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Literature / The Silent War

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A Low Fantasy series created by Icelandic author Eli Freysson, currently consisting of five books, two of which have been translated into English.

It has been a millennium since the Shattering all but destroyed the world, forcing mankind to start anew and found a single nation from the ashes. For centuries it kept the peace, civilized ever more territory and waged war on the supernatural forces let loose by the cataclysm.

And then it collapsed, splintering mankind into feuding states.

In the three centuries since the war has been fought in the shadows, by various agents and orders with differing goals. Mankind forgets and wages war on itself, as its true enemies slumber and wait for the right moment to rise . . .

The series opens with teenage girl Katja. Rowdy and directionless, she has always been haunted by odd visions and an inexplicable certainty that she faces a lifetime of violence.

Then, shortly after she slays a demon that attacked her village, Katja is approached by a mysterious woman named Serdra. The stranger offers the answers Katja has always longed for. They are the same, she says; two of the very few born with special gifts for beating back the supernatural.

Both frightened of the future promised by Serdra and excited at being offered a purpose, Katja follows her new mentor out into the wider world, and so enters the Silent War.

Books in the series:

  • The Call (2015)
  • A Clash of Shadows (2015)
  • Firemoon (2016)

The Silent War contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Katja, and her mentor Serdra.
  • The Ageless: Redcloaks stop ageing after reaching physical maturity. Serdra is in her 130’s but looks to be about 20.
  • Badass Normal: Vajan. He makes no use of the Brotherhood’s sorcery, but proves a recurring and dangerous enemy for Katja.
  • Blood Knight: Katja, big time. Every boy in the village feared her by the time she was twelve years old, she is very enthusiastic about getting to satisfy her urges in actual combat, and gets antsy if she goes a while without a fight.
  • Covert Group: Several. The Shades are a benign one, aiding the Redcloaks throughout their history. The rest... not so much.
  • The Dark Arts: Sorcery.
  • Demon Slaying: The essential role of the Redcloaks.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Brotherhood of the Pit has been fractured for generations, and continually wage a low-level version of this.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: A rushed, and fumbled, demon summoning kicks off the plot of A Clash of Shadows.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty
  • Karmic Death: Katja cripples Arvar and leaves him to be killed by the animated corpses of his victims.
  • Kill It with Fire: Quasi-example. The Redcloaks can channel magical fire that repels and destroys unnatural creatures.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The climax of A Clash of Shadows. Serdra and Katja end up fighting the Brotherhood AND the Night Hand, who are in turn fighting one another.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Katja and Serdra clash with these at one point. Two opposing varieties, in fact.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: A Redcloak’s hair will start to gradually turn white sometime after they reach a century of age.
  • Psychic Powers: All Redcloaks possess precognition, postcognition, and the ability to sense supernatural auras. Katja turns out to have a special talent for viewing past events.
  • Refusal of the Call: Serdra describes this as being pretty much impossible for their kind. In the long run they just can’t resist their instincts.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Death Lords. Although they sealed themselves on purpose, waiting for the right moment to rise.
  • Secret War: The struggle against the various otherworldly forces threatening the world has been taking place behind the curtains for the last three centuries.
  • Stronger with Age: The Redcloaks hone their supernatural powers over time, aside from accumulating normally unachievable levels of combat experience.
  • Training from Hell: Although Katja doesn’t really mind.
  • Trickster Mentor: Serdra has shades of this, often withholding information from Katja to force her to think for herself.