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Literature / Indigo

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Long ago, a great crisis destroyed and remade the world. Generations later, the people of the Southern Isles know better than to go near the Tower of Regrets.

But Princess Anghara, driven by curiosity and resentment of her sheltered life, breaks that ancient law. Seven demons, representing the sins of humanity, break loose and destroy all that she holds dear. And Anghara—now calling herself Indigo—is granted immortality by a divine emissary, so as to have time to undo what she has wrought.

This Low Fantasy series, written by the late British author Louise Cooper, has been called "an original take on the Pandora's Box myth."

The eight books in the series are:

  • Nemesis
  • Inferno
  • Infanta
  • Nocturne
  • Troika
  • Avatar
  • Revenant
  • Aisling

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Indigo is something of one.
  • The Ageless: Indigo and Grimya, maybe. They do not age, but even they don't know whether they can be killed by injury or disease. (There's actually a point in Avatar where an illness sends Indigo into a coma and Grimya is worried that she'll be stuck like that if she doesn't recover...but Indigo does recover, so it's ultimately a moot point.)
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Several aversions. Jessamin in Infanta and Carlaze in Troika come to mind. Conversely, Niahrin in Aisling is decidedly a good character; and, while she's attractive enough otherwise, half of her face is horribly scarred.
  • Beauty Is Bad: While not every attractive character is evil, most of the evil characters are attractive (and immediately described so). Indigo herself is a subversion; she's stated several times to be fairly attractive, although not much focus is put on her looks.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Indigo's long-lost fiancé Fenran resurfaces. Indigo kills him. It's for the best. The endings of several specific books count as well. (For example, in Infanta, Luk Copperguild—aged thirteen—becomes the king of Khimiz after losing his father, his uncle, and the girl he's loved since childhood. And in Troika, Fenran's relatives are freed from a family curse, but not before it devastates them.)
  • Blessed with Suck: How Indigo's immortality and Grimya's speech and telepathy are treated at first. (Grimya's immortality, on the other hand, was a reward for being such a loyal friend, and is never treated otherwise.)
  • Blind Seer: Karim Silkfleet, in Infanta. Niahrin may partially count as well; she has the second sight in her bad left eye.

  • Crapsaccharine World: In Nocturne, Indigo and friends see "a breathtakingly beautiful landscape...redolent with an aura of complete and implacable evil" through one of the demon's doorways.
  • Dark World: Seen in several volumes, notably Nemesis and Nocturne.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: In Troika, Indigo falls in love with Fenran's identical grandnephew Veness. Veness, unsurprisingly, is dead by the end of the book.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Vinar towards Indigo. He moves on and ends up with Niahrin in the end.
  • Dystopia: Joyful Travail, a town devoted to efficiency at any cost. Also Vesinum, ruled by a brutal demon cult.
  • Elemental Powers: The most obvious example is Jasker, who's a pyromancer and a priest of a fire goddess.
  • Enfant Terrible: Jessamin—a sweet and innocent orphaned princess, raised from infancy to be the bride of a warlord and legitimize his claim on her kingdom—turns out to be the second demon in human form. Bear in mind that Indigo spends over a decade mistakenly thinking that the warlord is the demon's avatar.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Niahrin, although her eyepatch represents less outright badassery than the fact that her ruined and very unnerving left eye is magic.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Subverted with Niahrin, half of whose face is a mess.
  • Horse of a Different Color: A "chimelo" is either a dromedary (as described by someone with no point of reference except horses) or a sort of impossible camel/horse hybrid.
  • Identical Grandson: Veness, a relative of Fenran's, looks eerily like him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Phereniq Kala will do anything for Augon Hunnamek—who's oblivious to her feelings for him—even if it breaks her heart and ages her before her time. After he's killed by the Serpent who Devours, she sinks into apathy; it's only by challenging her to avenge him—since Augon would have approved—that Indigo gets her to help defeat the demon.
  • Lady Macbeth: Carlaze's scheming does a number on the Bray family. She and her husband get their just deserts in the end, but it's pyrrhic as hell.
  • Loving a Shadow: To say that Indigo didn't really know Fenran as well as she thought that she did would be an understatement.
  • Love Hurts: It might be easier to count the times when love doesn't hurt. Or outright kill.
  • Meaningful Name: Indigo takes on that name because the color represents death and mourning in her homeland. The seeress Phereniq is instrumental to Augon Hunnamek's successes; her name is a derivative of Veronica (although she's decidedly not one) or Berenice, both of which mean "bringer of victory." Augon himself has a surname containing the word "human," which may foreshadow the fact that he is not, in fact, the demon in Infanta. The Brabazon family in Nocturne are all named after virtues...and while some of them live up to their names, the rather insufferable Modesty is a blatant subversion.
  • Mind Screw: Lots of them.
  • Noble Wolf: Grimya, what with being The Heroine's confidante and Non-Human Sidekick. Indigo in her shapeshift form may also count.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Grimya again; she usually poses as Indigo's guard dog.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They embody the misdeeds and fatal flaws of humanity.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different, although Indigo is never expressly identified as a "werewolf."
  • Red Herring: Infanta is the most blatant one. Indigo spends the entire book plotting to bring down Augon, thinking that he's the avatar of the Serpent who Devours. And then the real demon—Jessamin—ends up eating Augon.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Fenran (to Indigo) and Jessamin (to both Luk Copperguild and Augon Hunnamek). Or so you're led to think; both end up subverted with a vengeance, and not in a good way.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: What sets the entire story in motion.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Indigo and Fenran, or so you spend most of the series thinking, anyway. Also, Moia and Gordo in Troika—until Carlaze interfered, with tragic results—and Yima and Tiam in Avatar (probably the only example in the series that ends well).
  • Talking Animal: Again, Grimya, who can also communicate telepathically with (at least) Indigo. She can also speak aloud, although it takes significant effort. When she's first introduced, she's ashamed of her abilities: Her mother and siblings tried to kill her as a pup—although the wolves of the pack she befriends in the final book accept her as she is—and humans tend to mistake her for a demon.
  • The Undead: The hushu in Avatar and the ghost in Troika...but not the "vampire" in Nocturne, as that's just one of the demon's illusions..
  • Unrequited Love: Infanta practically runs on it. Also seen in Nocturne, Troika, and Aisling.
  • Together in Death: Moia and Gordo, again.
  • Walking the Earth: Indigo and Grimya spend centuries traveling across the world, in order to destroy the demons Indigo unleashed.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Indigo's immortality is initially presented as a curse.
  • Wife Husbandry: Augon Hunnamek's plan for Jessamin in Infanta. It ended very, very badly.