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Literature / The Fate of Paul Twister

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The sequel to The Lay of Paul Twister. Two years after the events of the previous book, Paul gets caught red-handed in one of his burglary attempts and ends up thrown in a dungeon. The story opens with an unlikely benefactor arriving to get him back out, and ends up focusing on a string of bad luck he's been having, and the curse behind it...

The first chapter can be found here. The story has been completed, and the third in the series, The Return Of Paul Twister, is in the works.

The Fate of Paul Twister provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Amazon Chaser: Sarah has Paul pegged as one. (Rather accurately, considering his attitude towards Aylwyn in the first book.)
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: While in prison, Paul didn't want to associate with the other prisoners because most of them were really bad people: murderers, rapists, predatory moneylenders.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: Justified, downplayed (the author seems to love downplayed tropes) and gender-flipped: when the royal agent arrives to get Paul out of prison, she wants him made presentable before he's brought to speak with her, but not because she wants to have her way with him; he's just spent a couple months rotting away in some filthy prison and really needs the cleaning-up.
  • Blatant Lies: Among bards, telling these in a particularly entertaining way is considered the proper etiquette for getting someone to stop asking questions on a subject you'd prefer not to discuss.
  • Bread and Circuses: Invoked by name in Paul's narration; used as part of his plan to help keep people's resentment in check in Aster while the legal system works its way through the root problems behind the revolt.
  • Butt-Monkey: Paul seems to be turning into one as of the first few chapters!
    • It gets worse: it turns out Paul is under a bad luck curse that officially turns him into a Butt-Monkey and will eventually cause him to die in some horrible way if he can't undo it.
  • Curse of Babel: Paul's ability to understand the native language is removed in the epilogue. Also a textbook case of Be Careful What You Wish For, dating back to the first book.
  • Distressed Dude: Lampshaded by Paul when he finds out the identity of the woman who just got him out of prison:
    Now, I’m a pretty forward-thinking guy. By some ways of measuring it, it would not be at all inaccurate to call me the most modern man in the entire kingdom. But even so, there’s just something viscerally humiliating, and maybe even a little bit emasculating, about realizing that you’ve just been rescued from a dungeon… by the Princess.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Paul wasn't expecting Sarah to think turning him into a dragon would be a good idea, and he really wasn't expecting what happened next: getting overwhelmed by the dragon instincts and ending up having sex with dragon!Sarah.
  • Friend Zone: Paul seems to have placed Sarah here rather firmly, despite her clear attraction to him, which occasionally includes blatantly throwing herself at him.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Used by Aylwyn of all people! Though her delivery is less of a command/coercion and more like "I already know you will obey, because I have boobs."
  • I Have Many Names: Paul continues this tradition from the first book, except instead of superheroes, he seems to be using political figures now (at least temporarily.) He was incarcerated under the name of "Thomas Jefferson."
  • Instant Messenger Pigeon: Apparently people use messenger pigeons specially bred by wizards to have the ability to teleport.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: Paul mentions the Chinese word for "crisis" to Aylwyn. She has a slightly different take on it:
    She gave a short laugh and glowered at me. "That sounds right. It’s usually some fool trying to turn a dangerous situation into an opportunity for personal gain that causes things to degenerate into a crisis."
  • Refusal of the Call: Paul gets a very clear Call to Adventure a couple chapters in, but because it came from Ryell, he essentially says "screw that" and heads off in the opposite direction. Interestingly, the expected response never does seem to come...
    • ...until the epilogue, when Ryell's servant Syrixia shows up. She is not happy with Paul.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Apparently the princess of the kingdom is some sort of active agent of her father's, going around taking care of royal business with an escort of knights.
    • Played with: It turns out that the princess is a member of the Royal Knights, but the person who got Paul out of the dungeon was not the princess, but an impostor pretending to be her while actually working for Ryell.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "That’s the downside to having an ability that no one understands: it tends to get misunderstood."
  • Shout-Out:
    • Paul, talking with Aylwyn, argues that the Paladins' role should be police or military, but not both, using an explanation given by Commander Adama in Battlestar Galactica (2003). Amusingly, he says in the narration that "any self-respecting geek" would know this... and then misquotes it pretty badly (while still preserving the essence of the original quote.)
    • Paul starts telling Sarah about the stories of his culture back home. Not long after, they end up in a fight with some bandits, and when she's throwing elemental magic around, she shows off for him (and proves she was paying attention) by gratuitously using Bending moves.
    • When talking with Aylwyn about human psychology, Paul actually quotes The Joker from The Dark Knight (slightly adapted):
    Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan,’ even if the plan is horrifying! If a thief is hanged for stealing, or a few dozen peasants go hungry in the winter, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan.’ But when they say that one little old folk hero was killed, then everyone loses their minds!
  • Sword/Shield Contrast: Eleanor tries to convince Paul that Celestials in general and Aylwyn in particular are not as virtuous as they appear, and to support her point she mentions how Aylwyn always uses a sword and never a shield.
  • Technical Pacifist: In the narration, Paul says that he's never killed anyone and doesn't want to, but as we see in the first book he has no problems with incapacitating people who deserve it and letting Aylwyn finish them off. She arrested him instead of killing him, but he didn't know that at the time.
  • Would Hit a Girl: When Paul discovers that Princess Ashley de Morgan was actually not the princess, but an impostor, he doesn't actually hit her, but he does put her in a choke hold and threaten severe violence against her, because he realized that she was almost certainly putting him in serious danger.