- Badass Decay: Jehal in the third book. He's aware of it, and not happy.
- Beige Prose: Unusually for fantasy, the series is very light on flowery descriptions and in fact most of the book's text comes from dialogue or the characters' thoughts.
- Can't Argue with Elves: Some of the dragons' behaviour comes across as this.
- Character Development: done masterfully with Zafir.
- Creator's Pet: Some people think Zafir. is this.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: One of the main criticisms of the series. Characters die so frequently—even more often than in A Song of Ice and Fire—that it becomes very difficult to form attachments to them. The Black Mausoleum appears to have been written with this in mind.
- The Thief-taker series appear to revert this trend a bit.
- Iron Woobie: Poor Kemir can't catch a break.
- Same with Beren: lose your girl 3 times., than lose everything even your body.
- Rooting For The Empire: After seeing the way dragons have been treated, you might well be on Snow's side.
- Take That, Scrappy!: Semian got exactly the end he deserved.
- Readers just cheer up when Kwen. reaped what he sowed.
- True Neutral: Dragons in general.Snow: I have told you, little one, that dragons do not act out of spite or revenge, but as you have seen, we have little patience, we are prone to anger, and if we do not avenge, nor do we forgive.
- Moral Event Horizon: Considered this both in the books' universe and out of it: Skjorl's rape of a young girl.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story / Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Due to the vast number of deaths in the books, lots of plotlines and characters can come across as this.
- Skjorl's tale is an extreme example. For the first two-thirds of The Black Mausoleum he appears to be genuinely becoming a decent person and gaining Character Development, but the moment he discovers alcohol he loses all the ground he gains. Then he dies.
- The political games played in the Adamantine Palace and beyond turn out to be this. Which was probably precisely the point.. Across the realm, the Sea Lords didn't do any better either.
- Take That, Audience!: Jaslyn's story can be seen as a shot against people who want to become a dragon's best friend.
- In universe example: Skjorl, the guy thinks he is Conan the Barbarian but to other he is like a restrained dog.
YMMV / A Memory of Flames