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Deadly mercenaries in a deadly land.
What is The Chronicles of the Raven Series about?
Written by British high fantasy author James Barclay, this series takes us in the world of Balaia with a group of mercenaries who call themselves… The Raven.
As the title suggests, The Chronicles of the Raven is about the lives of the members of The Raven who, after years of success together, are confronted by a danger than put their loyalty and code to the test.
Between magic and war, the mercenary band travel from one deadly quest to another impossible mission.
How to read The Chronicles of the Raven Series in Order?
I. The Chronicles of the Raven
- Dawnthief – The Raven are an elite. Formed of six men and an elf, they’re swords for hire in the wars that have torn their land apart. For years their only loyalty has been to themselves, and to their code. But that time is coming to an end. The Wytch Lords have escaped and The Raven find themselves fighting for the Dark College of magic, on a mission which soon becomes a race for the secret location of Dawnthief. It’s a spell – one created to end the world – and there’s a danger that someone is going to use it …
- Noonshade – Balaia is torn by war, and now suffering the consequences of an apocalyptic spell too. The Dawnthief – designed to destroy the world, but cast in desperation to save it – has ripped a hole in the sky … which becomes a pathway to a dragon dimension, through which unfriendly eyes are already turning to Balaia. But with war already sweeping the land, there are no armies to send against the dragons. Only a band of tiny, but legendary, mercenaries: The Raven.
- Nightchild – The power of the land has manifested itself in Lyanna, a five year old girl. She has the power to sweep the four colleges of magic aside, or – unknowingly – to destroy Balaia. And the colleges will do anything to control her. If she cannot be controlled, she’ll be killed … but first they have to find her. Denser, one of The Raven, is desperate to find Lyanna and her mother too – not because Lyanna’s powers are ripping the world apart, but because she’s his daughter. But can even The Raven find Erienne and her child when they don’t want to be found?
II. Legends of the Raven
As you may have guessed, the story of Legends of the Raven is taking place after the events of Chronicles of the Raven:
- Elfsorrow – The rivalry between the four colleges of magic has brought misery and war to Balaia, and throughout it the Elves have remained apart. They have watched, aloof and untouched, from their homeland of Calaius as human dynasties came and went. Until now. Suddenly, the Elves are dying in their thousands, seemingly struck down at random. Ilkar, an Elven mage, is uniquely placed to find the cause of this plague and put an end to it.
- Shadowheart – The conflict between Balaia’s four colleges of magic has blazed into furious, dangerous life. The Dark College, Xetesk, faces an alliance between Lystern and Dordova, while Julasta remains crippled without its link to Balaia’s Mana flow. And so the armies mass one last time. The Raven are caught in the flames of war.
- Demonstorm – The Raven have kept their promises, but fate has not finished with them. As the war between the colleges of magic rages on, one man sees his chance for revenge. Balaia is already in flames … as Tessaya, Lord of the Paleon Tribes, unleashes his horde on the Dark Colleges. Dystran, Lord of the Mount, faces certain defeat at Tessaya’s hands. He may be cornered and desperate, but he refuses to be beaten.
- Ravensoul – The Unknown Warrior has spent last ten years mourning his dead – those of the legendary mercenary band, The Raven, who fell in battle. As the reluctant ruler of Balaia, he has also presided over the gradual recovery of his land after the devastation wreaked by the Demonstorm. The other survivor from The Raven, Denser, has spent those years rebuilding Xetesk to be the dominant college of magic. But something is wrong. The Elves are fleeing their homeland, as rumours of the dead coming back to life …
III. The Prequel
The book, written between the two trilogies, is a prequel with events taking place several hundred years previously. We let you choose when you prefer read this story centered around Septern, a character mentioned multiples times in the trilogies.
- Light Stealer – Septern is a genius and happy that everyone knows it. No mage on Balaia comes close to matching his abilities in the development, design and casting of spells. No mage understands the intricacies of the mana spectra like he does. No mage ever will. He is a true one-off. Believing himself safe in the cocoon of his mansion, Septern chooses to ignore the war which rages outside his borders and continues to train the elite of Balaia’s young mages. And Septern needs peace because he is on the verge of creating the ultimate spell. The spell that could end the world. But now, his genius and conceit threaten to be his undoing. In his creation, Septern sees the beauty of magic in its purest form and is determined to demonstrate it. But allies and enemies alike see something entirely different. They see the weapon that will win the war and bring everlasting domination to its owner. And to gain this prize, they will do absolutely anything.
If you like The Chronicles of the Raven, you may also want to take a look at The Witcher reading order by Andrzej Sapkowski, or our guide to David Gemmell’s Drenai Series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.