many D'Angelines fear that he will take after his mother. However, it is quite clear that Imriel is not his mother's son.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Kaneka in Avatar, Deccus Fulvius and Master Piero in Scion, Urist in Justice and Kratos in Mercy.
  • It's All My Fault: Imriel blames himself for Dorelei's death, realising that if he hadn't met with Morwen and taken half of Clunderry's garrison with him then there might have been enough men in Clunderry to protect Dorelei from the bear and defend Clunderry during the cattle-raid.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Imriel finds himself on the receiving end of this in Justice, when he finds out from Urist that Dorelei wanted him to return to Sidonie's arms to prevent him from becoming guilt-ridden and bitter over her death.
  • I Will Find You: Imriel's silent promise to rescue Sidonie from Astegal in Mercy.
  • Kissing Cousins: Him and Sidonie. No one minds, being D'Angeline. The only thing they care about is that Imriel is the son of two traitors, and that his loving Sidonie may be a part of a plot to take over the country.
  • Like Brother and Sister: His relationship with Alais is this. Though Barquiel L'Envers at first believes that he is trying to seduce her, they truly are like brother and sister to one another.
  • Likes Older Women: If his affair with Claudia in Scion is anything to go by, Imriel does occasionally have a thing for older women.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: With Sidonie during his marriage to Dorelei in Alba.
  • Love at First Punch: During the early stages of their acquaintance, Sidonie is not very friendly towards Imriel, as she believes him to be like his mother. She always greets him with a snarky comment. Later Imriel says that her snarkiness was one of the first things that attracted him to her.
  • Love Hurts: Boy does it ever!
  • Love Triangle: With Sidonie and Dorelei. A secondary one occurs between him, Sidonie, and Maslin.
  • Madness Mantra: "I have to go to Cythera!"
  • Manchurian Agent: Becomes one of these in Mercy. The trigger is a kiss from Sidonie.
  • Man in White: Imriel, attending the Midwinter Masquerade as Baldur, the Skaldic god of light. This unfortunately makes people ask questions since it both echoes the role of the Sun Prince and because of his mother's role in the Skaldi invasion twenty years previous.
  • Manly Tears: Weeps with abandon in Alba in front of Alais while recuperating from his near life-threatening wounds and struggling to accept Dorelei's death. Later he breaks down in Sidonie's arms while recounting to her everything that had happened to him in Alba.
  • Marry for Love: He marries Sidonie for love at the end of the trilogy.
  • Meaningful Name: His name means 'eloquence of god'.
  • Missing Mom: His mother Melisande has been absent from his life since he was twelve years old. For a long time it is impossible to tell where she has gone after leaving the Temple of Asherat.
  • Moe Couplet: Imriel and Alais.
  • Mommy Issues: Imriel has a complicated relationship with his mother, Melisande. After realising that she is the most famous traitoress in D'Angeline history and responsible for the deaths of millions of people, Imriel hates her and refuses to acknowledge her as his mother. He also resents the pall her actions cast on his life in the D'Angeline Court, as most of the peerage are waiting to see him turn out like her and tear the realm down. After his stay in Lucca, however, Imriel realises that no person is objectively black or white (or good or evil) and finally reads his mother's letters to him, getting to understand her better in the process. By Mercy Imriel accepts that Melisande is his biological mother and no longer hates her for her actions. However, he is still wary of her and her charm, and cannot forget the pain and bloodshed she caused toward her victims, even if Melisande now regrets her actions and how they effected Imriel.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Despite all of his scars, Imriel is very handsome, something which the ladies at court don't fail to notice.
  • My Greatest Failure: Imriel will likely never fully forgive himself for his part in Dorelei's murder. If he hadn't gone to meet with Morwen, and if he hadn't brought most of Clunderry's garrison with him, then maybe she could have lived.
  • Mysterious Protector: Canis is this for Imriel in Scion. He later learns Canis was a member of the Guild in Cythera sent by his mother.
  • Nerves of Steel: Never panics while in a dangerous situation.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
  • Omniglot: He knows almost as many languages as Phedre. Justified, since he was trained by her in covertsy.
  • Only Sane Man: In Lucca, Imriel notes that because he is d'Angeline the city's ghosts do not affect him, making him (along with Eamonn) one of the only sane people left.
    • Becomes the only sane man in the City of Elua (by being made temporarily insane) when the Carthaginians put their spell on the city.
  • Orphanage of Love: Had a happy childhood in the Sanctuary of Elua.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Ysandre is not happy that her daughter has fallen in love with Melisande's son. Though it clearly pains her to do it, she refuses to sanction their marriage unless Imriel brings to justice his absent (and very guilty) mother.
  • Parental Substitute: Phedre and Joscelin are this to him.
  • Pride: Has a lot of this, though he matures and mellows as the series progresses.
  • Psycho Serum: Gets a dose in Mercy.
  • The Quest: After Dorelei's death Imriel goes on a mission to kill Berlik and avenge his wife and son in the Cruithne manner by bringing Berlik's skull back to Alba to rest at the foot of Dorelei's grave.
    • He also embarks on this when he sets out to free the ensorcelled Sidonie from Astegal's clutches and break the spell over the City of Elua.
  • Rags to Royalty: He grows up herding goats, with no idea that he's actually a prince.
  • Rape as Drama: Was raped by Jagun in Darsanga, eventually leading to the following trope...
  • Rape and Revenge: When the slaves take Darsanga, the presence of Angra Mainyu causes them to go mad and attack the garrison soldiers. Imriel is caught up in it and rushes to take his revenge on the Drujani soldiers who tormented him and held him captive. Notably Joscelin, not Imriel, is the one who kills Jagun to avenge Imriel, by slicing him through with a sword-blade.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Happens to him in Avatar, and purely by accident, when Amaury Trente greets him as a Prince of the Blood (much to Imriel's shock). Phedre was planning to tell him gently later on, but Amaury's blunder put a stop to that.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Bodeshmun in Mercy, as Bodeshmun is dying.
    “Don’t worry. As it happens, Sidonie’s been studying Punic. You’ve only yourself to thank for it. And in case you wonder as you die, she was the architect of your downfall, not me. If you take no other thought into your next life, my lord, take this. It is not wise to meddle with D’Angelines in matters of love.”
  • Rescue Romance: During their romance Imriel spends a lot of time rescuing Sidonie from various situations (and also there is Sidonie rescuing Imriel, though that's less frequent). Firstly, in Scion, Imriel saves Sidonie from a boar which turns out to be a deer; in Mercy he rescues her from Astegal's clutches in New Carthage and finally breaks the spell over her and the city populace near the very end. In Justice Sidonie saves him from having to duel L'Envers while injured by yelling at an entire room of nobles and giving L'Envers a "Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Royal Blood: He is the son of Benedicte de la Courcel, and therefore of Elua's bloodline.
  • Royal Inbreeding: Imriel marries his cousin Sidonie, and ends up having children with her.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Imriel has done more for Terre D'Ange than any of the other royals, including saving it from a Carthaginial spell in Mercy. Sidonie points this out in Kushiel's Justice, saying that Imriel had brought nothing but good from the moment he arrived, and that if he did seem treasonous then it was only thanks to L'Envers, who tried to frame him at one point in Scion.
  • Save the Princess: Imriel's quest to rescue Sidonie from Astegal is this.
  • Second Love: In Alba, while separated from Sidonie he manages to find love with Dorelei, though it is not the same love that he experiences with her.
  • Secret Legacy: He has no clue that he is really a member of House Courcel and the son of two traitors until he is freed from Darsanga by Phedre and Joscelin.
  • Secret Relationship: He and Sidonie, in Justice. Eventually they get found out, with the entire court and nobility being split over it.
  • Sex Slave: Has this role in Darsanga.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Imriel spends his childhood in a Sanctuary of Elua in the countryside and is kept ignorant of much of the recent history (especially if it includes his mother) and doesn't really begin to learn about the ways of the world until he is brought back into the fold of House Courcel.
  • So Proud of You: Joscelin says this to him after the Carthaginian spell over the city is broken.
  • Starting a New Life: After returning from Africa Imriel is adopted into House Montreve and spends the next six years living in Phedre's household.
    • After returning from Lucca Imriel agrees to wed Dorelei mab Breidaia and travels to Clunderry in Alba to live with her there.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: He and Sidonie. They get together in the end though, after finally winning Ysandre's blessing for their marriage.
  • Stern Chase: His search for Berlik in Justice counts as one of these.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He takes after Melisande in looks, which as a child he hates and resents. Funnily enough, as Imriel dryly comments, no one ever mentions how much he looks like his mother to him—if anyone ever talks to Imriel about his mother (besides Phedre and Joscelin) it's about all the bad things she has done. Though not nearly as obvious as his Shahrizai heritage, Imriel also has the Courcel streak of nobility and people have commented on how he is like various members of House Courcel. He and Sidonie have the same brow, of all things.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: See Enemy Mine. Also, the time he teams up with Maslin.
  • Tell Me About My Mother: Phèdre saves letters Melisande sent to Imriel, knowing he'll want them someday.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Does he ever! He begins the trilogy as a young boy who is trying to come to terms with his place in the world and his sexuality as he grows into manhood. In an attempt to find his own identity, he runs away to Tiberium, where he becomes embroiled in politics and the machinations of the Unseen Guild. He is taught the ways of the Guild by Claudia Fulvia, and becomes way more skilled in covertsy than he was before. Then during a trip to Lucca he is trapped in a besieged city and caught up in a war between Lucca and Valpetra, and has to learn to fight in battle.
  • Tranquil Fury: His reaction to Berlik murdering Dorelei. While recovering from his wounds, Imriel calmly decides to hunt Berlik down and kill him like an animal.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Sidonie accurately describes him as a handsome but brooding boy.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Sidonie and House Courcel.
  • Weapon of Choice: Imriel's chosen weapon is a sword.
  • Wedding Day: The trilogy ends with his and Sidonie's wedding.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: His relationship with Sidonie begins this way, with Sidonie acting snarky towards him. Her snarkiness is what ends up attracting him to her in the first place.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Is this after experiencing Darsanga. He knows more about the world than most of his peers and realises at a very young age that just because d'Angelines are descended from angels, it does not mean they are superior to any other race. The trials Imriel goes through during his trilogy also further make him wise to the ways of other cultures and societies and the ways of the human heart.
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     Sidonie de la Courcel 

Sidonie de la Courcel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Kushiels_Mercy_front_cover-TheOtherWiki_9617.JPG

"She's like a house without a door."

Daughter of Queen Ysandre and Drustan mab Necthana, Dauphine of Terre d'Ange. Sidonie first appears to be very haughty and unlikable. However, she gradually becomes more likable and less haughty as Imriel starts to fall for her. Once they are no longer able to hold back their feelings for each other, she and Imriel begin a relationship. Together they struggle to win her parents' approval.

Tropes applying to Sidonie:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Hopes that separation from Imriel will help her get over him, since she knows that it would be better for all if they end their relationship now without going any further. It doesn't work.
  • Adult Fear: In Mercy she is hypnotised into marrying Astegal of Carthage, and willingly beds him over and over again. After she's freed from the spell, she is upset, enraged with both herself and Astegal and traumatised by what she endured.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Averted when she marries Astegal; she is bewitched to believe that she's in love with him, and is happy being with him for all the time she remains under the love spell.
  • Babies Ever After: Imriel and Sidonie end up having a brood of children, the eldest of which becomes Queen and is named Anielle, after Imriel's slain unborn son.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Has a lot of it towards Imriel.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Dorelei's Betty.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Minor example- she begins sleeping with Maslin, the captain of her guard, after Imriel marries Dorelei and goes to Alba.
  • Body Horror: Gains a circular disk-shaped scar on her back where her tattoo once was.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: The gentle girl to Imriel's brooding boy. Of course, Sidonie is nothing close to gentle as Dorelei is...
  • Character Development
  • Cool Big Sis: To Alais.
  • Damsel in Distress: Has to be saved from the love spell by Imriel. She does play a role in her own rescuing, as she drugs her Amazigh guards, comes up with the plan to kill Bodeshmun and helps Imriel plan how to smuggle her out of the palace and onto Deimos' waiting ship.
  • Damsel out of Distress: See above.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Is known for this. She is especially snarky toward Imriel during the early years of their acquaintance, because she's afraid that he's a traitor like Melisande who seeks to take her place as the next monarch. Imriel later admits to himself that it's her snarkiness that pulled him to her in the first place.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sidonie is very cool toward Imriel initially, but eventually warms up to him.
  • Determinator/Plucky Girl
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: She and Imriel are forced to win Ysandre's approval of their union by bringing Imriel's traitoress mother to justice. After the Carthaginians cast their spell over the City, however, bringing Melisande to justice is shoved aside in favour of working together with her to save Terre d'Ange from the Carthaginians and imminent civil war.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: As stated by Maslin and Imriel, Sidonie does not do fools gladly.
  • Fighting from the Inside: She struggles against both spells the Carthaginians put on her, eventually throwing off the love spell (with Imriel's help). She does succumb to the other one after a long struggle, until she manages to break through just enough to say the word that breaks the spell.
  • Girls' Love: With Amarante, the priestess-in-training hired to teach her Naamah's Arts.
  • Happily Married: To Imriel at the end of the trilogy.
  • Hidden Depths: To Imriel, at first glance she appears to be stuck-up, cold and snarky, but as Imriel gets to know her better he realises that there is more to her than what she shows to the world. He finds out that she has a wicked sense of humour, that she hates climbing trees, that she is very impatient and doesn't do fools gladly. She is also very fierce, as Alais points out, and she is very caring towards her younger sister.
  • Hope Bringer: Fills this function along with Imriel in Mercy.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: What the Carthaginians do to her in Mercy.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Although Sidonie is completely willing to sleep with Astegal while she's under the Carthaginians' love spell.
  • In the Blood: Because she is of Necthana's line she has some affinity for magic, which allows her to be successfully bound and protected from the gafrid gebla spell when she and Imriel return to Terre D'Ange to set it aright.
  • Kissing Cousins: She falls in love with her knsman Imriel and enters into a relationship with him.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: She is most like Ysandre in temperament and appearance, having her blonde hair and mask of iciness which she uses in public. However, her eyes are black like Drustan's. It is also mentioned that she shares a few character tics with her father.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: With Imriel while Imriel is in Alba.
  • Love Potion: It's not an actual potion, but the Carthaginians put a spell on Sidonie to make her fall in love with General Astegal.
  • Love Triangle: Between her, Imriel, and Dorelei. A secondary one occurs between her, Imriel, and Maslin.
  • Marry for Love: Believes at first that she married Astegal for love, but it turns out to have been a lie. She does play this straight when she weds Imriel, though.
  • Missing Time: While under the spell the Carthaginians put on her, she has no memories of anything related to Imriel.
  • Nerves of Steel: She rarely panics when in danger and seeks a way to get out of it.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sidonie's reaction when Imriel discovers that the item laid on her to maintain Astegal's spell is in fact a tattoo.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Her parents are fully against her wedding Imriel; her mother threatens to disown her if she does marry him, unless Imriel brings his traitoress mother to justice.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Wears one during the Midwinter Masque in Justice.
  • Politically Active Princess: Attends Parliament sessions with her mother regularly. Ysandre also names her regent temporarily at the end of Mercy while the country recovers from the effects of Carthage's spell.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Her mother made sure that both she and Alais were skilled in military strategy so that they weren't always having to solely rely on their generals if the nation ever found itself in a war like the once Ysandre found herself having to fight against the Skaldi.
  • Pride: Has this in bucketloads.
  • Rape as Drama: Though she willingly consented to it while under Astegal's love spell, after she is free from it she is filled with hatred and fury towards herself and Astegal for what she had to endure. It takes quite a while before she begins to move on from it.
  • Rape and Revenge: Immediately after being freed from the love spell she is enraged and swears to kill Astegal himself for what he has done to her. When he is subjected to Aragonian justice for his war crimes, he is sentenced to hanging, and though Sidonie is disappointed about it she agrees to settle on watching Astegal die. After Imriel wins the duel Astegal challenges him to, however, she does end up ending his life together with Imriel.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives an awesome one in Justice to Barquiel L'Envers, because of L'Envers treatment of Imriel.
  • Rebellious Princess: Has elements of this.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Is very politically active at court, and very determined not to let anyone usurp her position as the monarch-to-be of Terre D'Ange. During the Midwinter Masque at the palace in Kushiel's Justice Sidonie dresses as the Sun Prince, to make it clear to all of the nobles that she won't let them usurp her as the next king/queen.
    • In Kushiel's Mercy she is very involved in saving Terre D'Ange from the dire effects of the Carthaginians' spell which hangs over the City of Elua. She also helps Imriel plan their escape from New Carthage, and is the architect of Bodeshmun's downfall. And it is her military strategic plan which Imriel and the Euskerri use when they attack Astegal's army in front of Amilcar (which helps win them the battle).
  • Save the Princess: Needs Imriel to rescue her in Mercy.
  • Secret Relationship: She and Imriel are forced to keep their relationship a secret.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Her and Alais. Sidonie is more D'Angeline in appearance and feels more connected to that side of her heritage. Alais looks more Alban and doesn't fit in at the D'Angeline court. Sidonie behaves more like a proper lady while Alais is a tomboy. Despite these differences, they are very close.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Like her mother, she outwardly appears to be fragile and naive, but is really intelligent, strong, fierce and determined.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: She and Imriel. Though it's a subversion since they do eventually win the acceptance of the D'Angeline nobility and Sidonie's parents, and are wed at the very end of the trilogy.
  • Starting a New Life: After falling under Astegal's love spell, Sidonie sails to Carthage and weds him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She mainly takes after her D'Angeline mother in looks, but when anyone sees her eyes it's obvious just who's daughter she is.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Mercy. After being reunited with Imriel she forces him to cut out the tattoo which Astegal put on her and doesn't cry out even once as Imriel does so, even though it must be extremely painful for her. She then goes into a rage as she recalls what she did while under the spell, vowing to kill Astegal herself. After that she finally recognises Imriel and the two have a heartwarming reunion, and straight after the love-making is finished Sidonie's mind goes straight to thinking how to save Terre D'Ange. Sidonie actually aids Imriel in organising her own escape from the palace, and is the one who comes up with the plan to drug Bodeshmun and kill him (though the drugging part of it doesn't go as planned). While fleeing New Carthage by ship Sidonie's wound begins to fester and she develops a fever, and never even complains about her situation. In Amilcar she delivers two speeches to the Aragonian nobles (both of which are extremely noteworthy and badass) which helps convince the Aragonians to allow Sidonie and Imriel to escape the besieged city and treat with the Euskerri. Even when they hit a setback in their quest Sidonie never gives up and continues to fight to save her country. It is Sidonie who comes up with the battle strategy which the Euskerri and Imriel use to defeat Astegal's forces outside of Amilcar, though Imriel pretends that it was his idea to prevent the rather sexist Euskerri from dismissing it out of hand because of Sidonie's gender. After the battle is over and Astegal captured, Sidonie is upset that she won't be able to kill him herself but will settle for watching him die, and when Astegal tries using her as a hostage to force the Aragonians to let him go Imriel points out to him that he'll have to be wary of Sidonie as well as Amilcar, for Sidonie will slit his throat the first moment she gets. In a very badass moment Sidonie does end up ending Astegal's life together with Imriel.
though in the end she does end his life together with Imriel.
  • Trophy Wife: Sidonie is this to Astegal. Much to Sidonie's dismay, while she'd love to be more involved in the political management of Carthage and New Carthage Astegal chooses to keep her closeted in the palace and entertained like a doll.
  • Wedding Day: The trilogy ends with Imriel and Sidonie's wedding.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Her early relationship with Imriel. During their earliest encounters Sidonie is very snarky towards him, but gradually warms up to him.

     Alais de la Courcel 

Alais de la Courcel

Younger daughter of Queen Ysandre and Drustan mab Necthana. Alais and Imriel become close as children and remain so as they get older. She feels more of a connection to her Alban heritage than her D'Angeline heritage. At the end of series, she announces that she wants to stay in Alba and become an ollamh.

Tropes applying to Alais:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Can be said to be this at times when she is a child, but she is never as annoying as the trope suggests.
  • Arranged Marriage: Is supposed to marry her first cousin Talorcan, but decides against it because she's not in love with him.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Alais and Sidonie.
  • Canine Companion: As a present Imriel gives her a hound from Montreve as a pet which she calls Celeste. During the attack on Clunderry, however, Celeste is killed by Berlik and after enough time has passed she is given another hound by Imriel, which is named Allegra.
  • Cheerful Child: She is very cheerful and precocious as a child.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: She has prophetic dreams, but doesn't always interpret them correctly.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": She hates it when Imriel calls her 'villain', especially as she grows older.
  • Easily Forgiven: She does forgive her parents rather easily for declaring her a traitor and nearly attacking her while under Carthage's spell.
    • To be fair though, they were guilt-stricken at what they had done to her and Alais knew that it hadn't really been them that declared her a traitor and almost attacked her. They hadn't been in their right minds and she knew that, thus making it easier for her to forgive anything they had done to her while under the spell.
  • Famous Ancestor: Is this for Moirin and her other descendants.
  • In the Blood: She is of Necthana's line, giving her the ability to dream true dreams.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: Happens to her at the end of Mercy.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Her and Imriel. Many at Court (most notably Barquiel L'Envers) believe that Imriel is trying to seduce her to get at the throne.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Alais is very bold and precocious as a child, and even as a young woman doesn't seem to quite fit in with the rest of the D'Angeline nobility. She exhibits more of her father's traits than her mother's.
  • Magnetic Hero: Alais, once she finds her own place in the world and is more confidence in herself, becomes very charismatic. At the end of Mercy Imriel notes this, when she bestows a dazzling smile on the crowd during the medal-receiving ceremony, which everyone else can't help but reciprocate.
  • The Magnificent: Later becomes known as "Alais the Wise".
  • Marry for Love: Eventually she falls in love with Conor mac Grainne and marries him.
  • Offered the Crown: Steps up to become the temporary ruler of Terre d'Ange while Ysandre is enchanted. Afterward, she decides that she doesn't want the responsibilities of ruling a country.
  • Parental Betrayal: While under the influence of Carthage's spell, Ysandre declares war on her.
  • Rebellious Princess: Alais takes after her Cruithne heritage, which tends to run counter to the decorum and customs of court life. And, as noted below, she is rather tomboy-esque.
    • Alais at one point is set on overturning the matrilineal lineage of Alba.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Alais alongside L'Envers held the country together during Carthage's spell.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Her and Sidonie. Sidonie is more D'Angeline in appearance and feels more connected to that side of her heritage. Alais looks more Alban and doesn't fit in at the D'Angeline court. Sidonie behaves more like a proper lady while Alais is a tomboy. Despite these differences, they are very close.

     Daniel de la Courcel 

Daniel de la Courcel

The king of Terre d'Ange at the beginning of Moirin's trilogy and a descendant of both Imriel and Sidonie de la Courcel from the previous trilogy.
  • Adult Fear: Hearing news of your only son's death is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. It's no wonder Daniel commits suicide, especially considering that his beloved wife had just died not so long ago as well.
  • Death by Despair: After hearing of his son's death he succumbs to his grief and depression and drowns himself in the river.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Hits it when he learns of Thierry's supposed death.
  • Driven to Suicide: He was devastated by Jehanne's death and hearing a (false) rumour that his son had died drove him to commit suicide.
  • Nice Guy: He is a genuinely kind person, and very understanding of Jehanne's sexuality. It's what he is best known for.
  • Parent with New Paramour
  • Parental Neglect: He is unable to bear spending time with Desiree due to her strong resemblance to Jehanne, who died giving birth to her.
  • Puppet King: Becomes this as he cedes more and more power to the Duc de Barthelme.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Supports his wife's extra-marital affairs by way of an agreement made before they married; that she could keep her lovers for the first few years of marriage until they both agree to have a child. He even comments that her relationship with Moirin made her a better ruler.
  • Second Love: Its stated that Jehanne is this for him after the death of his first wife and Thierry's mother. However he is still deeply in love with her and Thierry even notes that courting Jehanne helped bring him out of his depression in the years after his first wife died.

     Thierry de la Courcel 

Thierry de la Courcel

Son of Daniel de la Courcel and his first wife; he is the Dauphin to the throne of Terre d'Ange during Moirin's trilogy.
  • Adult Fear: Has to hear from Moirin of his father's suicide and the Duc de Barthelme's plans to usurp the D'Angeline throne. Understandably he is extremely grieved and alarmed.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: At the end of Blessing he takes his rightful place as king of Terre d'Ange.
  • Better as Friends: He and Moirin.
  • Bratty Teenage Son: In the first book he comes off as this. Luckily he mellows out considerably by the end of the trilogy.
  • Distressed Dude: He is held captive by Raphael de Mereliot in Terra Nova, and has to be rescued by Moirin mac Fainche.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: He chooses to lead an expedition across the world to Terra Nova.
  • Made a Slave: He is forced into manual labour in the fields in Terra Nova after Raphael uses the language of ants to wrest control of the expedition from him.
  • Precocious Crush On Jehanne, which soured his relationships with both his father and his step-mother. He gest over it eventually.
  • Prince In Rags: Is forced by Raphael to work in the fields, growing food for his army of ants.
  • Rightful King Returns: Reclaims his throne from Rogier de Barthelme at the end of Blessing.
  • Royal Brat: During Kiss. He eventually grows out of it.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: His desire to be one of these leads him to embark on his quest to Terra Nova. It doesn't go the way he plans it to.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Blessing.
  • The Wise Prince: Becomes this by the end of Blessing.

     Desiree de la Courcel 

Desiree de la Courcel

The daughter of Jehanne and King Daniel.
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Duc Rogier de Barthelme's Family

     Duc Rogier de Barthelme 

Duc Rogier de Barthelme

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