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Literature / Gods and Warriors

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"If an Outsider wields the blade, the House of Koronos burns…"

Gods and Warriors is a series of children's fantasy novels by Michelle Paver, the author of Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. The theme is very similar to that series, except that instead of taking place in stone-age Northern Europe, we adventure in Bronze Age Mediterranean. Also, instead of wolves, our loyal animal companions include a dolphin, a lion, and a falcon.

The country of Akea (the ancient name of mainland Greece) is a land of scattered chieftaincies separated by great mountain ranges and forests. In Lykonia (the present-day Lakonia) lives a boy named Hylas. He's an Outsider, the lowest of the low, and he has herded goats on the slopes of Mount Lykas for his whole life with his little sister Issi and dog Scram. One day, Scram is killed in an attack of ruthless warriors everyone calls Crows, and Issi goes missing. As Hylas tries to survive and find her, he gets his hands on a bronze dagger called the dagger of Koronos, the heirloom of the House of Koronos, the clan that leads the Crows. Desiring to reclaim their dagger that makes them invincible, the Crows try to kill all the Outsiders they can find because an Oracle told them that "if an Outsider wields the blade, the House of Koronos burns". Unfortunately, Hylas' best friend Telamon, the son of Lykonia's chieftain, turns out to be a member of the House of Koronos, which pits them against one another. Hylas soon meets and befriends Pirra, the daughter of the High Priestess of Keftiu (the author's name for Crete) who's never been let out and decides to run away to escape an arranged marriage. As they fight against the Crows and try to find Issi, they travel across the Mediterranean Sea and get help first from a dolphin, and then from a lion and a falcon.

The series contains five books, with the first one released in 2012 and the last one in 2016:

  • The Outsiders/Gods and Warriors (Only the first print carries the latter name.)
    • This book first takes place in Lykonia, but after that, mostly on the Island of the Fin People. Soon after being separated from Issi and getting the dagger of Koronos, Hylas is shipwrecked on the Island where he's forced to work with Pirra who ended up being stranded there in an effort to escape the arranged marriage with Telamon. They are helped by a friendly dolphin they call Spirit who also needs their help to find his lost pod.
  • The Burning Shadow
    • About a year after the events of the first book, Hylas is enslaved by the Crows and forced to work in their mines on the volcano island of Thalakrea. Pirra also ends up there after escaping from her mother a second time. Banding together with an orphaned lion cub they name Havoc, they try to find a way to steal the dagger and escape the island that might be on the verge of eruption.
  • Eye of the Falcon
    • For seven months since the eruption of Thalakrea's volcano, the Sun has been blotted out by a vast cloud of ash, and the spring cannot blossom. In search of Pirra and Havoc, Hylas arrives on Keftiu which has been brought to its knees by famine and plague. Having lost her trust in humans, Havoc tries to survive in Keftiu's wilderness, while Pirra, bored out of her mind in the sanctuary she's locked up, befriends a young falcon she names Echo. Unfortunately, the Crows, led by Telamon and Kreon, have also come to Keftiu in search of the dagger. Can the young heroes work together to find the dagger, and will the Sun ever again shine upon Keftiu?
  • The Crocodile Tomb
    • Hylas, Pirra, Havoc and Echo reach Egypt in pursuit of the dagger two months since the previous book. They're badly behind the Crows though, for Telamon and Alekto are already there, and the Perao (Pharaoh) supports their quest to get the dagger back. What's more, the heroes must make a dangerous trip in an ancient tomb to help both the living and the dead.
  • Warrior Bronze
    • Hylas, Pirra, Havoc and Echo make it back to Akea three months after the conclusion of the previous book. The Crows are everywhere, and a band of rebels has gathered to end their rule once and for all. Can the heroes finally vanquish the Crows with the help of some old friends, and will Hylas finally find his sister?

Be careful of Late Arrival Spoilers listed under the sequels.

This series provides examples of:

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     The universal examples 
  • The Adjective One: The Angry Ones are horrific spirit of air and darkness that come from the Chaos preceding the gods. They relentlessly chase people who have killed at least one of their kin, and they don't care who gets in their way.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • The members of the House of Koronos and their warriors are referred to as the Crows due to their greed and preference to wearing black fluttering cloaks.
    • Pirra is often compared to a falcon even before she gains Echo. Her mother Yassassara is in turn compared to a hawk. Also, their native Keftian language is described to be bird-like by Akean characters who can't speak it.
    • The Marsh Dwellers, the Outsiders based on the marshes of Messenia, are likened to frogs. Hylas and Issi's mother was one of them and shared her daughter's passion for frogs. What's more, Issi means "frog" in the Marsh Dwellers' native language.
    • Akastos, the High Chieftain of Mycenae, was known as the Lion of Mycenae. Even his sealstone has a lion engraved on it. In fact, seeing Havoc and the lion-claw amulet Hylas wears helps to convince him to finally return to Akea and lead a rebellion against the Crows.
  • Apocalypse How: Of the regional scope when Thalakrea's volcano erupts at the ending of The Burning Shadow. The following book, which takes place seven months later, reveals that a great cloud of ash has blotted out the Sun for the entire winter and plunged Mediterranean into perpetual twilight. Keftiu was hit by a tidal wave and is ravaged by a plague. It's also acknowledged that if the spring goes by without the Sun, the crops will die and cause even more famine. Fortunately, the Sun starts shining again by the end of the book.
  • Arc Words: "If an Outsider wields the blade, the House of Koronos burns."
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes: The villains are warriors who wear armors made out of rawhide or bronze. The heroes don't possess any armor until the final battle in Warrior Bronze.
  • Arranged Marriage: In the first book, Pirra is set to marry Telamon as part of a bargain between their parents. When she is caught after her escape, however, Telamon refuses to marry her and calls the whole thing off. In the second book, she escapes again after being promised to a chieftain in Arzawa.
  • Artifact of Doom: The dagger of Koronos is an outwardly plain bronze dagger that was forged by the first chieftain of the House of Koronos and enhanced to make his clan invincible for as long as they possess it. It's implied to possess a will of its own, allowing it to look after itself and seek its way back to the House of Koronos. And what's worse, only a god can destroy it.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: In the House of Koronos, Telamon's uncles and aunt are power-hungry sadists who hate each other's guts and fear their cold father. Only his father Thestor is a decent person and tries to have as little to do with his father and siblings' cruelties as he can. Telamon himself starts out honorable under his father's influence, but he gradually becomes as ruthless and ambitious as his grandfather, uncles and aunt to the point of willingly letting Alekto and Koronos die.
  • Blindfolded Trip:
    • On her mother's orders, Pirra is blindfolded and carried to a ship when they set sail to Akea in the first book so that the girl can't have a look at the sea as punishment. However, Userref lets Pirra have a glimpse of the sea before securing her in the hold.
    • This is done to Hylas and Pirra when Keftian survivors capture them and take them to their hideout in Eye of the Falcon.
    • This is how Hylas and Pirra are first brought to meet Nebetku in the Houses of Eternity.
    • This happens twice to Hylas in Warrior Bronze; first when the Akean rebels take him to their camp, and then when they bring him before Akastos, the rightful High Chieftain of Mycenae.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Hylas and Pirra first meet in The Outsiders, are separated at the end of it, reunite in The Burning Shadow, are separated at the end again, and reunite again in Eye of the Falcon, only this time they're not separated again.
  • Brutish Bulls:
    • In Eye of the Falcon, Hylas is forced to save himself from a belligerent bull. And there's later the bull that guards the vacant House of the Goddess.
    • The Earthshaker, the god who causes earthquakes, is called the Bull Beneath the Sea a few times in The Outsiders.
  • Cavalry Refusal: In the backstory, the struggle for power between the old High Chieftain of Mycenae and the House of Koronos was decided in the mountains of Mycenae where the High Chieftain asked for the Mountain Clan's help. The Mountain Clan wanted no part in it and refused. This led to Koronos seizing the power and Akastos being forced on the run. The Mountain Clan eventually paid the prize of their neutrality by being hunted down by the Crows.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • It's mentioned in Eye of the Falcon that Userref has taught Pirra to speak Egyptian during their time in Taka Zimi. This comes in handy in the next book that takes place in Egypt.
    • Pirra mentions in Eye of the Falcon that sometimes in Yassassara's absence, Userref gave her rides in a chariot. In The Crocodile Tomb, she puts those experiences to good use by riding a chariot to make an escape with Hylas.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: In The Burning Shadow, the Lady of Fire touches Hylas in the temple with her burning finger and leaves there a scar that aches whenever he's about to have a vision in the following books.
  • Classical Elements Ensemble: The main Akean gods form one; the Lady of the Wild Things (or simply the Goddess) is water, the Earthshaker is earth (though his rule over the Sea makes him overlap with water as well), the Sky Father is air, and the Lady of Fire is fire.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Hylas has no knowledge or memory of his and Issi's father. It turns out he was the leader of the Mountain Clan that refused to help Akastos against the Crows and was left by his mate and children when he didn't heed her warnings about the Crows finding them. He was eventually hunted down and killed by the Crows.
    • Pirra doesn't know who her father was because she was conceived when her mother mated with three different priests. She was told that those priests died in an earthquake when she was little, but she wonders if Yassassara got rid of them to prevent them from causing trouble.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Hylas and Issi are the only people in the series to have fair hair. Gorgo reveals that only the people from the Mountain Clan, their father's tribe, have fair hair.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Koronos is the most feared chieftain of Akea.
    • The Angry Ones, the spirits of darkness that haunt kinslayers, are so terrific that not even Koronos dares to utter their true names aloud.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: Akean warriors, including Telamon and the other Crows, braid their long hair into dreadlocks.
  • Ear Notch: Lykonian Outsiders such as Hylas and Issi are marked by having a nick cut out of their left ears. By the time of The Burning Shadow, Hylas has cut off the bottom of his earlobe to conceal his identity as an Outsider.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Even the Crow warriors don't dare to attack dolphins, the sacred creatures of the Goddess.
    • The Crow lieutenant Ilarkos is loyal to his evil masters, but in The Crocodile Tomb, he orders his men to rescue Alekto from crocodiles and is aghast when Telamon belays that order. What's more, it's revealed in Warrior Bronze that one of the Crow warriors who was there to witness this defected to the rebels' side after returning to Akea.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Akastos expresses his opinion that while the Crows worship the Angry Ones and may be able to invoke them, they're fools to think they can make the spirits of air and darkness favor them because "no one gains the favor of the Angry Ones". And sure enough, after Telamon lets his aunt die, he's just like any other target to the Angry Ones even though he's a Crow.
  • Evil Wears Black: The Crow warriors use obsidian arrowheads and wear black cloaks and rawhide armor.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear:
    • In Eye of the Falcon, Kreon is gored and trampled by Kunisu's guardian bull.
    • In The Crocodile Tomb, Alekto is killed by the Nile's crocodiles.
  • Eye of Horus Means Egypt: Userref, Pirra's Egyptian slave, wears a wedjat amulet made of bronze.
  • Facial Scruff: Beards are considered uncouth in the Keftian and Egyptian cultures. Though Pirra has always thought so too, she finds herself considering that she wouldn't mind if Hylas grew a beard.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • At the ending of The Outsiders, Hylas manages to trick Telamon and the Crows into thinking he died when Spirit took him deep underwater. They remain in this belief in The Burning Shadow until Hekabi says during a vision that "the Outsider lives" and Telamon discovers some evidence of Hylas' survival.
    • At the ending of Eye of the Falcon, word spreads among Keftiu's people that after bringing back the Sun by performing the Mystery, Pirra turned into a falcon and flew away. Pirra lets them think this because the priests would keep her contained in the House of the Goddess or sell her off in marriage if they knew she's alive.
    • Akastos, the previous High Chieftain of Mycenae, is believed to have been killed when the Crows took over Mycenae. In reality, Akastos became a wanderer who adopted multiple disguises to hide both from the Crows and the Angry Ones. In Warrior Bronze, he reveals to the world he's alive by taking charge of the Akean rebels.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Hylas and Pirra start out fighting and mistrusting each other, but as they work together to survive on the Island of the Fin People, they gradually develop a strong bond of friendship which later blooms into love.
    • Havoc and Echo are at each other's throats before their adventures in Keftiu and Egypt teach them to respect one another.
    • Kem is introduced trying to steal a waterskin from Hylas and Pirra, but after they capture him and convince him to help them reach Pa-Sobek, he gradually befriends them. He even returns at the end of The Crocodile Tomb to save them from the Crows.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first book, Hylas recalls Telamon voicing his belief that keeping quiet might actually be painful to the ever-chattering Issi. The final book shows that as one of the signs of how the Crows' actions have hurt her, Issi has been rendered mute because she has refused to talk to anybody during the entire time she has been separated from Hylas.
  • God of Fire: The Lady of Fire who is worshipped by the natives of Thalakrea's volcano island. When the Crows anger her by greedily excavating copper ore from "her entrails" and try to subdue her by invoking the Angry Ones, she unleashes her fury in the form of a volcanic eruption that destroys Thalakrea and unleashes an ash cloud that prevents the Sun from shining in Keftiu and Akea for seven months.
  • God of Thunder: The Sky Father appears to be one, for he grinds clouds together to make storms.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Hylas gives one to Telamon in the first book when they first fight.
    • Kem tries to give Hylas one in The Crocodile Tomb, but Hylas dodges.
    • In Warrior Bronze, Akastos uses his sword to impale Pharax through the groin when the Crow chieftain attempts to finish off the injured High Chieftain of Mycenae.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The main hero Hylas has a fair hair. And so does his sister Issi who's also heroic in her own way.
  • Heroes Love Dogs:
    • Hylas is very saddened to lose Scram, and when he soon afterwards stumbles upon a dog that's been left tied up and with no owner in sight, he can't bear himself to leave it to it's own devices while the Crows hunt for him, so he brings it close to Neleos' village so that the villagers would take care of it.
    • Pirra loves dogs and has always wanted one. When she kills a hunting dog to rescue Hylas in Thalakrea, she's appalled with herself. To make her feel better, Hylas encourages the dog's spirit to go peacefully and be reborn in a better life.
  • I Have Many Names:
    • Hylas worships a goddess known in Akea as the Lady of the Wild Things. She's called the Great Goddess or simply the Goddess in Keftiu. She's also known as She Who Has Power or the Shining One.
    • The Earthshaker is also known as the Bull Beneath the Sea. Spirit refers to him as the One Beneath.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Kreon is pierced through the chest by one of the horns of Kunisu's guardian bull before being tossed high and then gored and trampled to death.
    • Pharax is skewered through the groin by Akastos' sword.
  • Implacable Man: The Angry Ones can be temporarily warded off or evaded, but they won't stop looking for kinslayers in order to drive them to madness. They may destroy anyone who gets too close to them, even those who've done nothing to warrant their wrath.
  • Interclass Friendship: Telamon, the son of Lykonia's chieftain, is friends with the Outsider siblings Hylas and Issi before his evil relatives and eventual Face–Heel Turn turn them against each other. Hylas also befriends Pirra, the daughter of Keftiu's High Priestess though Pirra eventually casts aside her wealth and privileges in order to be free.
  • Ironic Name: Whenever Hylas and Issi shouted "Scram! Scram!" to their killed herding dog Scram, he didn't scram but instead came racing towards them.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Telamon is just one of the Co-Dragons of Koronos, but he's the one member of the House of Koronos with who his former BFF Hylas and Pirra, the target of his zig-zagged Villainous Crush, are the most often and personally in conflict with. Hylas gets to meet Koronos exactly once in the first half of the series, while Pirra sees him only after his death. It's Telamon who ends up being their Final Boss.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: People who kill their own flesh and blood are chased by the Angry Ones. Akastos is chased by them because he killed his brother who was deceived by the Crows into fighting him. Telamon also becomes their target after he allows his aunt Alekto to be killed by the Nile's crocodiles.
  • Last Request: The dying Keftian man Hylas discovers in The Outsiders makes several requests before dying; hide his body in the tomb so that the villagers won't throw it to the vultures, keep the dagger hidden, and take a lock of his hair to the Sea. Hylas accommodates with these requests even though he's in a hurry to leave before people come to seal the tomb because he can't bring himself to ignore something as powerful as a dying man's wish. Even though he insists that he won't be going to the Sea, he still ends up there and gives the hairlock to the waves.
  • Lord of the Ocean: The Goddess is worshipped by Keftians as the sea deity, and dolphins are her sacred creatures. However, the Earthshaker seems to be the one causing tidal waves through his earthquakes as well as storms at sea when he clashes with the Sky Father.
  • Made a Slave:
    • The Burning Shadow begins with Hylas being captured by the Crows and taken to work in their copper mines on Thalakrea along with Periphas and many other Akeans.
    • Kem worked as a slave in Egypt's salt mines for three years and managed to escape a few days before meeting Hylas and Pirra.
  • Made of Indestructium: The dagger of Koronos is stated to be so durable that only a god could destroy it. A lightning strike sent by the gods ultimately shatters it.
  • Manly Facial Hair:
    • Telamon believes growing a beard is relevant to becoming a man and considers the Egyptian men to be womanish for shaving themselves. He's ashamed that he hasn't grown a beard in Eye of the Falcon and proud when it has started growing in The Crocodile Tomb.
    • Pirra has always considered beards to be uncouth, but when she notices the beginnings of one on Hylas' jaw in Eye of the Falcon, she finds herself thinking that she wouldn't mind if he grew a beard.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Issi's name means "frog" in the native language of her Marsh Dweller mother who also shared her daughter's passion for frogs.
    • Kem is the nickname the Egyptians gave him when they enslaved him. It means "black", and he's very dark-skinned. When Hylas gives him his lion-claw amulet, Kem reveals that his real name means "lion" in his native tongue.
  • Missing Mom: Hylas and Issi were left on Mount Lykas by their mother when they were little. She meant to return after finding help because they were too small to travel all the way from Mycenae to Messenia, but she died out of sickness before she could come back.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: A variation; Hylas and Issi were discovered on Mount Lykas when they were five and two years old, respectively, with their mother having wrapped them in a bearskin. The headman of the nearest village discovered them and made them herd his goats. Their mother tried to warn their father, the Mountain Clan's chieftain, that the Crows would discover them in the Mycenaean mountains, but when he refused to listen to her, she tried to take their children to her birthplace in Messenia. They were too little to make the whole journey, so their mother wrapped them in the bearskin – bears were sacred to the Mountain Clan – and went to seek help, only to succumb to illness.
  • Murder by Inaction: When crocodiles bear down on Alekto, Telamon refuses to even try to help her and orders his men to leave her to her fate. The same thing happens when Koronos has a seizure and drowns in a bowl of wine in the next book.
  • Mythology Gag: Paver subtly refers to her Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by having Hylas and the other poor people upholding much of the beliefs and knowledge of the stone-age hunter-gatherers.
  • Night and Day Duo: This dynamic is in-universe built between Hylas and Pirra, especially in The Crocodile Tomb. Hylas' yellow hair is described to be like the Sun, and he's mostly paired with Havoc the lioness, the sacred creature of Sekhmet, the lion-headed solar deity. Pirra in turn has a crescent scar on her face, and she has a special bond with Echo the falcon, the sacred creature of Heru, the falcon-headed god whose domain includes the Moon.
  • Offerings to the Gods: These are discovered and performed throughout the series.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Pirra's full name is revealed to be Pirákara in Eye of the Falcon. It's never brought up again because she and Hylas both prefer the shorter Pirra.
    • With the exception of Zan, Hylas' fellow pit spiders have only the nicknames Bat, Beetle and Spit. Considering that Bat was Born into Slavery, he may really have no other name.
    • The old Outsider who taught Hylas tracking and survival in the wild was called the Man of the Woods. Hylas never found out his real name, even after discovering he was his grandfather.
    • Kem isn't the boy's real name; it's just what the Egyptians nicknamed him when they enslaved him. Even when he tells Hylas his real name, the narration doesn't reveal what it is, only that it means lion in his native language.
  • Outliving One's Offspring:
    • Akastos reveals that if his son had lived, he'd be about Hylas' age.
    • The Man of the Woods, the father of Hylas and Issi's mother, tried to take care of her children after she died until he too passed away.
    • Excluding his son Pharax and grandson Telamon, Koronos ends up surviving longer than all his descendants.
  • The Prophecy: The series is driven by the oracle foretold to the House of Koronos: "If an Outsider wields the blade, the House of Koronos burns".
  • Raised by Grandparents: It's revealed in Eye of the Falcon that the Man of the Woods, the old Outsider who taught Hylas survival in the wild before dying of fever, was his and Issi's maternal grandfather.
  • The Reveal:
    • Telamon and his father's relation to the Crows is not revealed until the last fourth of The Outsiders when Hylas sees Telamon with Kratos and Crow warriors, after which Pirra reveals their kinship.
    • Hylas hopes in the first half of the series that he'll reunite with his mother who he is sure didn't abandon him and Issi because she didn't love them. In Eye of the Falcon, he encounters his mother's ghost and afterwards learns from her friend Gorgo that she was a Messenian Outsider and died out of sickness while trying to bring her children to Messenia after her mate, a member of the tribe of Outsiders that refused to fight the Crows with the Lion of Mycenae, refused to believe her that the Crows would find and slaughter them. Warrior Bronze adds an icing on the cake when Akastos, the Lion of Mycenae, tells Hylas that his father was the leader of the Mountain Clan and refused to fight the Crows to ensure his clan's survival instead out of cowardice like Hylas has believed and fought to the end when the Crows eventually hunted him down.
    • Warrior Bronze reveals that Akastos has all along been the previous High Chieftain of Mycenae who was believed to have been killed when the House of Koronos took over.
  • Rite of Passage:
    • Telamon is on a quest to kill twelve wild boars and make his own helmet out of their tusks by himself in order to become a warrior. He has achieved this by the time of The Crocodile Tomb.
    • In Kem's tribe, a boy becomes a man by proving his bravery by slipping to Egypt and stealing a weapon from a warrior. Kem was caught and enslaved when he attempted this. He finally succeeds while he and his tribe arrive to help Hylas and Pirra in the climax of The Crocodile Tomb.
  • Shabby Heroes, Well-Dressed Villains: Since Hylas is an Outsider and Pirra the runaway daughter of the High Priestess, they tend to be less clean and wear more ragged clothing than the villainous members of the House of Koronos.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Hylas and Pirra have this reaction later in the series whenever people ask if she's his girl.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver:
    • Pirra attempts to disguise herself as a boy when she escapes from Keftiu in The Burning Shadow. She doesn't quite manage this, but it suffices to fool the Crows in Thalakrea into thinking she's a slave girl.
    • Issi spends the entire time she's separated from Hylas in the disguise of a mute Marsh Dweller boy.
  • Take Care of the Kids: The only memory Hylas has of his mother is her telling him to take care of Issi when she left them on Mount Lykas. She's revealed to have died shortly after leaving her kids for what was meant to be a search for help. Her ghost appears briefly in Eye of the Falcon to tell Hylas that Issi's alive and beg him to find her.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Hylas and Pirra team up on the Island of the Fin People to build a raft, but their vast differences and mutual mistrust lead to them arguing nearly all the time. They slowly start to get over this after they rescue Spirit who ends up getting himself stranded on land.
    • Telamon has this dynamic with Kreon when they lead a squad of warriors to get the dagger back in Eye of the Falcon, for they both want the credit for personally delivering the dagger to Koronos.
    • Telamon continues searching for the dagger in The Crocodile Tomb with Alekto, but he can't stand his jeering aunt who he feels is undermining his authority. This culminates in him leaving her for dead when crocodiles bear on her.
  • Thunderbolt Iron: This being the Bronze Age, iron is rare and dug out of meteorites. Instead of being used in weapons, it can be used to ward off the Angry Ones for a while. Koronos himself wears an iron ring while sacrificing for the Angry Ones and starts wearing it all the time as the Angry Ones grow more powerful in the last book. Telamon also starts wearing an iron ring after he becomes the Angry Ones' target for leaving Alekto for dead.
  • Unpleasant Parent Reveal: Hylas is displeased to learn in the third book that his father was a member of the same Mountain Clan that refused to fight the Crows with the High Chieftain of Mycenae. Thinking his father was a coward, Hylas becomes determined to wipe out the stain of that cowardice, which he also believes to be the reason his mother ended up dying while trying to find a safe place for her children after Hylas' father refused to heed her warnings about the Crows finding them. Before the final battle of the last book, Akastos tries to improve Hylas' opinion on his father by telling him that as the Mountain Clan's leader, his father was just doing what he thought was best for his clan by refusing to fight and fought bravely to the end when the Crows eventually hunted him down. This isn't much of an improvement to Hylas because his father didn't help Akastos – whom he has come to admire as a father figure – in the latter's time of need.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Hylas and Telamon start out as best friends, but Telamon's allegiance to the Crows who want to kill Hylas drives them apart until from The Burning Shadow onward, Telamon would love to kill Hylas. Telamon also used to like Issi who adored him, but after finding out he's a Crow, she helps Hekabi cast a curse on him and takes part in the final confrontation with him on the Ancestor Peak.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Kreon literally becomes scared of snakes due to his migraine attacks.
    • After falling from her nest, Echo is attacked by ants, and this leaves her terribly scared of them.
  • You Will Be Spared:
    • During their final confrontation in Eye of the Falcon, Kreon offers to give Hylas a quick and painless death in exchange for the dagger but promises to make it torturous if the boy refuses. Despite being badly outmatched, Hylas refuses to give in.
    • In the prologue of The Crocodile Tomb, Telamon tells the captive Userref that if he immediately reveals where he hid the dagger, he'll be killed painlessly and buried with the proper Egyptian rites, but if he refuses, Alekto will torture the information out of him and he won't get a proper burial, dooming his spirit for eternity. Userref refuses and endures all the torture before he manages to commit suicide and deny the Crows what they seek for a while.

    The Outsiders 
  • Ankle Drag: When Kratos is trapped from his arm in the sinking wreck, he uses his free hand to grab Hylas from the ankle to make sure the boy will drown with him. Hylas manages to free himself after some struggling.
  • Atlantis: Tales say that the Island of the Fin People was long ago richer and more beautiful than anything that's ever been, but it was blown up when the gods were angered by the locals' pride. The people disappeared and as such, are called the Vanished Ones. While trapped in the island's underground caves, Pirra ends up discovering the calcified remains of the Vanished Ones who were trapped by a cave in.
  • Awful Truth: This is lampshaded by the Goddess as a warning to Hylas who ends up discovering at the end of the book that his best friend Telamon has all along been a member of the House of Koronos.
    "You seek the truth… But beware… the truth bites…"
  • Bad with the Bone: Hylas briefly uses a bone to fight back the stone snake that attacks him.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kratos has been killed, but the Crows have the dagger back and Telamon is saddened because he believes Hylas is dead. Pirra is forced to return to her mother, but she won't have to marry Telamon, which will give her time to escape again. A ship takes Hylas from the Island of the Fin People so that he can make his way back to Akea and find Issi, and though he must part ways with Spirit, their friendship remains, and Hylas is assured they'll meet again some day.
  • Blow That Horn: Pirra discovers a triton shell made of alabaster that's blown into to ask aid from the gods in times of trouble. She ends up using it during the final fight. The resulting earthquake frees Spirit's pod from the inlet they're trapped in and turns Hylas' fight with Kratos in the boy's favor.
  • Blunt "Yes": When Pirra confronts Hylas about his intention of leaving her stranded on the island while he sails off in the raft they just built together, he admits it with a simple yes, leading her to lampshade this trope in outrage.
    Pirra: It's true, isn't it?
    Hylas: Yes.
    Pirra: Yes? Is that all you can say?
    Hylas: Yes.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: After they've saved Spirit, Hylas and Pirra start opening up a little to each other over a campfire.
  • Chekhov's Gun: While trapped underground, Pirra finds a triton shell made of marble. Spirit later brings it to the beach on the Goddess' orders, and when Pirra rediscovers it during the climax, she blows in it to ask for the gods' aid, resulting in the liberation of Spirit's pod and Hylas getting a chance to escape Kratos.
  • Corporal Punishment: Telamon's father whips him after finding out that Telamon helped Hylas escape with a chariot and two horses "borrowed" from Thestor and has secretly been the Outsider's friend even though Thestor forbade such a thing.
  • Dies Wide Open: This happens to the unnamed Keftian man who gives Hylas the dagger.
  • Downer Beginning: The book – and the series, by extension – begins with Hylas fleeing the Crow warriors after having been wounded by an arrow and still reeling from Scram's death and worrying for Issi.
  • Dramatic Chase Opening: The first chapter has one taking place after Hylas tried to lure the Crows away from his sister.
  • Dye or Die: While helping Hylas escape from the Crows, Telamon gives him walnut juice to conceal his yellow hair.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Akastos demonstrates his key features in his first appearance when he captures Hylas and uses him as a bait to distract the Angry Ones from himself. He's very aware of his surroundings due to being hunted by the Angry Ones and the Crows, far too intelligent and strong to be a mere sailor, knows a lot about the Crows and the dagger, shows Hylas both kindness and ruthlessness, and proves himself to be ready to commit heinous things he's not comfortable with in order to survive.
  • Exact Words: Pirra had thought her mother would set her free on her twelfth birthday and called Yassassara out upon learning she'd be taken to be married in Lykonia instead. Yassassara defended herself by saying that she had only promised Pirra would be let out of the House of the Goddess instead of being freed.
  • Healing Hands: When the Goddess frees Spirit from the channel, she heals the scratches on his flanks.
  • Heavenly Blue: The "blue fire", the phosphorescence in which the Sea glows, is the shadow of the Goddess.
    Pirra: Sometimes the Goddess summons dolphins to do Her bidding. They swim so close that they're splashed with Her burning blue shadow. Her shadow, Hylas. That's the blue fire.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: While searching for Hylas and Pirra in the island's underground caves, Spirit ends up being stuck in a channel. The Goddess frees and sends him to deliver the marble triton shell for Pirra to find in the climax.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: A variation is done the climax. Telamon promises to tell Hylas where Issi is and lie to Kratos that the Outsider is dead in exchange for the dagger. When the boys meet as agreed, Telamon is forced to confess that all he knows about Issi's whereabouts is that she headed towards Messenia. Hylas reveals in response that he didn't really bring the dagger with him.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Hylas first gets the dagger of Koronos in his hands when he hides in a tomb where the dying Keftian man who stole the dagger offers it to him without telling anything other than it's precious.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: When Hylas and Telamon re-encounter on the Island of the Fin People, Hylas blurts out about the dagger. Having not said that his clan's stolen heirloom is a dagger, Telamon realizes to his shock that Hylas does possess the dagger even though Telamon told his father that Hylas couldn't be the Outsider mentioned by the oracle or even know about the dagger's existence.
  • Island of Mystery: The Island of the Fin People (or as the Keftians call it, the Island of the Goddess) where Hylas and Pirra are stranded for most of the book. Tales say it used to be inhabited by a community that disappeared after angering the gods and became known as the Vanished Ones. Though haunted by the ghosts of the Vanished Ones (whose calcified remains Pirra discovers in the cave they were trapped in), the deserted island is a sacred place only priestesses visit occasionally to make sacrifices and perform secret rites. The Crows have also recently visited the island and burned an entire valley as a sacrifice to the gods so that they'd get the dagger back.
  • It's All My Fault: Telamon at first blames himself for the death of Hylas, but he eventually alleviates his guilt by deciding that everything happened the way they did because the gods decreed that.
  • Jaw Drop:
    • Pirra has this reaction when she sees Spirit for the first time since she's never seen a live dolphin before. She later has another one when Hylas reveals to her that he's best friends with Telamon.
    • Telamon reacts this way when Hylas confirms that he has the dagger of Koronos in his possession.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After Neleos denies Hylas sanctuary from the Crows, the boy steals from his harsh taskmaster some food and supplies as well as takes some of his wine and ruins the rest with ash as retribution for all the thrashings Neleos gave him and Issi over the years.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: While escaping from the Crows in the first chapter, Hylas scrambles over the edge of the mountain trail and hides under an overhang while holding from a sapling. When the Crows eventually leave, the sapling gives under the boy's weight, and he falls into the gorge, but he luckily doesn't hurt himself.
  • Living Statue: When Hylas tries to pose questions to the statue of the Goddess, one of the stone snakes at the statue's feet comes to life and attacks him.
  • Lost at Sea: This happens to Hylas after he escapes the Crows by stealing a boat. He eventually manages to catch a sea turtle and eat it before a shark appears to threaten him and a storm crushes the boat. Fortunately for him, Spirit's pod drives the shark away and helps the boy reach the Island of the Fin People.
  • Man Bites Man: When Kratos catches Pirra, she bites him, only for him to knock her unconscious.
  • Master of Threads: The Moirai are at one point referred to as the Grey Sisters who "crouch in their cave like ancient spiders, spinning their vast web which contains one thread for every living creature".
  • Motivational Lie: Pirra was allowed to believe her mother would release her from the House of the Goddess on her twelfth birthday, but she was all along intended to be sent to Lykonia for marriage. She's also angry at Userref for not telling her the truth even though he knew, so he lampshades this trope while referring both to her situation and his own desire to return to Egypt.
    Pirra: You let me go on believing I'd be free.
    Userref: You needed something to hope for. Everyone does. It's what keeps them going.
    Pirra: Even if it's a lie?
    Userref: Yes. Even then.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • When Akastos leaves Hylas at the mercy of the Angry Ones, he tells the boy they're both survivors.
    • When Hylas rips into Telamon for never telling him about his kinship to the Crows, Telamon retorts that Hylas has never shown interest in Telamon's world and that his unwillingness to learn about the world is something he shares with the villagers.
  • Oh, Crap!: Pirra's belly turns over when she realizes that the reason Kratos knows to look for her hiding place is because he found one of the golden ornaments that got loose from her tunic.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Who is the young Keftian man who gives Hylas the dagger and in what circumstances it came to his possession?
  • Seeking Sanctuary: Subverted. After being first attacked by the Crows, Hylas asks for a sanctuary from Neleos' village which has "spirit gates" to protect the villagers from threats and Outsiders. The villagers refuse to protect him and are happy to let the Crows kill him as long as they're left in peace. Hylas then tries to invoke the law of sanctuary, but Neleos replies that it doesn't apply to Outsiders and tells him to sod off.
  • Sherlock Scan: When Akastos first appears, he makes spot on deductions about Hylas before he has even seen the hiding boy by just observing his tracks and hearing his voice.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the things Hylas salvages from a shipwreck is a wind pouch.
    • The author got the idea of Hylas and Spirit's friendship from a story of an Ancient Greece boy named Dionysios who also befriended a dolphin.
  • Stay with Me Until I Die: The Keftian man who gives Hylas the dagger is afraid to die alone and begs Hylas to stay with him. The boy knows he can't stay in the tomb before the villagers arrive to seal it, so he gathers his gear while trying to respect the dying man's wishes as much as he can. Fortunately for the man, he dies before Hylas can make his exit.
  • Stress Vomit: Telamon vomits in shock when he thinks Hylas has been eaten by a shark.
  • Taken for Granite: Pirra discovers that the Vanished Ones of the island were trapped underground, and their calcified bodies depict them in their last agonizing moments in a similar way to the people of Pompeii.
  • That Liar Lies: Pirra accuses Telamon of lying when the latter truthfully insists he's trying to save Hylas from Kratos during the climax.
  • Threatening Shark: As Hylas drifts to the Island of the Fin People, a shark attempts to eat him until Spirit and his pod drive it away.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Hylas naturally wonders this once he finds out Telamon is a Crow.
  • A Way Out of a Cave-In: Pirra ends up in this situation when an cave-in traps her underground. After crawling her way to a ray of light through the Vanished Ones' calcified corpses and finding a rockfall, she removes rocks to make a hole for herself and successfully gets out when Hylas assists her from the other side.
  • Wham Line: Akastos reveals the dagger's significance while telling Hylas that the Crows must feel threatened because they've lost the amulet that keeps them in power.
    Akastos: The power of the Crows is rooted in a dagger.
  • Wham Shot: The ending of the 31st chapter becomes a nasty surprise for Hylas when the Crows reach the Island and he spots Telamon among them.
  • Yellow/Purple Contrast: Between Hylas and Pirra. Hylas is a yellow-haired commoner who has a much better grip on how to manage in wilderness than Pirra. Pirra, the daughter of Keftiu's High Priestess, wears a purple tunic and knows more about different cultures and religious matters than Hylas.

    The Burning Shadow 
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Kreon finds it amusing that his clan has been nicknamed Crows, so he uses carcasses to have actual crows infesting his stronghold.
  • Beware of Vicious Dog: Kreon's hunting dogs give the heroes trouble.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Thalakrea's volcano erupts at the ending with severe consequences that are still felt in the next book.
  • Climactic Volcano Backdrop: Hylas and Pirra make their way to the top of Thalakrea's volcano in order to have the Lady of Fire destroy the dagger even though the volcano is about to erupt. Telamon catches them up and fights them, permanently ending his friendship with Hylas. Pharax then arrives to take the dagger and drop Hylas into the crater where he's marked by the Lady of Fire and guided out by Havoc's spirit just in time to escape the island.
  • Covered in Mud: Pirra covers herself in mud to throw hunting dogs off the scent. She's still so muddy Hylas briefly mistakes her for a snatcher when she rescues him from one of the dogs.
  • Demonic Possession: The snatchers, the spirits living under Thalakrea's ground, seem to be capable of possessing people. Hylas starts suspecting this has happened to his fellow slave Spit due to the latter's suspicious behavior and withered appearance. It's actually the other slave boy Beetle who's possessed.
  • Dug Too Deep: Kreon has copper ore excavated so deep from Thalakrea that the underground spirits called the snatchers are angered by the slaves trespassing in their domain. He also offends the Lady of Fire for not following the natives' example of avoiding too deep digging and giving the Lady time to heal. With the Crows' act of siccing the Angry Ones on her being the last straw, the Lady releases her fury in the form of a volcanic eruption that destroys Thalakrea and darkens the Sun for seven months.
  • Foreboding Fleeing Flock: Hylas gets a warning of a cave-in when mice and bats are making their escape in the mines. He later realizes that the volcano is about to erupt when he remembers the frogs that abruptly vanished from ponds and seabirds that took flight when they should be roosting.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Pirra reveals that Yassassara invoked this by mating with three different priests when she conceived her daughter.
  • Please Wake Up: Havoc's reaction when she discovers her mother dead.
  • Replaced with Replica: Just when it looks like the heroes have failed to steal the dagger from Kreon's stronghold, Akastos reveals that when nobody was looking, he swapped the real dagger with a copy and smuggled it outside.
  • Slave Brand: Hylas and the other slaves of the Crows have a crow tattooed on their forearms.
  • Stolen MacGuffin Reveal: The Crows take the dagger back from Hylas, only for the last chapter to reveal that they lost it while fleeing from Thalakrea's volcanic eruption. Then it's revealed at the end of Pirra's last section that she managed to steal the dagger when Pharax and Telamon were covered by a landslide and keep it hidden with her as Hylas forced her to board the Keftian ship.
  • Underside Ride: Userref mentions that after the events of the first book, Pirra once tried to escape from the House of the Goddess by clinging to the webbing under a chariot.
  • Verber Creature: The spirits living underground in Thalakrea are called snatchers, and they don't like it when the mining slaves trespass in their domain.
  • What Would X Do?: After Pirra ends up in Thalakrea, she wonders what Hylas would do.
  • Your Answer to Everything: When the House of Koronos is offered Havoc as a gift, Pharax wants to sacrifice her. Alekto snarks that sticking with a knife is her brother's answer to everything.

    Eye of the Falcon 
  • Ant Assault: When Echo falls from her nest as a fledgling, she's attacked by ants when she tries to eat one. Userref rescues her, but the experience leaves her terrified of ants.
  • Beast in the Maze: A giant bull has been left to guard the labyrinthine House of the Goddess after it was evacuated in response to the plague.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: One of the traps Hylas lays for the Crows in the House of the Goddess is a wasp nest.
  • Braving the Blizzard: Hylas ends up getting caught in a snowstorm while desperately trying to find Havoc who ends up guiding him to the hut occupied by Akastos. Both Akastos and Hylas himself lampshade how stupid he was not to wait out the storm even though he has experienced many snowstorms in the Lykonian mountains.
  • Cue the Sun: After seven months of being blotted out by the great ash cloud, the Sun starts shining again at the ending, allowing the spring to finally blossom and Keftiu to be brought back to life.
  • Given Name Reveal: When Hylas questions the meaning of the word Pirákara he hears his Keftian companions using, Pirra reveals it's her full name and that she just prefers her shorter nickname.
  • Heroic Suicide: A secret rite known as the Mystery is about the High Priestess sacrificing herself in order to invoke the Goddess to get rid of the plague and bring the Sun back. Yassassara was planning to perform this as atonement before the plague caught her. With her being the next best choice, Pirra attempts to go through this in the climax, only for Echo to prevent her from killing herself at the last minute.
  • Is That the Best You Can Do?: Kreon throws this taunt at the outmatched Hylas in the climax.
  • The Plague: Some sort of a bubonic plague rampages on Keftiu and has killed a great portion of the populace, including Yassassara. The gods drive it away at the end of the book when Kreon's death appeases the ghosts of the plague's victims.
  • Rope Bridge: As they flee from Taka Zimi, Hylas and Pirra have to cross one that's just one rope to stand on and two other ropes to hold on to. Though Hylas has never trusted such bridges, they've nearly made it across when the Crows catch up to bombard them with arrows. The two heroes then cut the ropes, and though Telamon attempts to cross the bridge himself, he gives up when he understands he can't make it fast enough.

    The Crocodile Tomb 
  • Ancient Egypt: The setting place of this book, more precisely the beginning of the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. The Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos are vaguely referred to when it's mentioned the Perao (Pharaoh) drove away eastern foreigners with the help of the bronze provided by Koronos. The Egyptian gods are called by their Ancient Egyptian names instead of their modern versions which are derived from Greek versions.
  • Bad Moon Rising: At the end of the book, the Moon turns red, and an Egyptian wisewoman states it to foretell the Crows' bloody conquest of all of Akea with the invincibility the dagger of Koronos grants them. When we get back to Akea three months later in the final book, that's exactly what the Crows have been doing.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When Userref is at the mercy of Telamon and Alekto, he manages to break free while still having his arms tied behind his back. Knowing the Crows will recapture him and continue torturing him for the whereabouts of the dagger, he jumps into the Nile and drowns.
  • Bodybag Trick: Hylas is hidden in the coffin of a sacred crocodile that's taken to the Crocodile Tomb during a festival. Once alone in the sealed tomb, he comes out and finds the hidden entrance to Userref's family tomb where he gives Userref's mummy the Spells for Coming Forth by Day and takes the dagger of Koronos from the coffin.
  • The Cavalry: The sudden arrival of Kem and his tribesmen prompts Telamon and the Crows to flee with the dagger and stop trying to kill Hylas and Pirra.
  • Crossing the Desert: Hylas, Pirra, Havoc and Echo face this problem when they reach Egypt. They're only able to reach the Great Green with Kem's help.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: When Nebetku is introduced, he's coughing and reveals he's dying, even showing his bloodstained hands after coughing in them. He does die after Userref's spirit is saved from being wiped out of existence.
  • Last Grasp at Life: The last thing seen of Alekto is her arm reaching for the sky before crocodiles drag her under the Nile's surface.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The Nile has dangerous crocodiles that have bitten off Itineb's hand, threaten Hylas in the Great Green, and eat Alekto during the climax.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Hylas and Pirra find out that the dagger was buried with Userref, Nebetku refuses to let them take it from his family's secret tomb. However, Meritamen tells Nebetku that her spy stole the Spell for Coming Forth by Day from Userref's coffin before it was sealed in the tomb and demands him to give her the dagger if he wishes to save his brother from the second death. With the Houses of Eternity under the watch of the Hati-aa's guards, Nebetku agrees to smuggle Hylas inside the Crocodile Tomb so that he can give Userref's mummy the Spell and leave with the dagger.
  • Pocket Protector: Hylas is saved from being killed by Telamon's arrow by Userref's wedjat amulet which Userref's spirit told him to keep.
  • Spiteful Spit: Pirra spits in Telamon's face after the latter refuses to release her even though Hylas just relinquished the dagger to him.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Pirra does this to Hylas after he's stung by a scorpion.
  • They Died Because of You: Userref's older brother Nebetku blames Pirra for Userref's death because he was caught by the Crows and committed suicide while he was trying to uphold the vow he gave her about keeping the dagger safe from the Crows. She agrees with Nebetku.
  • Together in Death: A sibling variant; after Hylas secures Userref's place in Egyptian afterlife by giving his mummy the Spells for Coming Forth by Day, Userref's older brother Nebetku dies to be with him forever. Pirra even has a dream of them being happily together in the Place of Reeds.
  • Unbroken Vigil: While Hylas is being treated for the scorpion sting, Pirra refuses to leave his side until he's out of the danger of dying.
  • Victorious Roar: After spending the entire book trying to let out a proper roar without success, Havoc finally manages it in the climax after killing the crocodile that was about to attack Hylas and Pirra, making her realization she's a full-grown lioness final.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The book begins with a prologue in which Userref is brought before Telamon and Alekto who offer to let him be buried in the proper Egyptian way in exchange for telling them where the dagger is, but after he refuses to cooperate, they prepare to torture the information out of him. The following first chapter brings us to the main heroes who've just made their way to the coast of Egypt.
  • What Would X Do?: While trying to think of how to make progress in finding the dagger, Telamon asks himself what would Pharax or Koronos do. It occurs to him that he doesn't wonder what would his father do because he has decided the kindly Thestor to be weaker than the dreaded Pharax and Koronos.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: In the climax, Telamon tells Hylas he'll release Pirra only if Hylas gives up the dagger. Hylas complies, but Telamon goes back on his word and threatens to kill Pirra right there if Hylas doesn't reveal himself and bring himself to the range of Telamon's arrows. Rather than being stunned, Pirra spits Telamon in the face and sneers "So much for the honour of the House of Koronos."

    Warrior Bronze 
  • Back for the Finale: Hekabi, Periphas and Akastos, who were all last seen either in The Burning Shadow or Eye of the Falcon, return for the last showdown with the Crows. Spirit, who has also been absent since The Outsiders, returns to make two short appearances. Jinx and Smoke, two of Thestor's horses who briefly appeared in The Outsiders, also make a return, and Jinx even gains a minor role.
  • Battle in the Rain: Telamon and the heroes have their final confrontation on the rainy Ancestor Peak.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: What finally finishes off both Telamon and the dagger of Koronos.
  • Calling Card: Hylas and Pirra are told of a mysterious "shadow thief" who's giving the Crows trouble and leaves behind small clay frogs after each strike. Hylas correctly suspects that the "shadow thief" is Issi since frogs, her favorite animals, were the only thing she could make out of clay.
  • Climbing Climax: The final fight has Telamon climbing up Mount Lykas with the intention of casting the dagger down the crack of the Ancestor Peak, while Hylas, Pirra, Havoc, Echo and Issi chase him to stop him as thunderclouds and the Angry Ones bear down on them.
  • Defector from Decadence: Periphas mentions that one of the Crow warriors who was in the previous book with Telamon in Egypt defected to the rebels' side because witnessing Telamon leaving his aunt to die and Hylas being protected by Echo and Havoc convinced him that he'd be a fool to remain with the Crows.
  • Dishonored Dead: Though Hylas has Telamon's ashes placed next to the latter's father in their ancestral tomb and Akastos decrees honorable rites for the fallen Crow warriors, the ashes of Koronos and Pharax are merely scattered on the wind.
  • Dramatic Thunder: A thunderstorm starts brewing as the rebels prepare to face the Crows in battle. The final fight on the Ancestor Peak against Telamon takes place in a thunderstorm, and Telamon himself is killed when a lightning strike shatters the dagger of Koronos in his hand.
  • Dying Candle: Lapithos has a huge central hearth where the House of Koronos has had a fire burning for generations without letting it die. After Koronos dies and almost everyone abandons the stronghold in terror, the fire has already burned out by the time Pirra enters the great hall while setting Lapithos on fire. It's shortly after this that the House of Koronos becomes completely extinguished when their last living members, Pharax and Telamon, are killed as well.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After five books' worth of hardships and losses, the Crows' reign is put to an end with the destruction of the dagger and the entire House of Koronos. Hylas finally reunites with Issi and mates with Pirra who's free of her constraining position as Yassassara's daughter, and the three of them continue their lives in Lykonia's mountains with Havoc and Echo while occasionally going to see Spirit. Akastos takes back his place as the High Chieftain of Mycenae and frees himself of the Angry Ones by appeasing his brother's ghost with Hylas' help.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: When Hylas is brought to meet the leader of the Akean rebels, the true High Chieftain of Mycenae, the latter is obscured by the darkness of a cave until he steps into the light and reveals himself to be Akastos.
  • I Am the Noun: During the final confrontation, Telamon boasts that he's the House of Koronos before a lightning strike kills him and destroys the dagger, thus fulfilling the oracle.
  • Ironic Last Words: Telamon boasts during the final confrontation that he's the House of Koronos and invincible in defiance to the fact that Lapithos is on fire and all his relatives are dead. The oracle then becomes fulfilled when a lightning strike scorches him and shatters the dagger.
  • Irony: Pirra notes how ludicrous it is for the fire of Lapithos' ancestral hearth, which has incessantly burned for generations, to have died right as the stronghold is about to be destroyed by flames.
  • Let the Past Burn: While the final battle takes place, Pirra and Hekabi set fire to Lapithos, the ancestral stronghold of the House of Koronos that's conveniently deserted from the shock of Koronos' death. It's shortly after this that Telamon, the last living member of the clan, meets his end along with the dagger, putting an end to their legacy once and for all. A rain prevents the fire from destroying the grain stores, though, and the food can be distributed to the people.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Before Hylas rides off to confront Telamon for the last time, he and Pirra share their First Kiss. After he has left, she realizes he also gave Userref's wedjat amulet back to her.
  • Prophecy Twist: After all the assumptions that Hylas is the Outsider mentioned by the oracle, it actually comes to pass when Telamon, the last living member of the House of Koronos, attempts to throw the dagger down the crack in the Ancestor Peak during a thunderstorm. Issi manages to grab the dagger for a brief moment when Telamon drops it, but Hylas, having realized that the bronze is attracting electricity, tells her to let Telamon have it. As Telamon boasts himself to be the House of Koronos, he's struck by a lightning that scorches him and shatters the dagger.
  • Rake Take: It's revealed that Periphas broke his nose by stepping on a hoe when he was a teenager.
  • Rightful King Returns: Akastos is revealed to be the High Chieftain of Mycenae whom Koronos usurped, and he has returned to lead the Akean rebels to end the Crows' tyranny once and for all. After the House of Koronos and their dagger are exterminated and Akastos is freed of the Angry Ones, he proceeds to do his best to rebuild, restore order to Akea and heal the wounds of the past.
  • Rousing Speech: Right before the rebels face the Crows in the final battle, Akastos delivers one to boost the rebels' morale in response to Pharax threatening them with the dagger of Koronos.
  • Ship Tease: There's hinted to be something developing between Akastos and Hekabi in their last appearance.
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: Just when Pharax is about to deliver the deathblow to the injured Akastos, Akastos uses his sword to pierce Pharax through the groin.
  • Unseen No More: Issi finally makes her appearance after spending the entire series as The Ghost.
  • Wham Shot: The end of one of the chapters provides one when Hylas meets the leader of the rebels, the rightful High Chieftain of Mycenae.
    "Rising to his feet, he turned and limped forwards into the light, and stood looking down at Hylas.
    Hylas' heart skipped a beat.
    'Hello, Flea,' said Akastos."