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The books in the duology are:
The History and Politics of the Copper Isles
The Copper Isles, the country where most of the series is set, are a group of islands roughly west of Tortall. They were once ruled over by the native raka, whose inheritance came from the mother's line, and who allowed the oldest child to inherit, whatever gender. However, the raka were often engaged in disputes between tribes, and when the luarin - invaders from the Eastern Lands, lead by Rittevon of Lenman and Ludas Jimajen - arrived, they were able to conquer the raka quickly. They killed the queen, her family, and most of the high-ranking nobles. The raka that remained now either belonged to the luarin as slaves, or had to pay to live on luarin land. The raka wondered why their god, Kyprioth, did not come and save them, and so priests spread the story that Kyprioth had been defeated in the Divine Realms by his brother and sister, Mithros and the Great Mother Goddess. However, hope was returned to the raka in the form of a prophecy, which promised that a new half-raka queen would arrive, who was royal to both the raka, through one well-hidden branch of the last queen's family, and to the luarin invaders, through the Rittevon line.
Cast of Characters
Throughout the series, occasional appearances are made by many of the main characters from other Tortall books, including Alanna the Lioness, Baron George Cooper of Pirate's Swoop, King Jonathan IV of Tortall, Myles of Olau, Daine the Wildmage, Numair Salmalín, Keladry of Mindelan, the Graveyard Hag and Tkaa the Basilisk. The main characters of the series include:
- Aly (Alianne) of Pirate's Swoop – Protagonist of the duet, Aly - is the daughter George Cooper, Baron of Pirate's Swoop, second-in-command of his realm's spies; and Alanna the Lioness, lady knight, King's Champion of Tortall, and a living legend. while journeying to a nearby town in order give her parents time to cool of after her proposal of becoming a spy she is kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave to the Balitangs, a noble family of the Copper Isles. As a slave and maid, she soon discovers and gains access to a rebel conspiracy within the Balitang household, and takes charge as the rebellion's spymaster. At the end of the series she chooses to become the Royal Spymaster for the Isles. She marries Nawat Crow, and they conceive by the conclusion of the second book.
- Bronau Jimajen - A non-royal luarin prince, brother of prince Rubinyan, who has a close, romantic relationship with Sarai. He is originally a friend of the Balitangs, but at the end of Trickster's Choice he kills Duke Menquen and is killed by Dove.
- Chenaol - the Balitang's full-raka cook, a leader in the revolution. She provides the revolution with weapons.
- Dove - Dovasary Balitang is the younger of Duke Mequen Balitang’s two half-raka daughters by his first marriage. She is quiet, observant, and very intelligent.
- Dunevon - King Oron's youngest child, who becomes King after Hazarin. He is only five years old, and is killed by his sister, Princess Imajane, when she is acting as regent.
- Elsren - Duke Menquen's youngest luarin child and heir to Dunevon's throne after Menquen's death. He is killed at the same time as Dunevon.
- Fesgao - A raka man-at-arms and the military leader of the rebellion.
- Hazarin - King Oron's half-brother, who becomes King after his death, before dying of an apoplexy.
- Imajane - King Oron's half-sister, wife of prince Rubinyan, who is regent to King Duvenon. When the rebellion succeeds, she jumps to her death.
- Junai Dodeka - A raka woman who acts as Ali's bodyguard. She is Ulasim's daughter, and dies in the fighting when the rebellion takes place.
- Kyprioth the Trickster - chief of the trickster gods, former patron of the Copper Isles, ruler of the Emerald Ocean. Overthrown by his brother Mithros and sister the Great Mother Goddess 300 years prior to the beginning of the series.
- Lokeij – Raka slave, chief hostler for the Balitangs, killed in the fighting at Tanair.
- Mequen – Duke, fourth in line to the throne, father of Sarai and Dove, married to duchess Winnamine. His first wife ,Duchess Sarugani was a member of the raka nobility.
- Nawat Crow - A crow who turned himself into a man. He has a romantic relationship with Aly through most of the series, but does not truly find his place in the world of men until near the end of Trickster's Queen. He works as a fletcher and a warrior, as well as Aly's main link to the crows. At the end of the series he and Aly are married.
- Nuritin - Duke Mequen's bossy luarin aunt; head of the luarin conspiracy.
- Ochobu Dodeka - Ulasim's mother and head of the rebal raka mage network known as the chain. She and her fellow mages agree to aid the conspirators.
- Oron - King of the Copper Isles at the beginning of the series, mentally unstable.
- Petranne - Duke Mequen's oldest luarin child.
- Prince Rubinyan - Luarin brother of Prince Bronau, and husband of Princess Imajane. Killed by Ulasim.
- Sarai - Saraiyu Balitang is the beautiful but impetuous eldest child of Duke Mequen Balitang. She is stubborn about certain things, and not as calm as her sister Dove. She elopes to Carthak with Zaimid Hetnim rather than marry King Dunevon.
- Taybur Sibigat - head of the King's guard. Joins the raka conspiracy after the death of King Duvenon.
- Duke Lohearn Mantawu - a.k.a. Topabaw, a Crown spymaster who is executed by the regents after Aly spreads rumors of his disloyalty.
- Ulasim Dodeka - Free raka servant, head footman to the Balitang family and general of the raka conspiracy. Junai's father and Ochobu's son. He dies killing Prince Rubinyan in the rebellion.
- Winnamine - Luarin duchess married to Duke Mequen. Has two children by Mequen: Petranne and Elsren. Was the best friend of Mequen's first wife, Duchess Sarugani.
- Ysul – Second-in-command of the rebal raka mage network known as the chain, assumes command aster Ochobu's death.
- Zaimid Hetnim - A Carthaki healer who falls in love with Sarai and elopes with her to Carthak.
The books were the result of Tammy's fans assuming that Alanna's daughter would be a knight just like herself. Tammy, who knew "something of mothers and daughters", didn't believe for one second that Alanna's daughter would follow in her footsteps. She also knew that George would be the dominant parent in Aly's childhood. Thus the idea and background for the Trickster Series was found.
A collection of the cover art can be found here.
Notes and references