• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

Urban Fantasy focusing on a Christian housewife and mother, Barbara Everette, forced into dealing with supernatural villains, written by John Ringo. The Special Circumstances refers to an "under the radar" organization within the FBI specifically tasked with investigating supernatural crimes that more conventional, "mundane" methods are ill-prepared to handle.

Ringo's primary motivation in this series is the defense of mainstream Christianity; Barbara is a pious-as-all-get-out churchgoer, a devoted Stay in the Kitchen housewife... and more than experienced in multiple methods of asskicking, lovingly learned from her father, a veteran special forces operative (who was every bit as pious). She regularly visits the soapbox to state that the negatives that many have come to associate with religion are the domain of fanatics; fire-breathing preachers are jerks, nosy judgmental tattlers are jerks, etc. She doesn't fuss over her children and husband because she's an empty-headed slave, she does it because she loves them, warts and all(even her somewhat slovenly husband who'd rather host football with his buddies than indulge in his healthy lingerie-clad wife).

As of May 2020, there are two books in the series:

  • Princess of Wands
  • Queen of Wands
Tropes used in Special Circumstances include:
  • Action Mom: The titular Princess of Wands.
  • All Monks Know Kung Fu: subverted
  • All Myths Are True: The Special Circumstances members are from a wide range of religious or otherwise spiritual belief systems, and they all imbue their respective warriors with supernatural powers to help them fight the forces of Evil.
  • American Churches: The hero is Episcopalian.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Averted.
  • Berserk Button: No matter how nice or accepting of other peoples beliefs Barbara might be do not diss Christianity in front of her
  • The Big Easy: Detective Mark Kelly, from the first part of Princess of Wands, works in the New Orleans Police Department
  • Bond Creatures: The cat revived in the last story of Princess of Wands becomes this, to the point of the husband commenting that the cat's acting like Barbara is creeping him out.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: averted
  • Church Militant: sorta. While they do "kick ass for the Lord" (or whatever deity[ies] they worship), it's not done specifically in service to their religion.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: The Special Circumstances unit is a department of the FBI, and are very clearly "good".
  • Deal with the Devil: Not the Devil, but David Krake does make a deal with a demon for the purpose of becoming a famous, good selling author.
  • Demon Slaying: What the Special Circumstances unit is occasionally called upon for doing.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: In particular, the "magic imbued" section of this trope applies, though there's also a discussion, at one point in Princess of Wands, of how normal, non-spiritual FBI agents could battle the supernatural, using "cold iron" bayonets for their rifles.
  • Dumb Blonde: Averted. Barbara, a strawberry blonde, is very much not an idiot.
  • Easy Evangelism: Averted.
  • The Fundamentalist: Averted. The "alternative" priest who worships a dragon god fills this role, jealously controlling his "flock".
  • God Is Good
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Inverted. The more people who worship a deity (even by proxy), the stronger their mortal servants are.
  • Holier Than Thou: Soundly thrashed by Barbara. She goes out of her way to avoid such types.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: A warrior's "aspect". Most supernatural beasties can only be killed when a warrior calls on their beliefs while in combat with them.
  • Housewife: Barbara, although she's very seldom shown actually taking care of her children or home.
  • Human Sacrifice: The subject of the first story in Princess of Wands.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Barbara's weapon against the demon in the middle section of Princess of Wands, later seen (but not used) in the last part of the book.
  • The Load: Barbara's husband.
  • Magic Knight: all of Special Circumstances field agents are this.
  • Mission from God: The purpose of the Special Circumstances unit.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Janea
  • Really Gets Around: Janea
  • Religion Is Magic
  • Religious Stereotype: If you've been around Pagans, you definitely notice this trope. All Wiccan characters are middle-aged hippies, all Asatruar act like they just got off a Viking ship, and you apparently cannot worship a fertility goddess without dressing/acting like a porn star 24/7.
  • Shout-Out/Take That: Quite a few in the sci-fi con story.
  • Strawman Political: You did see "John Ringo" mentioned above, yes? In particular, the rival publishing house at the con, in the second part.
  • Title Drop: Barbara's T-shirt is prophesied by a voodoo priestess.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The middle section of Princess of Wands was inspired by the events at RavenCon, a Science Fiction convention, in 2006. Needless to say, there was no battle with a demon at RavenCon.
  • Warrior Monk
  • Write Who You Know: As with most other Ringo works, fans from the Baen's Bar forum "Ringo's Tavern" get featured here and there, particularly at the convention in the second story.