||This article has an unclear citation style. (March 2012)|
|Author||L. J. Smith|
|Genre||Horror, Fantasy, Romance, Young-adult fiction|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
Night World is a series of ten (with the tenth as yet unpublished) young-adult fantasy novels by American author L. J. Smith. The series presents a story in which vampires, witches, werewolves, and shapeshifters live among humans without their knowledge. These supernatural races make up a secret society known as the Night World, which enforces two fundamental laws to prevent discovery: 1) Never allow humans to gain knowledge of the Night World's existence and, 2) Never fall in love with a human.
Each volume of the series follows a different protagonist (always a teenage girl) who must face various challenges involving love, the "soulmate principle" and the Night World's strict code. In the first six novels, the plot focuses on the protagonist discovering her soulmate and the danger which ensues. In the seventh book of the series, the concept of an impending millennial apocalypse is introduced. Although the theme of the "soulmate principle" continues to be present, the later books' plots focus on the search for four "Wild Powers" who, according to an ancient prophecy, will either save the world or aid in its destruction. Books from the series appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List for children's books in 2008 and 2009.
The concluding book in the series, Strange Fate, has been delayed for over a decade, and the release date is currently unconfirmed, with various websites stating different release dates. On January 22, 2012, in response to a fan's question regarding the publication of Strange Fate, the concluding book in the Night World series, L.J. Smith stated on her website "Strange Fate will come out when I'm finished writing it. It is a very, very long book. I promise that I am working on it right now."
- 1 Publishing history
- 2 Book plots
- 3 The soulmate principle
- 4 Overview of species
- 5 External links
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
The first nine books from the 'Night World series were originally published in 1996–1998 by Simon & Schuster. The release of the tenth and last book, Strange Fate, was put on hold when L. J. Smith took a hiatus from writing sometime in 1999. In 2008, the nine Night World books were reprinted in three omnibus volumes.
For the 2008 reprint, some edits were made in an attempt at modernisation, such as the replacement of the word "walkman" with "iPod" in Daughters of Darkness. These edits were not made consistently: there are references to iPods on one page of a novel, followed by references to the previously used "walkman" on the next page.
Poppy North, a normal teenage girl, is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Her best friend James Rasmussen, secretly a vampire and her soulmate, rushes to find a cure, knowing that less than three percent of patients with pancreatic cancer survive. James decides to turn Poppy into a vampire in order to save her life. After Poppy is turned, James's cousin, Ash, abducts Poppy and takes her to Las Vegas where they attend a party held by the Lord of the Night World so that Ash can turn her in (Poppy is an "illegal" vampire). James manages to save her, and it is revealed that Poppy has every right to know about the Night World because she is actually a "lost" witch, a witch unaware of her magical heritage.James and Poppy set out to find Poppy's father supposing he could help them.
Daughters of Darkness
Vampire sisters Rowan, Kestrel, and Jade Redfern escape from their homeland on an island in the Night World to live with their Aunt Opal on Burdock Farm. Things take a turn for the worse when the girls discover their aunt has been killed and that their ruthless brother Ash has followed them to bring them home or kill them. Meanwhile, the sisters and Ash meet the Carters next door, and Ash, who hates humans, discovers that Mary-Lynette Carter, a human, is his soulmate and falls deeply in love with her. Although he is hesitant at first and they don't get along well, he cannot help his feelings and later proclaims his love for her. Jade is dating Mary-Lynnette's brother, Mark, her soulmate. In the end, Mary-Lynnette's friend, Jeremy, who turns out to be a werewolf, tries to kill Ash, Kestrel, Jade, and Rowan for hunting in his territory, and also tries to turn Mary-Lynette into a werewolf. With fire and a silver dagger/knife, Mary-Lynnette kills Jeremy, and Ash leaves to cover up the events. The sisters plan to stay at Burdock Farm while Mary-Lynnette waits for Ash's return after sending him away for a year so she can have some time to think about their love and whether she wants to turn into a vampire.
Spellbinder (also published under the title Enchantress)
Thea and Blaise Harman are witch cousins and are as close as sisters. There's only one slight difference: Thea uses white magic and Blaise uses black magic. Blaise uses her charm and magic to make boys do anything for her, including cutting themselves with razors and burning down schools. When the cousins start attending a new school and Thea heals Eric Ross from a snake bite, Thea and Eric realize they are soulmates. Blaise is jealous that Eric has chosen Thea and is worried that Thea is breaking Night World law to be with Eric. In a desperate attempt to protect Eric from Blaise, Thea accidentally releases an angry spirit that kills one of Blaise's admirers. Thea and Eric try their best to capture the angry spirit by luring it away from the school. But Thea is wanted by the Circle because she is not allowed to use that kind of magic, as are Blaise and Thea's friend Dani. Thea manages to tell them that Eric is in trouble because the angry spirit is with him. She manages to get to Eric before he is killed and puts the spirit back where it came from. The Circle tells her that she cannot love a human so she chooses to drink the Cup of Lethe, a drink that erases a part of your memory, to erase her and Eric's knowledge of the Night World. However, Blaise had switched the drink with iced tea, so neither forgets that the Night World exists.
After a near-death experience in a forest, Gillian Lennox is brought back to life by a being who calls himself "Angel". He comes back with her and helps her change her life, making her the most popular girl at school and uniting her with her long-time crush. Everything is perfect until Angel starts making strange requests and people start getting hurt, and Gillian learns about her heritage. She is a descendant of one of the lost Harman babies. She learns that Angel is a spirit with unfinished business. She learns that Angel's real name is Gary Fargeon, and he is her cousin, a descendant of another lost Harman baby. His unfinished business is that he accidentally killed a girl when she disturbed a spell he was casting. She helps him cross over, leaving Gillian with her long-time crush and soulmate David Blackburn.
After witnessing the murder of her mother and her childhood friend, Timmy, by a ruthless vampire when she is about five years old, Rashel Jordan becomes a vampire hunter known as The Cat, dedicating her life to killing all vampires one by one until she finds the one that killed her mother. One night she meets her soul mate, John Quinn, a cold-hearted and very dangerous vampire.Upon touching him she gets the shock of her life. She finds herself abandoned by other vampire hunters but feels the need to save teenage girls who are being kidnapped by vampires, including her soulmate, for a blood feast. She infiltrates a vampire enclave, rescues the girls, and plans to kill any vampires she can. Quinn saves Rashel from a werewolf and thus declares his love for her and try to attempt turning her into a vampire to get married to her.But later they discover that Hunter Redfern is behind the blood feast, and Rashel remembers him as the ruthless vampire that had killed her mother when she was very young little girl. She finds out that Timmy was not killed but instead he was turned into a vampire at the age of four and raised by Hunter. Rashel's friend Nyala, a vengeful, unbalanced vampire hunter, sets the house on fire but Quinn saves Rashel, Timmy, and Nyala and Rachel's anger and bitterness for all vampires dissolves. Rashel and Quinn decide to stay together and join Circle Daybreak.
Hannah Snow has been having nightmares and keeps finding notes written in her own handwriting, warning her that she is in danger and will die before her seventeenth birthday. Worried about her sanity, she begins hypnosis with a psychologist, Paul Winfield, going back through time and reliving her past lives, connecting to each of them and discovering that her soulmate is Thierry Descoudres, a vampire and a Lord of the Night World. Thierry and his enemy Maya have found Hannah, and Hannah's life is at stake because Maya wants Thierry for herself. Maya was the person who made Thierry into a vampire. Thierry was the first made vampire, and Maya was a witch but wanted to be immortal, so she turned herself into a vampire by using a spell and drinking the blood of four babies. At first Hannah thinks that Thierry was the one who killed her in her past lives, but it was actually Maya when she was in her shapeshifted form, disguising herself as Thierry. Hannah goes to his house and meets the other members of Circle Daybreak, a group of humans, vampires, wolves, witches, and shapeshifters, all of whom are hoping for peace between Night World and the human race. Hannah is captured by Maya, who attempts to turn Hannah into a vampire so that when she kills Hannah, her cycle of reincarnation will end because she will no longer have a soul. Instead, Hannah manages to kill Maya. Hannah decides to remain human and live her life until death, after which Thierry will wait for her to return again.
Jezabel "Jez" Redfern thinks she is a full vampire, but soon finds out she is in fact half-human. She runs away from her gang and Uncle Bracken to live with her human relatives. She only goes back to the vampires when Circle Daybreak asks her to go on a dangerous mission: to fight her worst enemy, best friend, and soulmate, Morgead Blackthorn, for the Wild Power. It turns out that the person thought to be the Wild Power is a fake. When she meets her friend Hugh, an Old Soul, Jez's annoying cousin Claire follows her and overhears everything. They are soon after attacked by two werewolves and a vampire. When she and Claire fall off the station platform onto the train tracks, Jez sees blue fire, the power of a Wild Power, and thinks Claire is the one. When she, Claire, Hugh, and Morgead are captured by Lily Redfern, who is in search of the Wild Power, Jez figures out the meaning of the prophecy: she is one of the Wild Powers, and her blood must be spilled to release the blue fire. Morgead convinces her not to let go and give up when she is staked by Lily and she does not die. Jez and Morgead then join Circle Daybreak.
While trying to rescue her brother from his girlfriend, a witch named Sylvia, Maggie stumbles upon an old Night World colony, where she meets a vampire prince. He is Delos Redfern, who is not only the ruler of the Night World, but is one of the four Wild Powers, with the power of blue fire. Though he is cold towards her, he repeatedly saves her, each time stating that he won't help her again. The two soon learn that they are soulmates, though Delos refuses it and tells her to leave. Maggie does not, and remains in the Night World to find her brother. Delos's great-grandfather, Hunter Redfern, arrives to take over the kingdom with Delos's help. After arriving at the castle, against Delos's orders, Maggie convinces him to take her side. He does, realizing that Hunter is an enemy, though it takes a while for him to care for anyone else. Delos soon discovers that changing sides is useless, as his powers are bound by a spell, and he cannot fight against any of them. Maggie finds out that her brother was turned into a shapeshifting falcon by, Sylvia . Sylvia is killed by Hunter Redfern after she releases the spell binding Delos's powers. Hunter Redfern is presumably killed by Delos's use of blue fire. Maggie is happy to have found her brother and her soulmate. However, no one can rest yet because the witches have seceded from the Night World Council, leading to war between vampires and witches. Two Wild Powers have been found, and both are now on the side of Circle Daybreak. Only two more remain.
Raksha Keller and her team race to a mall to save the new Wild Power, Iliana Harman. The new Wild Power is destined to marry Galen Drache, a shapeshifter of the first house, so the shapeshifters will side with the witches and not the vampires. But when Keller learns that the Wild Power's betrothed, Galen Drache, is in fact her soulmate, she realizes that their love could destroy the world. Also, the Night World shapeshifters have been attacking humans often, and they have also killed the Crone of the witches, Grandma Harman. The Night World has a dragon that can turn into anything that it touches. Iliana's deaf friend, Jaime, is hosting a party, to be held on the same night as the ceremony that bonds the witches and shapeshifters. Iliana tries to use her powers to save Jaime when a car is going to hit her, but she can't activate the power. Based on that failure, Iliana assumes that she is not the Wild Power but agrees to pretend that she is the Wild Power and Witch Child so the ceremony will still go ahead. However, she says that she will only help if she can go to Jaime's party. Keller and the people who are protecting Iliana agree and go with her to protect her from the dragon. Before they go, they station guards all around the house. The night before the party, Keller and Galen stay up looking through scrolls that contain writing only shapeshifters can read, trying to find information about the dragon. They find out that dragons have horns and that if you cut them all off, they can no longer shapeshift. They also find out accidentally that they are soulmates, but Keller thinks they have to ignore it because he has to marry Iliana. At the party, Jaime's brother, Brett, tells Keller that Iliana's little brother has run away, and Iliana's mother is on the phone. Keller goes into Jaime's room, picks up the phone, and asks Brett to leave the room. When he does, she finds that there is no one on the other end of the phone. She tries to leave the room but the door is locked and she realises that the dragon was disguised as Brett. She shapeshifts into a panther, jumps out the window, and reenters the party to try to find Iliana. Iliana is nowhere to be found, so Keller asks the real Brett where she is. He tells her that she is in the basement. Keller runs through an underground tunnel and finds her friends and Iliana badly hurt. She attacks the dragon, who was disguised as Jaime, several times and removes three out of the five horns. Galen turns into a leopard and removes another one. Keller sees her witch friend whisper something to Iliana, and Iliana stands up. She chants a spell and makes blue fire appear, which destroys the dragon while healing everyone else. Instead of Iliana, Keller gets promised to Galen because the witches and shapeshifters can be on the same side if they do a blood cross between Iliana and Keller.
Book ten (not yet published) reportedly follows a sixteen-year-old girl named Sarah Strange, who has mysterious dreams of Night World inhabitants. It is intended to be the conclusion of the Night World series, leading up to the apocalypse. On January 22, 2012, L. J. Smith claimed at her website under the "Burning Fan Questions" section "shows the endgame for nearly all the main characters you have seen in the Night World series as Ash helps them. It tells of Sarah Strange and her two soulmates (one of whom is the last Wild Power, Kierlan Drache).
The soulmate principle
In the series, the soulmate principle is the theory that if two people are connected by a silver cord (which can be seen only by the soulmates), then they are soulmates. Since they are soulmates they can not live without each other. The silver cord can also be used by a person to sense what the soulmate is feeling. In Black Dawn, Maggie senses Delos's feelings by focusing on their silver cord. The strength of the soulmate connection differs.
Soulmates often discover their connection by accident, when the soulmates kiss or touch, or when one of them drinks the other's blood. In Secret Vampire, Poppy and James have been friends for years but realize they are soulmates only when James drinks Poppy's blood. In Daughters of Darkness, Mary-Lynnette and Ash each feel an electric jolt when they first shake hands. In The Chosen, Rashel's bare hand brushes Quinn's, and they both receive a shivering jolt. A soulmate also has the ability to completely enter his/her soulmate's mind. When this occurs, their minds are forcibly opened to each other and each can explore the other's memories, thoughts, and feelings freely. In Huntress, it is revealed that memories can be blocked, but any lapse in concentration or excessive time in a soulmate's mind will remove the blockages.
Overview of species
Smith's vampires are fairly different from the traditional concept of vampires. They also differ from vampires in the universe she created in her series The Vampire Diaries. In Night World, there are two types of vampires: the lamia (pronounced lay-me-uh) and the "made vampires".
Lamia are those who are born as vampires. They age, eat, and grow as humans do, but also have the ability to stop the aging process at any point they please; however, once a lamia who has stopped aging decides to begin aging again, the aging process will be accelerated so that their physical appearance will match their true age in a short amount of time. Also, the lamia are able to have children, unlike the "made vampires".
Made vampires are humans who have been made into vampires by exchanging blood with lamia or with another made vampire. Since older people cannot survive the physical transition, all made vampires look about age nineteen or younger. Also, unlike lamia, made vampires cannot age or reproduce. If a made vampire does not receive enough blood from the vampire who was "turning" him and subsequently dies, he will awaken as a ghoul, where his only aim in life is to kill and eat.
Both lamia and made vampires have superhuman strength, speed, and agility, and can have telepathic powers. Sunlight weakens but does not destroy vampires. Unlike vampires in other fiction, they cannot transform into bats (with the exception of the original vampire, Maya, who was killed in Soulmate by Hannah, so this power died with her). As in most vampire lore, they need human blood to survive. Smith's explanation is that vampire cells are unable to carry oxygen, so vampires must acquire human blood cells for them to breathe. They are immortal but can be murdered and are vulnerable to wood and fire.
The first vampire in existence, Maya, was originally a witch. In her quest for power and immortality, she became the first vampire by the use of powerful magic, which involved drinking the blood of infants. Maya bore a son, Red Fern, who became the ancestor of all lamia. The first made vampire was a boy from Maya's tribe named Thierry, who was transformed against his will and features in Soulmate. All made and lamia vampires descend from Maya. As Maya is the first vampire in existence, she has many abilities her descendants do not (since their vampire blood is diluted), such as shapeshifting. She also retains her ability to perform magic. Despite the fact that the first vampire was a woman, vampires (particularly the lamia) are a very patriarchal society. There are also vampires from the Redfern family who have a greater concentration of witch blood, from a "kinship ceremony" enacted by Hunter Redfern and Maeve Harman.
The symbol for lamia vampires is not mentioned in the book. Lamia characters such as James Rasmussen are known to carry the image of a black iris, which is the symbol for the Black Iris Club, a lamia club open to all denizens of the Night World. The symbol for made vampires is the black rose, as stated in Daughters of Darkness, the second book in the Night World series, as well as Soulmate, the sixth book. The symbol for witches is the black dahlia, also stated in Daughters of Darkness.
Main vampire characters
Ash Redfern - One of the leading characters in the second book of the series, Ash is described as having ash-blonde hair with ever-changing eyes (which he inherits) depending on his mood. He is a very arrogant and lazy "bad boy" who prefers to play with humans and is very selfish; though all of that changes when he meets Mary-Lynnette Carter, his soulmate, whom he loves enough to change his entire life. Ash leaves at the end of the book to make up for his past mistakes, planning to return to Mary-Lynnette afterwards.
James Rasmussen - The second lead character in the first book, James has grey eyes and brown hair and is described as looking like James Dean by his soulmate. He is considered a "bad boy" in his school but acts like that to hide his true nature. He has a new girlfriend every few weeks, but uses them as blood donors. When he is near his best friend, and later, soulmate, Poppy North, he is gentle and deeply cares about her, even though she is human. His cousin is Ash Redfern, to whom he is related through his mother.
Jezebel "Jez" Redfern - Jez is the protagonist of the seventh book Huntress. Believing she is a full vampire, she is a leader of a Night World group that hunts humans at the beginning of the book. She later realizes that she is half-human: her mother was a human and her father was a vampire. She has long, curly, flaming red hair and silvery-blue eyes. She is described as being stubborn and hotheaded by her soulmate, Morgead Blackthorn, the second leader of her group. She is a cousin of James and Ash. Jez is the first Wild Power.
Morgead Blackthorn - Morgead is Jez's soulmate and is seventeen years old. He is conceited, hotheaded, stubborn, and power-hungry. Morgead is the second leader of the group that hunts humans. His mother left when he was young and he tries to hide the loneliness this made him feel. He has gem-green eyes and dark hair. He hates humans, though later joins Circle Daybreak when he realises that his best friend and soulmate is half-human, as well as a Wild Power.
Rowan, Kestrel, and Jade Redfern - Rowan, Kestrel, and Jade are the sisters of Ash and the blood sisters of Mary-Lynnette and Mark Carter. They run away from a small island to Briar Creek in order to live as normal people rather than be controlled. In the process they meet Mary-Lynnette Carter, who in fact turns out to be Ash's soulmate, and her brother, Mark, whom Jade claims is her soulmate. Rowan is the oldest of the family and is gentle and caring with chestnut-coloured hair and sweet brown eyes. Kestrel is the opposite, with long, golden hair and golden eyes. She is described by Mary-Lynnette as a real Night World member, as she enjoys hunting and acts carelessly. Jade is the youngest sister and has long, silvery-blonde hair, which she uses to hide her face; people take this as shyness, but it is really an act she uses to hide her inner feelings. She has green eyes and is bubbly.
Delos Redfern - Delos is the unknown prince of the secret Dark Kingdom and is the great-great-grandson of Hunter Redfern. He is very strong and is the second Wild Power. Unlike the other Wild Powers, he discovered his powers as a child, causing his father to view him as a secret weapon rather than as his son. Delos hates humans and mixing with others, and even though people think of him as a selfish boy, he feels vulnerable on the inside. He has yellow eyes and black hair and is the soulmate of a human girl called Maggie Neely, the protagonist of the eighth book Black Dawn.
John Quinn - Quinn is the cold-hearted heir of Hunter Redfern. He is unsympathetic to humans, despite the fact that he used to be one, until he meets his soulmate Rashel Jordan, who happens to be the most feared vampire hunter in Night World history. Quinn was born in Boston in the 1600s and was turned by Hunter Redfern after falling in love with Redfern's daughter, Dove. He was turned without consent, and is scared, confused and angry when he wakes up in Redfern's cabin. He escapes and goes to his father for help, but Quinn's father tries to kill him, accidentally staking Dove instead. After that, Quinn thinks of himself only as a vampire.
Poppy North - Poppy is the protagonist of the first book Secret Vampire. She is James Rasmussen's childhood friend and later his soulmate. They have been best friends since they were four years old. Poppy is stubborn and quite hyper, as well as curious about the world. She always believed she would marry James when they grew up and secretly loves him. She has coppery curly hair with green eyes and is the twin sister of Phillip North. She was turned into a vampire by James after they discovered she was dying of stage three pancreatic cancer. Her twin Phillip was opposed to this plan. However, he allowed it when he realized it was the only way to save his sister. Poppy and her brother are found to be lost witches from their father's side of the family.
Thierry Descouedres - Thierry holds the title "Lord of the Night World" and was the first made vampire. He was the second vampire in existence after Maya. He found his soulmate, an Old Soul named Hannah, soon after he was turned and has spent the thousands of years he has been alive in a continuous cycle of waiting for her to be reincarnated, searching for her, then having her die before her seventeenth birthday. It is a repetition of an ill-fated accident that happened during her first lifetime. She was accidentally killed by Thierry that first time and intentionally murdered by Maya in every lifetime after. It is a cycle he is desperate to break.
Thierry has dark eyes and mid-long blond hair which he wears in a ponytail. He is the leader of Circle Daybreak and plans to recruit all the Wild Powers in order to win the final battle. He was changed by Maya in the stone age because she felt she was in love with him, the same reason she repeatedly kills Thierry's soulmate through all of her lifetimes. His original name was Theorn, and he belonged to the witch tribe led by Maya's sister Hellewise.
Witches, as depicted in the Night World series, are a matriarchal society bearing a strong resemblance to the neopagan religion of Wicca and to the Goddess movement. They trace their descent to an ancient tribe ruled by Hecate Witch-Queen, and later by her daughter Hellewise Hearth-Woman. All witches are considered to be "daughters of Hellewise," although the Harman family are direct genetic descendants traced through the female line. Hellewise's sister, Maya, became the first vampire; thus all vampires are descended through Maya from Hecate Witch-Queen.
Witch society is composed of "Circles" to which all witches belong. Those who take to heart Hellewise's bidding to "harm none" (the Wiccan Rede) belong to Circle Twilight, while Circle Midnight is made up of witches who practice darker magic. The Inner Circle is a coven of the nine most magically talented witches, whom Thea Harman calls "the witch geniuses, the prodigies and the sages, the far-seers, the teachers, the policy-makers" in Spellbinder. The most important of these are the triad of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, positions which during the events of the books are held respectively by Aradia, The Maiden; Cybele, The Mother; and Grandma Harman, The Crone. All witches are answerable to the Inner Circle before the Night World council, although an association probably exists between them, but this isn't specified.
A third renegade Circle also exists, known as Circle Daybreak, first mentioned in Spellbinder, which promotes the teaching of magic to humans and peace between the races. This circle used to exist alongside the other two but was banned due to the persecution of witches during the Burning Times. Circle Daybreak is kept secret from the rest of the Night World, although a few suspect its renewed existence. During the events leading up to the apocalypse, the witches opt to leave the Night World and join Circle Daybreak, as they want to help save the world, whereas the Night World council and most of the vampires want to take over and enslave the other races.
Witches practice magic with the aid of herbs, gemstones, effigies, and incantations, all of which may be used in a spell; they worship the Goddess in her many manifestations and celebrate Samhain and probably other festivals on the Wheel of the Year. Their magic is innate and does not always require external aids, although these can accentuate their power. Human psychics in the series are "lost witches" who are unaware of their true descent.
Identifying symbols for Night World witches are the black dahlia and the crescent moon with three stars. The symbol for "lost witches" is a black violet. Iron is mentioned in Daughters of Darkness as their poison.
Main witch characters
Thea Harman - Thea is a sweet girl compared to her cousin Blaise and is the main protagonist of the third book, Spellbinder. She has long, blonde hair and sweet brown eyes. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, and even though she doesn't tell humans about her nature, she still wants to help them. She has a human soulmate, Eric Ross, and is a cross-cousin of the Redferns. She is the persona of Hellewise, one of the two original daughters of Hecate Witch-Queen.
Blaise Harman - Blaise is one of the lead characters in the third book. She is a witch royal who is described as being a girl who bewitches boys for sport and hates humans. She is a cross-cousin of the Redferns and the cousin (although they were raised like sisters) of Thea Harman. She has long, dark hair and smoky, grey eyes. She represents the persona of Maya, the original vampire and daughter of Hecate.
Sylvia Weald - Sylvia is one of the characters in Black Dawn. She is dating Maggie Neely's brother, whom she changes into a shapeshifter. She sides with Hunter Redfern and binds Delos's powers before the maiden of witches, Aradia, changes her mind. She is killed by one of Hunter's guardians seconds after she releases Delos.
Gillian Lennox (Harman) - Gillian is told of her heritage by her dead cousin who comes back as an "Angel". She is a petite girl with short silver-blonde hair and violet eyes. She is a distant cousin of Thea and Blaise as well as the Redferns. She has a human soulmate, David Blackburn, with whom she joins Circle Daybreak. Gillian is descended for the lost Harman twins, Elspeth and Emmeth.
Iliana Dominick (Harman) - Unbeknownst to Iliana, she is secretly from the Harman line and the third Wild Power. She is also prophesized to be the Witch Child. She spends most of the book denying that she is a witch, but eventually accepts her fate. As the Witch Child, she was supposed to marry the Prince of the Shapeshifters, but she refused.
Poppy North - Poppy was a lost witch along with her twin brother, Phillip North, and dying of pancreatic cancer before her best friend, James, turns her into a vampire. James figures out that she is a witch when she dreams of Ash before they even meet, develops an extremely strong telepathic ability, and screams to James while inside her dream about Ash. When she screams in her dream, three people hear it: James, Phillip, and her dad. Poppy has curly red hair and emerald green eyes.
Phillip North - Phillip is the twin brother of Poppy North. He is extremely straitlaced and responsible. He opposes Poppy and James's relationship, because of James's reputation with girls. When he learns about his real heritage, he chooses to live as a human, though he does keep in contact with Poppy and knows about the other Night World creatures. Phillip is tall, smart, and athletic, with blond hair and green eyes.
Gary Fargeon "Angel" - Not much is known about Gary because he died when he was seventeen in a car accident. He is descended from the lost Harman twins, and he had recently discovered he was a witch before he died. He is frequently described as an impossibly beautiful teenage boy, although his exact description is never given (though he does have the violet eyes that the Harmans are known for as well as sunshine blond hair.) He wants to rejoin the world of the living and develops a dangerous plan. In the end, Gary's soul finally rests in peace with a little help from his cousin Gillian.
A werewolf is a type of shapeshifter. As no main characters in any of the novels have been werewolves (Lupe Acevedo in Soulmate was only half-werewolf and she was a minor character; and there was barely anything known about Jeremy Lovett from Daughters of Darkness), less is known about this species than others. In Night World, werewolves (sometimes called 'wolves or just wolves) can transform from human to wolf (and vice versa) at will. In Daughters of Darkness, werewolves are described as wolves that take human form, rather than the reverse. This means that they have animal instincts and urges, even in human form. This is all contrary to modern werewolf lore, in which a werewolf is basically a normal person but undergoes an involuntary transformation. Though it is not stated explicitly, it appears that, like vampires, werewolves can be born as such and can also be made.
Unlike vampires, werewolves must kill every time they feed because they need to consume organs. Thus, Night World law states that werewolves can kill and eat only animals. In the Night World, werewolves are treated as second-class citizens and are the victims of prejudice and racism. As in modern werewolf lore, Night World werewolves are harmed by silver. The symbol for werewolves is a black foxglove. They are described by other members of the Night World (such as James) as having low intelligence levels.
Main werewolf characters
Jeremy Lovett - Jeremy is seen in the second book Daughter of Darkness and is best friends with Mary-Lynette Carter, the protagonist of the book. Mary-Lynette thinks of him as a vulnerable boy since he doesn't have anyone to live with. However, this is not entirely true. He is a territorial werewolf who doesn't obey Night World law and kills his uncle as well as a hiker in the woods. He fell in love with Mary-Lynette and tried to turn her into a werewolf. When Ash Redfern attempted to stop him, Jeremy attacked. Mary-Lynette killed Jeremy to save her soulmate Ash's life. Jeremy's unusual behavior while in werewolf form is why the local creek is named "Mad Dog Creek".
Lupe Acevedo - Lupe is different from any other werewolf described and seen in the series. She is smart and one of Thierry's most trusted agents. She is half-human, half-werewolf. Her birth led to her father killed for breaking the law (human/werewolf offspring are illegal). Thierry saved her. She in turn saves Hannah when she is attacked by other werewolves in the sixth book Soulmate. She has silvery-brown hair with yellow eyes.
Shapeshifters appear later in the series; no main character is a shapeshifter until the ninth book, Witchlight. Before that, only allusions to shapeshifters are made, usually in the context of a Night Person explaining the Night World to a human and listing the Night World species. In Witchlight, the protagonist, Keller, is a shapeshifter. She has the ability to change into the form of a panther at will.
Some history about shapeshifters is given in Witchlight. Shapeshifters had control of the world long before witches and vampires. Their leaders were known as "Dragons", beings that could change into the form of any animal as long as they have had physical contact to that animal (normally shapeshifters can change into only one pre-determined animal form). To kill a dragon you must remove its horns. The more horns it has, the more powerful it is. The witches rose to power and put the dragons to sleep, except for the youngest one, the dragon princess, who was only 4 at the time. The witches left her awake and raised her, carefully watching over her. All of the ruling house of shapeshifters are descended from her. The descendants of the ruling house have the ability to choose what animal they will become, but this choice is permanent.
In the early books of the series, werewolves and shapeshifters are described as separate groups or races of the Night World. For example, in Daughters of Darkness, Night World is described as comprising vampires, "witches and werewolves and shapeshifters, too". Though never explicitly stated, the later books tend to treat werewolves as a subset of shapeshifters. In Witchlight, when Keller tells the history of shapeshifters, she lists felines, bears, eagles, and wolves as groups or clans within the shapeshifter race. The description of both werewolves and shapeshifters as second-class citizens also supports the notion that werewolves are a subset, or one family, of shapeshifters. However, in Witchlight there is no real mention of Keller feeding or abiding by the rules for werewolves described in Daughters of Darkness.
The symbol for shapeshifters is a black lily. The type differs, for example tigers use tiger lilies.
Main shapeshifter characters
Raksha Keller - Keller is the protagonist of the ninth book Witchlight and leads Circle Daybreak's best Ops Team. She prefers being called by her last name as her first name means "demon". She is strong and secretive and she never shows her inner feelings to anyone. She is half shapeshifter, half human, and can turn into a panther. She prefers to work hard and repay Circle Daybreak for raising her after she was abandoned. When she was discovered as a baby, she was in human form, but with a panther's ears and tail. Keller has long, black hair with silvery-grey eyes and is the only shapeshifter that has taken a main role in the series. She is the soulmate of the Prince of the Shapeshifters, Galen Drache, and the blood sister of Iliana Dominick-Harman. On the author's website, we learn that she is Rashel Jordan's fraternal twin.
Galen Drache - Galen is the Prince of the first House of the Shapeshifters and the soulmate of Raksha Keller. He is gentle, loving, and caring, like Iliana, and isn't a fighter, but he does try his best when Keller is about to get killed by a dragon. He was supposed to marry Iliana, but when Iliana realizes that Galen is Keller's soulmate, she tells them that their love is something no one could ever interfere with. He has golden hair with green-golden eyes. As a Prince, he gets to choose his animal shape and becomes a leopard at the end of the book to save Keller.
Miles Neely - Miles is a made shapeshifter who can turn into a falcon and is the older brother of Maggie Neely. He got turned into a shapeshifter by his girlfriend, Sylvia Weald, a witch. He and Maggie bear a strong resemblance to each other. He has brown eyes and auburn hair.
Humans have a main role as some of the protagonists in the series. They have been ruling the world, which is why members of the Night World must keep its existence a secret. One of the main reasons the apocalypse is nearing is due to the Night World wanting to regain control of the world and make humans their slaves. However, Circle Daybreak is fighting the Night World in order to keep things the way they are.
Humans in the series can be reincarnated through time the way Hannah Snow in Soulmate and Hugh in Huntress are.They are known as the "old souls".
Main human characters
Mary-Lynnette Carter - Mary-Lynnette is the protagonist in Daughter of Darkness. She is the older sister of Mark Carter, becomes a blood sister with the Redfern girls, and is the soulmate of Ash Redfern. Mary-Lynnette is an astronomy lover who spends her time star-watching at night and is more of a night person than a day person. She is curious about everything and admires Nancy Drew, often wondering what she would do in her situation. She is nicknamed Mare and is very protective of Mark, feeling responsible for him. She often displays an ironic sense of humor, is very strong, and talks to herself a lot. Even though she and Ash are soulmates, she doesn't follow him, but tells him to fix his past mistakes then come back. Mary-Lynnette has long brown hair with blue eyes. When she first meets Ash, she can't stop kicking him in the shins, which is her way of suppressing the urge to kiss him, so everyone thinks she has gone mad.
Mark Carter - Mark is Jade Redfern's soulmate, the younger brother of Mary-Lynette, and blood brother to the Redfern sisters. He is very shy and doesn't like to mix with others, but when he sees Jade for the first time, he falls in love. With Jade's help, he convinces the other two Redfern sisters not to kill him and Mary-Lynette. He has brown hair with blue eyes.
Eric Ross - Eric is one of the lead characters in Spellbinder and is a gentle boy whom everyone likes. He is shy and timid, yet he is one of the most popular boys in his school, with his sandy-colored hair and grey flecked-green eyes. He becomes Blaise's next target when she and Thea Harman move to town because he isn't bewitched by her and he falls in love with Thea. His and Thea's love risks her expulsion from the Night World as she breaks a very strong law that could end not only their lives but everyone else's.
David Blackburn - David is one of the lead characters in Dark Angel. He is the most popular boy in his school and is the boy Gillian Lennox had a secret crush on since the time she first saw him when she was twelve. David has brown hair with brown eyes and has tan skin. He reveals he loves Gillian when they go to a party after he hears of an affair between his longtime girlfriend, Tanya, and another boy.
Rashel Jordan - Rashel, also known as "The Cat" by vampires, is the most feared vampire hunter in the record of Night World. She uses the phrase "This Kitten Has Claws" when killing vampires, in memory of her mother, who used to call her "kitten," and makes a mark on her victim's forehead resembling a cat's claws. She is the protagonist of The Chosen. When she was five, her four-year-old friend, Timmy, was kidnapped and changed into a vampire and her mother was killed by Hunter. This is the main reason she becomes a vampire hunter which leads her to meet her cold-hearted soulmate, Quinn, whom she originally wants to kill. She later hunts only "bad vampires," and she and Quinn are known as the best fighters when they join Circle Daybreak. On the author's website, it is revealed that she is in fact half-shapeshifter and is the twin sister of Raksha Keller. Rashel has long black hair which is tied back, and piercing green eyes.
Hannah Snow - Hannah is the protagonist of Soulmate and an Old Soul who has been reincarnated since the Stone Age when she first saw her soulmate Thierry. Thierry was known as Theorn at that time, while she was known as Hana of the Three Rivers. In each of her past lives, Hannah is killed by the first vampire, Maya Redfern, due to her loving Thierry. She has a birth mark on her right cheek (which is a psychic brand from the time Thierry accidentally killed her), long blonde hair, and grey eyes. She is a sweet girl and is known as the Lady of Circle Daybreak. In one of the short stories in the author's website, it is said that she has gone off to fight in the apocalypse.
Hugh Davis - Hugh is one of the characters in Huntress. He is a wakened Old Soul, which is extremely rare. Unlike most Old Souls, he remembers all of his past lives. According to Jez, he becomes smarter and more clearheaded with each life, and also more gentle. Hugh is a Daybreaker, and is the one to trust Jez enough to let her join Circle Daybreak. He is also the person who talks her into going to get the Wild Power from Morgead. Even though he isn't a fighter, he proves that he is somewhat capable when he fends off a werewolf by himself. Hugh is described as having longish light hair and gray eyes and is muscled but compact. It is hinted that he likes Jez as more than a good friend.
Maggie Neely - Maggie is the protagonist of the eighth book Black Dawn and is mentioned in a witches' prophecy as the "deliverer". Maggie is described as being careless and loves playing soccer. She is a strong girl who is admired by the witches and the only one who is able to handle Delos Redfern, her soulmate. Maggie has shoulder-length auburn hair with brown eyes. She is seventeen and is a Circle Daybreak member.
- L.J. Smith's Official Website.
- Night World Information Collective This site contains information about the books, characters, and concepts of the Night World series.
- Night World Official Website
- Review of all Night World published books
- Fanlisting for the Night World series.
- L. J. Smith (Reprint) Daughters of Darkness
- Deborah Wilson Overstreet, Not your mother's vampire: vampires in young adult fiction (2006), 57.
- Spellbinder p.189
- Black Dawn
- Daughters of Darkness, p.125
- Witchlight, p.140
- An interview with L.J. Smith. Bookalicious.
- Smith, L.J. Trying to catch up. Ye Olde Blog by L.J.
- Smith, L.J. Latest news. L.J. Smith's Amazon Blog.
- Smith, L.J. (1996). Daughters of Darkness. New York: Archway. ISBN 0-671-55134-5.
- Smith, L.J. (1996). Enchantress. Hodder Children's Books. ISBN 0-340-69001-1.
- Smith, L.J. (1996). The Chosen. Hodder Children's Books. ISBN 0-340-69003-8.
- Smith, L.J. (1997). Black Dawn. Hodder Children's Books. ISBN 0-340-70954-5.
- Smith, L.J. (1998). Witchlight. New York: Archway. ISBN 0-671-01477-3.
- http://www.ljanesmith.net/www/author/burning-fan-questions (22 January 2012)