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Reviews, Listings and Awards


A Shadow on the Glass

  • Shortlisted for the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel,
  • Listed in’s Best of 2001.


The Tower on the Rift

  • Listed in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Books of 1998.
  • Listed in’s Best of 2001.


The Last Albatross

  • Listed in The Australian’s Best of Summer Reading (2000).


The View from the Mirror Quartet

  • Listed in The Year in Review, 1999, Carolyn Cushman, Locus.



  • Listed in Recommended Reading, 2001, Carolyn Cushman, Locus


Terminator Gene

  • Shortlisted for the 2003 Aurealis Award for best SF novel



  • Listed in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Books of 2003
  • Honourable mention, 2003 Aurealis Award for best fantasy novel


The Art & Science of Book Promotion

  • Chapter, The Art & Science
    of Book Promotion
    in The Complete
    Guide to Writing Science Fiction
    , Dragon Moon Press,
    Canada, 2007. Winner of the 2007 Eppie Award, best non-fiction


The Sorcerer’s Tower

  • Shortlisted for the 2008 Aurealis Award for best children’s


Some reviewer’s comments:

The Three Worlds Series – The View From The Mirror

A Shadow on the Glass

  • ‘An intense story that starts slowly but becomes increasingly
    compelling. In a world full of epic fantasy clones, this stands
    out as a worldbuilding labour of love with some truly original
    touches.’ Locus.
  • ‘Those who like quests will enjoy A Shadow on the Glass … A
    recurring theme of betrayal – of people, places, and ideas –
    heightens the tension and increases the plot’s emotional grip.
    Ian Irvine writes fluently, and evokes a tangible atmosphere.
    His protagonists are engaging and all his characters’ motivations
    convincing.’ Starburst, UK
  • ‘Irvine’s series opener promises a grand-scale epic fantasy
    that features a pair of unusual heroes and a complex world rich
    in history and variety. For most fantasy collections.’ Library
    Journal (US)
  • ‘Ian Irvine is a great find! He writes beautifully about a
    vast and intricate world that seems utterly real. His characters
    are as well drawn as any I’ve come across in fantasy. Best of
    all, none of them are quite what they seem when first introduced:
    no white hats, no black hats. I found them refreshing, complicated,
    and compelling.’ Kate Elliott, author of King’s Dragon.
  • ‘As good as anything I have read in the fantasy genre.’ Adelaide
  • ‘Irvine has built a history and wonderful culture for his vivid
    world. His first novel vibrates with originality.’ The West Australian.


The Tower on the Rift

  • ‘Wonderfully deep, fast-paced adventure.’
  • ‘High suspense and tense character interaction – great reading!’
    Van Ikin, Sydney Morning Herald


Dark is the Moon

  • ‘Irvine’s evocation of landscapes tortured into strangeness
    by aeons of magical intervention and cities wrecked by civil
    strife is crisply visualised; his set pieces of action-a fight
    with pirates, a trek through desert, a magical duel-are involving
    and viscerally exciting; his characters are complex individuals
    who grow and change-the semi-villainous Maigraith has become
    almost a secondary heroine.’ Roz Kaveney, Amazon UK
  • ‘Dark is the Moon pulled me along like a tidal wave to its
    powerful ending.’ Hilary Williamson,


The Way Between the Worlds

  • ‘Ian Irvine’s hefty four-volume epic fantasy, ‘The View from
    the Mirror’, which concluded dramatically this fall with The
    Way between the Worlds, features solid non-Eurocentric worldbuilding,
    colourful characters, and a twisted plot that stays nicely unpredictable
    to the end.’ Locus
  • ‘Hugely ambitious – an epic, tragic tale of history’s implacable
    impact on the present, full of driven, often unlikable and inept
    characters, and betrayal. Though well written, the pace is sometimes
    erratic … but interest and originality there is aplenty – and
    action.’ Starburst, UK (4 stars)
  • ‘An extended fantasy sequence always has to deliver an impressive
    pay-off; The Way between the Worlds is the fourth and final volume
    of Ian Irvine’s ‘The View from the Mirror’ and brings the quartet
    to a convolutedly triumphant finale… For someone whose fiction
    plays so thoroughly with ethically grey areas, Irvine is also
    admirable in his preparedness to sort out endings that feel right;
    this is a book in which heroes and villains alike get a part
    of what they want, but a sort of justice as well. Irvine has
    brought both a lively intelligence and a keen moral sense to
    the heroics and spell-play of the modern fantasy novel.’ Roz
    Kaveney, Amazon UK


The Three Worlds Series – The Well of Echoes


  • ‘Ian Irvine is arguably the most inventive fantasy author to
    emerge in recent years. His The View from the Mirror quartet
    established a talent not merely for creating intricate new worlds,
    but also for populating them with appealing, believable characters.
    Geomancer succeeds in being a page-turner of the highest order
    … Irvine can now consider himself comfortably ranked next to
    the works of Robert Jordan and David Eddings and, more appropriately,
    the mighty Anne McCaffrey. If further volumes of the Well of
    Echoes saga are even half as enjoyable as Geomancer, then you
    can count me in. Formidable!’ SFX (UK)
  • ‘Irvine’s strength here is that he makes us care not only about
    the idealistic, wet, misguidedly ruthless Tiaan, but also about
    the occasionally vicious and manipulative Irisis and Nish, who
    are not merely villains, but products of their unpleasant world
    somewhat redeemed by their growing regard for each other. This
    is, attractively, grimmer and grittier than most fantasy novels
    with a real sense of industrial squalor and a society in paranoid
    melt-down-and with a neatly unpleasant set of twists at the end.’
    Roz Kaveney,
  • ‘Ian Irvine has produced one of those rarities in the fantasy
    genre, and that is a unique, well-thought-out world coupled with
    a well-written storyline. A gripping read for Irvine fans or
    a fresh new series for any other readers.’ Enigma (UK)
  • ‘Readers of Eddings, Goodkind and Jordan will lap this one
    up.’ Starlog (UK)
  • ‘The magic-science technology and repressive, war-centred social
    system are strikingly new, and even those places revisited are
    interestingly changed. Irvine mixes in plenty of interesting
    characters of uncertain moral fibre to create a compelling adventure
    in a landscape full of wonders.’ Locus.
  • ‘Irvine imagines the epic landscape through which the characters
    move in persuasive detail and describes it powerfully. The misery
    of the manufactory’s oppressed children and fearful adults is
    effectively communicated and elaborated. Driven by fear and inadequacy
    … they cheat, lie and betray others in the cause of their own
    ambition, but are nonetheless sympathetically portrayed.’ Australian
    Book Review.



  • “Wondrous Worldbuilding”. Locus



  • “Ian Irvine’s Scrutator is the third book in the superb Well
    of Echoes Quartet. Don’t worry if you didn’t read the others:
    you’ll soon be spellbound by a stunning landscape teeming with
    mages and monsters.” SMH BEST BOOKS OF 2003
  • “It is the most engrossing book I’ve read in years, the lucid
    prose unfolding an action-and-suspense storyline featuring wonderfully
    credible characters.” Van Ikin, Sydney Morning Herald.



  • “… brings his Well of Echoes saga to a spectacular and satisfying
    conclusion, confirming his reputation for first-rate fantasy
    page turners.” Van Ikin, SMH BEST BOOKS OF 2004.
  • “A story that is begging to be filmed. Very enjoyable. The
    action doesn’t flag.” Sue Davies, SF


The Three Worlds Series – Song of the Tears Trilogy

Torments of the Traitor/The Fate of the Fallen

  • “Another blockbuster fantasy series.” Colin Steele, Canberra
  • “Whether you like interesting characters, good description
    or a well thought out world, this book is bound to impress you.
    Don’t let its somewhat hefty size put you off – it only means
    that you get to keep reading longer.” Nicole Juliette,


The Curse on the Chosen

  • ‘Hang on with both hands, because this story waits for no one.’
    Sandy Auden, SFX.
  • ‘The final payoff is fantastic. The most unflaggingly inventive
    storyteller we’ve seen in years.’ Sydney
    Morning Herald


The Destiny of the Dead

  • ‘Unbelievably, Irvine has managed to increase the pace of his
    story in this third and final volume … for sheer excitement,
    there’s just no one like Irvine around at the moment.’ SFX,
    4 stars.
  • ‘This precise and beautifully crafted novel blooms from its
    ascetic opening to a resonant and rewarding climax. Makes what’s
    currently available on fantasy shelves seem hackneyed and formulaic.
    Utterly absorbing.’ Stephen Davenport, Independent


Human Rites

The Last Albatross

  • ‘Ian Irvine’s The Last Albatross is a radical departure from
    his successful fantasy series The View from the Mirror, and is
    the first in a trilogy of eco-thrillers exploring the not too
    distant implications of climate change and global terrorism.
    Being a bit of a greenie myself, I thought that the action-packed
    plot of doomsday cults and planetary collapse isn’t far from
    the truth. Why join Greenpeace when you can sign onto the death
    lottery and save the planet your burdensome ecological impact?’
    Tim Cadman, The Times (London)
  • ‘A chilling SF suspense story set against a backdrop of 21st
    Century environmental depletion and cultural degeneration. Portrays
    a frighteningly plausible near future and belongs in most SF
    collections.’ Library Journal (US).
  • ‘Australia-consciousness in SF and fantasy takes another step
    forward with this well-crafted near-future ecothriller … The
    chase takes place against the well-developed backdrop of an unpleasantly
    plausible dystopia … The tension remains high right to an end
    that suggests a possible sequel. SF and technothriller fans should
    dive into this one. Roland Green, Booklist (US).
  • ‘A faster paced thriller than his excellent fantasy quartet
    The View from the Mirror. Your heart pounds with the violence
    and adventure of the racing plot.’ Australian Bookseller and
  • ‘Frantic action and SF terror … in a world where corruption
    and technology are hell-bent on social destruction.’ Murray Waldren,
    The Australian.
  • ‘A book for right now, that everybody should be reading. Buy
    a copy for yourself and another for a friend.’ Keith Stephenson, Aurealis,
    on the 2008 revised edition.


Terminator Gene

  • “Ian Irvine is a great storyteller.” Australian Bookseller
    and Publisher
  • “One of the best genre writers around – Irvine’s considerable
    narrative powers are brought to bear in a grim near-future vision
    of plot and counter plot.” Hobart Mercury.


The Life Lottery

  • “With its sobering blend of frighteningly well researched catastrophic
    environmental change, triggering immense global socio-political
    upheaval, Ian Irvine’s Human Rites trilogy is the most important
    work of Australian science fiction yet published in this country.” Rob
    Jan, Sci-Fi Radio Zero-G.


The Runcible Jones Series

Runcible Jones and the Gate to Nowhere

  • “A great book for rainy days and lazy afternoons. Young readers
    will gobble up this book.” John Cohen, Reading
  • ‘A well written and exciting series.’ Northern
    Daily Leader
  • ‘A great read.’ Book Bites.


The Sorcerer’s Tower

Thorn Castle & Giant’s Lair

  • ‘A new series by two of Australia’s best. It has all the things
    that turn reluctant readers into avaricious readers – fast moving
    plot, big gribby monsters and really cool illustrations.’ Reading
  • ‘This exciting story is likely to appeal to young readers who
    like their adventures action-packed, but also to slightly older,
    reluctant readers.’ Sunday Tasmanian.
  • ‘A thrilling bedtime chapter book for parents to read to children
    five years and older. The test audience loved the “cool and powerful
    monsters”.’ The Courier Mail.
  • ‘Fast moving fantasy adventure, brought to life by Cornish’s
    distinctive illustrations.’ Good Reading.
  • ‘A fast-paced, easy reading book for middle primary school.’ The
    Ballarat Courier


Black Crypt

  • ‘Children as young as six will enjoy this fast paced novel.
    Non-stop fantasy action with humour and colourful detail.’ The
    Courier Mail
  • “Beautifully crafted with magic, excitement, surprises, chases
    and fights all the way.” Aurealis.
  • “From one of Australia’s masters of fantasy, this action-packed
    series is a wonderful introduction to the genre for readers aged
    nine and over. Perfect for the reluctant or younger reader.”


Grim and Grimmer

Book 1: The Headless Highwayman, book 2: The
Grasping Goblin &amp book 3: The Desperate Dwarf

  • “The Headless Highwayman is the first book in the Grim and
    Grimmer series from fantasy genius Ian Irvine, who manages to
    create a world which is believable, thrilling and funny all rolled
    into one.”
  • “Entertainingly written in an energetic, descriptive style.
    An extraordinary fantasy world. Fast and furious and very funny.” Reading
  • “Irvine has great fun creating his world … Funny and fast-paced,
    Ike’s story reads briskly, leaved with a little horror and a
    dash of scatological humour. A fun adventure for upper-primary
    readers. Recommended.” Bookseller and
  • “The funniest horror story you’ll read in a long while – Ian
    Irvine is a master of fantasy and this is the best yet.” Good
  • “The Grasping Goblin takes the two reluctant heroes on a very
    wild ride … very funny too, as well as dangerous, gory and grotty.
    A grand adventure.”
  • “A madcap, fantastical adventure packed with crazy creatures
    in a world created by a delightful warped imagination, The Headless
    Highwayman is the first in what promises to be a highly entertaining
    series. Ian Irvine … has a thorough grasp of not only what makes
    a good story, but also what makes children laugh.” NSW
    Association for Gifted and Talented Children
  • “The pace, setting, characters and language are enticing and
    will hold the interest of upper primary readers. Odd humour and
    funny turns of language which will cause mirth amongst readers.” Read
  • “I gasped and laughed my way through these three books. Not only are they full of
    gross bits that boys in particular love, they are action packed and have flawed but likeable
    characters. Children aged 10+ who love action and humour won’t be able to put these books down.”
    Dee White, Kids’ Book Capers.


Legends of Australian Fantasy

  • “A collection that wouldn’t have been possible a generation
    ago, this is a robust anthology — a testament to the strength
    of our genre writers and a feast for local fantasy fans.” Cameron
    Woodhead, The Age.
  • “A selection of the greatest writers of epic fantasy in Australia.” Ian
    Nichols, The West Australian.


The Tainted Realm

Book 1: Vengeance


  • “Irvine is a veteran storyteller who excels in sustaining complex plots with well-rounded characters. Here, he delivers a compelling tale of vengeance, loyalty, and the search for a place in the world.” Starred review, Library Journal (US)
  • “That Grand Master of the vast epic is with us again! The first gripping volume of what promises to be a vintage Irvine treat. More please!” Crisetta MacLeod, Aurealis Express
  • “Incredibly exciting. The end will have you eagerly anticipating the next book.” Good Reading (Aus)

Reader’s reviews (sadly, not all complimentary!)
and star ratings can be seen at Amazon UK, Amazon US, and Barnes & Noble.