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A science fiction species co-authored by Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Ball and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. The first series follows the life of the eponymous unicorn girl Acorna from the discovery of her escape pod by three miners to her rediscovering her heritage and her place in the universe. The sequel, Acorna's Children is currently a trilogy.
- Acorna: The Unicorn Girl (1997)
- The Unicorn Girl: The Illustrated Adventures (1997)
- Acorna's Quest (1998)
- Acorna's People (1999)
- Acorna's World (2000)
- Acorna's Search (2001)
- Acorna's Rebels (2003)
- Acorna's Triumph (2004)
- Acorna's Children
- First Warning (2005)
- Second Wave (2006)
- Third Watch (2007)
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
- A Load of Bull: The Nirii are a stoic telepathic bovine-like alien species.
- Badass: Nadhari Kando
- Cats Are Mean: Roadkill (aka RK).
- Cats Are Superior: Roadkill again and the entire Makahomian Temple Cat species in general.
- Cat Guy: Grimalkin's preferred humanoid form is described as this.
- Constructed Language: The authors over the books have put together quite a few grammar and pronunciation rules for the Linyaari language as well as a small word corpus.
- Cool Old Lady: Grandam Naadiina
- Crapsack World: Kezdet. Rife with corruption, child slavery and exploitation.
- Easily-Thwarted Alien Invasion: The Khleevi fleet heading for Kezdet were easily chased off by the simple fact that they were capable of fighting back. Once they find a certain plant, destroying Khleevi infestations became as easy as spraying for weeds.
- Emotion Eater: The Khleevi (especially their offspring.) feed on the pain and fear they cause their victims. The Linyaari due to their pacifist nature, empathic ability and rapid healing are considered a delicacy.
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone knew Acorna and Aari were meant for each other, except Acorna and Aari.
- Fumbling the Gauntlet: In Linyaari culture, Acorna's human-style smiling (with teeth showing) basically means "I'm about to attack you."
- Happily Married: Hafiz and Karina
- Healing Factor: All Linyaari have this to a degree, so much so that most have never seen old wounds before.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: The Khleevi can be considered this. It is implied in Acorna's Triumph that they have a scoured a galaxy or two of organic life.
- Humans Are Warriors: The Khleevi learnt the hard way at the end of Acorna's Quest. They were shocked to find a species which actually fought back when attacked, and resolved to stay away from humanity.
- I Thought Everyone Could Do That: The Linyaari didn't realize that not everyone knew how to make paint that could withstand interstellar travel.
- ISO Standard Human Spaceship: The Linyaari are baffled by the uniform, uncolored nature of human starships. On the flip side, humans find the colors on Linyaari craft loud and garish.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tharrinye
- Nice Hat: The Linyaari often wear special horn hats which double as Psychic Block Defense.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Liriili
- Perfect Pacifist People: The Linyaari, who preferred to run and abandon their world rather than fight the Khleevi once they saw they couldn't be reasoned with. This is partly due to the nature of their abilities and partly due to their society.
- Precursors: The Ancestral Friends, who called themselves the Hosts, are the precursors of the Linyaari, Makahomian Temple Cats and probably many other races through a combination of Shapeshifting, genetic engineering and Boldly Coming.
- Phony Psychic: Karina is initially depicted as this in Acorna's Quest. Subverted throughout the series where it is shown that she actually has the gift but just not as much she believes.
- Played hilariously with her first interactions with actual psychics, the Linyaari, when her standard-phony-psychic visualization exercises actually shut down the rudimentary communication that they've established.
"No luck, all I'm getting now is blue."
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Grimalkin's ultimate fate at the end of Acorna's Triumph, trapped in the form of a kitten by his superiors.
- Shell Shocked Survivor: Aari, horrifically tortured by the Khleevi then abandoned on his dying homeworld as the sole survivor. He has issues.
- The Swear Jar: After the miners take in a little alien girl they institute this, just because they don't want her learning those particular words.
- Telepathy: Quite a few species in the series are telepathic.
- Time Travel: The Hosts had this down to an art form. Becomes a centre plot point in Acorna's Search and Acorna's Triumph
- The Trickster: Grimalkin fits the archtype.
- Unicorn: Acorna and her species the Linyaari are Alien Petting Zoo People version and share many of the qualities that unicorns are said to have.
- Also the Ancestors, who are the descendents of the unicorns who were rescued from Earth by the Ancestral Friends.
- Weather Control Machine: Central to one of the major plots in Acorna's Quest.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Acorna's name is unpronounceable in Linyaari, the nearest equivalent is Khornya which incidentally means "One Horn" in Linyaari. Needless to say, many are amused and bemused by her name.