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Literature / Faeries of Dreamdark

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Faeries of Dreamdark is a middle grade fantasy series by Laini Taylor, currently comprised of two novels, Blackbringer and Silksinger.

In Blackbringer, Magpie Windwitch, a young fairy, has found herself as one of the last demon hunters, trying desperately to put back in bottles the monsters that humans have been letting out by the boatloads. It doesn’t help that most of the fairy world has hidden itself away behind enchanted hedges and isolated cities. When an entire town simply disappears with no evidence of trouble, it’s clear the latest terror stalking the fairy world is something altogether different. Leaving Magpie and her friends as the only ones capable (or willing) to stop it.

In Silksinger, Magpie, Talon, and the crows continue searching for the dreaming Djinn, with the help of Batch Hangnail. Meanwhile, Whisper Silksinger journeys desperately, trying to return the Azazel to his throne and fulfill the duty of protecting the Djinn that her clan has performed for thousands of years. She soon crosses paths with Hirik, a lad with a secret deeper than his desire to be the Azazel's new champion.


These novels provide examples of:

  • Action Girl: Magpie.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Magpie and her parents are a whole family of them.
  • Alliterative Name: No straight examples, but variations occur. The two halves of "Blackbringer", for example.
    • Clan names also have a strong tendency towards this. "Windwitch", "Silksinger", "Mothmage"...
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The Never Nigh fairies are less than accepting of Magpie and the crows.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: The djinn.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Demons. They're just as likely to eat each other as to eat the fairies attacking them, during a fight.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Hirik and Merryvenom.
  • Badass Crew: Magpie, Talon, and the crows.
  • Berserk Button: The crows (and Calypso in particular) take it very badly whenever Magpie is threatened.
  • Big Bad:
    • The Blackbringer in the first book.
    • And Dusk in the second.
    • Can sort of apply to Ethiag, too. All of those other demons they tried to fight off were his mind-control slaves.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: A couple times.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Vesper. And then later, Dusk.
  • Blond, Brunette, Redhead: Talon is blond, Magpie has brown hair, and Poppy rounds things out as the redhead.
  • Blood Magic: The Big Bad of Silksinger uses the blood of immortal firedrakes to sustain his life.
  • Book Dumb: Subverted. Magpie has "never been to school", but is at least as smart as less nomadic faeries.
  • Braids of Action: Magpie usually braids her hair back.
    • Same with Bellatrix.
  • Cessation of Existence: What happens to those killed again after crossing to the Moonlight Gardens.
    • Also subverted. The Blackbringer's victims aren't utterly unmade after being taken; they can be saved.
  • Clear My Name
  • Dirty Coward: Stormfoil.
    • Batch Hangnail, too.
  • Disability Superpower: The acrobatic abilities Talon acquired due to his inability to fly.
  • Driven to Suicide: Bellatrix, to be with her husband.
  • Dual Wielding: A lot of the characters do this during battle scenes, usually fighting independently with each hand.
  • Glamour Failure: Demons always leave rooster tracks, no matter what shape their feet may be. They also can't get hands right when masquerading as fairies; their fingers always have too many joint or two few.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The scars Talon receives holding onto the tether on Magpie's waist are good. Dusk's scars received committing a murder are less so.
  • Handicapped Badass: Talon.
  • The Herald: Magpie for Talon.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Played straight with Hirik, but subverted with Magpie and Talon, both of whom favor daggers as their primary weapon.
  • Heroic BSoD: Magpie goes through one after the Blackbringer eats Poppy and one of the crows.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Whisper's grandparents.
    • There's also a few of these scattered throughout, both played straight and subverted.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The fairies have holed themselves away to party and gossip while demons destroy the world.
  • Hope Spot: In the final battle in Silksinger. Just when Magpie begins to think her crew may be able to best the huge devil army, things take a turn for the worse.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters/Special/Morons: Magpie covers all of them in one speech! Humans Are Cthulhu is also brought up, but subverted. Well-traveled faeries know that there are plenty scarier and more dangerous things, while most are in awe of their sheer size.
  • Jerkass: Dusk.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Talon may be able to pull some pretty acrobatic tricks, but he still wishes he could fly like almost every other fairy anywhere.
  • The Lancer: Both Talon and Calypso act as this to Magpie, being less impulsive and often more practical.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Subverted. Dusk implies Magpie's fondness for Talon is purely a sisterly sort of affection, and she immediately corrects him. Talon's not her brother, he's her sidekick.
  • Little Miss Badass: Magpie.
  • Longing Look: Talon occasionally gives these to Magpie.
  • Love at First Sight: Magpie's parents and grandparents.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The violation of some of magic's basic rules is one of the first signs that Magpie is special.
  • Man Behind the Man: For most of Silksinger, it appears that the Big Bad is legendary demon general Ethiag. He's actually The Dragon to ancient faerie traitor Onyx/Dust.
  • Meet Cute: Hirik and Whisper's relationship gets a handy little head start what with the whole "smoke bride" thing.
    • Magpie and Talon also get one when she almost slits his throat at their first meeting.
  • Metamorphosis: Ethiag's transformation via cursed flying carpet.
  • The Mole: Dusk.
  • Mood Whiplash: They've defeated Ethiag! Erm, now Dusk is after Bertram.
  • Mook Depletion: In Silksinger, this happens when Ethiag won't stop eating the low snags who are held as prisoners. It makes sense, since his soldiers are all alive and well under his hypnosis, and the only one who's really inconvenienced by the loss of the servants is Dusk, who relies on them to do petty chores for him.
  • Mundanger: Magpie and Talon have to deal with fairly un-special threats such as hungry cats when they're not dueling with devils and such.
  • Named Weapons: It's stated that quite a few really old ones are named, but only Skuldraig and Bijal have made an appearance to date.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
  • No Immortal Inertia: Firedrake blood and the glyph for immortality both have to be used regularly to avoid Rapid Aging and death.
  • Oblivious to Love: Magpie to Talon's affections.
  • One Head Taller: Talon is described as a head taller than Magpie.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Whisper Silksinger shouts, you know something big is going on.
  • Plot Threads: This is most apparent in Silksinger, when focus is divided between Magpie and Talon, Whisper, and Hirik, but it also occurs to a lesser extent with Blackbringer's POV switches.
  • Precocious Crush: Magpie had one on Dusk when she was young. She's still quite fond of him.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "There. Are. Worms. In. My. Hair."
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Ethiag to Magpie in Silksinger.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Dusk/Onyx.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Or rather, Real Warrior Princes Knit. It takes a while for Talon to become comfortable with that, though.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Batch Hangnail
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Rathersting royalty take a very active part in defending the forest. However, they are only one clan, and Queen Vesper subverts this. She has very little to do other than be rich, beautiful, and loved. In fact, when she's told she needs to lead people in actually fighting, she freaks out.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: As touching and heroic as it is, Magpie submitting to Ethiag to protect her friends was probably not a good idea, as it would have just kept them alive for another couple minutes and she would have died, too. The sacrifice itself is subverted, though.
  • Ship Tease: The whole kissing-their-fingers-and-flicking-each-other scene(s) in Silksinger.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: It's not unknown for Magpie's hair to come undone while flying or fighting.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Magpie for Dusk.
  • Solid Gold Poop: Gold, silver, etc.? It's all dragon dung.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The books go through the third-person-limited point of view centered around lots of different characters.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: The fairy respect for life is staunch, and Magpie was hugely upset when she was forced to help slay a mob of devils, even though she was protecting a large number of innocent, unarmed bystanders at that point.
  • Together in Death: Bellatrix and Kipepeo, eventually.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: "Queen" Vesper
  • Waif-Fu: Magpie might be a 'slip of a girl', but she can kick demon butt.
  • The Watson: Talon often needs clarfication about obscure faerie myths, which is helpful to the readers.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Happens a number of times. The eyes in question also often happen to be blue.
    • Talon is once asked to identify Magpie by answering whether or not she has "eyes like aquamarines". His embarrassment is priceless.
    • Kite is said to have recognized Robin by the blue color of his eyes.
    • As a more minor example, Talon's eyes are described as something along the lines of "crystals with the sky shining through them" when he and Magpie first meet.
  • What Could Have Been: On her blog, Laini Taylor stated that Talon was not originally part of the plan while writing Blackbringer. He came in later and replaced a character named Acorn, who was another scamperer boy and a cousin of Poppy's.
  • World of No Grandparents: Averted. Magpie's grandfather shows up in the second chapter.