In 14th century China, a girl is born into famine. The local soothsayer says that her brother, Zhu Chongba, will live a life of greatness, while her future is empty. She will be nothing. So when her brother dies in the famine, she takes over his life, hoping to trick Heaven and also take over his greatness. She disguises herself as a boy and becomes a monk, then talks her way into the army, where her cleverness and political savvy have her swiftly climbing the ranks.
Polly's brother (her sweet, innocent, artistic brother) left their family's tavern to fight in Borogravia's endless war. When his letters suddenly stop, she wants to go looking for him, but women aren't allowed in the Borogravian army. Undeterred, she chops off her hair, stuffs some socks down her trousers, and joins up anyway, disguised as "Oliver." She's always been told that the Borogravian army is the Discworld's finest, and that they're winning the war, but that's hard to believe when she sees her brothers-in-arms: all oddballs and misfits, untrained and ill-equipped.
This is the story of Nobody Owens (Bod, for short), whose family was killed when he was an infant. After that early tragedy, Bod spends a relatively happy childhood in a neighboring graveyard with his new family of ghosts and other paranormal creatures. They teach him the things he will need to function in the world of the living, as well as many of their own secrets. Bod has many adventures and a few brushes with the danger; after all, not everything that lurks in the graveyard is friendly. As he approaches adulthood, he will have to confront a very human threat-- the man that murdered
Witches Lizzie and Belle have been best friends since childhood, but now they are on the run from Lizzie’s family, who are considered witch royalty. They currently own a cafe on the Faelan Werewolf Reservation and perform psychic readings on the side.
In the village of Varenia, all girls are trained to be the most beautiful and charming, so that they may be chosen at the ceremony to marry the prince of Ilara. Nor and her identical twin sister Zadie are born undoubtedly as the most beautiful in Varenia, but a childhood incident gives Nor a small scar on her face. In a village that believes the beauty of a woman is all she has, this scar makes her damaged goods. This takes the burdens of being perfect off of her, allowing her to help her family as the village begins to suffer.