The Three Worlds Cycle
The Three Worlds Cycle comprises a series of at least twelve books set on the three linked worlds of Santhenar, Aachan and Tallallame. The cycle details the struggle for survival between four human species: old humans, Aachim, Faellem and Charon, as well as a variety of other creatures, both intelligent and beastly (and some of the humans can be pretty beastly too!).
Most of the action takes place on Santhenar and occurs over a period of roughly two hundred and fifty years. The Three Worlds Cycle consists of The View from the Mirror Quartet, The Well of Echoes Quartet, and The Song of the Tears Trilogy, to be followed by a single novel (or possibly a trilogy formerly known as The Fate of the Children but at present untitled. I won't be starting this trilogy before 2013 due to other writing commitments.
THE VIEW FROM THE MIRROR QUARTET (Penguin
The View from the Mirror could be called a Darwinian fantasy. It's got nothing to do with the perennial (and sadly jaded) struggle of good vs evil. It's about the struggle for existence between four human species, each believing it has the better right to exist. Well, that's what Ian says - actually it's just an excuse for an enormous, action-packed adventure. The Quartet consists of:
- A Shadow on the Glass
- The Tower on the Rift
- Dark is the Moon
- The Way between the Worlds
A Shadow on the Glass
ONCE THERE WERE THREE WORLDS, each with their own human species. Then, fleeing out of the void came a fourth species, the Charon. Desperate, on the edge of extinction, they changed the balance between the worlds forever .
Karan, a sensitive with a troubled heritage, is forced to steal an ancient relic in repayment of a debt. It turns out to be the Mirror of Aachan, a twisted, deceitful thing that remembers everything it has ever seen.
At the same time, Llian, a brilliant chronicler, is expelled from his college for uncovering a perilous mystery. Thrown together by fate, Karan and Llian are hunted across a world at war, for the Mirror contains a secret that offers each species survival, or extinction!
"In a world full of epic fantasy clones, this stands out as a world-building labour of love with some truly original touches." – Locus (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 Advertiser.
'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
WAR RAGES ACROSS SANTHENAR as Aachim, Faellem and old humans pursue the Mirror of Aachan. A desperate Tensor, leader of the Aachim people, flees with it into the wilderness, taking the brilliant young chronicler Llian with him. Only Karan can save him, though she's not sure that she can help herself. Tensor wants her dead, the other powers are hunting her for her sensitive talents, and Rulke the Charon broods over them all from his Nightland prison. The Twisted Mirror holds knowledge that the world can only dream about. How will Tensor use it in the final confrontation? Will Llian be seduced by it too? Or will the Mirror betray them all, in the end?
"High suspense and tense character interaction – great reading!" Van Ikin, Sydney Morning Herald BEST BOOKS OF 1998.
'Wonderfully deep, fast-paced adventure.' Barnesandnoble.com (US).
Dark is the Moon
RULKE THE GREAT BETRAYER is free at last, to use the deadly construct he has spent a thousand years perfecting. To succeed he needs just one thing - Karan's sensitive talent. Karan and her lover Llian are lost in the Nightland, in an alien palace that is collapsing around them. Only Rulke can open the gate and send them home to Santhenar, but Karan is terrified that he will corrupt Llian first. Yggur and Mendark, sworn enemies, struggle to tame the power of the rift. They must seal the gate before Rulke brings forth his construct. If they fail he will ravage the world. And if they succeed, Karan and Llian will be trapped in the Nightland for eternity.
'Dark is the Moon pulled me along like a tidal wave to its powerful ending.' Hilary Williamson, Bookloons.com (US).
The Way Between the Worlds
THERE IS A DARK FULL MOON on midwinter's day. The foretelling has come to pass. Rulke the Charon is unstoppable now. Karan is held captive in desolate Carcharon tower. Rulke plans to use her to find the Way between the Worlds. On the mountainside below, the allies await their fate. Karan's lover, Llian, is in chains, falsely accused of betraying her to the enemy. As the dark moon rises, Rulke begins to open the Way. If he succeeds, the world will be overwhelmed by the dread armies of the void. There is only one solution. Karan must be the sacrifice .
"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.
'Hugely ambitious – an epic, tragic tale of history's implacable impact on the present, full of driven, often unlikeable and inept characters, and betrayal. Interest and originality there is aplenty - and action.' Starburst, UK (4 stars).
The View from the
Mirror Quartet (Penguin Australia) (paperback)
- A Shadow on the Glass (March 1998). 18th printing Sept 2009.
- The Tower on the Rift (October 1998). 12th Printing August 2006.
- Dark is the Moon (April 1999). 12th printing August 2007.
- The Way Between the Worlds (Sept. 1999). 10th printing July 2007.
The View from the Mirror Quartet (Orbit, UK) (paperback) http://www.orbitbooks.co.uk
- A Shadow on the Glass (May 2000). 12th printing June 2009.
- The Tower on the Rift (November 2000). 8th printing August 2009.
- Dark is the Moon (May 2001). 7th printing August 2009.
- The Way Between the Worlds (Dec. 2001). 7th printing August 2009.
The View from the Mirror Quartet (Warner, US) (paperback) http://www.twbookmark.com
- A Shadow on the Glass (July 2001). 2nd printing Nov 2002
- The Tower on the Rift (January 2002).
- Dark is the Moon (July 2002).
- The Way Between the Worlds (October 2002).
The View from the Mirror is also available in Ebook editions from the usual outlets. An Audiobook edition is available on Audible.com and iTunes.
The series has been published in translation by:
- Nakladatelstvi Navrat, Czech Republic
- Azbooka Publishers, Russia. Several reprints.
- ISA Books, Warsaw
- Chang Jo In Publishing Co, Korea
- Luitingh-Sijthoff, Netherlands
- Bard, Bulgaria
- Wydawnictwo, Poland
- Luebbe, Germany
THE WELL OF ECHOES QUARTET
This series is set two centuries after the time of The View from the Mirror, when the world is greatly changed as a result of what happened at the end of The Way between the Worlds. It's a dark world where the entire society is regimented for just one thing: survival in the endless war against the winged lyrinx. The Well of Echoes Quartet consists of:
TWO HUNDRED YEARS AFTER THE FORBIDDING WAS BROKEN, Santhenar is locked in war with the lyrinx - intelligent, winged predators from the void who will do anything to gain their own world. Despite the development of battle clankers and mastery of the crystals that power them, humanity is losing. The enemy is destroying their nodes of power, one by one.
Tiaan, a lonely crystal worker in a clanker manufactory, is experimenting with an entirely new kind of crystal when she begins to have extraordinary visions. The crystal has woken her latent talent for geomancy, the most powerful of all the Secret Arts, and the most perilous. Geomancy is likely to kill her before she masters it. It is a talent that allies and enemies alike are desperate to control.
Falsely accused of sabotage by her rival, Irisis, Tiaan flees for her life. She is also hunted by the lyrinx, Ryll, who plans to use her in his dreadful flesh-forming experiments. Only geomancy can save her. Struggling to control her talent, Tiaan follows her visions all the way to Tirthrax, greatest peak on all the Three Worlds, where a nightmare awaits her ...
"A page-turner of the highest order … Arguably the most inventive fantasy author to emerge in recent years, Irvine can now consider himself comfortably ranked next to the works of Robert Jordan and David Eddings and, more appropriately, the mighty Anne McCaffrey. Formidable!" SFX (UK).
'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).
SANTHENAR IS ON ITS KNEES. The war with the alien lyrinx drags on, and humanity is losing it, but there is worse to come. The Aachim have invaded with an irresistible force - a fleet of battle constructs. Cursing humanity for the loss of Aachan and his own clan, the embittered Aachim leader, Vithis, demands half the world in reparation. The council is in no position to resist. But even if they agree to his demands, can anything satisfy his thirst for vengeance?
Tiaan is in despair. Her life lies in ruins, and now she is being hunted through the abandoned city of Tirthrax by an implacable Nish, who blames her for the attack.
The future of the world rests in the hands of three flawed people: Tiaan, whose geomancy holds the key to the power that can save or destroy them; Nish, who has sworn to bring her to justice; and Irisis, whose great talents are hidden even from herself.
'Wondrous worldbuilding." Locus.
The node has failed, rendering humanity's battle clankers and the Aachim's constructs useless. The battle has been lost. Now hordes of alien lyrinx are swarming out of the tar pits of Snizort, intending to fall upon the survivors and destroy them to the last man.
Tiaan is held prisoner by a vengeful Vithis, who is determined to extract her geomantic secrets at any cost. For his failings, Nish has been cast out and branded a traitor while Irisis, accused of high treason, has been forced to flee for her life.
The fate of humanity is dependent on the survival of one wily old man, Scrutator Xervish Flydd. But Flydd has been blamed for the defeat at Snizort. His enemy, the vicious Chief Scrutator Ghorr, has expelled Flydd from the Council and stripped him of all rights. Now Flydd is condemned to die a brutish death as a slave, hauling ironclad clankers out of the battlefield mire until his heart bursts under the strain.
"A stunning landscape teeming with mages and monsters. Superb!" Tim Cadman, 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.
All resistance has been crushed. In a few minutes of overwhelming violence the Council's air-dreadnought fleet has destroyed Fiz Gorgo's defences. Xervish Flydd, Irisis and their allies have been condemned to die in a brutal aerial spectacle designed to reinforce Chief Scrutator Ghorr's power and majesty.
Nish is their one remaining hope. But Nish is trapped in a burning watchtower, and hunted by both the scrutators and his former lover, Ullii, whose twin brother he accidentally killed. Before Nish can hope to rescue his friends, he must convince Ullii to spare him, then overcome the most powerful cabal of mancers in the world as well as the Council's four hundred crack guards.
And even if he succeeds, to win the war the allies still have to defeat the scrutators and overthrow Nennifer, the corrupt Council's dread bastion, before the rampaging lyrinx overwhelm all Santhenar.
"… 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 Crowsnest.
The Well of Echoes
Quartet (Penguin Australia) (Fantasy) (trade paperback),
- Geomancer (September 2001); paperback September 2002. 5th printing October 2008.
- Tetrarch (October 2002); paperback July 2003. 5th printing March 2009.
- Scrutator (October 2003); paperback February 2004. 3rd printing September 2006.
- Chimaera (October 2004); paperback ~ mid-2005. 3rd printing October 2008.
The Well of Echoes
Quartet (Orbit UK)(Fantasy)(trade paperback),
- Geomancer (September 2002); paperback July 2003. 7th printing October 2008.
- Tetrarch (August 2003); paperback February 2004. 6th printing November 2009.
- Alchymist (March 2004); paperback ~late November 2004. 5th printing August 2009.
- Chimaera (December 2004; reprinted January 2005); paperback June 2005. 6th printing November 2009.
The Well of Echoes is also available in Ebook editions from the usual outlets.
The series has been published in translation by:
- Fantasy World, Greece
- Luebbe, Germany
- Azbooka, Russia
THE SONG OF THE TEARS TRILOGY
- Torments of the Traitor (UK: The Fate of the Fallen)
- The Curse on the Chosen
- The Destiny of the Dead
Torments of the Traitor
The three books of this series will be published in Australia and the UK at approximately yearly intervals from late 2006.
After ten years of servitude, Nish is about to be released from the blackest prison of the maimed God-Emperor, Jal-Nish Hlar, his corrupt father. Jal-Nish holds the two sorcerous quicksilver tears, Gatherer and Reaper, and with them controls all of the Secret Art. All opposition having been crushed, he has begun to remake the world in his depraved image.
The only hope of overthrowing him lies in Nish, whom the oppressed peoples of the world see as a messianic figure, the Deliverer for, as Nish was dragged off to prison a decade ago, he wildly promised to return and cast down his father.
Unfortunately Nish is powerless and without allies. But worse, his father wants Nish to become his lieutenant and become as corrupt as he is. Jal-Nish offers Nish everything he has ever desired and, faced with the unbearable alternative of another ten years in prison, he isn't sure he can resist the temptation.
The Curse on the Chosen
THE ALLIES ARE TRAPPED on Mistmurk Mountain and the God-Emperor guards every way of escape. There's only one chance for freedom: for demure little Maelys to confess to a crime she has not committed, though if she does it will turn all her friends against her.
And even if they can flee through the perilous shadow realm, the God-Emperor's armies will hunt them to the ends of the world. Nish, Flydd and Maelys have no choice but to venture to the Tower of a Thousand Steps, on the frozen Isle of Noom. There they must seek aid from the implacable sorcerer who controlled the world for an unknown but terrible purpose for one hundred and fifty years - the Numinator.
But on that tragic journey they will uncover a greater and more deadly secret, a folly that has been shaping life and death in the Three Worlds for more than three thousand years, and now threatens to consume them all.
"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
NISH, HIS BATTERED LITTLE TROOP and his few remaining allies are trapped on the Range of Ruin by the God-Emperor's mighty army. Nish's only choices are a humiliating surrender to his father or a suicidal fight to the death.
Yet Nish has to fight, and somehow he has to win, for the beautiful world of Santhenar is in peril and no one else can save it. Stilkeen, an all-powerful shape-shifting being from the void, has come to recover the stolen chthonic fire which once bound its physical and spirit aspects together, and it wants revenge for the mortal insult that was done to it.
But it may be too late for Santhenar; chthonic fire has been released from its casket and is now eating away the Antarctic lands as it once devoured the planet of Aachan. Even if, by some miracle, Nish can win the battle with his father, there may be no way to stop the fire, or Stilkeen, before the whole world is consumed.
'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 Weekly.
The Song of the Tears
Trilogy (Penguin Australia) (Fantasy) (trade paperback)
- Torments of the Traitor (September 2006); paperback July 2007. Reprinted May 2009.
- The Curse on the Chosen (December 2007), reprinted January 2008; paperback June 2009.
- The Destiny of the Dead (November 2008), reprinted November 2008. Paperback September 2009.
The Song of the Tears
Trilogy (Orbit UK) (Fantasy) (trade paperback)
- The Fate of the Fallen (September 2006); paperback June 2007. 5th printing August 2009.
- The Curse on the Chosen (November 2007), Reprinted February 2008. Paperback November 2008. 3rd printing, October 2009.
- The Destiny of the Dead (November 2008), reprinted February 2009. Paperback December 2009.
The Song of the Tears is also available in Ebook editions from the usual outlets.
The Song of the Tears is also being published in translation by:
- Unicorn, Greece