In Kresley Cole’s own words….
ORIGIN OF THE ARCANA
Millennia ago, the gods grew bored. So Isis, the goddess of magic and wisdom, devised entertainment: a contest to the death for select mortals. She invited gods of other realms to each choose a representative from their most prestigious house, a mortal under the age of twenty five who would carry the god’s emblem into battle.
These players would fight inside Tar Ro (ancient Egyptian for royal road), a sacred realm as large as a thousand kingdoms. Isis plagued Tar Ro with disasters to honor various gods and to fuel conflicts between the players.
With each kill, a player would harvest a god’s emblem from an opponent, which would then appear on his or her own hand; only the player who collected all the others’ emblems would leave Tar Ro alive – as an immortal victor.
Naturally, the deities cheated, gifting his or her representative with superhuman abilities. Secret abilities. Thus the players became known as Arcana.
This vicious Tar Ro game proved so popular with the gods that they decided to host it every few centuries in different lands across the mortal plane until the end of time.
Deprived of their lifeblood – worshippers’ prayers – these old deities are thought to have moved on to other worlds, but their legacies live on. On the eve of a new game, each god’s magic seeks out a descendant from his or her House of Arcana.
Players are transformed; a new game is dealt. The earth suffers in their wake.
The object of the game: trump every other card by any means necessary, slaying opponents to collect their emblems, now known as icons. In the end, the winner “holding all the cards” will be made immortal until all the others reincarnate to play again.
The Sun flame broiled the earth, flash evaporating all bodies of water and turning every living thing that had not taken shelter to ash. This also caused wooden buildings (or any flammable buildings) to catch on fire. It created a disease which zombifies people, making them into creatures called Baggers.
If you are looking for the next Hunger Games or Divergent but even more addicting and action packed, then you have to try the Arcana Chronicles. It has Kresley Cole’s signature writing style, fun characters bursting with personality, and the wild imagination of a world you’ll want to know all the secrets about, but maybe never visit.
This series is such a unique concept and a really entertaining one. It’s packed with betrayals, secrets and lies in a fight for survival and to stop the game. And it also features one of the ultimate love triangles in my opinion! Check it out and you may just find your next book boyfriend (or two)! But fair warning, don’t get too attached to any of these characters. It’s a battle to the death after all.
Book 1: Poison Princess
Book 2: Endless Knight
Book 3 Dead of Winter
Book 4 Day Zero
Book 5 Arcana Rising
Book 6 The Dark Calling
The Major Arcana
- Matthew, also known as Gamekeeper of Old, The Hand of Fate, Il Matto, Mat, Null, Zero, Coo-yon
- Age: 16
- Powers: Foresight, astral projection, clairaudience, telepathy, dream delivery/scrying/manipulation, memory implantation and absorption, omniscience, and other game-keeping abilities never chronicled.
- Special Skills: Genetic memory. Can slow or accelerate the Arcana game. Can call a temporary “trues” (truce).
- Call: “Crazy like a fox.”
- Icon: A null sign: a circle with a diagonal line through it.
- Weapons: None. If given a weapon, he will toss it away.
- Tall and lanky with with brown hair
- He often speaks what seems like nonsense to others and does not reveal anything more than he wants to.
- Tableau: A smiling young man carries a knapsack and a single white rose. Vacant gaze raised to a blinding sun, he strolls toward the edge of a cliff with a small dog nipping at his heels.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Nose will bleed if he is mentally overloaded from the game.
- Before Flash: Living with his mother in the South. Enrolled in a program for autistic students.
- Fantasy Cast: Logan Lerman
- Finneas also known as Finn, Master of Illusions, the Trickster
- Age: 16
- Powers: Illusion creation and casting. Hallucikinesis, reality distortion, conjurations and invocations.
- Special Skills: Surfing.
- Call: “Don’t look at this hand, look at that one.”
- Icon: Ouroboros.
- Weapons: None.
- Love interest: Lark Inukai
- Tableau: A young man wearing a red robe, holds a wand skyward while pointing to the ground with his free hand. On a table before him lies a pentagram, a chalice, a sword, and a cane. A bed of roses and lilies grow at his feet, vines trailing above. Like Strength, the Magician card have an infinity symbol.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Speaks a mysterious magician language when he conjures illusions.
- Before Flash: “Problem” kid from California, send to visit his extended family.
- Fantasy Cast: Hayden Christensen
- Circe Remire also known as Ruler of the Deep, The Priestess, the Water Witch
- Age: 20s
- Powers: Water manipulation, including tidal wave generation and flood creation. Hydrokinetic combat, shapeshifting, and constructs (can form water objects). Hydro scrying (can perceive through water). Hydroportation.
- Special Skills: Spells and hexes. One spell enables her to remember past games.
- Call: “Terror from the abyss!”
- Icon: Trident.
- Weapons: Water, trident.
- Circe is described as having luminous fawn colored eyes, and ebony skin with long black brained hair.
- Tableau: A priestess – with water for hair and tentacles for legs – looms over a sacrificial victim at a bloody altar.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: She has iridescent blue scales on her arms, with a small fin at each elbow.
- Before Flash: A grad student from Bermuda, attending the University of Miami. Her focus: Atlantean mythology and the Bermuda triangle. Engaged to a computer programmer and instructor there. Member of campus Wiccans.
- Fantasy Cast: Camila Mendes
- Evangeline Green, known as Evie, also known as Poison Princess, Lady Lotus, Phyta, the May Queen, The Queen of Thorns, Mistress of Flora. Sieva (to Death) and peekon (to Jack)
- Age: 16-18
- Powers: Can create, shape, and control plants and trees. Can deliver poisons through her claws and lips, and spores from her hair and hands. Chlorokinetic scrying (can perceive through plants). Regeneration.
- Special Skills: Mesmerizing.
- Call: “Come, touch … but you’ll pay a price.”
- Icon: White rose.
- Weapons: Plants, trees, poisonous spores, thorn tornados.
- Love Interest(s): Brandon Radcliffe, Jack Deveaux, Aric Dominja
- Petite with a slim figure, beautiful with blonde hair and blue eyes
- Tableau: A woman sitting upon a throne with her arms open wide, wearing a poppy-red gown and a crown with twelve stars; her hair is strewn with poppies, vines, and strands of red. White roses surround her throne, and the rolling hills behind her are awash in green and red – from both crops and blood.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Hair turns red, and fingernails morph into thorn claws. Glyphs on her skin glow from green to gold, each one representing a weapon in her arsenal.
- Before Flash: A cheerleader at Sterling High in Louisiana. The night before Day 0, her sixteenth birthday arty was broken up by the sheriff’s department.
- Fantasy Cast: Teresa Palmer
- Richter also known as the Stone Overlord, The Emperor, Jersey Number Four
- Age: 16-18
- Powers: Pyromancy, magma generation, terramancy. Can create and control fire, mountains, volcanoes, and earthquakes.
- Special Skills: Athletic skill, brute stength.
- Call: “Quake before me!”
- Icon: Ankh.
- Weapons: Rock and fire.
- Tableau: A stony-eyed ruler, surrounded by flames and slabs of granite, holding a scepter with an engraved ankh.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Lava flows from his bleeding hands, and his eyes glow like fire.
- Before Flash: Right wing for Oshawa Generals, Ontarior Junior Hockey League team, NHL hopeful.
- Fantasy Cast: Greg Nawrat
- Guthrie, also known as He of the Dark Rites, The Sacrificer, The Consecrater
- Age: 20s
- Powers: Mind control, mesmerism, pathokinesis (emotion manipulation).
- Special Skills: Genetic memory. Has an innate knowledge of sacrificial rituals. His mind control can last even after he’s dead.
- Call: “We go now to our bloody business!”
- Icon: Two raised fingers.
- Weapons: His brainwashed followers.
- While he was unaware of the game, he liked turning people into cannibals.
- Tableau: A robed male holding his right hand high, two fingers raised, blessing his white-eyed followers.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Pale from cannibalistic diet. Teeth filed into sharp points. Eyes turn white when he uses his mind-control power.
- Before Flash: He was a miner
- Fantasy Cast: Josh Hutcherson
- Vincent and Violet also known as Duke and Duchess Most Perverse, Milovnici Twins
- Age: 16
- Powers: Pathokinesis and love manipulation (can warp and pervert any who love). Replication (can create carnates, living duplicates of themselves). Command inducement and sense scrying (can command carnates and borrow their senses).
- Special Skills: Torture.
- Call: “We will love you. In our own way.”
- Icon: Two overlapping triangles, bisected with arrows
- Weapons: Their carnates. Also torture
- Tableau: Look-alike twins, a male and a female, stand hand in hand with a bloody windmill spinning in the background and dead roses at their feet.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Even though they were supposed to be twins, Vincent absorbed Violet, and so they had only one body. As a result, they were unable to use their full powers.
- Before Flash: Lived their entire lives in the Shrine, their father’s doomsday bunker, studying their line’s chronicles.
- Fantasy Cast: Violet – Alexandra Daddario | Vincent: Landon Liboiron
- Kentarch Mgaya also known as the Centurion, the Wicked Champion, the Wanderer, the Phantom
- Age: 20s
- Powers: Teleportation. Ghosting (intangibility, can phase rapidly between corporeal and incorporeal). Ghosting extension (can make objects and other people intangible). Superior aiming.
- Special Skills: Covert operations, intelligence collection, tactical satellite communications, target acquisition, and offensive raiding. Marksmanship.
- Call: “Woe the bloody vanquished.”
- Icon: Horse’s head.
- Weapons: Whatever’s available.
- Love Interest: Issa Mgaya
- Tableau: A warrior in a horse-drawn chariot, dressed in a red tunic and a helmet with a red-feather crest. Waterfalls and waves appear in the background.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: When intangible, a faint outline of his body remains.
- Before Flash: Newlywed Kenya Special Forces soldier, training an elite anti-poaching unit. Descended from a long line of Maasai warriors.
- Fantasy Cast: Robert Ri’chard
- Lark Inukai also known as Mistress of Fauna, Fortitude
- Age: 16
- Powers: Animal manipulation (can control all creatures). Animal scrying (can borrow the senses of animals). Animal generation (her blood affects the physiology of creatures and can make them into her familiars). Enhanced senses, night vision.
- Special Skills: Healing and training animals.
- Call: “Red of tooth and claw!”
- Icon: Paw print.
- Weapons: Beastly predators.
- Love interest: Finn
- Tableau: A delicate girl in a white robe controlling the gaping jaws of a lion. Like the Magician, the Strength card have an infinity symbol.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Has claws and fangs. Her eyes turn red when she mingles her senses with a creature’s.
- Before Flash: High school student and animal trainer, living in the compound of an eccentric billionaire.
- Fantasy Cast: Camila Queiroz
- Arthur, also known as Master of Alchemy, The Alchemist
- Age: 16-18
- Powers: Hyperintelligence, hypercognition, chemistry savant, guile. Potioner and elixirs master. Creating elixirs to give himself temporary powers.
- Special Skills: Acting normal.
- Call: “A wise man in the guise of a boy.”
- Icon: A glowing lantern.
- Weapons: Pain potions, acid grenades, scalpel.
- He murdered his father by dissolving him with acid.
- Tableau: An aged, cloaked man holding a lantern in the dark.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Appears elderly when using his powers.
- Before Flash: Escalating kidnapper and serial killer.
- Fantasy Cast: Dylan O’Brien
- Azara “Zara” Bonifacio Felix also known as Our Lady of Chance, Lady Luck, the Luck Thief, Fluke
- Age: 16-18
- Powers: Luck absorption. Can impact misfortune (increasing her own luck) and steal luck through touch.
- Special Skills: Expert pilot, trained combat fighter, markswoman.
- Call: “Where she stops, nobody knows.”
- Icon: Wheel.
- Weapons: Helicopters. Firearms used in aerial assaults.
- Black hair and haze eyes.
- Tableau: A girl standing in the center of a huge spinning wheel. A sphinx runs on top of it and a dragon clings to the bottom while ancient clay dice rain down from a night sky.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Eyes and veins turn purple when she establishes a luck conduit.
- Before Flash: Brazilian heiress to Dragao Novo, the largest turbine helicopter manufacturer in Sao Paulo State (the civilian helicopter capital of the world).
- Fantasy Cast: Aimee Garcia
- Spite also known as She Who Harrows, The Fury
- Age: 16
- Powers: Acid spitting and flight. Superhuman senses, strength, and healing. Infrared vision. Her fireproof wings can blend into surroundings, camouflaging her.
- Special Skills: Concealment.
- Call: “Blood will tell. Blood will run. But the tears of the damned always taste sweet.”
- Icon: Navy-blue scales.
- Weapons: Razor-sharp claws that tip her wings and a scouring whip.
- Tableau: A blindfolded, winged demoness, holding a steel-studded whip in her upraised right hand and weighing scales in her lowered left hand.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Her eyes are yellow instead of white, with green keyhole pupils. She has long retractable claws and batlike wings. Prior to striking an enemy, her wings will vibrate, the sharp claws tapping each other to make a rattling sound.
- Before Flash: Daughter of Egyptian museum curators, in the States for a long-term exhibit.
- Fantasy Cast: Tara Emad
- A.k.a: Our Lord Uncanny
- Special Skills:
- Call: “Never…….
- Love Interest:
- Unique Arcana Characteristics:
- Before Flash:
Details to be revealed soon…
- Aric Dominija is the Death Arcana known as the Endless Knight. He has been the reigning Arcana Champion for the last three games.
- A.k.a.: The Reaper, Tredici
- Age: While he looks about 23, he is actually over 2000 years old.
- Powers: Touch of Death (can kill with contact). Death awareness (can sense dead things and approaching death). Superhuman speed, strength, endurance, dexterity, senses, healing. Controlled telepathy.
- Special Skills: Gifted horseman, unmatched swordsman
- Call: Unknown (Aric is able to mask his call)
- Icon: Scythe
- Weapons: Swords, scythe, his warhorse Thanatos
- Love Interest: Evie Greene (wife)
- Aric is considered stunningly beautiful, with long white blond hair, amber eyes and tanned skin. He is well over 6 feet tall, with a regal bearing. He has jagged black runes across his chest telling the story of his past with previous Empresses.
- Tableau: A Reaper clad in black armor, scythe at the ready, riding a pale horse with evil red eyes. He carries a black flag emblazoned with a white rose.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Wears impenetrable armor, spiked gloves, and a helmet. Eyes turn starry with emotion.
- Before Flash: A mysterious, reclusive billionaire, securing his mountain compound (Lethe Castle) against any foreseeable disaster.
- Fantasy Cast: Devin Paisley
- Calanthe, also known as Sin, Collectress of Sins, Collectress of Evils
- Age: 16
- Powers: Sin detection and pathokinesis (emotion manipulation). Her Weight of Sins power can magnify another’s guilt and horror over past deeds. Is immune to the Empress’s poisons. Enhanced senses, healing, throwing, and precise aiming.
- Special Skills: Guile, social adaption.
- Call: “Crush you with the Weight of Sins.”
- Icon: A gold chalice.
- Weapons: A pair of sai, handhled martial-arts weapons with three prongs.
- Love Interest: Patrick Joules
- Tableau: Androgynous robed figure standing on a pedestal, pouring water from one chalice to another; the sun and a bolt of lightning glow in the background.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: When she utilizes her power, a haze erupts around her and ripples of energy seem to flow from her, bombarding her target.
- Before Flash: High school student from India, living in the States with her older sister Diya, a chronicler.
- Fantasy Cast: Sonakshi Sinha
- Ogen, also known as Foul Desecrator, El Diablo, The Bloody Foul One
- Powers: Superhuman strength, animal aggression. Can morph his body, first into a colossal ogre, then into a giant. His thickened hide repels acid and poison.
- Special Skills: Forging metal.
- Call: “I’ll make a feast of your bones!”
- Icon: Two black horns.
- Weapons: None.
- Tableau: A goat-man ogre leading tethered slaves.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Ten feet tall, a horned and hunchbacked beast with cloven feet.
- Before Flash: Ohio teenager undergoing treatment for cutaneous horns and bony growth on his head.
- Fantasy Cast: Brant Daugherty
- Patrick Joules also known as Lord of Lightning, Master of Electricity
- Age: 16
- Powers: Can generate and control electrical energy. Can electrify his skin and create javelins that transform into lightning bolts.
- Special Skills: Precise aiming and superhuman throwing. Singing.
- Call: “Eyes to the skies, lads, I strike from above!”
- Icon: Lightning bolt.
- Weapons: Silver javelins engraved with esoteric symbols.
- Love Interest: Calanthe
- He has reddish-brown hair.
- His best friend is Gabriel.
- Tableau: Lightning striking a turret, sending people falling.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Sparking skin.
- Before Flash: A choirboy from Ireland in New York for a signing competition.
- Fantasy Cast: Stefano Masciolini
- Stellan Tycho also known as Arcane Navigator, The North Star, Supernova
- Age: 17-18
- Powers: Stellar embodiment and manipulation. Enhanced senses and night sight. Can generate stellar bombs, detonating himself to paralyze or destroy enemies. Echolocation, beacon emission, astronavigation.
- Special Skills: Astronomy savant.
- Call: “I descend upon you like nightfall.”
- Icon: A white star.
- Weapons: None.
- Tableau: A naked androgynous figure, gathering water under a bright eight-pointed star.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: When he uses his power, his body vibrates until it grows indistinct.
- Before Flash: Danish college student, traveling to Colorado to study astronomy.
- Fantasy Cast: Marco Islø
- Selena Lua, also known as Bringer of Doubt, The Huntress, La Luna
- Age: 18
- Powers: Pathokinesis (emotion manipulation). Can cause doubt and use moonlight as a lure. Enhanced speed, endurance, senses, dexterity, healing. Precise aiming and superhuman archery.
- Special Skills: Motorcycling, marksmanship.
- Call: “Behold the Bringer of Doubt.”
- Icon: Quarter moon superimposed over a full moon.
- Weapons: Longbow, sword, firearms, whatever’s handy.
- Selena had long silvery-blond hair with dark eyes. She has been described as having a beach-volleyball-player physique.
- Tableau: A glowing goddess of the hunt with red-tinged skin, poised in moonlight.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Skin glows red like a hunter’s moon.
- Before Flash: Motocross champion, Olympic archery hopeful, and college student who just moved away from her aunts’ home.
- Fantasy Cast: Cara Delevingne
- Solomon Heliodoro also known as El Sol, Hail the Glorious, Illuminator
- Age: 23
- Powers: Solar embodiment (can emit sunlight from his skin and eyes). Solar manipulation (can burn enemies or strike them with madness and attack with solar winds and flares). Command inducement and sense scrying (can control Bagmen and borrow their senses).
- Special Skills: Enhanced charisma, showmanship.
- Call: “Next o me, everything is shadow.”
- Icon: Yellow sun.
- Weapons: Bagmen.
- Love Interest: Beatrice and Joe.
- Solomon has black hair and brown eyes
- Tableau: A child wrapped in a red pennant is surrounded by sunflowers. Above, the sun blazes down with a menacing face.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Golden beams radiate from his eyes, and his bronzed skin glows.
- Before Flash: Purdue history grad student and part-time rave promoter from Spain.
- Fantasy Cast: Mario Casas
- Gabriel Arendgast also known as The Archangel, The Seventh Coming, The Guardian Angel, Exalted One, Gabriel of the Light
- Age: 16-18
- Powers: Flight, supernatural senses, speed, strength, healing, tracking and endurance.
- Special Skills: Enhanced aiming, swordsmanship.
- Call: “I watch you like a hawk.”
- Icon: A pair of wings.
- Weapons: In past games, he wielded the Sword of Right, but it was stolen.
- Gabriel has black hair
- Tableau: An archangel carrying a sword, flying over a mass of bodies.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: Large black wing, talon-tipped fingers. Outdated speech and old-fashioned clothing.
- Before Flash: Prophesied to be the reincarnation of the great Arendgast – an errand spirit (more commonly known as an angel). Worshipped by the Sect of Arendgast, a remote, ages-old cult, separated from modern society.
- Fantasy Cast: Wade Poezyn
- Tess Quinn also known as This Unearthly One, Miracle, Quintessence
- Age: 15-17
- Powers: Levitation, teleportation, astral projection, time manipulation, intangibility, Arcana visitation.
- Special Skills: Spying.
- Call: “Trapped in the palm of my hand.”
- Icon: A globe.
- Weapons: A wooden staff.
- Love Interest: Tony Trovato
- Tableau: A bare-chested maiden with a swath of white cloth around her hips, framed by symbols of the four elements.
- Unique Arcana Characteristics: When the World utilizes her powers, her reactorlike body quickly burns calories. Inefficient use of her abilities will result in sudden, massive weight loss.
- Before Flash: Honors high school student and service award recipient.
- Fantasy Cast: Shailene Woodley
- Jackson Daniel Deveaux, also known as Jack Daniels, The Cajun, The Hunter, J.D., The General
- Age: 19
- Special Skills: Expert fighter with keen survival instincts and weapons knowledge. Self-defense, marksmanship, bowmanship.
- Weapons: Crossbow, fists.
- Love Interest: Evie Green
- Black hair and grey eyes
- Before Flash: A transfer student at Sterling High in Louisiana, fresh from a cage-the-rage prison diversion program.
- Fantasy Cast: Gaspard Ulliel
Certain information, such a the identity of the Hanged Man card (revealed in book 6) and the kills for each Arcana are omitted from this series guide. The last card information will be added after some time has passed from release to avoid spoiling the book for those currently reading it. The kills standings won’t be added to keep this as a spoiler free guide.
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