Curse of Magic introduced one of the most crucial characters to the Fairy Tale Enchantress series–and even the Timeless Fairy Tale world: Liliane, the series’ villain.
Really she’s more like the lead villain. She has her henchmen like Suzu and her own son Acri, so by no means is she doing this alone. Liliane was a tricky character to design because I didn’t want her to be a dark, mysterious threat looming in the background. I wanted to ground her character so she was a tangible enemy. Moreover, I wanted her character to be unusual–or something not often seen as a fantasy villain.
So I chose to make my lead villain a female, a mother, and I gave her a beautiful bright appearance. Most books I’ve read that have female characters as villains really vamp it up so they wear dark colors and are more of a temptress type. Liliane is beautiful, but if you were judging only by her appearance you’d say she looks more like a kind enchantress than a seductress of evil.
Also, as I said earlier, she’s a mom. Acri is a little closer to the typical YA villain–except in the way he clearly respects and listens to his mother. And he is about Evariste’s age, so he’s not some pushover teenager who doesn’t know any better. (Which makes you wonder…what does he know that makes him so quickly follow his mother’s leadership??)
I also gave Liliane powers that weren’t inherently evil–her ability to summon any creature she paints gets uncomfortably close to edging in on Evariste’s portal magic. (Though Evariste’s magic is more rare and more powerful.)
All of Evariste’s scenes were painstakingly designed and written to reveal tiny bits about Liliane and her cohorts. (In fact, I spent the most time on Evariste’s scenes–a pattern that looks like it’s going to repeat for Reign of Magic.) So keep a special eye on his scenes, and know that even the Lord Enchanter hasn’t gotten a full measure of Liliane’s depths just yet.
And as a side reference, Suzu is probably the most prominent member of Liliane’s entourage, and you can find her in lots of different Timeless Fairy Tale books–though she’s rarely referenced by name. You’ll get to learn more about her in Reign of Magic–Acri, too, though CoM serves as his introduction and lets you witness his magic. A good start to his future endeavors.
But as you wait for the next book, don’t let Liliane sway you into thinking she’s a shallow villain with no substance. Because that’s exactly what she wants you to think. But if you study her carefully, you might uncover more than you expect.
I’m currently re-reading The Frog Prince and I’m finding things mentioned but not fleshed out to be very interesting. For instance: Is Acri the Shadow Mage who attacks Lucien and Ariane? (He uses shadows to choke her and as swords and daggers.) Also, Emperor Yevgeniy (sp?) mentioned that he had sent multiple requests to the Veneno Conclave for assistance with removing Rothbart over a lengthy period of time, but Angel said that they had just heard of their need. Does that mean that someone is intercepting their mail? If so, who? How many dark magic users are in the Conclave? Is Clovicus aware of the infiltration? Is he part of it, or, in my opinion, more likely, is he secretly trying to thwart the Chosen and he just hasn’t taken Angel completely into his confidence? In The Frog Prince, the Veneno Conclave’s inactions or inability to act is really showcased. Why did the other magic users come to the Summit if they hold Angel in such fear and disdain? In Sleeping Beauty, you get the sense that while Donaigh has always liked Angel to the point of hero-worship, Firra doesn’t, to begin with, but by the end of the book you get a sense that she changes her opinion about Angel. It will be interesting to see how Angel goes about proving herself and what it will take for people to recognize her inherently good character (under all her snark and snap.) 🙂
I’m wondering if our Unknown Chosen Operative is the one who hands out assignments to mages. Like that scene in COM where Angel reports on the Ringsted situation, and those two weather mages say they’ll try to get assigned to it. It sounds like there are lots of mages in the Conclave who want to help, but if our Chosen Operative is the one who hands out assignments, it would be easy for a request for help to ‘get lost’ & never be assigned to an active mage. And if the couple who run the report accepting place never see who gets assigned to what, they might not know issues aren’t being addressed. Especially if one of them is Chosen (although I really hate that thought)
A very good question Megan. I had forgotten about that scene in CoM. It’s very plausible.
I always love that you give characters depth and don’t rely on cliche stereotypes. I also really like that you give complexity to characters by not making them fully perfect or completely evil. The nuance makes your books far more realistic and engaging.
If acri is around the same age as angel and evariste and is clearly quite powerful, wouldn’t it make him a contender for the title of the first enchanter/enchantress with war magic? Angel is more powerful than him (or anyone for that matter) but is her title not correct then? Or could it just be that the conclave has no knowledge of his existence?
It seems like it could either be that they don’t know about him (if he was never found by a fairy godparent and his mother never sent him to the Conclave school herself) or that he isn’t quite enchanter-level powerful. That’s supposed to be super rare, but there are more super-powerful-but-not-enchanter level mages. I’m guessing he’s one of those, as I don’t think we’ve seen him use anything but his core magic, and what differentiates mages and enchanters is the ability to use your magic for things other than the core power. I don’t think war mages themselves are rare, just ones powerful enough to be considered an enchanter/enchantress.
And the ones with Angelique’s particular strain of magic. The Council said they had several active mages with the same abilities, but they didn’t seem to be as common as some of the other strains, like strength or speed.
But they have similar strains of magic, not the same one and definitely not the amount angel has.
Like Lazare said, the Council is afraid of her sheer amount of power.
Either way, this will be an interesting match up as Acri pulls blades from shadow, but Angelique controls all things with a sharp edge. Will Acri’s shadow blades be immune or not to Angel’s magic? Can’t wait to see.
I think angel will be able to control them but this raises a question: Can you control someone else’s magic and if yes, up to what extent? I am dying to see their fight.
I want to know what happens to acri. Does he fight angel? She uses her war magic? He is dead? Lots of questions. Also I do wish to see suzu’s reaction to rothbart’s death and odile’s possible future as the empress of kozlovka. And Liliane is ………. quite unique. Can’t wait to see what you do with her!!