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Literature / Chronicles of Blood and Stone

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A series of High Fantasy novels by Robert Newcomb, notable for a) a literal gender war, with women as the baddies, and b) an amazingly vehement Hatedom, partly because of the gender war and partly because of rampant cliches.

The order of the books is:

  • The Fifth Sorceress (2002)
  • The Gates of Dawn (2003)
  • The Scrolls of the Ancients (2004)

The sequel trilogy is known as Destinies of Blood and Stone. There were plans for a third trilogy, Victories of Blood and Stone, but publisher Del Rey cancelled Newcomb's contract after the second trilogy was released.

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This series of books provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: By the third book, Shailiha is one of these. Also in the third book is Tyranny.
  • Aerith and Bob: We have Tristan, Nicholas, Morganna, and Shailiha all coming from the same family. In the same world, we also have Failee, Succiu, Wigg, Shannon the Small, etc.
  • Airport Fantasy: Is it ever.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Pilgrim the horse. It even plays fetch.
  • Anticlimax
  • Anything That Moves: A common result of sorcery, but Succiu deserves special mention, as her appetites include men, women, slave boys, dwarves, genetically mutated minions, other sorceresses, and both the main character and his twin sister.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Apparently, Succiu can go through a full-term pregnancy in less than a month without suffering any ill-effects. Considering some of the other stuff she's done, accelerating her pregnancy through black magic is par for the course.
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  • As You Know: Happens a bit, especially whenever Wigg is around.
  • Author Appeal: Newcomb seems to be really into nudism, although only villains are nudists.
  • A Wizard Did It: A common handwave in the series.
  • The Baroness: Succiu.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Taken to pretty ridiculous levels with the wizards, who basically allow the sorceresses to invade the kingdom, steal a magical artifact, capture/kill the royal family and let Tristan save everyone because it was prophesied it would happen. Instead of, y'know, taking steps to try and avoid this happening in the first place.
  • Cartwright Curse: Tristan. Evelyn, a woman he sleeps with early on, is killed in the coronation massacre, Lilith turns out to be Natasha in disguise and Narissa is killed towards the end of the story. All in the first book, we might add.
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  • Chosen One: Tristan. He and his sister are literally called the "Chosen Ones."
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Vagaries. In particular, the combining of the Vigors and the Vagaries.
  • Depraved Bisexual: All the sorceresses automatically become this when they start using dark magic.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Tristan. Wigg, in contrast, is never bothered.
  • Door Stopper: The first book has close to 700 pages. The sequels tone it down it a bit, having somewhere between 400 and 500 pages.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. The sorceresses are reviled for the "rape and torture of both sexes", and Tristan is horrifically raped by Succiu.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Why not to use the Vagaries. It starts with becoming a Depraved Bisexual, and goes from there.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: When the sorceresses invade the kingdom.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • Evil Feels Good: "Hugely sexual longings" commence when using the Vagaries.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Shailiha. She gets better.
  • Fantastic Arousal: The minions have a sensitive area on their wings. Succiu often licks this area while sexing up minions.
  • For the Evulz: The motive of the sorceresses.
  • Functional Magic: The Vigors and the Vagaries.
  • Genre Shift: Happens reasonably early in the first book. It starts out as fairly lighthearted or typical High Fantasy, complete with pony rides through the woods and following giant butterflies into a magic cave...then goes headlong into grimdark territory with lots of graphic violence and sexual assault.
  • Good Is Dumb: Yes, very dumb.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The minions.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: The sorceresses seem fond of leather (when they actually bother to wear clothes).
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Tristan falls for Lilith in the first book, who turns out to be a sorceress in disguise and Celeste in the second, both of whom have red hair.
  • Honor Before Reason: The wizards tend to follow this to the point of insanity. It gets all but one of them killed very early on.
  • Hypocrite: Tristan is said to dislike Lady Natasha (before he finds out she’s evil) because she allegedly sleeps around. As he doesn't even bring up her husband, it makes it seem as though his problem with her is solely that she’s promiscuous, not that she’s married and promiscuous. However, Tristan himself is notorious for being a womanizer, though apparently it’s okay if he does it because he’s “the hero” (and a man).
  • Kick the Dog: Newcomb wants to make sure we know that all women the sorceresses are evil.
  • LEGO Genetics: Minions are humans who are given bat-like wings by magic.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Wulfgar, who is Tristan and Shaihila's half-brother.
    • Also Celeste, who is Wigg's daughter.
  • Love at First Sight: Tristan towards THREE different girls. First Lilith, who is a sorceress in disguise and tries to kill him, then Narrissa, who dies. And in the second book it happens again with Celeste.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Inverted. It's more of a 'Luke I Am Your Son' moment, between Tristan and Nicholas II in the second book.
  • Magic A Is Magic A
  • Mistaken Age: Meta-example. It's not unheard of for first-time readers of The Fifth Sorceress to initially believe Tristan is in his late teens due to his general behavior and attitude; he's a bit of a rebel and a womaniser who's Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places and is regularly Distracted by the Sexy, is rather naive about the history and lore of his kingdom (including his status as The Chosen One) and is very reluctant about having to become king. This comes off as Age-Appropriate Angst and typical teen rebellion/life uncertainty stuff...until the reader finds out in the first act that Tristan is actually nearly thirty years old.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Succiu walks around naked as much as possible.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Tristan.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: The source of the wizards' very foolish decision sparing the last sorceresses-they all swore an oath "to take no life except in urgent defense of self or others, or without fair warning." Of course, one might think capital punishment could be justified under either or both clauses... In spite of this too, stranding them with no supplies is fine, rather than tantamount to killing itself.
  • Older Than They Look: Tristan's general description and characterization leads a lot of readers to assume he's in his late teens...he's actually almost thirty.
  • Old Master: Wigg.
  • Plot Hole: Many, often due to bad editing.
  • Rape as Drama: This happens constantly.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Most of the wizards and sorceresses are around 300-400 years old.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Narissa’s sole purpose to the plot is being Tristan’s Love Interest, then dying horribly to show how EVIL the villains are and to cause some more angst for Tristan.
  • Sequel Hook: Tristan's father appears to him in a dream for the sole purpose of giving a Sequel Hook. Gee, dad, thanks for confirming that my life will continue to suck even if I survive this book.
  • Single Tear: "Single tears" are very common. At one point, a character cries two tears, and the author manages to write it out as two single tears.
  • Stupid Good / Too Dumb to Live: 327 years ago, after defeating the sorceresses in war, the wizards decided to exile them instead of executing them, despite the leader's warning that they would return. It gets better. Despite it being prophesied that the sorceresses would return and steal the magic stone during Tristan's coronation, due to the wizards being temporarily depowered, the wizards still insist on having a public coronation in the castle. Guess what happens.
  • The Un-Favourite: A downplayed example, as it has little effect on the story, but Morganna privately admits to herself that Tristan has always been her favorite over Shailiha…for some reason.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Minions, harpies, blood stalkers, etc.
  • Villainous Incest: Face heel turned Shailiha makes some less-than-sisterly comments about her captive twin brother, though fortunately she doesn't get a chance to do more than that.
  • You Killed My Father: Well, actually, Tristan kills his own dad - at the orders of a villain - and then attacks them, screaming "You made me kill my father!"

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