The Spark Chronicles

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
True tales have no beginning or end. They do not exist only when men say 'Exist!' but instead are always there...reverberating through time in a dance, a weaving if you will. Only humans try to contain it with beginnings and ends. To put boundaries on everything simply because our own lives are bounded by birth and death. And thus we seek to lessen the power of that which is immortal.
—The quote from the beginning of Spark.
There's something different about you, Sarn.
—A quote from Spark.

A world without stories. An ancient hero who can’t remember who she’s supposed to be. And one girl who discovers something that should have never had been forgotten...

The year is 3163, and the world is ruined. Those who have survived the devastation of the Sino Empire and the preceding wars now live as scavengers, fighting to survive in the skeletons of old cities. Sarn is a young scavenger of the Tribe that lives in the Zhongshui, which used to be known as Shanghai. Like the others of her kind, she doesn't speak, doesn't dream, doesn't wonder of what happened before her time...

...that is, until she finds a spark of something in the ruins of an old building. Something almost dead. Something beautiful and fragile. Something named Story...

And that's when everything begins to change.

The Spark Chronicles is a series written by Seraphania, also known as Elleirabird or Ari. It contains five books, two of which are written, with the other three in progress. The books are:

  • Spark
  • Ironsong
  • Boneteller
  • Dreamships
  • Storychild

There's also a prequel, titled The Last Story, and a short novella called The Sphinx and the Thief detailing Locke and Ankh's origin stories.

Tropes used in The Spark Chronicles include:
  • Badass Normal: Most of the people of the Zhongshui are some shade of this - they live on a dystopian world where buildings crumble beneath their feet. Sarn's a notable example: she fights a tiger.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: The Tribe, including Sarn, speaks a mixture of English and Mandarin
  • Brother-Sister Team: Tor and Hespera.
  • Clockwork Creature: The Guards in Ironsong, as well as the doctor's wife...and the faye.
  • Crapsack World: The Zhongshui definitely counts as this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Several characters, notably Tor, Locke and Hespera.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Sarn really hates them, being barefoot her entire life. Kaelin and Ankh don't like them much either.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Lorechant is this in a way; each bridge is based off a different human culture.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Ankh, being a sphinx. Kaelin falls under this too, being a selkie.
  • Hates Being Touched: Sarn for a good portion of the story, and Hespera at times.
  • Knife Nut: Locke definitely falls under this; he has a belt filled with an assortment of different knives.
  • Large Ham: Ankh sometimes becomes this, to her never-ending amusement.
  • Loss of Identity: This happens to Hespera, who has no idea who she is for the first half of Spark.
  • Makeover Montage: Sarn gets one of these. Granted, she never took a bath before...
  • Remember That You Trust Me: Practically quoted between Tor and Hespera.
  • Reincarnation: Hespera was trapped on Earth for about a thousand years and was forced to live several human lives.
  • Self-Sacrifice Scheme: Hespera plots this out.
  • Shout-Out: To Doctor Who, The Bible, Firefly and many other works and TV shows.
  • Steampunk: The second book, Ironsong, is a definite example of this. Also fits into Clock Punk.
  • Rule of Cool: Sphinxes? Scimitars? Cities made of glass? Yeah, the entire world of Lorechant operates on this.
  • The Muse: The "spark" that inhabits Sarn is the most literal form of this.
  • Waif Fu: Kaelin and Sarn both have this, being short, small girls.
  • Wild Child: Sarn.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Sarn's not this...yet.