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Spellster is a fantasy/LGBT romance series by Aldrea Alien. The first book is In Pain and Blood.
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The story revolves around the magic-wielder Dylan, who joins the King's Army as a leashed weapon only to have things go horribly wrong when an ambush leaves him unleashed and at the risk of being branded a deserter. In order to return to his old life before the crown discovers his unleashed status, Dylan must rely on the elven man, Tracker, to protect him even when the man’s very presence awakens Dylan’s long-repressed desire.


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Tropes in the Spellster series:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: The King's Hounds, along with Tracker, are dosed from the age of five until they gain this trait.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: When Tracker is cut across the arm during a skirmish, Dylan tends to the man's wound.
  • Anti-Magic: The King's Hounds are immune to magic. Even the beneficial kind.
  • Badass Bookworm: Dylan, what with being locked away and with little do but read and practice magic.
Also Katarina, being an archaeologist type character more than capable of fending for herself.
  • Barrier Warrior: A lot of the mages in the story are this, but Dylan is amongst the more competent.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Tracker and Dylan. Once in a pond. Another time in an actual bath.
  • Battle Couple: Tracker, being an assassin-type, and the mage, Dylan.
    • Although Authril and Dylan could also count before a certain elven man appears.
  • Braidsof Action: Tracker's hair is described as being in one long, thick braid.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The collars spellsters in the story are leashed with strips them of the ability to use their magic.
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  • Cannot Spit It Out: Definitely describes Tracker's inability to tell Dylan how he feels.
  • Casual Kink: Tracker with practically anything involving sex.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Dylan is described as having black hair and dark eyes. Katarina has brown hair and eyes.
    • Apart from whips. He draws the line at those.
  • Children Forced to Kill: The King's Hounds are trained to fight and kill any mage they deem dangerous. Or each other if ordered.
  • More a "coming out to self".
  • Covered with Scars:
    • Not only does Tracker have a Storyboard Body, but has a multitude of scars from his Hound training.
    • Authril, too, is shown to have her fair share of them.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Tracker was torn from his mother at birth, trained to kill, poisoned, beaten, made to kill his past lovers and then whored out. All before he hits his twenties.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A lot of the characters are guilty of this, but Tracker's likely the worst.
  • Death Glare: Quite a number of the cast is fond of these. Dylan and Authril being the more notable.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Tracker's pawprint tattoo is a symbol of the King's Hounds, who are the kingdom's foremost assassins and trackers of all things magical.
  • Fantasy Metals: Infitialis is a rare, semi-unstable purple metal capable of nullifying magic.
  • Fiery Redhead: Tracker has russet hair. Authril's is an orangy-red. Marin is described as being a dark red auburn. All of them have their separate outbursts throughout the novel.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Dylan only really starts to trust Tracker after his home is destroyed.
  • Glass Cannon: Dylan's magic is battlemage strong, but he's physically very weak.
  • Hands-On Approach: Tracker with teaching Dylan how to properly hold a sword.
  • Healing Factor: Through his training, Dylan is capable of patching a variety of wounds.
  • Heal It with Booze: Whilst performing an After-Action Patch-Up, Dylan pours whiskey on the wound.
    • Tracker then proceeds to drink the rest.
  • Hidden Depths: Tracker seems to be all about in-the-moment pleasure. We later learn this is due to a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Hot-Blooded: Tracker's a pretty laid back guy, but he's just as likely to skewer whoever pushes the wrong button.
    • Also don't remind Authril she's an elf. Or hit on her.
  • In It for Life:
    • Being a spellster means Dylan cannot leave the tower without being leashed. Even then, his only chance is being a weapon in the army.
    • Only way out of the King's Hounds is through death.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Tracker. So many times.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Dylan and the group face a number of these throughout the story, from highwaymen to people actually out to kill them.
    • Tracker in his teens. Fighting your equally-reluctant lovers will do that.
  • It's All My Fault: Dylan in his belief that he's to blame for the death of his scouting party.
  • Jumped at the Call: When the spellster tower requested people to join the army, Dylan couldn't wait for the chance.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: The King's Hounds aren't allowed to form romantic attachments, so when they do amongst themselves, only the strongest can survive.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Tracker's braid reaches his waist.
  • Mage Killer: Pretty much what the King's Hounds are trained to do if their target cannot be coerced into the spellster tower.
  • Multi-Melee Master: The King's Hounds are taught proficiency in a variety of weapons and Tracker's no exception. He's only marginal in archery, though.
  • My Greatest Failure: What Dylan considers his inability to warn the army encampment in time to halt their destruction.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: Dylan's first experience of Bathtub Bonding leads to him keeping his underwear on.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Inverted in that the dwarves are arboreal, nature-loving beings.
  • Parental Abandonment: A lot of the main cast suffer from this. Dylan through the tower's separation policy. Authril through poverty. Tracker through his birth.
  • But not before Authril, Marin and Katarina wreck the tavern.
  • And Katarina, to a lesser extent.
  • Storyboard Body: Tracker is described as having multiple types of tattoos on both arms, a sword running down his spine and a pawprint behind his ear.
  • Slave Collar: Collars are the most logical method to apply the Restraining Bolt to mages in the army.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: Dylan during his first ever attempt to swim.
    • To be fair, before then, the deepest water he'd ever seen was a bathtub.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Tracker reveals to have been beaten and whipped multiple times during his childhood.
  • Torture Always Works: Slightly subverted in that Tracker doesn't believe the guy he tortures. Until he gains extra information from a more reliable source.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Given Tracker and Authril's short stature and pointed ears, a lot of folk underestimate their abilities until they taste their own spine.
    • Dylan, too, being that the mage is often mistaken for a priest.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Considering his Dark and Troubled Past, Tracker is more than understanding when things go south for Dylan.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: The group will do their best to talk their way through, but that often leads them right back to cracking skulls.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Elven eyes are often described in words such as sea-green and honey-coloured.


Alternative Title(s): In Painand Blood

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