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The Sundering is a fantasy duology by Jacqueline Carey, better known for her series Kushiel's Legacy. The two books are Banewreaker (2004) and Godslayer (2005).
The Sundering tells a story deliberately very similar to J.R.R. Tolkien's stories (The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings, but with the twist that it is told from the perspective of the "villain" characters.
It is not a true case of Villain Protagonists, though, because the story makes clear that the "evil" characters are really not evil at all, merely misunderstood.
This series provides examples of:
- Captain Ersatz: Nearly every character.
- Child by Rape: Ushahin Dreamspinner.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Dragon Ascendant: Ushahin Dreamspinner takes up Satoris' mantle.
- Evil Overlord: Deconstructed.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Ushahin Dreamspinner is the result of a rape of an Ellyl woman by a human man.
- Harmful Healing: Performed by Satoris on Ushahin Dreamspinner.
- Hobbits: In contrast to many other elements in this series, the Yarru-yami are strikingly different from Hobbits. Sure they're short and go barefoot, but they are dark-skinned and live in the middle of a desert rather than the idyllic Shire.
- Immortal Procreation Clause: The Ellyon are immortal and their fertility rate is extremely low. This trope could have been averted had Haomane, creator of the Ellyon, accepted the Gift of the Satoris for his children.
- Light Is Not Good
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same
- Our Elves Are Better: Called "Ellylon" (singular "Ellyl") here, but otherwise deliberate clones of Tolkien's Elves.
- Our Orcs Are Different: The Fjelltroll are less intelligent than humans, but very loyal, honourable and not inherently evil.
- Physical God: The Seven Shapers are this.
- Pieces of God
- Sssssnaketalk: The dragons Calandor and Calanthrag.
- Start of Darkness
- Sympathetic POV: The whole premise. Though the main characters do make some pretty stupid (or at least dubious) choices that pretty much doom them from the start.
- We Are as Mayflies: The Ellyon do not die from old age. As such those somewhat over 1000 years old are still considered young.
- World Sundering: Happened in the distant past, hence the title.