Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Amulet

Go To

Amulet is a 2008 series of Kazu Kibuishi, editor of Flight (2004) and author of the webcomic Copper and graphic novel Daisy Kutter. The graphic novels chronicle the adventures of Emily, her brother Navin, and the exiled elf prince Trellis as they try to operate and survive in the middle of war.

After the tragic death of her father, Emily Hayes and her family move into her disappeared great-grandfather's house to start anew - although greater forces say otherwise when her mother gets kidnapped, prompting Emily and her brother to follow her into the fantastical world of Alledia. Home to wild and imaginative creatures from walking houses, living robots, and talking trees, Emily is spoken to by a "voice" from an amulet she has discovered while in the house, and is guided to seek assistance from said not-so-dead great-grandfather and brilliant inventor - Silas Charnon.

From there on, it's revealed Emily is chosen to be a stonekeeper and Silas's successor - not only that, but she and her brother are the chosen ones of a specific prophecy that details that they would defeat the oppressive elves that was waging a war in Alledia - the same faction that kidnapped her mother to coerce her into working for them. Now, Emily finds herself trying to not only keep her family together, but also fight an increasingly brutal war against an evil race of elves bent on dominating everyone else and navigate amongst the myriad of agendas of the allies and enemies and in-betweens she encounters, including the very "Voice' from her stone....

The books in the series are:

  • Volume 1: The Stonekeeper
  • Volume 2: The Stonekeeper's Curse
  • Volume 3: The Cloud Searchers
  • Volume 4: The Last Council
  • Volume 5: Prince of Elves
  • Volume 6: Escape from Lucien
  • Volume 7: Firelight
  • Volume 8: Supernova
  • Volume 9: Waverider

This graphic novel provides examples of:

  • 24-Hour Armor: Trellis', who's even shown sleeping in it. How he relieves or cleans himself remains untouched upon.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Chronos's awakening implied that Gulfen is planning to create a new Guardian Council under their control and Chronos was the first one they chose, thus explaining why they stole the Motherstone. However it was never explored and the Motherstone, in its sheer power and importance, is seemingly forgotten.
    • The Colossi is expected to play a large role in winning the war after being built underground for decades, yet all three were already destroyed before they could even be used for combat.
    • The end of Book 5 shows Emily meeting the Voice in the Void playing a game of chess, but Book 6 starts off with it being never mentioned and Book 7 instead implies the Voice was truly fighting against Trellis instead.
    • The ending of Firelight implies that Trellis will help Emily get back but Supernova shows she got back on her own, albeit with help from her future self and son.
  • Absurdly Cool City: honestly, Cielis takes the cake. It also helps that the previous cities that are intact appeared real plain in comparison, and every city that appeared after that are destroyed.
  • Aerith and Bob: humans are the Bob, while the Elves are the Aerith. So you'd get perfectly normal sounding names like Emily, Alyson, Max, Trisha, mashed with names like Trellis, Riva, Loni, and Gabilan. Although on occasion the Elves have a Meaningful Name. Either way, it drives home on how foreign in comparison the Elves are.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Max might be a horrendous monster, but it's hard not to feel a little sympathy when he rapidly ages to death after being called out by Layra.
  • Animesque: The art style makes you think this could be a Japanese manga. Since the author is a 4th-generation Japanese-American, that would explain a lot.
  • Arc Words: Some variant of "You're not alone" is repeated often in the series, from the first book onwards, as a major theme is finding family where you can and never going a tough road without help.
  • Badass Cape: Emily sports one from Book 2 and on.
  • Badass Longcoat: Vigo often sports one.
  • Badass Long Robe: Trellis sports one in Book 8.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Courtesy of Leon in Volume 2.
  • Because Destiny Says So: why Emily and Navin got roped further into Alledia besides saving their mother. An undisclosed prophecy foretells them as heroes who will save the land from the Elves. Whether it's actually legitimate remains unclear.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Enzo and Selina, who have a history. To wit: She greets him by punching him, they’re later seen asleep on a sofa together having had a drink or two, and when the group leaves the next morning, Selina offers Enzo a job when he wants to settle down.
  • Big Bad: The Elf King. Or so it seems. The King is dead, and his Amulet is the one really running things.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Although downplayed as it's a smaller example than most, the Gulfen royal family of which Trellis is a member. The father is a genocidal war maniac that doesn't hesitate to execute his only brother once he goes against his tyranny, abuses his youngest son both physically and emotionally, and manipulates his eldest to do his bidding. Luger, said eldest son, is a Blood Knight before his Heel–Face Turn that will willingly kill and hurt innocents if it gets results, even voluntarily losing control of his power just so he could defeat his enemies. Trellis, for his part, was both abused by his father and, at some point (and despite being royalty) had to live frugally with his mother without heat or food, in the middle of a tundra, during which his mother perished from the cold and starvation. Which brings upon a lot of unanswered questions about why this happened or how Trellis even survived. In comparison to other families in the series... Well, this one stands out.
  • Big "NO!": Screamed by younger Max when the airship his friend Layla is in is shot at and detonates.
  • Big "WHAT?!": uttered by an elf soldier, when Login reveals that the Elf Kings intentions is not a fight, but a surrender.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the final volume of the series Waverider, Vigo sacrifices himself to defeat Ikol in the void, but it leaves him completely stranded in Alledia’s past 300 years ago, where he spends his last days writing a book to Emily called the Book of Light for her to read in order for her to understand that Ikol is made from Earth due to human nature. With the Stonekeeper’s curse gone and all the conflicts resolved, Alledia is finally at peace as Trellis allows Gabilan to become the new Elf King, since he proves to be a great leader, while Trellis will lead the newly formed Guardian council with its new members. Emily and her family return to their world right where they left off some time ago and feel like a happy family again just before Emily’s father's tragic death. It is hinted that Emily will use her knowledge and experience during her time in Alledia to improve her world, just to make sure it won’t make any more mistakes like when it created Ikol.
  • Black Comedy Burst: In a very chipper tone and smiling all the while, one of the Cielis robots tells Navin and Cogsley about how all the robots pilots were executed by the elves by being tossed off the side of the city. Afterwards, Cogsley puts it best:
    Cogsley: These people are crazy.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Sometimes happens to characters in action sequences who receive a heavy blow.
    • Max coughs up blood when he's injured during his escape from prison fifty years ago. It signals that he's dying and desperate enough to make a deal with the Voice.
  • Blood Magic: As part of the Amulet revealing itself to her, Emily’s finger is deliberately nicked by the indentation for her hand.
  • Blown Across the Room: When hit by his own redirected magic, courtesy of Gabilan, Trellis is not only blown across the room, but smashes through the wall and is almost sent flying off the island completely.
  • Blunt "Yes": it's not exact, but the Elf Lieutenant in Supernova demanded his fellow soldier if they had really came all the way here to give up... Only to be disappointed with a blunt answer that says, yeah, pretty much.
    Elf Lieutenant: No! This is not possible! Did you all come here to just give up?!
    Elf soldier no.1: We are tired and hungry, brother.
    Elf soldier no.2: It is better this way.

  • Brother–Sister Team: Navin and Emily, although they also spend a lot of time combating enemies on separate fronts. One particular part in Volume 2 had Emily and Navin battling together with Emily using her stone to super-enhance the Charnon House, which Navin was using as a giant mech.
    • Two minor characters from Volume 7, Loni and Roni, are also a brother sister duo that seems to rely on each other's support.
  • Bounty Hunter: Gabilan. There seems to be a lot more to that, though...
  • But Now I Must Go: With peace finally restored to Alledia, Emily and her family go back to their world by following its traces and going through the portal that led them to Alledia in the first place.
  • Call-Back: In Chapter 5, a memory of Emily tells Trellis to wake up. In Chapter 7, a memory of Emily tells Trellis to wake her up.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Despite the very simple faces on most of the cast, the other external features such as hair, clothes, and even species (between elves, humans, robots, various animal creatures, and later aliens) makes a lot of the characters unique and easily distinguishable.
  • The Chosen One: Played with. Several characters believe that Emily and Navin are ones mentioned in a prophecy by the Gadoba trees, with Emily in particular being a stonekeeper destined to join the new guardian council and help save everyone in Alledia. But the prophecy is never explained in full, so it's not clear how they know the prophecy means Emily specifically.
    • Book 6 has another example. Riva's Gadoba friend, Father Charles, also gives a prophecy about a "son" that will rise again and possibly save Alledia. Riva believes that this prophecy is talking about Trellis.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The Guardian Council. Emily is the red one, and is both The Leader and The Hero. Meanwhile, Trellis is the blue one, and serves as The Smart Guy and arguably, The Lancer. Subverted with Vigo, even though he's the green one, he doesn't exhibit the usual stereotype but rather as the Mentor.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The color of individual Stones denotes the color of the magic that each Stonekeeper uses. It also denotes the color of the spirit (aka the Voice) behind each one. Although in that it's subverted. Emily's Voice, which is pink, is also the spirit behind Max's teal Stone. In this case it's the symbol on the stone, and not the color, which denotes the spirit connected to it.
  • Combat Tentacles: Features especially in the first volume with the arachnopod.
  • Corporal Punishment: the Elf King is not above dishing this out to Trellis. Even the soldiers, who are supposed to be serving and protecting him, have blanket permission to hurt him even to the point of breaking his bones should he proven himself a bit too difficult for their tastes.
  • Create Your Own Villain:
    • There's a very good reason why Max wanted to eradicate Cielis and everything associated with it, reason listed being: his father was emotionally abusive, bullied relentlessly by peers for associating with Elves, his training literally involves fighting other people for a spot on the Councol, his friend's family unjustly persecuted, and all of them died in an escape attempt, and Cielis punishes him — a child — of 50 years of prison term for doing the right thing and additional years on top of that in a frozen prison where he nearly died. Hm. Yeah, it's not hard to see why he snapped.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A few characters have their moments:
    • In Book 3:
    Trellis: You don’t trust me.
    Emily: I get the impression the feeling is mutual.
    Trellis: Fair enough.
    • In Book 4:
    Trellis: You trust me over your own superiors. Why?
    Leon: There are no superiors, Trellis. We're on our own now.
    Trellis: [smirks] Welcome to the club.
  • Deal with the Devil: It's implied that a Stonekeeper allowing their Stone to take complete control is this. The Stone grants its user unimaginable power even greater than they already had, but the user may go insane or cursed even worse than before as a result. In some cases, the Stone may keep using their body after they're already dead.
  • Determined Expression: she's literally defined by her determined nature, so it's unavoidable that Emily has this.
  • Deus ex Machina: Emily's escape from the Void. Her future self and son come out of nowhere, and apparently, the Void has portals to exit from, contrasting what has been established several times in the previous books that you can only leave by dispersing yourself into light.
  • Dies Wide Open: Silas.
  • Diner Brawl: A fight occurs in the kitchen of Suzy’s restaurant in Volume 7, between Loni and a bounty hunter, Gravis.
  • Disappeared Dad: An extreme version; we actually see Emily's father die before our eyes, and his death is a large part of her current personality.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: Miskit.
  • Disney Villain Death: Luger. Or so it seems. He ends up surviving and becoming a good person as a result of losing his Stone.
  • Downer Beginning: The Stonekeeper starts with the death of Emily and Navin's father. As the first volume, it also ends with their mother being poisoned and hanging between life and death.
  • Downer Ending: Firelight ends with Emily succumbing to the Voice.
  • Electric Torture: when the soldiers captures Trellis and Luger, with the former attacking a soldier, one of them subjects him into this as retaliation. It's not a fun scene.
  • Egg MacGuffin: Dagno! A wyvern baby that imprints Cogsley.
  • Eye Awaken: After being stunned by Miskit, Trellis awakens this way.
  • Face–Monster Turn: A common fate for Stonekeepers who rely too much on their stone or are manipulated by the Amulet spirit into doing so. Emily falls prey to this near the end of Firelight, transforming into a giant, flaming, phoenix.
  • Fantastic Racism: There seems to be a lot of it between the elves and humans as a result of the war between the two races.
    • Enzo lets on that there is some racism against the animal people of Alledia, although we've never seen evidence of this firsthand.
    • Navin and Alyson's teacher in Escape From Lucien especially dislikes elves, which in turn affects his treatment of Navin.
    "The mistake was made long ago, when we let these elf-sympathizers join us on our mission. I'm just working to fix it."
  • The Fair Folk: The elves.
  • Fight to Survive: how the entire Stonekeeper Academy works, apparently. It could be just Max's doing to prompt Emily to action while he was fooling her, but considering the type of people Cielis and the Guardian Council were... It may not be that far off.
  • Floating Continent: The city of Cielis.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Emily asks about the statues in the Void, Pierce looks at one that bears great resemblance to Ronin and Ronin explains that if you die in the Void, you get Taken for Granite.
    • In Volume 5, Navin complains that the outfit his mom dressed him in makes him look like a waiter. A couple of volumes later, he and Aly take up jobs as waiters while General Pil is a chef.
    • At the end of Volume four, Emily and Vigo shape their magic into a pair of birds, as a tribute to the fallen Stonekeepers. Come Volume 7, and Emily is the one being shaped into a bird due to losing control of her stone’s magic.
  • Forced Transformation: If you stay in Kanalis too long, you'll eventually permanently transform into an anthropomorphic animal. This includes birds and even slugs. Though Leon is a fox, as was his father, not to mention other animal people are shown to be the same species within their families. So apparently genetics determine what form the curse chooses for you.
  • From Bad to Worse: Vigo gets a heavy dose of this. First Miriam, his wife, dies, then his son David enters the Void in a misguided attempt to bring her back - an attempt that leaves him comatose for several days, mumbling in his sleep to someone, whilst Vigo can only watch. David finally wakes, looking terrified, and then dies. Poor guy.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: In The Cloud Searchers, Karen's first response to Gabilan telling her to put her hands up where he can see them is to do exactly that by using them to bash him in the head with a frying pan. Not that that mattered; he had a metal helmet on.
  • Funny Animal: The population of Kanalis. Stated to be due to a curse, although there are many animal people beyond the city as well.
  • Genre Shift: The series begins as mostly fantasy with steampunk elements, but by book 7 it becomes sci-fi.
  • Giant Flyer: The eternally-storming Golbez Cycle contains Sky Eels, docile creatures with impossibly long lifespans.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: Thanks to some quick thinking, this is how Navin saves Emily and Leon in the second book.
  • Glowing Eyes: The elves, along with many creatures in Alleida, sport glowing eyes. Additionally, when a Stonekeeper is using their Amulet, their eyes will glow the same colour as their stone.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Prince Trellis sports one stitched-up one across his left eye.
  • Grand Finale: The ninth book, Waverider serves as the final volume of the series.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: a downplayed example, but the library in Trellis's home village was one of the first Gulfen structures built as a homage to the Erlking and all the people who contributed to their nation's progress has their records and works stored there. It eventually lead to one of the biggest reveals in the story about the stones.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: For most of the story so far, the amulet's voice seemed to serve as a guide for Emily in battle and during difficult situations. It is implied to be evil in its own special way, however, and Emily's brother, Navin, even describes the voice as "shifty". After his defeat, Gabilan mentions that "the stone has its own agenda" and that "[Emily] will die like the rest" once it has fulfilled its goal. By the fifth volume, it seems that this will change to make the stone into an actual Big Bad.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The humans and elves conflict, ultimately. Sure, humans may have been the losing ones in the war, but Cielis has been antagonizing innocent elves and unjustly persecuting them at best and killing them without mercy at worst. They even seceded from Lucien because there were too many 'outsiders', and they have absolutely no qualms using Child Soldiers, judging by how they treat their stonekeeper students like forces needed to be controlled and how the Academy is literally designed like a prison. Even the rest of Windsor is noted to have its share of Fantastic Racism against elves and animals, according to Riva and Enzo. Cielis in particular also abandoned Windsor to save their own skins, even though it was their duty to protect all of Alledia. The elves, meanwhile, may be the instigator of the war and the military has been harassing Windsor's citizens, but it's revealed that they were formerly peaceful, wise, and pacifistic, and that they had helped the humans develop their cities with their technology for ages (including helping build Cielis.) Not only that, but the majority of its army are drafted, meaning it's likely many of them are unwilling and are just forced to fight due to fear of execution. Many of their issues can be traced back to the Elf King, a tyrant leader that uses fear to control them and a leader some of them even resist. Book 8 demonstrates how pointless the entire war is when Emily brings it to a very sudden end by deposing the Elf King.
  • Healing Factor: Part of what makes Max so dangerous – because he’s sustained by the Voice’s magic and technically should be dead, he can survive normally-fatal injuries. However while he can survive them, it doesn’t stop him from feeling any pain, and at one point the reader is treated to a delightful scene of the Voice forcibly mending Max’s broken bones.
  • Healing Herb: Certain fruit of the Gadoba trees can heal any injury, however they’re hidden among others which are fatally poisonous.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Prince Trellis rather predictably and early on, considering that he and Emily end up having the same goal to stop the elf conquests.
    • Luger, too, turns over a new leaf entirely after being freed from his stone.
    • Max, although it's too late for him at the time. He eventually tries to stop the Stone that he made a deal with and drops his thirst for vengeance. But he ages to death in the process.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: General Pil tries to invoke this, holding the door when he, Aly, and Navin are trapped by a hoard of Dark Scout-possessed people. Luckily for him, the others are firmly against it, and they all escape together.
    • In Waverider, Vigo sacrifices himself into the void to defeat Ikol, as when he is inside the void, he encounters an illusion of his deceased family and spends many days with them while learning about Ikol, who trapped him there. Then,Vigo finally gets out of the void and ends up 300 years in the past in Alledia. This is when he decides to spent his final days writing a book called the Book of Light so that Emily will read it and understand that Ikol was made from Earth.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Trellis's village where he was raised in. Also, where the Elf King used to live. Its own climate is cold and foggy in comparison to the rest of Gulfen, which is a hot desert. Other than it was implied to be on an island, it is never revealed where it is located.
  • History Repeats: A very blatant one for the elves. Virgil points out that just glancing through their historical archives reveals that every 500 years a Stone with a Voice shows up in the hands of an Elf King, which is followed by a period of intense war and strife. After 500 years of peace, the cycle begins again. The current Elf King is just the latest in the cycle.
  • Humongous Mecha: A house. Apparently walking houses are popular in Alledia.
    • Over the course of the volumes, Navin is shaping up to be a pilot of such Humongous Mecha. That fact that he is known for his love of video games may have been foreshadowing this.
    • The elves also seem to employ several.
  • I Choose to Stay: Subverted in that when Emily says that she has to stay in Alledia, her mother insists that the whole family will too regardless of the dangers they will face.
    • Trellis tries to pull this trope in Book 6 but Emily wasn't having it so it gets subverted again.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Navin, piloting the Albatross.
  • Indy Ploy: Navin’s favoured tactic. His initial plan for taking Charnon House back from the elves, and saving Emily is best summarised by this quote:
    Morrie: But, sir! The house is being guarded by the elves! How are we going to get past them!
    Navin: You probably don’t want to hear this, but I have no idea.
    • And again, in Escape From Lucien, his response to the cadets falling to their deaths is to hop in a loaderboat and leap out after them, with no proper plan in mind.
    Aly: Wait – did you jump without a plan?!!
    Navin: I didn’t have time to think of one!
  • Infernal Background: after Firelight most scenes of Emily are these.
  • Imagination-Based Power: Leon explains in Book 3 that the stone's power is as diverse as one's imagination, either being a highly effective shield or a devastating weapon.
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: Emily, who was put into a position of power once becoming a Stonekeeper (as a member of the guardian council) and inspires many as being the one who will save Alledia. While not often leading directly, she nonetheless has a single-minded determination to protect her family, bring her father back to life, and defeat the Elf King, and has plenty of moments in the series (particularly in the early books) that demonstrates her strength as a stonekeeper.
  • Kid Hero: the story's three main protagonists are all pretty young, with Navin as the youngest at 13, Emily at 14, and Trellis, albeit the oldest as a teenager, is still young at 16.
  • Kidnapping Bird of Prey: At one point Miskit and Cogsley are carried off by a wyvern.
  • Kill It with Fire: Whilst hot on the trail of Emily & Co, when Luger and his soldiers come across the glade of sentient Gadoba trees, this ensues.
  • Kudzu Plot: sadly, its biggest issue. It even lacks a comprehensive timeline because many of the details lack consistency, and it's obvious enough by the many Aborted Arc above, it had a lot of abandoned or unexplained plot threads.
  • La Résistance: So named, except with "the" instead of "la". A resistance group against the elves in Kanalis, which later moves to Lucien.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Luger. After his defeat, he goes from being the Elf King's right hand man to a whimpering old man. Before that, it turns out he and Trellis had both been subject to this so they'd forget their childhoods, and Luger in particular so he'd forget he's Trellis' brother.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Charnon amulet is the only red amulet we ever see (all others are green or blue), and it belongs to the heroes.
  • Little Hero, Big War: Emily is expected to fight the Elves and win the war for the Resistance — at age twelve.
  • Living Toys: Miskit seems to be one, but he's actually a robot.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: Trellis and Luger get are arrested for the majority of The Last Council for supposed "war crimes", prompting Leon and the rest to bust them out to gain the assistance helping Emily.
  • Long-Lasting Last Words: Something like this happening in The Stonekeeper. The protagonists' great (maybe insert a couple more greats here) grandfather basically chooses to give a long, drawn-out speech about how they have to protect Yon Magical MacGuffin Stone or the world will be in terrible peril etc. etc. then the lights go off. It was obviously intended to be serious but it just looks silly.
  • Looks Like Orlok: most of the Elven soldiers, although they don't have a bat theme.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Elf King is Luger's father (making him Trellis' brother as well), however having his memory wiped made Luger initially unaware of this.
  • Magitek: Most of the time, it's either this, or Steampunk.
  • Meaningful Echo: Trellis'' catch phrase seems to be "Hold tight!". Guess what did the old lady say to Trellis that would immediately give you an idea of her true identity?
  • Meaningful Name: The town of Nautilus is shown to be vaguely spiral-shaped, like a nautilus.
    • Gabilan is a type of hawk, and he has round eyes like one.
    • Cielis is derived from the French word ciel, meaning sky, which is also where it's located.
    • Frontera is Spanish for frontier, and it's the nearest city on the borders of Gulfen.
    • The Golbez cycle is a reference to Golbex, Final Fantasy IV's antagonist.
  • Mind Rape: Gabilan seems to enjoy using this with a memory wiping machine.
  • Mistaken Age: Due to his elderly appearance, Karen initially assumes that Luger is Trellis’ father.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The elves. They're definitely meat-eaters. One of Trellis' introductions has him taking a big bite out of one of the cute slug creatures with his teeth.
    • Rakers, who are described as “masses of tentacles and teeth”.
  • Morton's Fork: Trellis is forced into such a situation in The Cloud Searchers. After their mission's failure, he had two choices: return to Valcor and get killed, or go on the run and get killed. Well, he believes he and Luger has a better chance of surviving on the run. A slim chance, but a chance nonetheless.
  • My Future Self and Me: a particularly unusual case with Trellis since it doesn't involve time travel (although initially he thought it was). It's more of a trip in his past memories and still being able to interact with it (although, either selves didn't recognize one another, with current Trellis realizing it was his past self via past Luger who also didn't recognize him).
  • Mystical White Hair: Although most are seen bald especially the soldiers, some of the elves have hair and it's white. Although evidences in pictures shows that the elves can also have black hair.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Emily in Firelight while she and Trellis were going through the Void. She goes into the last memory that brings them into her childhood, and from there she gets completely taken over by the stone.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Max. God, poor, Max. He goes against Cielis's unjust persecution of Elves by getting his friend Layra's parents out of prison but were killed during the attempt, and he kills four soldiers in retaliation. The worst part? The Guardian Council punishes him with 50 years of incarceration because of what he did right, and will face further trial for the deaths of the soldiers. No wonder it's the last straw.
  • No OSHA Compliance: the Amulet series really love high place structures... With little to no railings whatsoever.
  • Off Stage Villainy:
    • Max invading the cities of Windsor offscreen.
    • It is heavily implied that Luger has also laid waste to Windsor before his defeat.
  • One-Hit Kill: How Trellis kills the arachnopod, and later on, how the Spirit kills Chronos.
  • One-Winged Angel: Luger, and anyone else who gets "devoured" by the amulet, by being able to turn into literal giants.
  • Once More, with Clarity: Riva, the mayor of Lucien, was told a prophecy by one of the elder trees about how the sky would fall but then "the sun would rise again," the tree telling her to know the sun well. She at first thinks this refers to her encounter with Navin, which happened to coincide with the sun falling on a tree sapling she was caring for. At the end of the sixth volume, however, she sees an airship collapse, the "sky falling", and then sees Trellis, the Elf King's "son", rising again as a leader among a contingent of elves. The prophecy was telling her to get to know Trellis.
  • Only One Name: How most Elves named in the series go. In fact, there's only one elf with a confirmed surname and it's Riva Ash. Even Trellis didn't get one.
  • Only Six Faces: Despite the casts' diversity in appearance otherwise, the art regularly recycles faces and head shapes for the humanoid characters.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Trellis, since his mother is later revealed to be dead and his defection from Gulfen and subsequent struggle from that is kicked off by realizing his father is a walking corpse.
  • Our Elves Are Different: The elves early on are portrayed as cruel and have very sharp teeth and sickly appearances. Most of the Mooks look more like orcs moreso than anything. However, there are elves that aren't evil later in the story, and it's implied that before the new Elf King took over they were peaceful. They're also more advanced than anyone else in Alledia as a result of their careful historical records.
  • Painful Transformation: based on how Luger and Emily were behaving as their stones took over, it's far from pleasant. Examples include Luger's body expanding and contorting to impossible sizes and Emily's lighting itself on fire.
  • Painting the Medium: When a pair of elf soldiers are looking for some fugitives, their speech bubble blocks the portraits on the wanted poster they’re holding. This helps disguise the fact that it’s actually Trellis and Luger who they’re after, rather than Emily and Navin.
  • Parental Issues: Abusive Parents is a bit more frequent, with Max and Trellis's being blatant examples. Emily's parental issues deals a lot more about her grief and inability to move on over her father's death.
  • Perpetual Storm: The Golbez Cylce, and for good reason – it contains the beacon that leads to Cielis.
  • Phlegmings: The crawler hounds, and grouls.
  • Please Wake Up: When Silas dies, Miskit undergoes a short panic, saying this.
  • Power at a Price: The main point of the amulet. Use it too much and it takes you over, transforming you into a giant monster, such as the giant Luger or Emily as a fire bird.
    • Using your dead body as a physical vessel with which to rule.
  • Power Glows: The amulet. All of them seem to glow with a different color.
  • Power Trio: the Guardian Council ends up as this, lacking two members as they're the only stonekeepers left. As of Supernova, the complete the Badass Cape, Badass Longcoat, and Badass Long Robe.
  • Prison Episode: In The Last Council, Trellis and Luger spend the majority of the book imprisoned along with most of the residents of Cielis. A prison break eventually ensues.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: the entire scene in the memory at the Cortex. Trellis basically discovered the turning point of his life where he lost his uncle, his free will, and memories, in that order. It is also where it's revealed when he gained his scar — and it's not pretty. Then, Emily insisted to go to an impromptu memory where it's shown that the accident that killed was caused by a suicidal man. Both are understandly deeply and negatively affected, but only Emily is the one who couldn't handle it and loses control of her stone, whereas Trellis manages to maintain his self.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Shadows/Dark Scouts, who are servants to a presently-unknown alien race.
  • Put on a Bus: At the beginning of the third volume, the Charnon house robots, Morrie, Ruby, Theodore, Bottle, and the rest stay with the house, and only reappear for a brief cameo at the end of the sixth volume. Then, during the fifth volume, Karen, Miskit, and Leon are briefly Put on a Bus, having a brief cameo in volume six, and only properly reappearing at the end of volume seven.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: when the official crew cam together in book 3, comprised of characters with wildly different personalities and backgrounds that it's baffling that no fights escalated into fatal degrees.
  • Rapid Aging: How Max eventually dies, when the Voice stops keeping him alive.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Emily, when using the amulet. This is only because her amulet color is pink/red, though, while others have their eyes glow the color of their amulets.
  • Retcon:
    • It's stated in Volume 6 and 7 that Trellis had been possessed by Sybrian when meeting Emily, this being done so he would stay obedient to the Elf King, but Trellis from Volume 1 has none of the characteristics of someone who's possessed by a Dark Scout and is explicitly trying to take his father down. The inconsistency goes unremarked upon in-story.
    • Logi's appearance is inexplicably retconned from a tiny bald elf man to a furry little man that resembles an animal more than an elf.
    • How Vigo's son died is changed from him being killed going against the Elf King to him dying after trying to find his mother in the Void.
    • The controls on the Colossus in Volume 5 are explicitly stated as being the model for the Charnon house, with levers as the primary controls. By Volume 6, they were retconned into having special devices on the user's hands to wirelessly control the Colossus.
    • The second volume has Leon claiming that the Elf King was originally just a quiet boy from an elf village until his stone took him over. Later material indicates he was always part of the royal elf line.
    • In the second volume, Leon says that it was thirty years ago when the rogue Stonekeepers (with the "quiet boy" who would become the Elf King among their number), went on a rampage. Then in volume six, according to Max's flashback, fifty years ago, the Elf King was ruling, and only just declaring war.
    • Trellis explains in Volume 3 how he discovered his father was dead because he saw him without a mask and noted how his eyes had become sightless and clouded over. When the mask gets taken off the elf king in Volume 8, he has no eyes.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: They can sweat, cry, have a full range of human emotions and ambitions, and some even have parents and are implied to have been children once. Despite this, Cogsley still insists he doesn't understand things like paternal instinct because he's "a computer."
    • Although just a mech, somehow the Colossus can build up lots of ear wax. Lampshaded by Navin:
    "This is gross! Why does this even happen?!"
  • Robot Buddy: The entire population of Silas's house. Even more show up throughout the series.
  • Rocket Punch: Done by the Humongous Mecha house in chapter 2.
  • Save the Villain: occurs twice:
    • One when Trellis was being electrocuted by his people, prompting the sympathy of Emily and drives her to intervene.
    • She also tried to do this with Max, but at that point he is too far gone.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: downright suspicious and fed up with Trellis's piled up failures, Luger decides it's time to beat him senseless to put him out of commission. Before we could even see the blows land, the scene simply shows a different view and a speech bubble of Trellis screaming in pain.
  • Secret Art: Overlapping with Dangerous Forbidden Technique, entering the Void. It’s a technique that only Stonekeepers can use, entering a place which is said to be built out of the memories of former Stonekeepers, and with it one can view memories of the past and potentially converse with the dead. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s filled with deadly monsters, you’re at risk and potentially susceptible to the workings of malevolent spirits, your body is a comatose state whilst you’re in there, and you can potentially die as Vigo found out firsthand when his son David died as a result of being in there.
  • Scenery Porn: Almost every new environment the heroes enter get lovingly detailed splash pages dedicated to them. The art is by far the main draw of the book.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Trellis feels the entire war is this (and even though he's right, his methods aren't... Exactly good). Thus, he feels inclined to use the Void based on the presumption that it will take him back to the past and prevent the war, despite Vigo harshly discouraging otherwise. He does go back the past, but through his own memories rather than time travel.
    • On a minor note, Vigo's son, Daniel, also had this motivation considering about the death of his mother, but instead it costed him his life and leading Vigo to abandon Cielis and live as a hermit in grief.
    • In a way, Emily is also this towards the death of her father. Silas invokes this to spur her into accepting the stone via tempting with the idea that the stone can travel back in time and she could get her father back.
  • Slasher Smile:
  • Sliding Scale Of Silliness Vs Seriousness: The story's plot leans heavily on the seriousness, but there are plenty of comedic moments and visual gags sprinkled throughout, even during highly intense scenes.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Spoken word for word by a memory of Max, when another student referred to Layra as his girlfriend.
  • Shout-Out: The third book is basically one massive Shout-Out to Castle in the Sky. He does list Hayao Miyazaki as one of his inspirations in the acknowledgements section.
    • At one point General Pil bursts through a wall, loudly proclaiming “Oh yeah!”, like the Kool-Aid Man.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Arguably in the middle despite the Downer Beginning and the Downer Ending with Emily.
  • Snow Means Death: there are three instances:
    • Emily lost her father when their car went over a snowy cliff after an accident.
    • Max was about to die near Korthan when he escaped had he not made a deal with the Voice.
    • Trellis lost his mother while they were living in the middle of a tundra.
  • Space Whale: Sky eels. Despite their rather terrifying appearance, they're quite docile.
  • Steampunk: The general aesthetic of the series, with a bit of Magitek.
  • The Starscream: Gabilan.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Emily and Trellis, whenever they are paired together in a scene. Emily relies more heavily on action and her agressive power while Trellis serves more as exposition and support.
  • Supreme Chef: After his de-powering, it turns out that Luger is quite an accomplished chef.
  • Take My Hand!: Two tragic examples from the first volume: first when David is trapped in the car, and then again when Emily is forced to leave her Mom in the arachnopod to go and save Navin.
  • Taken for Granite: What happens to a Stonekeeper if they die whilst in the Void. It’s revealed that Ronin and Pierce suffered this fate, and later on, so does Max.
  • Tentacle Rope: Also a usage of the arachnopod's tentacles, using them to drag their prey into their mouths for storage.
  • Teetering on the Edge: In the beginning saga, Emily's father's Death by Origin Story happens this way. The family is driving home at night along a cliffside highway when they have to swerve to avoid a stalled car, and their vehicle slides down a snowy embankment before coming to rest at the edge of the cliff against a dead tree that soon begins to break. Emily and her mother are able to climb out to safety, but her father's legs are trapped under the dash, and he plummets to his death with the car.
  • Thank the Maker: On one occasion, Morrie has been seen to use Silas’ name in place of a deity.
    ”Oh, thank Silas! That was close.”
  • The Mourning After: Even though it has been years since the car accident that killed Emily’s and Navin’s father David, their mother Karen still refuses to ever date or marry anyone else.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: How the narrative of Amulet goes more or less, particularly after Book 1 when Trellis got properly introduced. Although it does on occasion focus on other characters, the main three storylines are Emily's, Trellis's, and Navin's.
  • Underwater Base: One turns up in Firelight, referred to as the “Cortex”. Not only is Gabilan using it to store all the memories he stole, but it also apparently has all the materials and resources to create an entirely new city.
  • Underground City: Lucien has an equivalent of one, built illegally by Riva's father.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: The amulet.
  • Use Your Head: How Dagno manages to take down Gabilan: via helmet-assisted aerial headbutt.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: ultimately the result of Max's quest of assisting the Elf King. It's not like killing all those people (be corrupt like the Cielans, or innocent like everyone else) would make Layra any less dead.
  • Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia: The supposed Big Good of the series, Cielis, is located in the lush and green Windsor, while the supposedly evil Elves live in the desert wasteland of Gulfen. You do the math.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The elves hate the smell of fish to the point of automatic asthma attack.
  • Weapons That Suck: In Volume 6, Navin, Aly, and General Pil fight the Dark Scouts via sucking them up using street-cleaning vacbots.
  • Wham Episode: Firelight:
    • It's revealed that both the Amulet Spirit and Shadows are servants of aliens, who abandoned their dying homeworld and are on their way to a new one which is presently being “prepared”: namely, Alledia.
    • Emily falls for the Spirit’s manipulations and loses control of her stone, transforming into a phoenix.
    • And finally, Navin, Karen, Aly, Leon, and Miskit head to the resistance’s main base – in space.
  • Wise Tree: The Gadoba trees, who all have names beginning with "Father". They’re not only able to talk, but have the gift of prophecy, and grow (albeit foul-tasting) fruit that can heal any injury... if you choose the correct one.
  • You Have Failed Me: Whilst not seen directly, this is a popular tactic used by the Elf King; Trellis and Luger go on the run because of it, and later on, Gabilan ends up hiding underwater in the Cortex because he knows the King will come after him because of the former failing to kill Emily and Trellis.