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Literature / The Doomspell Trilogy

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Rachel and Eric have been having dreams. Weird dreams, and the same ones. Their mother doesn't believe them.

Next thing you know, they're being dragged through a weird eye-shaped door in their basement into another world. While freefalling through the air, Rachel realizes - she has magic! After playing around with it a bit, she flies through the air to catch Eric, who for some reason doesn't have magic.

They land on a planet covered in grey snow, and are collected by the Witch Dragwena and the stunted five-hundred-year-old man Morpeth. Turns out that all children on Earth have magic, thousands of children have been kidnapped and enslaved by the Witch, and Rachel is particularly strong and is the child-hope as predicted in a song. She could either set the world of Ithrea free - or become a Witch.

In the second book, The Scent of Magic, Rachel, Eric and Morpeth are living happily on Earth - although Rachel's spells are restless. Dragwena's sisters from the Witch planet of Ool come to Earth to avenge her, and raise an Army of Tyke Bombs to fight Rachel. Turns out, however, that there's a boy with magic stronger than even Rachel's - and he's a toddler called Yemi who loves butterflies.


The third and final book of the trilogy, The Wizard's Promise, takes the premise of the last two books and turns it up to eleven. The magic of every child on Earth has been set free, although this leads to a whole new batch of societal problems. The High Witches have been replaced by even more beastly and bloodthirsty beings called Griddas, who kidnap Yemi and force Rachel and Eric to come to Ool. Cue interplanetary travel (between no less than three planets) and a level of badass you would not expect.



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    Tropes in The Doomspell 

  • Adults Are Useless: Rachel's mother at first refuses to believe Rachel and Eric about their dreams being the same, and for all he tries, their father can't help them.
  • Alien Blood: Apparently, Witches have emerald-green blood.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: EXTREMELY subverted. Rachel loves Eric very much, even if he can be a bit of a brat at times. Justified; he's eight.
  • Book Ends: The adventure itself really begins when Rachel and Eric are pulled through the wall. It ends with them coming home through the wall - plus a few new friends.
  • Break the Cutie: Morpeth, though not on-screen, has been through five hundred years of serving the Witch. Rachel and Eric as well, considering that Eric is eight years old and Rachel isn't much older. And, of course, every other child who's been brought to Ithrea.
  • Chekhov's Skill: While trying to make chocolate sandwiches, Morpeth tells Rachel that 'magic doesn't know what you want'. Later, Rachel realizes that believing that Dragwena was going to turn her into a Witch was what made it happen - 'magic doesn't know what you want'.
  • Dark Is Evil: The first thing that the kids do to lighten up the new Ithrea is a big, big, big, BIG sun. Before that, the snows were grey, the clouds were thick and it was generally not a very bright and happy place.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Oh, Dragwena. The Witch Chews the Scenery like you would not believe.
  • Evil Laugh: Dragwena once again, especially after Rachel is almost done turning into a Witch.
  • Eye Color Change: Rachel has eyes that change colour depending on the spell she is using, these eyes are said to be a wizard trait.
  • Grew a Spine: Rachel finally realizes that Dragwena was only convincing her that she was going to turn into a Witch, and making her own magic do it. This results in her Growing a Spine, standing up and beating Dragwena down.
  • Hope Bringer: Rachel isn't called the Child-Hope for nothing.
  • Inconvenient Itch: Rachel and Morpeth are standing still as statues to fool the prapsies...then Rachel gets a leg cramp.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Morpeth and Rachel (and Eric). Morpeth is five hundred years old, while Rachel is between nine and thirteen. Nevertheless, they become firm friends. Played with in that Morpeth never really grew up, and is returned to his child-form at the end of the book.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Despite how exhausted Rachel and Morpeth are, they have to walk all the way from Lake Ker, over the Low Hills, through the Dragwood and to Latnap Deep before the Witch and her spies catch up with him.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Dragwena.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the Doomspell is unleashed, and again with the Manag. For Dragwena, it's when Larpskendya shows up.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Dragwena, Larpskendya, Morpeth, Leifrim, Trimak...uh, how about everyone except Rachel and Eric?
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Narnia: So some siblings get pulled thrfough a door and into a snow-covered land that needs to be liberated from an Evil Witch, and there is a Godlike Being who saves the day right at the very end of the day...
  • Smug Snake: Dragwena. AGAIN. This woman deserves her own folder.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Rachel after some training with Morpeth, and at the end of the book. Somehow.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The book starts with Dragwena waiting for the children.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dragwena, when Rachel defeats the Doomspell, then again after Larpskendya appears.
  • Wicked Witch: Dragwena, once more.

     Tropes found in The Scent of Magic 

  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Witches.
  • Always Lawful Good: The Wizards.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Fola's attitude to Yemi before she realizes that he is Goo Goo Godlike.
  • Blatant Lies: Calen and Heebra telling Heiki that they'll make her a Witch. Nope.
  • Break the Haughty: Heiki. Oh dear god, Heiki. The Witches made her build her OWN GALLOWS while everyone watched, after being practically ripped to pieces by the kids on her own side.
  • Determinator: Heiki can be accused of a lot of things, but cowardice and lack of resolve are not among them. Unfortunately, it doesn't get her a reprieve from Calen after having failed once.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: Rachel's new spell-eyes. They change colour depending on which spells are leaping to her mind first.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It is clear that Heebra cared deeply for Dragwena.
  • Freudian Excuse: Rachel digs around in Heiki's head and finds out that she was abandoned as a child and that's why she wants revenge on adults. Actually works extremely well and leads to her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Goo-Goo-Godlike: Yemi.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: From Heebra, of all people. After realising that the Big Good Chessmaster Larpskendya has manipulated events to cause the magically charged fury of every child on Earth to devastate the North Pole and destroy everyone there, Heebra takes the full force of it herself in order to prevent all her elite witches from dying. This means, much to her fury, saving Larpskendya and the children too.
  • Hope Bringer: Yemi again, taking over from Rachel.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The Witches and the Wizards. The Rubber-Forehead Aliens trope is quite neatly subverted, although resulting in Nightmare Fuel.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Heebra's last thought is that she has doomed her race by unleashing the Griddas. Larpskendya feels this way too, for pushing Heebra far enough to do this.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Heebra, Calen, Heiki
  • One-Gender Race: Witches are all female. Alternatively, the Wizards are all male. Hmmm...
  • Oh, Crap!: Calen has a big one when Larpskendya descends to Earth to do battle... along with dozens of other powerful Wizards.
    'Mother!' she screamed at the sky. 'You promised only Larpskendya!'
  • Puny Earthling: The witches are astonished at how frail Earth creatures are; even without their magic, witches are extremely tough and physically formidable creatures, and their Death World homeworld is likewise filled with animals that have evolved to be much stronger than Earth animals. Heebra, however, notes that while humans may be physically frail, their killer instincts have a lot of potential.
  • Wicked Witch: The Witches, including Dragwena's mother Heebra and sister Calen.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Heiki temporarily gains Rachel's trust by allowing the witches to truly hurt her so badly she almost dies, after carefully confirming that Rachel has healing powers.
  • You Have Failed Me: Calen subscribes to the Darth Vader school of thought on this.

    Tropes found in The Wizard's Promise 

  • Berserk Button: If you want to stay on Yemi's good side, do NOT touch Fola.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The Witches and Wizards are actually the same race. Played with at the end; there are High Witches...then there are regular, still-same-race-as-Wizards Witches. And then there's the Griddas. Bizarre Sexual...Quadramorphism? Except three are female. Serpantha and Larpskendya have their hands full...
  • Blatant Lies: Gultrathaca. Come to Ool and we'll talk peace, and let Yemi go... Eric, help me free the Griddas from the prison world... Honestly, most of the witches are guilty of this. To be fair, the various characters' reactions to these lies ranges from deep suspicion to outright disbelief
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Everything is ok at the end, but gosh was it difficult.
  • Everybody Lives: Wait, what? Really?
  • Eye Scream: Yemi decides that there's something wrong with the Gridda's eyes and tries to fix them. It takes him ten tries and their screams to realize what he's doing wrong. Kind of.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Yemi! He manages to attract every animal and person to him, and for the sentient ones, give them peace, happiness and a new way of thinking. A veritable little Toddler Guru.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The prapsies and Eric, as well as Rachel and Heiki.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Turns out there's only two Wizards left. Why? Because only a few are born every generation.
  • Innocence Lost: Poor little Yemi gets this when he realizes all the Griddas are actually trying to kill him.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: EVERYBODY knows who Rachel and Eric are now. They even have fan clubs! Yemi is possibly even more legendary, minus the part where Rachel and Eric are now old enough to be attractive.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Gultrathaca, Griddas (species name)
  • Not Quite Dead: Rachel after being poked with poison-spikes. The Essa manage to save her.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: The High Witches were bad enough, with their red skin, gigantic flappy noses, teeth-cleaning spiders and four moving and interchanging jaws, but holy shit the Griddas. Gigantic shielded eyes, brown fur, orange skin, five jaws (one on the back of their head) and claws.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Eric, the 'spell-destroyer'. He nearly kills every single Gridda in existence in one fell swoop. The spectrums are TERRIFIED of him. Except he's their leader. Oh.
  • Protected by a Child: In a literal sense; Yemi refuses to let anyone be hurt, shielding everyone from Griddas to children to blobs who have decided that he is awesome. Makes Sense in Context.
  • Put on a Bus: Sadly, the awesome Morpeth is Put on a Bus for this book, remaining on Ithrea on a visit to his friends while all this multi-world badassery goes on. He doesn't even appear in the finale.
  • Spikes of Doom: A poisonous variant is used by Gultrathaca to defeat Rachel.