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Literature / Brimstone Angels

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Farideh met the devil in the dead of winter, seventeen years after she'd been left at the gates of a village on no one's map...

The Brimstone Angels Saga is a six-novel Heroic Fantasy series by Erin M. Evans, set in the Forgotten Realms.

Farideh and her twin sister Havilar are tieflings—humanoids with devilish features and ancestry. Abandoned as infants, they were raised by their dragonborn foster father Clanless Mehen in an isolated village in the south of Faerun- until a botched ritual summoning lead to Farideh making a pact with the Cambion devil Lorcan that got them kicked out, but also granted her the magical powers of a warlock.

Fast-forward several months, and the three find themselves working as bounty hunters and heading for the devastated city of Neverwinter, while Farideh learns to master her powers and tries to deal with Lorcan's attempts to micromanage her life. Along the way they find themselves entangled with the Selunite priest Tam Zawad and a young man from Cormyr named Brin, both of whom have their own secrets. Upon arriving in Neverwinter, however, they become caught up in an elaborate web of treachery that may stretch all the way to the depths of the Nine Hells...


The series consists of the following volumes :

  1. Brimstone Angels (Dec 2011)
  2. Lesser Evils (Dec 2012)
  3. The Adversary (Dec 2013)note 
  4. Fire in the Blood (Oct 2014)
  5. Ashes of the Tyrant (Dec 2015)
  6. The Devil You Know (Oct 2016)note 

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Both tiefling twins are capable of holding their own in a fight, but Havilar - who loves to fight and is very good at it - fits the best.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Mira is a rather morally ambiguous one, funding her research via work for the Zhentarim and eventually as a double-agent for the Harpers.
  • Aerith and Bob: A non-Western example. Farideh is actually one spelling of an Arabic name meaning "Unique." (In-universe, it's a dragonborn name, as the twins were named by their adopted dragonborn father, and several other dragonborn names also have real-world Semitic derivations.)
  • Affably Evil:
    • Lorcan, who knows full well that getting mortals to sign up for pacts takes charm, and doesn't entirely have to fake it (by devil standards he has a downright sunny disposition, not that that's saying much).
    • In the first book, we have Yvon Claven, the general store owner/Ashmadai cultist, who is generally a friendly, pleasant man who looks out for his fellow cultists and is perfectly willing to dispense helpful advice to an inexperienced young warlock, while dealing in brutal blood sacrifice on the side., Of course, after the rest of his Ashmadai cell is wiped out, he goes into full-on Villainous Breakdown mode, which rather removes the affability.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Devils are always lawful evil, thank you very much; Word of God describes them psychologically as being much like humans, but without any sort of filters like compassion and empathy to moderate their ambitions. Tieflings are often assumed to be this, but it's very explicitly shown to not be the case. Demons, who are Always Chaotic Evil with an emphasis on the chaotic, start showing up more in later books.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Erinyes of the pradixikai are a very scary one, being the all-female enforcers of an archdevil's tyrannical rule.
  • Anti-Hero: Lorcan is a Type V on a good day. He's definitely evil, but most of the other devils he opposes are much worse, and he has an odd sense of honor that shows through periodically.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Book in Tarchamus' library turns out to not just be a sentient database- it actually contains a copy of the long-dead archwizard's personality. It lures people to the library, drains them of any knowledge they have that it doesn't already, then feeds them to the undead mummy of Tarchamus when it's through with them. Fortunately, by the end of Lesser Evils it's removed from the library and in Harper custody.
  • Baby Factory: It turns out that Bryseis Kakistos wants either Havilar or Farideh to get knocked up as soon as possible, so that the baby can be a reincarnation of Bryseis. She's not too picky about who the father will be.
    • Also in The Devil You Know, Havilar discovers she was forced to have a child that she doesn't know about during her seven-year imprisonment. Admittedly, she'd gotten pregnant before the devils took her; they just made sure she carried the child to term.
  • Badass Adorable: Havilar frequently comes off as this, being a deadly mistress of the glaive who enjoys drinking, partying, gossiping about boys, and (to her sisters exasperation) dropping "facts" about monsters which are almost invariably head-tiltingly wrong.
  • Badass Bookworm: Farideh and Dahl, who are both smart, bookish types who are fully capable of mixing it up in a fight if necessary. Their shared interest in ritual magic helps bridge the gap caused by their initial frosty meeting.
  • Badass Family: Mehen and his adopted tiefling daughters definitely count. All three of them are capable of kicking ass in their own way, and at the start of the series proper (post-prologue) they're working as bounty hunters.
  • Badass Normal: Though many of the characters in these books are powerful magic-users of various kinds, there are several who aren't but still manage to hold their own, with Havilar, Mira, and Raedra being among the most prominent.
  • Badass Preacher: Tam is a wise and powerful cleric of Selune, and also a man you never want to cross. Goes with the territory of being a high-ranking Harper agent and former assassin.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: The whole point of the series, basically- can Farideh use her dark powers to do good, without falling into evil herself?
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Farideh and Dahl, especially after the Time Skip. Between the fact that they're both stubborn and prickly, and their rather unpleasant first meeting, they have a tendency to butt heads - but also can't deny that they find each other attractive and end up hooking up eventually.
  • Better the Devil You Know: A big part of why Farideh can be so oddly protective of Lorcan. Yes he's evil and manipulative, but she knows him, and she'd rather be bound to him than some other devil who might be much, much worse.
    • This is also the title of the last book in the series, where it refers to keeping Asmodeus around as the God of Evil, in order to avoid the upheaval in the Nine Hells that would result from him being destroyed.
  • Big Bad: Though the series has several recurring villains, the one ultimately responsible for most of the action is Bryseis Kakistos, Farideh and Havilar's ancestor and the original Brimstone Angel. Each book has one too:
    • Brimstone Angels: There are several antagonistic forces at work in Neverwinter, but the succubus Rohini is the most directly involved in the plot and the one the twins have to face at the climax.
    • Lesser Evils: Tarchamus, though millennia dead, still manages to serve as the main antagonist through the medium of the Book and his undead mummy
    • The Adversary: A Big Bad Ensemble, with Adolican Rhand, Sairche, and the Nameless One all vying for the position.
    • Fire in the Blood: Doesn't have a single personal antagonist, but the Shadovar army represents the ultimate threat all the others tie back into. Lady Marsheena is the commander of aforesaid army and mastermind of the Shadovar strategy, but never puts in a personal appearance, save for once being briefly glimpsed by Raedra from a distance.
    • Ashes of the Tyrant: The maurezhi demon who is ultimately revealed to be an agent of Gilgeam. Graz'zt serves as an Arc Villain for Dahl's subplot and is eventually revealed as the maurezhi's true master, who loaned it to Gilgeam/
    • The Devil You Know: Bryseis Kakistos finally takes center stage after hanging around the edges of the story for the past five books, but Gilgeam represents an entirely separate threat.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: In The Adversary, Sairche is initially the most visible and dangerous of the main villains, but about halfway through Lorcan manages to defeat her, and she spends most of the rest of the book either in a forced alliance with her brother or at the mercy of the Nameless One. Sairche in general is this; though she's Fari and Lorcan's mutual Arch-Enemy, she continually ends up getting outplayed and overshadowed by other villains.
  • Big Sister Mentor: Constancia was this to Brin, though she was his older cousin rather than a sibling, and raised him after his father died. It's clear he respects her, even if their personalities tend to grate on each other.
  • Black Magician Girl / Lady of Black Magic: Farideh is right on the borderline between these- as a warlock, her magic is highly focused on destruction and offense, and in addition, she's rather too reserved for the former trope but not mature or regal enough for the latter. She settles firmly in the latter after the Time Skip.
  • Blade on a Stick: Havilar's glaive, Devilslayer, is her treasured and iconic weapon.
  • Blood Knight: Havilar is a relatively mild example, but she does love to fight...
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • Mehen for a good chunk of Brimstone Angels courtesy of Rohini.
    • Dahl's entire party suffer from a version of this in ''Ashes of the Tyrant]], courtesy of Graz'zt. He doesn't control them directly, though, so much as force all their worst impulses to the surface - except for Dahl's grandmother, who faced her demons long ago and manages to resist the effect.
  • Butt-Dialing Mordor: Havilar butt-dialing the Nine Hells (and getting Lorcan) is what sets the whole plot in motion in the first place.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Farideh and Havilar almost always call their adopted father "Mehen." Justified because he's a dragonborn and that's how children usually address their parents in dragonborn society, a fact borne out when the story arrives at Djerad Thymar later in the series.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Devils in general, although they certainly twist their words, lie by omission, and so on. It's not totally clear how this restriction works, but it's at least important enough that when Lorcan realizes he's capable of lying and does so for the first time, it gives him a massive Identity Crisis and he actually worries he might be destroyed or stop being a devil.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Not used, but a set of it appears in a general store in Neverwinter. Havilar wants to buy it, on the logic that it would look great on her, but Mehen puts his foot down, citing how utterly impractical it actually would be and stating that it's the sort of thing only worn by wannabe-adventuresses who have no real idea of the necessities of combat. All actual Action Girls in-series are much more practically dressed.
  • Charm Person: Rohini's specialty; given time, she can turn almost anyone into an adoring thrall at least until the aboleths turn the table on her.
  • The Chessmaster: Practically a required skill for the higher-ranking devils. Glasya plays a mean game, but her old man, Asmodeus, is the unchallenged master.
  • Collector of the Strange: Lorcan collects warlocks- he went after Farideh in order to get a descendant of Bryseis Kakistos in his collection. He also warns her, however, that he's far from the only devil with this hobby, and their ancestry means Farideh and Havilar are squarely in the sights of the Hells.
  • The Corruption: Rohini gets hit by a bad case of this, courtesy of the aboleths. Yes, the aboleths are horrible enough to corrupt a devil.
  • Crisis Crossover" The Adversary is the series' contribution to The Sundering metaplot, showing Farideh & Co. actions during The Second Sundering of Faerûn.
  • Cry for the Devil: Well, not a literal devil in this case, but it's implied that this is the case for the Nameless One's history, and Farideh feels a kind of horrified sympathy for her.
  • Cute Bruiser: Havilar; fun, perky, and fully willing and able to take the head off of anyone who messes with her or her family.
  • Cute Monster Girl: The tiefling twins, who are attractive humanoids who also demonstrate horns, tails, monochromatic eyes, and Cute Little Fangs as a result of their fiendish heritage.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Glasya calls Asmodeus "Papa". He's the God of Evil, she's a powerful Archdevil and is busily plotting to take over his throne. It's implied that the only part of this he isn't thrilled with is the fact she was clumsy enough for him to catch.
  • Dance Battler: Havilar is rather fond of showing off her agility while fighting, much to Mehen's consternation.
  • Dark Action Girl: All the Erinyes, an all-female caste of devils who are born to be warriors, as well as Sairche, who prefers to avoid a fight but is fully capable of violence if need be.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Farideh looks like a demon and literally draws magic from Hell, but she's a fundamentally decent person nonetheless.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Farideh, if rubbed wrong, will demonstrate a dry, prickly wit.
  • Deal with the Devil: Numerous:
    • Farideh's deal with Lorcan is the impetus for much of the series' action. She makes another one with Sairche, albeit, under duress, that kicks off the start of The Adversary.
    • Sairche and Adolican Rhand make one at the end of Lesser Evils that dominates much of the action of The Adversary. Though Rhand gives as good as he gets in this case..
    • Devils also make these kinds of bargains with each other. Lorcan and Sairche make one in the latter half of The Adversary.
    • A deal with the demon occurs in the later books, as Gilgeam contracted with Graz'zt in return for the loan of some of the Dark Prince's demon minions to bolster his army.
  • Demon Lords And Arch Devils: Mostly the latter, specifically Glasya and Asmodeus, whose schemes drive much of the plot. A demon lord does show up in later books, namely Graz'zt - who devils claim was once an archdevil himself who turned his coat and joined the Abyss. Word of God is deliberately vague on whether that's true, or just propaganda.
  • Deuteragonist: Lorcan, whose development and arc are almost as central to the story as Farideh's - Word of God explicitly describes him as such.
  • Domestic Abuse: Lorcan to Farideh, especially in "Fire in the Blood" when they actually briefly get together. Highlights include poisoning Farideh to "protect" her and trying to sabotage her other relationships through violence and coercion. It's implied this is how devil relationships usually operate, and Lorcan himself is only vaguely aware he crossed a line. Fari, when she puts what he's doing together, is less than amused.
  • The Dreaded: Devils in general. On a more mortal level, pretty much everyone who knows Adolican Rhand well is terrified of him, and if what Lorcan says about her is true, Bryseis Kakistos was this in life and in her homeland remains so after death. Then there's the Nameless One, who is so dreaded she even worries Rhand.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The series went through a substantial Retool due to the sudden launch of 5e bringing the Second Sundering. Many of the subplots from the first two books were dropped. The most striking example, however, is Lorcan casually referencing the death of Azuth as one of the factors in Asmodeus' Ascension, as if it's common knowledge, in Lesser Evils. The later books made Azuth's connection to Asmodeus a mystery that the characters spend multiple books investigating.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The aboleths, monstrous, ancient psychic beings so alien even Asmodeus himself can't claim to know their thoughts.
  • The Empire: Netheril; The Remnant of the Realms' most (in)famous precursor nations, returned to Toril with the goal of reclaiming a world they see as theirs. Most prominent in Lesser Evils, The Adversary and Fire in the Blood.
  • Emotion Bomb: The Nameless One generates one for despair.
  • Enemy Civil War:
    • Glasya tries to provoke one between Asmodeus and the aboleths to begin undermining her father's power base.
    • In The Devil You Know stopping one of these is a big part of why saving Asmodeus is so important. Yes, he's evil, but he's also a force for stability. Kill him or remove all his power and you end up with a hells-wide civil war that will probably spill over and destroy the world.
  • Enemy Mine: The combined Harper and Zhentarim expedition to Tarchamus' library in Lesser Evils, traditional enemies working together because they both hate Netheril more.
    • In The Adversary, Lorcan press-gangs Sairche into an alliance after her own plans start unraveling. She's not exactly happy to be his ally, but they made a contract, and for devils, that's Serious Business. She later ends up helping the heroes, at first under an assumed identity, in Fire in the Blood as an extension of the same deal.
    • From the same book, the Harper expedition to rescue Farideh from Rhand team up with a Thayan expedition after a short fight, recognizing that they have a common enemy in the Netherese.
  • Epic Fail: It's probably a very good thing Farideh can do magic, because when she tries to use her sword, this is the usual result (hint- it tends to involve the sword getting inadvertently hurled an impressive distance). She gets better as the books go on.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Devils may be Made of Evil, but they do have a keen appreciation for the proper way of doing things, hence their reliance on regulations, contracts, and the like, which they feel sets them above common fiends.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Nameless One, to Farideh. Both are young women who wield a portion of the power of a God of Evil, but Farideh fights against what she is while the Nameless One embraces it.
    • Bryseis Kakistos also serves as one to Farideh, especially when it turns out her backstory involves the impetus for her evil deeds being a twin sister that she wanted to protect.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Most people would say Farideh is one merely for being a warlock. Adolican Rhand, on the other hand, is very much the genuine articlenote  as was Tarchamus in life.
  • Exact Words: Devils in general are masters of this, to the point that anyone remotely used to dealing with them knows to look out for it. In Fire in the Blood Helindra pulls a Double Subversion on Brin. Helindra promises Brin that she will not remove Farideh from his house, nor will anyone in the Crownsilver Family. Brin immediately sees how weirdly specific this promise is and brings it up, but Helindra assures him it was only so that she wasn't obligated to interfere if a member of the Royal Family decided to come for Farideh. As it turns out this was all a distraction, she never promised not to remove the servants from the house, and leaves Farideh alone with a bad fever and no one to care for her.
  • Fantastic Racism: Tieflings get a fair bit of this; most people assume they're inherently evil because of their fiendish heritage and have no problem acting on this belief - often violently.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Adolican Rhand and Sairche both affect a charming, friendly demeanor that just makes their viciousness the more biting.
  • Gambit Pileup: Another day in the life of a high-ranking devil. Glasya as Asmodeus's pileup as she jostles for his position and he keeps it just out of her reach plays out across the backdrop of the series.
  • Genre Shift: The first three books are smaller-scale, personal adventures that fit squarely in the Heroic Fantasy subgenre - the last three, on the other hand, develop a much larger scope and with a much greater focus on the doings of gods and the fate of nations, trend more towards the High Fantasy end of things.
  • Girly Bruiser: Havilar is definitely the more overtly feminine of the twins- but she's also the one most likely to solve her problems with violence, which happens to be something she's very good at.
  • God of Evil: Asmodeus is explicitly described as such; notably, in later books, Farideh actually takes time to speculate about why such a being is necessary in the first place. In The Adversary Shar, goddess of darkness, despair, and entropy, is also important.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Constancia can be kind of a jerk, but it's clear she cares about her cousin Brin a lot and is simply trying to do what's best for him and their family.
  • Good Shepherd: Tam has some dark things in his past, but is nonetheless a devout priest dedicated both to his goddess and the people around him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Asmodeus is directly or indirectly responsible for almost everything bad that happens to Farideh, but he never actually opposes her directly and she ends up having to save him in The Devil You Know to prevent the evil powers he holds in his dominion from breaking free and potentially destroying Toril. Shar shares the Greater Scope Villain role for books 2-4.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Cambions like Lorcan and his sister Sairche are half-devil, half-mortal, which severely limits their capacity to rise in the infernal hierarchy. Tieflings are also supposed to be the descendants of humans and devils. Averted with the children of tieflings; it's clearly established that if one parent is a tiefling the child will always also be a tiefling, regardless of the other parent's race.
  • Happily Adopted: Farideh and Havilar, by Mehen.
  • Healing Hands: Tam and Brin, as a cleric and paladin respectively, both have this ability.
  • Heroic Willpower: Farideh is able to throw off Rohini's attempt to dominate her by sheer determination not to help the devil that nearly killed her sister.
    • And in The Adversary she manages to throw off both her Superpowered Evil Side and the Nameless One's despair aura simultaneously, though the scene is from Mehen's perspective so we don't get her thought process here firsthand.
  • The Heroine: Farideh, the series' central protagonist and main good guy, whose adventurers are personal struggles drive the arc.
  • Hive Caste System: The devils have one, but caste can be changed by the magic of the Archdevils. Devils are usually rewarded by being promoted to a more powerful form, and punished by being reverted to a lesser form. Lorcan and Sairche, who as cambions can't be changed in this way, are therefore perennial outsiders in the hierarchy.
  • Horned Humanoid: Tieflings all have horns of various types at least, those born after Asmodeus's ascension do, and some kinds of devils do as well.
  • Horny Devils: All the succubi, with Rohini being their primary representative.
  • I Call It "Vera": Havilar spends much of the first book trying out rather overwrought names for her glaive- she likes "Eater of Her Enemies' Livers" for a while, but ends up settling on "Devilslayer".
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Farideh sometimes expresses these sentiments, being alienated by both her status as a tiefling and a warlock, though she invariably ends up affirming that she is what she is. and this is the reason Brin ran away, as he felt trapped by a royal heritage he never wanted and a family who only wanted to use him for their ambitions.
  • Innocent Bigot: Brin freaks when he first sees Farideh and Havilar, being convinced that the sisters are devils (in his defense, he'd never actually seen a tiefling before, much less two of them). They set him straight, and he quickly feels bad for it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dahl; he can be prickly and standoffish, but he's a good man at heart. Constancia is implied as well, though her "jerk" is on display much more often than her "heart of gold" though she opens up a bit at the end of Fire in the Blood to help both her cousin and, more grudgingly, the twins.
  • King Incognito: Brin is fourth in line for the Cormyrean throne. He'd really rather you didn't spread that around.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Played with. Brin and Dahl are both paladins, and therefore supposed to fit this trope, but neither does. Brin would rather be normal, while Dahl lost his deity's favor for unspecified reasons several years before the story began and has spent a lot of time trying to figure out what he did wrong.
  • The Lancer: Havilar, usually, seeing as she's the character who's with Farideh the most and plays off her most dramatically. Lorcan also has shades of this on occasions he's present in person.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Mira is Tam's daughter. He's less than pleased by her line of work.
  • Manly Gay: Clanless Mehen is a massive, musclebound dragonborn who can bench press a wagon, and is also gay.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Farideh has one silver, one gold eye. This is significant because, when combined with the fact that she's a tiefling and a warlock, it's one of the traits that makes people tend to react with suspicion and prejudice to her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Rohini, Lorcan, Sairche, Rhand, Tarchamus. Yeah, a series heavily concerned with ambitious devils and wizards is hip-deep in these.
  • Mind Rape: Anyone who spends too long around the Nameless One gets blasted with feelings of despair and nihilism. Prolonged exposure is enough to leave Sairche, of all people, a shivering wreck.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Tiefling eyes are one solid color, one of many features that causes other humanoids to find them disquieting. Havilar's eyes are solid gold; Farideh has one gold eye, one silver eye- the only physical difference between them.
  • Myth Arc: Though the series has a number of ongoing plotlines, the central arc that runs through all six books relates to Farideh and Havilar having to deal with their ancestor Bryseis Kakistos, her legacy, and the lingering effects of the bargain she made with Asmodeus more than a century ago.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Farideh and Havilar's ancestress- Bryseis Kakistos, the Brimstone Angel. She sounds friendly.
  • Never Found the Body: The Nameless One is never found dead at the end of The Adversary. Though the Brimstone Angels books never touch on her again,Word of God hints that her story isn't done...
  • Non-Action Guy: Brin though nominally a paladin of Torm, tends to wind up getting his life saved by Havilar more often than not; his primary contribution is his divine magic from Torm. In The Adversary owing to having lived the years the twins lost, he's caught up a bit.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: How Lorcan survives in the cutthroat devil hierarchy. Most other devils think he's a useless dandy. He's actually a very clever, ambitious dandy, if you please.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In The Adversary, Asmodeus shows up to give Lorcan cryptic orders and threaten him if he fails. Par for the course. He then ends with a silly, self-deprecating joke before leaving. Lorcan and Sairche spend several pages deeply shaken over what it can possibly mean when The King of Hell is cracking jokes, especially ones that aren't sadistic and at someone else's expense. They end up deciding they're better off not knowing. It was a sign that Azuth was waking up inside him, and his personality was starting to fight Asmodeus's for control.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Havilar never lets her glaive out of her sight and is described as fawning over it as if it was her child. When she attacks the Ashmadai cult without it, it's a major tip-off to Farideh that something is very wrong. Turns out, she'd been possessed by Rohini.
  • Papa Wolf: Mehen, bordering on Overprotective Dad at times. Also Tam, after he reunites with Mira. Both of them eventually have to come to terms with the fact that their daughters are grown and don't need their protection all the time any more.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Mehen, Havilar, and to a somewhat lesser extent Farideh will pepper their speech with Draconic insults and curses when they get frustrated.
  • Parental Abandonment: Farideh and Havilar's biological parents abandoned them as infants outside the village where they would grow up; at this point we don't know why. Lorcan suspects foul play on someone's part, but even he doesn't know for sure (but he does think that whoever their parents were, they weren't exactly model citizens). The Adversary reveals they were part of a plan to reincarnate Bryseis Kakistos, but they- or at least, the twins' biological mother- pulled out at the last minute, much to the displeasure of Bryseis' ghost, since she wants one of the twins for her new body. The Devil You Know elaborates on this further and identifies the twins' biological mother as Adastreia Tyrianicus, a powerful warlock who, though not as evil as some characters in the series, is hardly "Mom of the Year" material.
  • Pet the Dog: Much as he'd like to deny it, Lorcan does have a soft spot for Farideh, and will sometimes be moved to help her in ways he'd never do for anyone else. At the end of the day, she doesn't agree that it makes up for all the other horrible stuff he's done.
  • Predecessor Villain: Bryseis Kakistos, the original Brimstone Angel and the twins' long-dead ancestor, was responsible for helping elevate Asmodeus to godhood and set in motion events that would continue into the timeline of the series. Ultimately subverted when the ghost who'd been following Farideh around for most of the third book turns out to be none other than Bryseis herself, still active and still scheming.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Mehen. All the dragonborn, really, but Mehen is their main representative for the first half of the series, and his warriors' values played a significant role in shaping his daughters' characters.
  • Put on a Bus: Mehen disappears for most of Lesser Evils. It turns out he was arrested for kidnapping Brin, though when Brin himself showed up he got him out of it between books, and Mehen's a major character again in The Adversary.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Subverted when Dahl discusses Rhand's backstory. He notes that Rhand would have been wanted as a serial rapist- except that he brutally killed all his victims afterwards, so he's wanted as a serial killer instead, with the rapes being one more unpleasant detail.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Havilar is red, Farideh is blue. Havi's the impulsive, hot-blooded one who loves to fight; Fari's the more reserved, level-headed one who's good at magic.
  • Religion of Evil: The Ashmadai (mortal worshipers of Asmodeus) are most important as a group. Individual followers of the dark gods Bane, Cyric, and Shar show up in Lesser Evils as well. The Adversary explicitly discusses why people might find themselves voluntarily joining such a religion.
  • The Scottish Trope: The Nameless One, obviously. Her true name is never revealed even to the reader; it's implied Shar somehow made her forget it.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Tarchamus, applying both to his near-mindless undead body and the copy of his personality stored in the Book, neither of which can leave his library under their own power.
  • Semi-Divine: The Adversary deals heavily in Chosen, people invested with some degree of a god's power. Most clearly, the Nameless One is a Chosen of Shar and Farideh (and maybe Havilar too) is a Chosen of Asmodeus.
  • Serial Killer: Apparently how Adolican Rhand spends his spare time. During the Time Skip, Dahl pinned it on him, but Rhand skipped town before he could be arrested.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Brin was raised by the aristocratic Crownsilver family, but is actually a bastard royal by blood; kept secret by his stepfamily, he didn't have a whole lot of life experience when he decided to run away. He gets better with Character Development.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Lorcan and his sister Sairche do not get along, at all, and are constantly trying to one-up each other in their scheming.
  • Straw Nihilist: Most of Shar's worshippers; she is the Lady of Loss, after all. The Nameless One most clearly embodies it.
  • The Sociopath: Rhand is a thoroughly self-absorbed, sadistic creep who never gave a damn about anyone other than himself.
  • Squishy Wizard: Farideh, despite her adoptive father's attempts to make her a Magic Knight; she becomes a better fighter across the series, but magic is still her main skill. .
  • The Starscream: The devil Archduchess Glasya is this to her father Asmodeus, the king of hell. It's implied he'd be quite disappointed in her if she wasn't plotting to kill him and take his crown. On a broader scale, every devil wants to take their immediate superior's position by any means necessary.
  • Stripperiffic: Apparently the original cover artist for Brimstone Angels put Farideh in a very stripperiffic outfit that the actual character would be mortified to be caught in public in; Evans explained this to the artist and the result was a cover that put Farideh in an outfit that covered her much better.
    • Further jabs are taken in The Adversary: when Farideh is forced to work with Adolican Rhand, he has his servants set out various skimpy dresses for her to wear. Fari takes great pleasure in shredding, blasting, and otherwise destroying them, as she's not about to go near a lecherous sociopath like Rhand without being as covered up as possible.
  • Sibling Team: Farideh and Havilar have complementary abilities and usually work together, graduating to full Badass Family when Mehen is around.
    • In The Adversary Lorcan and Sairche get to work together for a while two, albeit under duress and continually sniping at each other.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Very much in effect with Farideh and Havilar; though opposite in many respects, they also complement each other and work together quite well.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Tieflings tend to have oddly-colored, pupilless eyes as a side-effect of their fiend heritage- Havilar's are both gold, while Farideh has one gold, one silver eye.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Farideh's Chosen of Asmodeus status functions as a downplayed version of this; it's powerful and scary, but Fari manages it fairly well and figures out how to discharge it safely.
  • Succession Crisis: One of the major plotlines in Fire in the Blood. The King of Cormyr is old and his son is ready and willing to succeed him, but after that things get dicey - his son is brilliant but has zero people skills or desire to be king, his daughter is, well, a daughter which the more traditional male nobles have a problem with, Baron Boldtree is a Bastard Bastard... and then there's Brin. And when the Crown Prince disappears, everything falls apart. Raedra gets the crown after quite decisively proving her leadership skills in battle, while her brother Baerovus gets an adviser position where he's much happier, and Brin gets booted from the succession on a technicality, which makes him much happier.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Farideh and Havilar, as a warlock and fighter, are an example of the "fighter and Glass Cannon" type.
  • Theme Naming: The Erinyes are all named after historical or legendary Greek battlefields.
  • Time Skip: The Adversary jumps forward seven years- but thanks to a loophole in a deal with Sairche, Farideh and Havilar spend those years in stasis while everyone thinks they're dead.
  • Title Drop: "Brimstone Angel" was the epithet of the infamous tiefling warlock Bryseis Kakistos. It can also be applied to members of her bloodline- like Farideh and Havilar. The Adversary is the name of a card in a popular deck of playing and fortune-telling cards.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Lorcan, when working directly with the rest of the protagonists. He is a devil, in every since of the word, but he's also useful, so everyone has to grit their teeth and put up with him.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Played interestingly with the twins, as which is which varies depending on the situation. Havilar cares much more about things like fashion and boys and is generally more than a little silly, but she's more than a bit of a Blood Knight who gets frustrated with any problem that can't be solved with violence. Farideh, by contrast, is much more reserved and cares very little for appearance, but tends to be more thoughtful and willing to talk out her problems while being painfully aware she's not cut out to be a physical fighter.
  • Tyke Bomb: Implied in the case of the Nameless One, who is barely into her teens and already a willing vessel for the power of Shar.
  • Unexpected Successor: Discussed in Lesser Evils; when Brin reveals he's closely enough related to the royal house of Cormyr to be in the line of succession, Havilar jokes that it reminds her of stories where the entire royal family gets wiped out in a disaster and then "some swineherd's the king." Of course, Brin is rather more closely related to the royal family than that.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: While not a weapon, the Book is certainly a magical object that initially appeared benevolent and useful, and turned out to be anything but.
  • Unresolved: Farideh and Lorcan's love/hate relationship is fairly thick with this Gets resolved - in more ways than one - in Fire in the Blood.
  • Unseen Evil: When Asmodeus appears in person at the end of the first book to chew out his daughter, it's only as a creepy voice and an overwhelmingly powerful sense of presence. His chat with Lorcan in The Adversary is played similarly.
  • Villainous Lineage: This is the basis for at least some of the Fantastic Racism towards tieflings, as many people think that their devil blood makes them inherently evil; more personally, Farideh fears what this means for her and Havilar after learning that they're descended from Bryseis Kakistos and that Bryseis was a rather notorious monster.
  • Villain Team-Up: As of the end of Lesser Evils, one is about to be formed Sairche and Rhand. The Adversary explores it in detail.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Even though people who know him well are generally varying degrees of creeped out by him, Adolican Rhand has still maintained his position as a member of Waterdeep's high society rather well. At least until Dahl busts him as a Serial Killer during the Time Skip.
  • Wham Episode: Hoo boy, The Adversary. Farideh gets tricked into cutting a deal with Sairche that loses her and Havilar seven years of their lives; Lorcan is back in the (moderately) good graces of the Hells; Rhand is dead and Sairche has seemingly had her metaphorical wings clipped, taking two of the most prominent bad guys in the series out of play, for now; Farideh is a Chosen of Asmodeus and Havilar likely is to; last but not least, Bryseis Kakistos' ghost is still kicking around, apparently intending to possess one of her great-granddaughters at the first opportunity.
  • Wild Card: Even the author has admitted she's not entirely sure if Lorcan will be a good guy or a bad guy in the long run. Fittingly, he's a bit of both.
  • Young and in Charge: The Nameless One is about thirteen/fourteen, but as the Chosen of Shar wields a great deal of power in Netheril and can order around even the likes of Adolican Rhand with impunity.