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Literature / Dark Reflections Trilogy

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Dark Reflections is a trilogy by German author Kai Meyer: The Water Mirror, The Stone Light, and The Glass Word. The trilogy follows the adventures of the orphan Merle in the Venice of an alternative universe of Earth.

Dark Reflections provides examples of:

  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The suboceanic kingdoms. Their techology was so advanced it's now seen by most as magic.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Seems to be the case with sphinxes and is justified by the fact they are children of the series's Big Bad. Lalapaleya, herself one of the good guys, argues it's more a case of Blue-and-Orange Morality than anything else.
  • Arc Symbol: Mirrors and water.
  • Big Good: The Flowing Queen AKA Sakhmet.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The bad guys are defeated, at least for a time, and the world is free to rebuild itself after the war. Merle finally discovers her roots and is reunited with her mother. But many good people like Serafin died to archive this victory, Junipa still has to fight influence the Stone Light has over her and Merle decides to leave her world behind.
  • City of Canals: The plot starts in an alternative universe of Earth, in the city of Venice at some point in the past. Meyer depicts the city realistically, with mention of regular floods, the canal's dirty water, the desolate states of some quarters etc.
  • The Corruption: Lucifer / the Stone Light.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The world didn't stand a chance against the Empire and all countries save for Russia and Venice were conquered in the pre-story of the series.
  • Everyone Is Related: Sakhmet was impregnated by Lucifer and gave birth to the Son of the Mother. She started incestuous relationship with her son and thus sphinxes were born. She then created stone lions, so they can be seen as her children as well. Merle’s mother is a sphinx and Merle herself is also granddaughter of Lord Light. All of this means she is distantly related to the half of the bad guys and the Big Good of the series simultaneously.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: This is what Merle, Vermithrax and the Flowing Queen realize once they have escaped the circumvallation. The countries and places ravaged by the Egyptian Empire are devoid of any life, just dead battle fields.
  • Fantastic Racism: The humans of Venice think of and treat mermaids as little more than beasts. The Venecians also enslaved the folk of the flying and speaking stone lions because they feared them, although they were their allies.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: We have magic mirrors; mermaids and sea witches; living stone lions; Egyptian magicians, mummies, sphynxes; alternative universes and the disembodied forms of travelers of them; the seasons as living beings; references to Baba Yaga; Atlantis; the lilim and Satan/Lucifer. There are also references to the Mayas and Incas so we can assume their mythical creatures exist or existed in the series' universe as well.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: Merle notes to her companions in The Water Mirror how quiet it was when they passed over the siege wall. The Flowing Queen points out she is right that there was absolute silence. "Deathly silence." The only living persons on almost any of the Empire's war materials are the captain and the high priest - the rest are the undead mummy soldiers.
  • Light Is Not Good: Lucifer / the Stone Light. Everything it touches, it transforms to its will and bends their own until they no longer have one. Subverted when Vermithrax falls into the Stone Light - despite Merle's first doubts, it's revealed that the Light wields no power over him.
  • The Multiverse: Is revealed to exist and that there is a in-between world through which one can travel from one universe to the next.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Serafin interrupting Lalapeja's magic enables the sphynxes to pull the Son of the Mother's body from his hidden grave.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Their upper faces are, to humans, supernaturally gorgeous; their mouths are like those of sharks that when they open them, it looks as if their faces split horizontally.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Egyptian Empire's flying sunbarks raid burial grounds and cemeteries for corpses, for them to be 'processed' into mummies and re-animated by the Egyptian magicians' magic.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: Amenophis. Sure he's technically just a Puppet King, first to the Horus Priests who resurrected him, then to the Sphinxes, but he's still a deranged Caligula.
  • Parental Incest: Sakhmet and the Son of the Mother, her own child.
  • Physical God: There were once gods walking the Earth. The Flowing Queen was one of these in her original body.
  • Portal Pool: The Glass Word transforms every reflective surface into a two-way portal into the Mirror World.