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Literature / Ash & Cinders

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"Blending epic fantasy and fairy tales like you’ve never seen it before!"

Ash and Cinders - An Epic Fairy Tale by Connor M. Perry is a Epic Fantasy/Fairy Tale Web Serial Novel that follows the half-Nymph Cinder, her brother Azoc, and their mentor as they race through the Ever-Changing Land to rescue their half-brother from the Wizard that's abducted him.

The series is still in progress and has been updating once every Wednesday since March, 2016.

The series contains the following tropes:

  • Alien Geometries: The world these people live in is called the Ever-Changing Land, and as the name suggests, it does so on a whim. It seems that animals come and go with the changes, but the shifts have little regard for humans. A forest even turned into a mountain while the trio were going through it.
  • And I Must Scream: In its Establishing Character Moment, the Rock Lord hammers a disobedient underling into a brutish sword while it still lives. This is apparently how the Rock Lord fashions all weapons for the Stonewights.
    • The Forest Queen is literally bolted to her own throne by its branches weaving through her body, forcing her to move the branches of her throne with her mind if she wants to move at all. Cinder notes that she can't really tell if the Forest Queen is doing anything of her own accord, or whether her actions are manipulated by something more Fae.
  • Anti-Magic: Wizards have the ability to stop the Ever-Changing Land from changing in certain areas.
  • Bad Boss: The Rock Lord, for turning his own henchman into a sword while said henchman was still alive. Just to prove how really evil he is.
  • Beginner's Luck: When facing the Traveling Dark - creatures that disabled her brother and gave Orym a run for his money, Cinder trips and accidentally wills a burning branch to impale them when she throws up her hand to shield herself.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Cinder first stands up for herself when she threatens to kill the Forest Queen and the rest of her kingdom if they refuse to give her her brother back.
  • Blade Enthusiast: Thavian has yet to be seen with any less than six knives looped through his belt. He's quite fond of using them for intimidation.
  • Blessed with Suck: Cinder and Azoc just go from one horrible situation to the next. From their mother straight up being used for firewood, to an Wicked Stepmother, to various creatures across the land that want to kill them.
    • Azoc gets it even worse. Not only does he endure all that, but once he gets the Rot, he can't touch anyone directly without burning them from the inside out. This is a bit of a trade off, however, as now nothing can kill Azoc but the Rot.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The Traveling Dark - three siblings of literal darkness, show up at Cinder's home and chase them onto the quest.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Literally every single time Orym and Thavian get page time together. There's even an entire chapter devoted to one of them.
  • Cool Sword: Cinder gets a blade that's made out of enchanted ice that can freeze people.
    • Orym has his own sword that has a red-eyed wolf at the pommel. When Cinder first saw it, she thinks its looking at her, and when Orym begins to use it, she thinks its alive.
  • Elemental Powers: Everything in the Ever-Changing Land has some level of control over the element that they are. Even Cinder, who is only a quarter Woodenwight (her mother being a Nymph—a combination of human and Woodenwight) has the ability to control wood.
  • Dramatic Wind: No matter what they're running from, where they're running, or what is chasing them, the author always seems to want some line in the vein of "Their cloaks snapped in the wind like war-banners."
  • Establishing Character Moment: Thavian's first appearance is like the fantasy equivalent of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka. He noticeably limps across a frozen river, and once he's got everyone's attention, he throws his wolfskin cloak and staff aside, and the first thing he does is "a wordless, gleeful cry" before conjuring up a whiskey bottle.
    • The Rock Lord, in its first appearance, is given a descriptions similar to the Great Goblin in the Hobbit. Its first act in the story is to grab a Stonewight by the throat and hammer him alive into a brutish sword. Turns out, that's where all its Evil Minions get their weapons.
  • Evil Minions:The Stonewights.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Thavian. He abducts and infants, threatens to kill anyone, loves making people afraid and generally seems to have a fun time sowing chaos.
  • The Fair Folk: The Forest Queen is literally bolted to her own throne by its branches weaving through her body, forcing her to move the branches of her throne with her mind if she wants to move at all. Cinder notes that she can't really tell if the Forest Queen is doing anything of her own accord, or whether her actions are manipulated by something more Fae.
  • Fetch Quest: The main plot to chase Thavian and bring Benn home.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Ever-Changing Land. but that didn't exactly stop the trio
  • I Call It "Vera": It is revealed in the longest Cryptic Conversation to date in the series, that Orym named his wolfsword Sharpwand because he wasn't very good with names.
  • MacGuffin: So far there's been no established reason as to why Thavian wants Benn specifically, but the baby seems to be of some great importance anyway.
  • Monster of the Week: In between trying to catch Thavian, the trio tangles with Rock Lords, Forest Queens and all the messes that Thavian leaves in his wake.
  • Nominal Importance: The only unnamed person who has survived has been the Forest Queen, and she at least had a title.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Though not specifically called Orcs, the Stonewights show few signs of intelligence, and tend to kill indiscriminately.
  • Oh, Crap!: Cinder, multiple times throughout the story. Most notably when she's whining about having to go into the Ever-Changing Land, and is interrupted by the Traveling Dark knocking on her front door.
    • Additionally, when Cinder sees a Shift for the first time, it is while she, Orym and Azoc are in the middle of a forest that is in the process of turning into a mountain.
  • Power at a Price: It's heavily implied that being a Wizard has some horrible side effects/cost during the Cryptic Conversation between Thavian and Orym at Gabrien's inn.
  • Retired Badass: Orym, at the beginning. He was living a quiet life as a lovable lunatic in the Smallwood due to an as-yet unexplained event that made him decide to give up being a Wizard.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In this case, they used to be brothers. Orym and Thavian are both Wizards, both trained under the same master, and are brothers. For some as-yet unspecified reason, had a falling-out that's led to two known nearly-lethal encounters.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Phira treats Cinder and Azoc like workers and threatens to kill Cinder after Benn is abducted.