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Literature / The Catastrophe of the Emerald Queen

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"When bored and curious eleven year old boy Jared Miller stumbles upon a monstrous assassin in her room, he and Sophie are saved only by the intervention of a warrior from the magical world of Alegria, a world linked to our own by Sophie and a world which is in dire peril as long as she remains in her coma.
"Kidnapped and taken to Alegria, Jared is the only person that can save the kingdom from the evil King James and restore it to its former peaceful glory.
"But he is also the key that could bring an end to Alegria forever."

A magical fantasy adventure by LR Manley. Published in 2012 on Amazon Kindle and by CreateSpace.

The Catastrophe Of The Emerald Queen provides examples Of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Jared's parents, especially his father. The local police in Sylvia's area not to mention the Firearms Police from Heathrow airport.
  • Afterlife Antechamber: The Gryphoids. They visit the recently expired and freeze time to tell them their life story before they move on. In Leppard's case this is all the selflessness and acts of generosity. In King James's case it's left to the imagination but as the Gryphoid says "where shall we begin?"
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Alegria's Emerald Castle.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Kind of. Rancidrain is a hideous, bald, spindly BLIND assassin who Jared finds attempting to whack Sophie in hospital. As Rancidrain is about to gleefully kill him, Mordalayn comes through a portal into the room. Rancidrain is instantly reduced to a gibbering ball of fear.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Mordalayn is the Emerald Queen’s bodyguard and is nigh unbeatable. Only King James comes close to him in a sword fight.
    • Also the Emerald Queen. Everyone is in awe and/ or scared of her. She's the only person Mordalayn shows any true respect for beyond mere courtesy. She also turns 30+ special forces soldiers into old men with just a wave of her hand and a few words...and she's ELEVEN.
  • Badass Boast: Mordalayn has several of these but the best one has to be "march back to Anghofio with what little honour you possess, promise never to return and I will spare your life and the lives of your men!". Worth noting that he is facing 1000 soldiers on his own at this point.
  • BFS: Mordalayn’s sword. It has 3 blades and is so large he wears it on his back. It’s also booby trapped and takes off the hand of an enemy who tries to pull it out the scabbard. Finally it becomes a Weapon of Mass Destruction and the two outer blades magically annihilate all but a handful of King James’s invading army.
  • Big Heroic Run: Mordalayn and Jared. The former to save Jared from a Glaver attack at Heathrow airport. The latter to save Sophie from a trap.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality:
    • Mordalayn fights dirty on several occasions, including deliberately breaking a drunken soldier's leg, just because the man annoyed him. He also kills over 1000 people throughout the course of the book and barely restrains himself from murdering an unarmed opponent in a duel.
    • Also Bue who is clearly a brat but has his heart in the right place.
    • And Maximo. Who betrays everyone but had his reasons.
  • Bully Hunter: Mordalayan.
    • (actually this doesn't really describe HOW much he hates bullies!)
  • The Chain of Harm: The jailer who fell asleep meaning Jared, Bue, Scious, Kloee and Mordalayn all escaped. King James acts as if it's no big deal as the man kneels before him frightened out of his wits. It is however VERY clear that James is not the forgiving type.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The gladiatorial fight in front of King James and his Daggers (Special Forces legion). Also the final battle where the statues come to life and Mordalayn annihilates all but a handful of the invading army…with just his SWORD!!!
  • Dare to Be Badass: Jared, a normal 11 year old boy, who by the novel's end has to single handedly save Sophie's life and also defeat Madame Veer who is trying to kill him. Although to be fair, he only won that fight through luck.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Harrod and Crow. Pose as priests to enter the inner sanctum and summon Sophie from our world. Even Harrod is surprised at how easy this is to achieve.
  • Dirty Coward: Aiden the bully, Galfront Siavy.
    • (although the jury's out on Galfront as he could be argued to simply have a We Have Reserves mentality or just a refined sense of self preservation)
  • The Dragon: King James, who is the only person to last longer than 3 seconds in a fight with Mordalayn.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Mordlayn’s treatment of the bully Aiden. Kloee’s reaction when she finds out Kulkrain is hurt. Bue’s bravery when the mercenaries attack the orphanage. Sophie’s return when she punishes the surviving King’s Daggers. Galfront Siavy throwing one of his own men into the path of a Vagthunder.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Averted. King James has no redeeming qualities whatsoever and Galfront Siavy pushes one of his own men into the path of a pursuing Vagthunder to gain time to escape.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Played with. The novel's events happen over 3 or 4 days in Alegria. However it is made clear that time passes 3x faster there than on Earth so Jared was actually only away from home for about a day.
  • Friend to All Children: Maximo Averted slightly as he is clearly a nice guy with a lot of affection for kids yet sends Jared and Mordalayn (and unintenionally Bue and Leppard) to King James via the Shimmer. To be fair he had no choice but hey!
  • Giving the Sword to a Noob: King James's guard who loses a hand after trying to take Mordalayn's 3 bladed sword out of its sheath.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Milus Forsinavue. Mordalayn steals his coach and horses, resulting in Milus's sacking by his employer. Not that he seems to care overly much.
  • Hilarity Ensues: The doorkeeper at Arkayle orphanage who bites Mordalayns’ finger. Also when Kulkrain falls on top of Kloee. She thinks he did it on purpose and angrily berates him before realising he’s actually badly injured.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Averted and then some. Galfront Siavy thinks nothing of getting his own men killed, sometimes to save himself. One of his men leaves another to face death by Vagthunder.
  • Indy Escape: The Vagthunder. Summoned by Challandra after Siavy's men attack the orphanage.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Nearly averted. King James orders Bue killed but Leppard offers himself instead.
  • Invincible Hero: Averted. Mordalayn only survives the Glaver attack at the end due to Bue’s intervention. He also fares relatively badly against King James in the final duel.
    • He arguably only survived the gladiator fight due to Jared and Bue.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: Bue is clearly a brat but has his heart in the right place.
  • Karmic Death: King James, who is thrown off the battlements of Alegria castle by Mordalayn, almost identical to the way he murdered Leppard. Also Madame Veer who is caught in the same trap she had set for Sophie. Whether she died or not is left ambiguous. Galfront Siavy gets captured by the same group of animals that had earlier caught Bue and Jared. Rancidrain is killed by his own weapon. Almost identical to the one he tried to assassinate Sophie with.
  • Last Villain Stand: King James. All but about 30 of his men are dead. He challenges Mordalayn to a duel, knowing that even if he wins he will spend the rest of his life in a dungeon.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Averted. Mordalayn improvises and fights dirty all the time. King James loses a duel against Mordalayn then tries to backstab him. Mordalayn pretends to reach for an opponent's sword then simply kicks the man in the leg, breaking it.
  • Mangst: Mordalayn. Manages to hold it all in until Sophie returns, at which point he breaks down and cries, offering to resign as her bodyguard and asking for forgiveness for the amount of people he's killed.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Used then averted with Mordalayn and Scious. Mordlayn assumes he or Jared are about to be attacked and his actions result in the people in Arkale laughing at him. He then takes out two soldiers who wanted to torture Scious, thus reinstating his status as a badass in the townspeoples' eyes.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: King James. By leaving Bue and Jared alone together in the Abyss room he unwittingly provides Jared with the means to escape.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Averted. Mordalayn's sword becomes a raging torrent of lethal power, wiping out all but a handful of the King's Daggers. The effects of this are made very clear.
  • One-Man Army: Mordalayn, who wipes out all but a few of the King’s Daggers single handedly and takes on both Glavers and an armed police unit at Heathrow airport.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Any of Galfront Siavy’s men. Also the jailer who fell asleep, although whether he is killed or not is never revealed.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Kind of. King James and Mordalayn duel on the forecourt of the royal palace of Alegria. It is however a mile above ground level, enabling Mordalayn to throw James's dying body over the battlements and into the forest below.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Galfront Siavy. Survives the final battle by running away.
  • Teleport Interdiction: Shimmer can only take a maximum of 4 people and once you've gone has to be reset manually. This however was spoken by Madame Veer who could have been lying just to justify not taking everyone together to allow her time to set up her trap for Jared.
  • Time for Plan B: Averted. Alegria became over confident and complacent. When Sophie falls into a coma and can no longer dream her way into Alegria as the queen, there is no way to bring her back and no Plan B to fall back on.
  • Underestimating Badassery: The two guards who attempt to torture Scious. Mordalayn warns them to back off but they are drunk and contemptuous of his now defunct role in their hierarchy. They learn very quickly not to annoy The Queen's Sword. Also the man in the gladiator fight who attacks an unarmed Mordalayn with his sword, then gets his neck broken for his troubles.
  • The Unreveal: It is never made clear why Mordalayn has the head of a Caracal cat. Other characters simply accept it without question (although Jared remarks on it a few times). Also his “terrible tragedy” that led to him resigning as an army general and becoming Sophie’s bodyguard is never revealed.
  • Violence Is Disturbing:
    • The message of the book. Mordalayn is nothing except bad tempered and aggressive throughout the book yet breaks down in tears when he finally sees Queen Sophie again. Also the scene with Aiden and Maria is sickening yet makes it quite clear that Aiden is beyond the reach of normal discipline and that Mordalayn's intervention is the only thing that can stop the situation.
    • Also, Leppard's death as he simply vanishes, but then we see him, smashed and broken at the bottom of the Abyss Room.
  • Violence is the Only Option: Kind of. The quote at the beginning of the book sums it up with the line "to turn the other cheek once is noble. Twice is an invitation to brutality".
  • Warp Zone: The Shimmer can only be used from specific points and places.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Bue's attitude to nearly all hair's breadth escapes he is involved in.
  • You Have Failed Me: The jailer. The men forced to fight as gladiators.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Or world, to be more accurate.