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A Genre-savvy and trope-conscious fantasy series written by Jack Chalker. As with all Chalker products, expect copious amounts of Author Appeal between the heaping servings of high parody. What can you say about any series where most popular fantasy tropes have been literally written into the physical laws of the universe by powerful magicians?
Contains examples of:
- Anticlimax: Chalker either ended the series one book too soon or pushed the concept one book too far, depending upon whom you ask.
- Author Appeal: Among Jack Chalker's trademarks:
- Blessed with Suck: Joe's heroic sacrifice gave him immortality and near godlike powers but only at the cost of being stuck as a girl and a fairy, both fates worse than death as far as the macho male barbarian is concerned. Especially since he believes it cost him both his one true love and his last chance to be a proper father to his son.
- Five-Man Band: "All companies shall consist of at least nine people, one of whom is not to be trusted"
- High Fantasy: Ruthlessly parodied.
- I Call It Vera: A magical sword named Irving.
- Kitsch Collection: Throckmorton P. Ruddygore has one.
- Lampshade Hanging: in spades
- Magical Land:
- Most Writers Are Male: Lampshaded: "Weather permitting, all beautiful women will be scantily clad."
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Literally enforced by the rules. Change bodies (Chalker, remember?) and you're subject to the rules affecting the new body. Possess someone and you have to live by the rules affecting their body.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: The were (not werewolf, just were) transforms into whatever animal is nearest when the full moon takes effect.
- Red Herring: Alvi, the Author Appeal laden purported MacGuffin Girl of Horrors of the Dancing Gods actually turned out to be a Sequel Hook for a following book which was never written.
- Trapped in Another World:
- You Can't Fight Fate: "All epics must be at least trilogies."