The book is about a sealed kingdom, and the supernatural circumstances that led to its strange state.
The Lehr includes examples of:
- Theme Naming: Almost every member of the cast's surname references a different tool used for glassmaking. This is a clue to the characters' true natures.
- Our Souls Are Different: Souls are physical objects - large, golden coins. Most people carry them visibly on their person. Those that don't are oft subject to suspicion.
- Humanoid Abomination: For every human living in the sealed kingdom, there is a 'demon' counterpart - towering humanoids made out of jagged glass.
- Gambit Pileup: The why's of who's doing what and when can get a bit... convoluted.
- Unreliable Narrator: Zoe is the book's narrator, and her reactions to events offer up many a Red Herring.
Zoe PontilA young woman with a distinctly sour temperament
- Bait-and-Switch: The opening of the book heavily implies Zoe burned down the Old Capitol. She didn't.
- Insufferable Genius: And the 'insufferable' part is immediately obvious.
- Younger Than They Look / Born as an Adult
Jafri MarverA young man with an extremely nervous disposition.
- Looks Like Cesare
- Prophetic Dream: Jafri has been haunted by these for most of his life, sent to him by the Glassmaker to try and egg him on into seeking the Nameless King's soul.
- Younger Than They Look
- Heroic RRoD: The older Tools can easily recognize within Jafri the early signs of someone who's in danger of... shattering. As Eitri places him under more and more stress and the hunt for the King's soul grows more dire and urgent, well...
- Manipulative Bastard: Sindri leads Zoe to believe that they knew each other, before she lost her memory, as part of his plan to orchestrate the Nameless King's death.
- Smug Snake
- Villainous Fashion Sense
- Older Than They Look
EitriThe Glassmaker himself.
- Hands-Off Parenting: Technically, Eitri's the father of most of the cast. He is very bad at it.
- Shrouded in Myth: To most people in the sealed kingdom, the Glassmaker is an explanation, but not a person who exists - a name to curse and nothing more. He very much likes keeping it that way.
- MayflyDecember Romance: The whole reason things are the way they are in The Lehr is because Eitri was trying to resolve the problem with one of these. It worked, but the relationship didn't.
- The Mourning After: After the Nameless King's death, even though they'd been separated already for centuries - every scene with Eitri in the epilogue features him in obvious mourning.
- A God Am I: Thought he grew up believing himself an ordinary human, Eitri readily embraced his status as something more - and over the many years ended up losing touch with what it ever felt like to be anything less.
BrokkrEitri's counterpart, and the one responsible for the barrier cutting off the setting from the rest of the world.
- Blessed with Suck: Brokkr's main power is to turn the 'physical' into the 'spiritual' - a direct opposite's of Eitri's ability. Unlike Eitri, however, he experiences a compelling physical need to use this power, and the quickest way to do it is... to just EAT whatever he's converting.
- A God I Am Not: Brokkr has always preferred obscurity, stemming from the lives the brothers lead in the early years of the realization of their powers.
The Nameless KingWas not always nameless. His name - and the name of the city he once ruled from - was stricken from record, to reflect the severity of his crimes against his kingdom.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Until Zoe unwittingly opened the can.
- Playing with Fire: The Nameless King is capable of spawning fires that can melt the normally invulnerable demons - to say nothing of what it does to everything else. An ability that gives him no small amount of joy.
- Not So Invincible After All / No Body Left Behind : After Brokkr ate the Nameless King's soul and the enchantment the brothers had worked so long ago came undone, the years rapidly caught up to him - causing the King to disperse into dust. Graphically.
- Power Is Sexy: On the king's end, this was a huge basis of his investment in his past relationship with Eitri.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: ...though, early on, before he began to learn more about his lover's true nature, things were a lot less complicated.