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Literature / The Stoneheart Trilogy

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A series of novels (Stoneheart, Ironhand, and Silvertongue) written by Charlie Fletcher.

A city has many lives and many layers. London has more than most. Not all layers are underground, and not all the lives belong to the living.

Twelve-year-old George Chapman is about to learn this the hard way. When, in a tiny act of rebellion, George breaks the head from a stone dragon outside the Natural History Museum, he awakens an ancient power—a power that has been dormant for centuries—and the results are instant and terrifying. A stone pterodactyl unpeels from the wall and starts chasing George with unbridled fury. He runs for his life, but it seems that no one can see what he's fleeing. No one except Edie, who is also trapped in this strange world because of her own inexplicable powers.


Now that George has disturbed the fragile truce between the warring statues of London, he is forced into a race for survival where nothing is what it seems, and it's never clear whom to trust.

And this is just the beginning, as the statues of London awake...

Has a character sheet.

Tropes for Stoneheart include:

  • Always Save the Girl: The Gunner risks breaking his oath to the Walker in order to rescue Edie from the Minotaur by saving one last bullet in spite of promising to fight the Minotaur weaponless.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: In the end of Stoneheart, the Gunner is taken by the Walker, leaving George and Edie to rescue him.
  • Boy Meets Girl: George meets Edie.
  • Britain is Only London
  • Cliffhanger
  • Cryptic Conversation: The Gunner usually hides things from George and/or Edie. The Walker lampshades this quite a few times.
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  • Dean Bitterman / Sadist Teacher: Killingbeck. Just his name pretty much sums him up.
  • Disappeared Dad: George's father. Also, Edie's father. In the third book, they're revealed to be the half-siblings
  • Distressed Damsel: When Edie gets captured by the Minotaur.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Edie has this emotion strongly enough to slap George when he tries to apologize to her.
    George: Look, I'm sorry— [gets slapped by Edie] What the... Why did you...?
    Edie: Don't be sorry for me. Don't treat me like I'm soft. And don't like me.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: Because the regular Muggles can't see what they wouldn't normally see, anything out of the ordinary they may see is totally ignored.
  • First-Name Basis: The Gunner makes a Pet the Dog moment when he begins to call Edie by name.
    The Gunner: Right. Follow me. And, Edie—try not to get lost, eh?
    George: [notices Edie grinning] What?
    Edie: Edie. He called me Edie. [tries to stop grinning and blushes instead]
    George: Well, it's your name, isn't it?
    Edie: He usually calls me 'that glint' or 'her.'
    George: Well, you grow on people.
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  • Fish out of Water / Naïve Newcomer: George.
  • I Choose to Stay: In the end of Stoneheart, George chooses to not return the dragon head and instead stay in the "un-London" where living statues can be seen so that Edie won't be alone.
  • Invisible to Normals: The living statues — the spits and taints. Oh, and the Walker.
  • Ironic Echo:
    Edie: Listen, you idiot, we—
    George: Hey, you're the one who said there's no 'we'! I'm agreeing, you're right, okay? I'm just not doing this anymore.
    —>George: Where are we going? Edie, where are we going?
    Edie: It's 'we' now, is it?
  • Kid Hero: George and Edie.
  • Meaningful Name: George and his relation with the Temple Bar Dragon echoes the legend of Saint George.
  • The Mentor: The Gunner towards George and later Edie.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: George feels extreme guilt that he fought with his father the last time he saw him, before his father died in a car crash. George never got the chance to apologize. Ever.
  • One-Gender School: George goes to an all-boys' school.
  • Power Trio: Arguably — George (Superego), Edie (Id), and the Gunner (Ego).
  • Sadistic Choice: The Walker's deal to the Gunner — go into battle with no weapons at all... or sealing Edie to a terrible fate.
    The Walker: Give me the weapon or the bullets, or by the name of the hand that made you I will let the Bull do what he will with the girl-child—boy or no boy!
  • Say My Name:
    George: EDIE!
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Dictionary all the way.
  • Sequel Hook
  • Ship Tease: It's difficult to say because there is no pairing in the first book, but George and Edie can easily be paired up because they're both twelve. Even one of the Sphinx lampshades this.
    Sphinx: Then you won't get an answer; and you can go away and take your glint with you.
    George: She's not my glint.
    Sphinx: You can take her anyway.
    • And the Walker too.
    The Walker: How very sickening. You found yourself your own little Stone Heart.
    • The same could even be said about Edie and the Gunner, though it's very unlikely. But Edie seems particularily happy around the Gunner later into the story, even smiling at him (an unfamiliar gesture on Edie that even George notices), and the Gunner is quite protective of her, even risking his oath with the Walker to save Edie from the Minotaur.
    • This ship is squarely sunk when George and Edie are revealed to be half-siblings in the third book
  • Shout-Out: In a memory recollected by George, his father had belched following a meal and said, "Better out than in."
  • True Companions: Slowly but ever surely George, Edie, and the Gunner are forming this.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: George's mother.
  • Last of His Kind: Edie to the Glints. Not that anyone's complaining...

Tropes for Ironhand include:

  • Cliffhanger
  • Sequel Hook
  • Disney Villain Death: Edie tells George about when her stepfather tried to kill her on the beach. Edie hit her stepfather hard with a pebble, sending him falling into a chasm and to his doom.
  • For the Evulz: The Walker admits to committing mass genocide against the Glints. Why? Because being immortal is boring and he needed something to do.
  • The Power of Love: Arguably, this is what brings Edie back from the dead
  • Eye Scream: There's two instances.
    • Edie to the Walker. It heals almost instantly, of course, but he is now forever doomed to walk the earth with only one eye, which really, really pisses him off.
    • Also, the Walker's assistant/slave Glint, who sewed her eyes shut so that she wouldn't have to glint the horrible things that have happened in his house anymore.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: The Gunner to the Walker after the former finds out that the latter has single-handedly wiped out an entire race. Made especially ironic by the Gunner's Fantastic Racism in the first book.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Spout, the gargoyle
  • Face–Heel Turn: Little Tragedy
  • Unexplained Recovery: In Stoneheart, the Gunner blasted Spout the gargoyle to kingdom come. In Ironhand, he's somehow alive again with no explanation whatsoever as to how he came back.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Played Straight with Edie's death.
    "You can't change the past, even if it hasn't happened yet"

Tropes for Silvertongue include:

  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted with Edie's mother as she was not a villain in any way. In an attempt to save her daughter from The Walker, she throws herself at him, causing both of them to fall off the roof of a tall building. While The Walker survives the fall due to his immortality, Edie's mother falls to her death.
  • Hellish Horse: the Night Mare
  • Odd Couple The Clocker, who talks with as few words as possible, and Dictionary.
  • Phantom Zone
  • Taken for Granite: The Walker's fate.
  • Time Stands Still: At the thirteenth hour.
  • Hope Spot: Edie's mother's heart stone is still alight, which suggests that she might still be alive. She's not.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Edie's backstory is pretty much one of these.
    • To elaborate, Edie's mother, a recovering alcoholic, was driven completely off the deep end when her heart stone was stolen by the Walker in a scene that just screams attempted rape. Her sanity then proceeds to gradually unravel until, finally, she tries to kill Edie's stepfather with a kitchen appliance. This results in her being committed to an insane asylum where she spends the rest of her life, leaving Edie alone with her alcoholic stepfather. The next Edie hears of her is when her stepfather informs Edie that her mother has committed suicide (in actuality, she jumped off the roof to keep the Walker from finding Edie). It is then that Edie glints the aforementioned attempted rape scene, and, horrified that her stepfather simply sat back and smiled throughout the entire thing, runs away. This prompts her stepfather to run after her with a knife, smiling and talking about how they ought to head back to the house together. When he finally catches up to her, Edie hits him over the head with a rock, knocking him into a quarry and killing him. She then runs away to London, where she spends the period before the story hopping between youth hostels and believing she's insane. Before she meets George, a Londoner who can also see the moving statues, and he promptly tells her to bugger off. And then she dies. And that's on top of her inherent power that shows her horrible flashbacks of the past whenever she touches a rock.


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