Daylight is a fantasy adventure as seen through the eyes of Oliver Beaking, a mute swan who's only distinguishing feature is a pair of blue eyes. He has an ordinary life at the place only known as the Lake, outcast among other swans because of his amity with "marshdwellers". But all of that is about to change.Several hundred years ago, a wolf pack living by the Lake was wiped out by the human residents. Those who survived the guns were killed in a forest fire that seemed to have came out of nowhere. After the destruction, only a partly-lame young wolf is able to slink away into the depths of the forest...
Present day, and the worst storm in living memory hits the Lake; lightning striking the ancient Twisted Tree. Curious, Olly and his friends inspect it, and find strange symbols carved into the bark, visible for the first time in centuries. Accepting a dare from some of the swans who have also come to gawk, they decide they'll stay the whole night by it, despite a warning from a small black cat who seems to be trying to get everyone away from the it.
And that's when it all goes downhill. It isn't just a tree- it's a prison. A prison that's become weaker and weaker over time, and the little cat was trying to clear the way so that an ancient sorceress whose mission is to guard this prison can renew the bounds.Which, in the confusion, Olly falls onto, accidentally releasing the creature.
Things are about to get even worse for him though- to save him, Adeliala, the sorceress mentioned above, was forced to change him into a human, only allowing him to return to his true form at night. And it turns out that Olly may just be the long-awaited chosen one known as the Hope, said to be the only creature who has a hope of defeating the spirit known as the Wolf.
Along with Alex, a fiery-tempered heron, undersized moorhen Dewey, Bronwyn, Adeliala's feline assistant and seemingly long-lost heir to a throne, Olly is thrown into a world of magic, prophecy and adventure completely against his will.
And after countless years of being lost in the dark, the young limper who fled his pack's destruction is offered a chance for revenge by a black wolf with eyes that never stay the same colour...
This story contains examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Names like Alex, Dewey and Oliver, alongside Lazarus, Adelaila, and Theil.
- Alpha Bitch: Arabella.
- Badass Normal: Dewey.
- Because Destiny Says So: Olly isn't given a choice on whether to risk his life trying to defeat the Wolf, much to his panic.
- Berserk Button: Arabella is one, to Alex. Also, Olly is very sensitive about his eyes.
- Blessed with Suck: Olly
- Brown Note: Olly never says what getting "Sitck Fu'd" is like.Olly: Ow. That's all you need to know, and that's all I'm going to say.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Problem Stick
- Died Happily Ever After: Leaf and Limper/Fang.
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: The Twisted Tree. They touched it.
- The Dragon: Fang to the Wolf.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Wolf heavily resembles one.
- Emergency Transformation: The Wolf's first goal when he escapes is to kill the Hope, who, as he and Adeliala knew, would be born as an animal, not a man. Adeliala's solution? Turn the Hope into a human.
- Falling into His Arms: A non-romantic version here with Olly and Bronwyn.
- Gender-Blender Name: Bronwyn isn't a bad name. When you're a tomcat, however...
- HeelFace Turn : Limper/Fang
- Heroic Sacrifice: Limper/Fang, and Alex. She gets better , at least.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Adeliala and Theil. Dewey and Bronwyn seem to slowly develop into this.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Fang.
- Ho Yay: The friend's of Daylight's creator have pointed out that Dewey and Bronwyn seem... close, as well as Adeliala and Theil.
- Humanity Ensues
- Interspecies Romance: Swan and heron. Eventually. Of course, both being able to change into humans by the end of the novel helps.
- Involuntary Shape Shifting
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One
- Kill It with Fire: Most of the Wolf's goblin Mooks. As well as himself.
- Magic Feather: Olly, sort of. And Bronwyn.
- Manipulative Bastard: The Wolf. He started the fire that killed Limper's pack, thus turning him against humans and making him the perfect pawn.
- Fridge Brilliance and possibly Fridge Horror when you realise there have been historic events in which a fire had a major role, such as the fire that Emperor Nero blamed Christians for, and the Reichstag fire that was blamed on Communists, helping Hitler achieve power. Who's to say the Wolf wasn't behind these?
- My God, What Have I Done?: Limper/Fang.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Wolf's escape was partly Olly's fault.
- One-Winged Angel: In the battle with Olly, the Wolf transforms into a huge, winged creature the size of a small horse. And then its fur melts away as it starts to elongate and widen, and its eyes are revealed to be nothing but two black holes.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Theil's spirit is bound to the spell book made from her hide.
- Posthumous Character: Leaf, and to a lesser extent, Allerois.
- Power Glows
- Redemption Equals Death
- Savage Wolves: The Wolf is evil. He burns places down and wants to kill the Hope.
- Science Is Bad: Played with. Adeliala blames it for leading people away from magic, but adds that it isn't wrong about everything, just missing the vital point that magic supports all existence.
- Shape Shifter Showdown: Sort of.
- Shrinking Violet: Bronwyn is a male version.
- Shock and Awe: No less than three times, in fact.
- Sleep-Mode Size: Theil's default form is the book made from her hide.
- Spell My Name with a "The": The Wolf
- Spin-Offspring: August Beaking.
- Talking Animal: Everyone.
- Team Mom: Theil.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Frogspots and Blacken.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: While captured by goblins, Bronwyn and Dewey meet a group of magical creatures who had woken after the surge in magic.
- What Could Have Been: Originally, the Wolf was disguised as a human business man and had changed to a destructive physical force instead of a magical one, and was planning to destroy the Lake's forest.
- Theil was once male, and was going to be found as an egg by Alex. A phoenix was also going to be involved at some point.
- The Spell Chain around Olly's neck was originally going to be a MacGuffin that he would become the unwilling guardian of.
- The entire storyline was intended to be a parody of Swan Lake.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Olly refuses his chosen one position as it has "nothing to do with (him)", even though this could mean that thousands will die. Alex calls him out on this.