A huge thank you to all of you wonderful Champions for taking the time to fill out the reader survey! We got some great feedback, and it helped us clarify a few plans for the future, so I really appreciate the time you took to fill it out, and I hope you enjoyed the character interview!
Now, let’s jump back to the events of Trial of Magic! This post is where I’m going to state my case that Angelique is the strongest of any heroine I’ve ever written…because she had an entire organization doing everything they could to break her, make her doubt herself, to drag her away from her morals, to kill her, and she never broke.
That’s not to say she didn’t feel pain, or buckled, but she never gave in, she never stopped looking for Evariste, and–most important of all–she never stopped helping others. (Warning: Here there be spoilers for Trial of Magic! Don’t read if you haven’t read that book yet!)
To start off, we have to acknowledge that Angelique’s life started being manipulated the instant the Chosen/Veneno Conclave found out she had a lot of power. That was when the teachers started getting on her case, that was when they made her take extra ethics classes, that was when they started teaching everyone to react in fear to her.
The extra ethics classes were the Chosen’s way of testing her to see if she could be turned to their side. When it became obvious she wouldn’t drop her morals, they turned to manipulation tactics. The headmaster–wrapping his instructions up as being ‘diligent,’ basically gave teachers like Madame Quarrelous permission to try and break Angelique all for the sake of ‘diligence’.
Angelique was endlessly hounded about her magic–which, shocker, hadn’t been at all dangerous until the strength of her magic was tested–and told time and time again that she was a dangerous monster.
In the meantime, since the Chosen knew they couldn’t have her, they decided to seal her magic to protect their interests in the future. (Because an enchantress who could take out hoards of goblins by herself was not going to bode well for them.) But when they were thwarted by Evariste, they knew they had to use their backup plan and make everyone fear Angelique.
Fear makes people unpredictable in many ways, but they weren’t trying to control every mage–they were trying to control Angelique and keep her from acting in a way that would ruin their work. To do that, all they had to do was twist her so badly that she was convinced her own magic was evil (thank you, academy instructors) and have everyone react so over the top that finding friends/emotional supports would be impossible.
The Chosen controlled how Angelique was viewed by carefully using their people–who were partnered specifically with mages who weren’t black mages for the use of general manipulations already–to poison the rest of the Conclave against her. One of the best examples of this manipulation in action is Blanche and Rein. As we now know, Blanche–a weather mage–belonged to the Chosen while her partner, Rein, did not.
Blanche’s overly dramatic reactions to Angelique are what sparks Rein’s dislike of her. Blanche whimpers and acts frightened when Angelique offers to accompany them to Ringstead. Given that Blanche is Rein’s close friend, he naturally sides with her and doesn’t want Angelique’s help either.
Blanche’s manipulation of Rein means she can achieve goals for the Chosen (like freeing Carabosso when they were supposed to transport him to the Conclave) and she can keep other mages fearing Angelique, with the idea that if Angelique feels like a monster she won’t improve in her magic.
Of course, another byproduct of this plan meant Angelique was always extremely reluctant to use her magic–everyone except for Evariste acted like she’d immediately turn into serial killer if she used even a fleck of her core magic. But it also meant Angelique was incredibly isolated. Because of the fear and scorn the Chosen showered on her, and the way they manipulated their collogues, it isn’t until Evariste comes around that Angelique has an actual friend, and by then she’s so screwed up that she thinks she has to trick Evariste into liking her and she’s terrified of disappointing him.
You can also see how this plan of fear/isolation crumbles in Trial of Magic when Angelique no longer cares what Blanche thinks of her and is more irritated that they let Carabosso go than hurt by Blanche’s antics. Blanche freaks out a bit because she is legit scared of Angelique because she knows the threat Angelique is to the Chosen, and she recognizes that they won’t be able to control her through fear anymore.
You can see that in the way the Council try to warmly welcome Angelique back–with the exception of Tristisim and Felicienne who, because they aren’t Chosen mages, are more stuck on rules than they are on trying to manipulate Angelique–when she returns with Evariste.
You can also see the lack of manipulation in the students Clovicus takes on. I purposely brought them in when Angelique is initially leaving Verglas during the events of Rumpelstiltskin, because you can see how they react to Clovicus’ lack of fear of Angelique. They accept it and move on. They’re still fairly young, so the Chosen haven’t been able to infect them yet, and in Tristisim’s insistence on punishing Clovicus with more teaching time, you can see how those students act differently as a result.
The Chosen also attempt to manipulate Angelique by questioning every good thing she’s ever done. In Curse of Magic, the Council spends the majority of the time nitpicking all the wonderful things Angelique has done, and go through extremes to try and discourage her from future action.
Mix all of this into the knowledge that Angelique is an orphan–her parents died minutes before her magic was discovered–and that she was already older than the other students given that she’d been found late, and you have a dumpster fire of a life that normally would have turned a character into a villain.
Instead, once confronted with another unexpected tragedy–Evariste’s capture–Angelique fights back against years of conditioning, against scorn, threats, and disdain, and sets out to help him–saving the continent in the process.
Angelique isn’t powerful because of the near limitless strength of her magic. She’s powerful because after everything the Chosen did to her, she still helped. When she faced a cursed Severin, she tried to help–just as she aided Dylan, Elise, Gabrielle, and more. Yes, she needed a whole lot of character growth through the process, but she has a pretty tragic story–one filled with years of isolation, manipulation so she feared her own magic and herself, and a lot of emotional suffering.
And yet! Despite everything done to her, Angelique retained a desire to help people and do what is right. And that is why she’s my strongest heroine ever. That’s why she alone could take on the Chosen, and scare them so badly they gave up centuries of planning and ran. Because they knew…they were never going to break her, and she’d overcome everything they’d done to her and now had her sights set on them.
What do you think, Champions? I hope I’ve convinced you! 😉 I could go into even more detail, but this post is already pretty long. Regardless, have a splendid day, and thank you for all the love and support you’ve shown Angelique and Trial of magic!
Yes! I also love Angelique’s strength of character, sarcasm, cynicism, and everything! She makes me laugh and I admire her!
I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Lucy Winton says
I’ve had a thought. If Lovelana’s core magic is healing, can she do what Liv did? (They’ve both got similar names too…)
I could be wrong but I always got the impression that healing magic is different that purification magic which is what Liv could do. I don’t remember which book it was mentioned in but it said that the last mage with purification magic died several years before the start of the Fairy Tale books and it was also mentioned that purification magic was really rare.
Sorry for the typo – got to love auto-correct.
Ana Maria Radulescu says
I agree wholeheartedly. I admit it was a bit hard to read some of the parts in the first two books because of the injustice. We all knew how awesome Angelique was from the Timeless Fairytales series and to see her so meek, fearful, ridden with self-doubt, not to mention abused, was a tough pill to swallow. But I’m so happy with how she progressed. Trial by Magic is by far my favorite in the series because she grows into her own, Evariste is saved, and everything reads as fan fiction given the many, many wonderful scenes and subplots. This book was everything I dreamed and more. Chapeau bas, my lady!
This is awesome! Thank you, Kitty! I’ve read the book, and I’ve enjoyed it so much! I’m excited for the next book in the series! I love Angelique’s story, and it made me want to be so much like her! This book was pretty great! Thank you, Kitty, for writing it! Keep on writing! Angelique is so strong, she kind and caring. She’s a hero! It’s so sad that she was treated like a villain since she came into that school. Thank you again, Kitty, that you’re such an amazing writer. Keep up the awesome work! I definitely want to know what happens next!
This is awesome! Thank you, Kitty! I’ve read the book, and I’ve enjoyed it so much! I’m excited for the next book in the series! I love Angelique’s story, and it made me want to be so much like her! This book was pretty great! Thank you, Kitty, for writing it! Keep on writing!
Sorry, it was an accidental submit.
Yup! Angel is definitely one of the strongest heroines I have ever seen, because she never broke even through her life was practically a villain’s tragic backstory! I was always furious(and highly tempted to express my anger in very.. violent and colorful words) whenever all the mages acted as if she would turn rogue at the drop of a hat. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to be considered evil and poisonous at such a young age. Her moral compass never went awry (and Angelique, sarcasm and cynicism is NOT a sign of an evil nature- thank God you finally realized that in Trial Of Magic.) ànd she never stopped doing what’s right. I am really happy that Evariste is back (FINALLY!) And all of us Champions are definitely wishing that she defeats the Chosen (hopefully very violently and extracting atleast revenge for half the misery they made her go through!) Three cheers for Angelique and Evariste’s affection for her- which will hopefully get through her thick head by the next book!😉😁
Ananya Goel says
I can’t wait for when she realizes he loves her XD
Natalie Smoot says
100% agree. I love Angelique and her story even though sometimes I want to shake her it’s a loving shake. I have loved seeing her grow into her power and become stronger I have enjoyed seeing her break but then get up again. I love that she is a person not some cookie cutter perfect heroine that is so strong and never has weakness. Those characters are annoying because they aren’t real. Real women cry and break and get frustrated and throw things but they also roll their eyes internally while explaining to the Prince that for the spell to break she has to love you, they also grit their teeth and don’t turn the idiot king into a toad when he really deserves it ,looking at you Giuseppe, they get up and fight for themselves for their loved ones for good for righteousness. Angel does all those things and that is why I love her and cannot wait to read her happily ever after. Thank you for these books and all the hard work on your wonderful characters.
Tooooooootally agree!! And all of the wonderful friends you have given her – even though it’s hard for her to really believe in their friendship! I’m with you 110% 😀
Jocelyn Malone says
I very much see her in this light, and, as a parent myself, it makes me wish we saw her childhood before her parents’ death and the emergence of her magic. Because that kind of core strength is fed by a rock-solid foundation of the kind very good parents are able to impart both by example and in the way they raise their child. Especially given how old (comparatively) she is when she goes to Luxi Domus, it seems logical that those long-dead parents had a lot to do with how she has turned out despite such an awful run from their deaths onward.
Jocelyn Malone says
To be clear, not that I think those years should be in the book so much as a short story or snippets from that time period would interest me!
Yes. I was literally just thinking that her parents must have been pretty amazing for her to have such a solid foundation going forward. I would love a short where we could meet them!
Yes, yes, yes!
Louisa Allen says
I love Angelique’s story and can’t wait to read the rest, but I would like to know for sure if Madame Quarrelous is or isn’t a Chosen. My vote is that she isn’t, but Kitty didn’t say which instructors were Chosen in Trial.
This is the biggest reason I love Angelique. They do everything to break her and she doesn’t let them break her. Even when she didn’t know that was their objective, she didn’t stop reaching out. In many ways, this illustrates the power of kindness, and the power of helping others. I believe, that by doing so, whether she knew this would be a side-effect or not, by helping people she protected herself from becoming insensitive to others needs. She got to where she didn’t care what people think of her, and that is healthy when talking about people who were trying to manipulate her into doing or being something she is not. But by helping people she was able to maintain/protect her sense of humanity and that is a necessary defense. No matter what, we need to keep our humanity.
I also love how she doesn’t try to “get back” at people like Rein and Sinead when they have their “reality check” moment and realize they were being manipulated by the people who were closest to them. Instead, she treats them with kindness and understanding. They aren’t “best buds” but she understands that they are going through a difficult and painful experience and she doesn’t make it worse by saying anything close to “I told you so.”
Jocelyn Malone says
Sinead’s is SO painful. He MARRIED her! Talk about a betrayal. It’s awful enough that your best friend turns out to be manipulating you and ready to drop you like a hot coal when they need to, but your SPOUSE? Ouch.
I love Angelique. She is so strong and honorable, though she doesn’t see it herself. It broke my heart when she met Quinn and she was the first to ever offer her help and Angel was astonished. No one had ever offered her help. Quinn became a saint to her at that moment and forever would bee too good for Emerys.
I agree she is one of the strongest characters I’ve ever read about. Simply because after everything she’s been through, after thinking of herself and her powers as evil, she never stopped being good. You know how rare that is? Many main characters struggle in the way, doubt themselves, but Angelique’s moral compass is so precise, she always knew what the right thing to do is, even when she didn’t notice herself.
Angelique claimed a part of my heart, and I can’t wait to see how her story unravels now that Evariste is out. They are so sweet together, and I’m glad Evariste is as good and honorable as ever. He’s perfect for her.
Yes, yes, yes!