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Literature / The Magic Trials

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You are special. You are the Keye.
The Magic Trials is a fantasy web novel written by Emma 'EmmaTheEnderGirl' Faith, published in 2016 on Wattpad. The book revolves around ordinary middle schooler Ells Ender, trying to keep a low profile and avoid making her magical abilities known by her peers. However, she one day receives a letter, stating she has been chosen participate in The Magic Trials; a famous battle between magically-gifted kids and teens. This ultimately results in her whole worldview on magic to change, with the added bonus of discovering new powers she never thought she had, as well as finally find out the truth about her long-dead father.
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As of May 2017, the book is on permanent hiatus.

The Magic Trials provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Aaron threatens and essentially assaults Ells in ‘Aaron Shows His True Colors’, but since there are conveniently no one else in the room except Team Nightblade as it happened, no one does anything about it or even tries to report Aaron to an adult figure.
    • The same can be said for the scarily violent kids from Team Explosion.
    • No one hears the ongoing fight with Wendy in the storage room in ‘Chaos, Everywhere’. Considering they’re on lockdown and alert for any signs of the Chaos spy, it’s odd how there aren’t any guards around.
  • Aerith and Bob: We have Hunter, Dimitry, Violet, Wendy, Aaron and Connor, but we also have Ells, Astrid, Crystal, Red, Pitchi, and Mrs. Celestia. Given that this is a world filled with magic, it’s pretty acceptable.
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  • A.I.-cronym: BCC, short for Binary Chaos Companion.
  • Alice Allusion: Ells compares falling down the entrance to the Iron Lantern to Alice falling down the rabbit hole in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Alliterative Name: Ells Ender and Connor Coal.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The main reason for Aaron threatening Ells in ‘Aaron Shows His True Colors’, the latter being the only person on her team who wasn’t knocked unconscious while being in contact with the Chaos-Enchanted vines.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Astrid is depicted as having a brown skin tone in artwork, so we can assume Crystal does also, but their ethnicity is never stated in the actual book. It’s worth nothing that Astrid’s design (and ultimately, skin tone) originated from a piece of fanart.
  • Are We There Yet?: Wendy To Violet while going up an elevator for an incredibly long period of time in ‘Mr. Coal and our Mini Team’.
    Wendy Are we there yet?
    Violet: No.
    Wendy: How about now?
    Violet: No, Wendy, no.
    Wendy: How about now?
    Violet: Yes.
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  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Violet and Dimitry.
  • Berserk Button: Astrid and Violet certainly get anxious and/or furious whenever Ells is in danger. Violet’s button being pushed was the main reason for her and Astrid’s argument in the appropriately titled chapter, ‘The Argument’.
  • Big "NO!": Astrid pulls one in ‘Chaos, Everywhere’, as he tackles Wendy to the ground.
  • Brand X: Averted. All brand names are directly referenced, such as Hershey’s, Netflix and Minecraft.
  • Capital Letters Are Magic: (insert element) Magic, Keye, Queste, Sprite, and Lunar Sphere, among others.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The six types of magic and the Guardians who are most commonly associated with them; red for Fire Magic and Astrid, blue for Water Magic and Hunter, green for Earth Magic and Dimitry, gray for Air Magic and Violet, purple for both Lunar Magic and Ells and Chaos Magic.
  • Cooldown Hug: In ‘Dimitry, The Third Guardian of Magic’, Dimitry’s powers as the Third Guardian finally awaken, and he is overcome with fear and panic, hearing voices. Violet attempts to calm him down and ends up hugging him out of all things, returning Dimitry back to normal. Using a Magic Stone, Violet erases the memory of the hug from Dimitry and Hunter’s minds soon after, however.
  • Cute Is Evil: The Mizu Distortion the gang faces in the chapter of the same name. The Distortion takes form of a tiny, cute blue creature. Hunter originally tries to destroy it right away, but ends up falling victim for the illusion and fawns over it, picking it up. As soon as he does, however, the creature grows up to seven feet tall, along with bearing razor-sharp fangs.
  • Dangerous Eighteenth Birthday: Before all magic users turn eighteen, they’re needed to choose an element of magic they wish to specialize in. They’ll still have their abilities involving their non-chosen element, but they’ll be weaker in comparison to the chosen element. If they don’t make the choice before their birthday, all magic will be stripped away from them forever.
  • Death by Depower: Essentially what a Chaos Circle does. In ‘Chaos, Everywhere’, Wendy traps Ells in one of these, draining her of her energy so she’s too weak to struggle, then tying her up in the middle, the Chaos Circle proceeding to drain her of her magic.
    Wendy: And, I will suck every single drop of magic out of her, until she is nothing, but a dried up piece of fruit!
  • Disappeared Dad: Ells’ father died prior to the book in a car crash, due to the mechanical gears coming out of the car, stabbing him in the heart. Although Ells denies it, Simon has said that her father is still alive, being sent to take his daughter to him.
  • Elemental Powers: The main basis of magic; Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Lunar, and Chaos.
  • Element Number Five: There’s two; Lunar Magic (which like its namesake, is associated with stars and other celestial bodies and is incredibly hard to master) and its direct counterpart, Chaos Magic, which is usually the root of all evil in this universe and has proven to be dangerous for any person who comes in contact with it.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Ms. Kuro’s first scene involves her suddenly appearing at Ells’ school, which of course, causes a lot of shock, surprise and confusion, so you know she means business. Her interaction with Ells presents her as a powerful figure, both in authority and her skill in Lunar Magic.
    • Wendy is shown to be very perky and Genki Girl-like when she first meets Ells.
    • Violet has a very stoic and deadpan demeanor in her introductory scene.
    • Crystal’s first ever speaking line involves her complaining about there being no wifi signal, already establishing her as a Phoneaholic Teenager.
    • Aaron is first introduced by threatening Ells as he pins her to the wall. A few chapters later, a few other teammates tell Ells about Aaron wanting to be the best Lunar Mage, letting nothing get in the way of that goal. Soon after, two make eye contact and Aaron mouths the words ‘I will break you’.
  • Evil All Along: Wendy, who is revealed to be the Chaos spy in ‘Time to Strike’.
    • Ms. Kuro is also hinted to be this.
  • Face Your Fears: Astrid somewhat gets over his fear of heights by climbing a tree to grab some fruit in ‘Astrid Conquers Heights’.
  • Fictional Earth: Numbered ‘Sectors’ seem to to take place of countries. Much like actual countries, it can be assumed that each Sector has a different culture and social status in the world, since it’s big news when someone from Sector 14 (which also happens to be a small island) is chosen to compete in the Magic Trials.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Crystal is a phone-obsessed airhead who tends to be completely oblivious to everything around her, while Astrid is actually reasonably intelligent and is the one keeping his sister in check.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Id — Astrid, the Adorkable Nice Guy who’s completely driven by his emotions and his feelings towards the people he cares about, especially Ells.
    • Supergo — Violet, The Stoic Ice Queen who acts based on logic. It also helps that she has allegedly lived the current timeline over and over again, having the knowledge of every single thing that happens.
    • Ego — Ells, who happens to be the reason Astrid and Violet act the way they do.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Most of these fall under colors and elements, such as kuro (Japanese for ‘black’), aika (Japanese for ‘fire’) and mizu (Japanese for ‘water’).
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The King of Chaos.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Violet currently undergoes this, only coming to an end once the King of Chaos is vanquished. Only those who are under the King of Chaos’ rule seem to be aware of it.
  • Hand Gagging: Dimitry does this to Violet in ‘Late Night Owls’ in order to shut her up and keep her from waking Ells and Astrid, who are currently sleeping on the couch. Violet slightly blushes in response.
  • Henshin Hero: The Guardians have a special form accessed through transformation that strengthens their powers in civilian form.
  • Insistent Terminology: No, it is not a bathrobe, it is a magic robe.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: In ‘No Name’, Ells gets slightly offended when Violet refers to Simon as an ‘it’ and not a ‘he’.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Ells mentions that she’d always keep quiet in class due to getting bullied in ‘Late Night Owls’. It doesn’t help that even while in the Magic Trials, people still continue to bully and pick on her.
  • Mundane Utility: Violet using Air Magic as an alarm to get Astrid and Ells to wake up by cupping her hands and blowing into it as if it were a trumpet in ‘Late Night Owls’.
  • Names Given to Computers: Feeling bad for BCC-14 only having his model name to go by in the aptly titled ‘No Name’, Ells comes up with the idea to give him a name, and they end up picking Simon.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In ‘Weapons’, the Guardians and Ells are suddenly able to create various weapons and shields out of thin air using magic. It comes up with no question at all, and the ability could’ve been useful in past chapters.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: In ‘Chaos Spirit’, Ells, Dimitry, Hunter and Astrid rush to the ladies restroom upon hearing Violet scream from inside. Though they know Violet may be in danger, they abruptly stop before entering, realizing 3/4th of the group is composed of guys. Ells, being the only girl, goes in.
  • Obvious Judas:
    • Wendy in ‘A Strange New Visitor’. Thinking she’s the Chaos spy (which she is soon revealed to actually be in the next chapter), her roommates kick her out of their dorm and she pleads for Team NB4 to let her in. Everyone else is skeptical, but Ells is completely oblivious and lets Wendy in, seeing her as a friend who won’t cause any harm. Ells finally realizes how shady her whole act is when the two go out to ‘patrol for the Chaos spy’, which is completely out of character for Wendy.
    • Akia Hotel’s reception counter lady. Her uncomforting attempts at kindness, creepy smile and obvious lies should immediately send off red flags.
  • One-Shot Character:
    • Mae only appears in the first few chapters, gets a brief mention in the fourth chapter, and disappears for the rest of the book. Odd, considering Mae speaks fondly of her when comparing her to Wendy in the aforementioned chapter.
    • Crystal’s only major appearance with a speaking role is in ‘Astrid, Crystal, and Violet’, being reduced to brief mentions for the rest of the book. And even then, that’s just for the first half; she’s eventually ignored entirely.
  • Orphaned Series: Due to personal things the author has been going through in real life, the book has been put on hiatus in May of 2017. No more content has been published after that, so it looks like the book isn’t returning any time soon.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Ellstrid for Ells/Astrid and Violitry for Violet/Dimitry. The former name has been mentioned by the author herself and is even listed in the tags for the book.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Well, only a streak of your hair, if you’re a Guardian.
  • Power Gives You Wings: The Guardians gain angel wings with feathers in their respective color whenever transformed.
  • Power Tattoo: Each of the Guardians have this, in the form of a circle with an arrow across it, sparks flying off the tip of the arrow in their respective colors. Astrid’s is red and behind his neck, Hunter’s is blue and near the bottom of his stomach, Violet’s is gray and near her chest area, and Dimitry’s is green, though the placement of his symbol is never revealed.
  • Punny Name: Ms. Kuro’s first name is Pitchi. Kuro originates from the Japanese word for ‘black’. Pitchi is the romanized version of katakanizing the English word ‘pitch’. Pitch Black.
    • It becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when you realize that Violet’s full name could be translated to Violet Black.
  • Purple Is Powerful:
    • Lunar Magic and Chaos Magic, the most powerful and most dangerous elements of magic respectively, are both represented by purple, which gives anything that’s purple a sense of ambiguity on whether it’s good or evil.
    • Ells, Violet and Ms. Kuro all have purple eyes, and all three happen to be the most magically-skilled and powerful characters in the book so far.
  • Shipper on Deck: Dimitry and Hunter are notorious for this, Hunter going as far as to bet Violet in cash to whether Ells/Astrid becomes a thing or not.
  • Ship Sinking: In ‘Betting On Your Favorite Lovers’, Ells rejects Astrid’s confession due to his destiny as a Guardian.
    • Hope Spot: Right after, Ells says that they can maybe work something out after the battle of the End of the World ends. The two have also shown a lot more signs of affection towards each other after the chapter, clearly showing that they’re still head-over-heels in love with one another.
  • Ship Tease:
    • In ‘Late Night Owls’, Ells and Astrid stay up later than their other roommates to talk about their past while sharing sliced oranges. They end up falling asleep on the couch together. Dimitry even says ‘I ship it’ upon finding the two in the living room.
    • Violet, out of all people, slightly blushes after Dimitry covers her mouth with his hand in order to not wake Ells and Astrid up in the room.
    • ‘Astrid Helps Out’ being in Astrid’s point of view, he almost puts the word ‘beautiful’ in between the phrase ‘bright eyes’ when describing Ells before interrupting himself. Later in the conversation, he blushes slightly after telling Ells that things always get more interesting whenever the latter is around.
    • After being knocked unconscious during the events of ‘The Magic Battle’, Astrid is the first to tackle Ells in a hug as soon as she wakes up in the recovery room. Ells comments on a strange butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling as soon as it happens.
    • In ‘It’s a Battle, It’s a War’, Astrid admits to Dimitry about his feelings towards Ells, the latter telling the former that he should confess to her.
    • When Dimitry isn’t found in their dorm one morning and is believed to be missing, Violet shows an unusual amount of concern for him, thinking he might be dead.
    • Dimitry is soon found with his Guardian powers awoken, in a state of panic and confusion. Violet helps Dimitry calm down and out of the blue, hugs him, successfully calming the latter down.
    • After Violet gets mad at Astrid for letting Ells get captured by Wendy, the two get into an argument (Astrid even indirectly confessing his feelings for Ells to Violet, not like it wasn’t that obvious in the first place) and Astrid is left bound to the dorm. He realizes that if he wants to do something for the one he cares so deeply about, he should do it, no matter what anyone says about it.
    • When does Astrid first awaken his Guardian powers? He awakens as he’s saving Ells from Wendy.
    • After Ells wakes up after the battle with Wendy, Astrid finally fesses up to Ells about his feelings for her and the two kiss. This still falls under ship tease, however, as Ells and Astrid ultimately don’t become a couple due to Astrid’s destiny as a Guardian, deciding that maybe they can work things out after the battle of the End of the World.
    • In ‘Day One of the Journey’, Ells decides to not join the others in climbing the tree for food in order to stay with Astrid, who is afraid of heights. Ells fesses up about her own feelings towards Astrid, the two sharing a Held Gaze.
    • Ells and Astrid start hugging and showing signs of affection a lot more after their First Kiss.
    • Astrid is the first to notice Ells’ unconscious body after the events of ‘Good Bye’, not being able to do anything but stare with shock and pity. He even somewhat conquers his fear of heights just to help her recover.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Magic Trials bear much resemblance to The Hunger Games, both games involving kids coming from different sectors to battle each other in a game of life-or-death where only one emerges victorious, along with a training period before the games officially begin.
    • The battle arena in ‘The Magic Battle’ bears resemblance to those from Pokemon.
    • The outfits the Guardians wear when transformed bear resemblance to the outfit Pit from Kid Icarus wears.
    • Chapter 61, ‘Hello, Chaos, My Old Friend’.
    • Chapter 68, ‘All Around Me Are Adorable Faces’.
  • Skunk Stripe:
    • The Guardians gain a single streak in their hair in their respective color once transformed.
    • Wendy and Mae also both have several hair streaks, in the colors blue and pink respectively.
  • Spoiler Title: Chapter 31, ‘Dimitry, the Third Guardian of Magic’.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Ells and Astrid, going as far as to wait until the battle of the End of the World ends before they can resolve their relationship and finally give dating a shot.
  • Taken for Granite: Wendy in ‘Drink The Mysterious Glowing Drink. It’s Good For You.’ After Ells regains her strength due to a potion Simon gave her, she essentially de-powers Wendy with Lunar Magic, turning her into stone.
  • The Chosen Many: The Four Guardians of Magic, destined to be at the forefront of the battle of the End of the World and save the world. It just so happens that the Four Guardians happen to be 4/5th of Team NB4, minus Ells. Though it is blatantly obvious that Ells may have a ‘chosen one’ role herself, as she has the ability to control Lunar Magic, she repeatedly has flashbacks involving the Four Guardians and the Angel, she’s the first ever participant of the games who comes from Sector 14, Ms. Kuro herself suddenly appears at her school out of nowhere to talk to her in ‘Ms. Kuro’ (who calls her ‘special’ and ‘not like the rest of them’ during their conversation), and most evil people are undeniably trying to hunt her down. Wendy even indirectly calls her the ‘most powerful being’ at one point.
  • Title Drop: The Magic Trials is mentioned two times within the fist two paragraphs of the first chapter. Heck, it’s even the title of the first chapter.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Violet, the stoic Lad-ette who’s a Deadpan Snarker and sports a Tomboyish Ponytail to boot, and Ells, the Adorkable All-Loving Hero who’s not necessarily a girly girl, but is a lot more feminine when compared to Violet.
  • Transformation Sequence: Averted. The Guardians’ transformation into their Guardian forms is usually instantaneous and happens in the blink of an eye.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Ells and Violet.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The book is clearly set in the mid-2010s, demonstrated by Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off playing as elevator music, Crystal mentioning the now-defunct musical.ly, and Dimitry and Hunter arguing over Five Nights at Freddy's and Minecraft on which is the better video game.
  • Unknown Character: Mrs. Tyler. It is assumed she’s the nurse, as she is called up along with the Healing Sprites to send Astrid, Violet, Dimitry and Hunter to the infirmary in ‘Aaron Shows His True Colors’, but she’s only mentioned once by Mr. Coal and Ells — our viewpoint character for the chapter — gets called into his office before Mrs. Tyler shows up.
  • Visual Innuendo: Violet’s Guardian symbol is located near her chest area. In ‘The Water and Air Guardian’, it’s first revealed to the rest of the cast by Violet pulling down the collar of her shirt. Since Violet is a girl... you get the idea.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Ells and Astrid. The two have been ship-teased as early as chapter 9 (it’s worth noting that the chapter takes place during the same day the two first met). In ‘Betting On Your Favorite Lovers’, the two share their First Kiss and Astrid finally pops the question, to which Ells unfortunately rejects, due to Astrid’s destiny as a Guardian. The two have continued to be ship-teased after the chapter, so there’s still hope.
  • Windows of the Soul: Eyes definitely signify a lot of important things in this universe.
    • There are numerous times where eyes are described as 'starry' or 'magical'.
    • Purple eyes usually signify magical skill and prowess.
    • In some instances, Ells can tell what a person is thinking through looking at their eyes alone.
    • Wendy gains completely pitch black eyes after her Face–Heel Turn.
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