Paolini achieves impressive sales figures

Christopher Paolini’s fantasy novel Brisingr has become the fastest selling children’s book in the UK this year, racking up over 45,000 sales in its first day of release, with similarly spectacular receptions around the world. The book, which details the adventures of dragon rider Eragon and his dragon Saphira as they battle an evil empire, is the third in Brisingr’s Inheritance cycle; the first, Eragon, was written when Paolini, now 24, was just 15 years old.

In the US, where the first print run for the novel was 2.5m – the largest in publisher Random House Children’s Books’ history – first day sales were a whopping 550,000 in hardback, its biggest one-day sale ever and four times that of Eldest, the second novel in the series. In Australia, more than 30,000 copies were sold in 48 hours.

Brisingr was launched Harry Potter-style at midnight on Friday, with more than 1,600 midnight parties at bookshops in the US and 150 bookshops around the UK running launch events and midnight openings. Waterstone’s had already predicted that the book would be the biggest novel of the year, outstripping adult as well as children’s titles and inciting Potter-esque levels of demand from readers.

Although Brisingr’s 45,000 UK first-day sales are a far cry from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ record 2.6m, the sale – equivalent to 80 copies sold a minute – is likely to send Paolini’s book rocketing to the top of the children’s bestseller charts. It also trumps the other children’s blockbuster published this summer, Stephenie Meyer’s teen vampire romance Breaking Dawn, which sold around 20,000 copies in its first day on sale in the UK.

Paolini is currently undertaking a 10-city book tour in the US and Canada. He will be writing a fourth book to conclude the Inheritance cycle, although a publication date has not yet bee revealed.

The first two novels in the series, Eragon and Eldest, have sold more than 15.5m copies worldwide, according to Random House.

Source: Guardian.co.uk

Gardens of the Moon – DRAMATIS PERSONAE

The prologue of Gardens of the Moon takes place in the 1154th Year of Burn’s Sleep, the 96th Year of the Malazan Empire, The Last Year of Emperor Kellanved’s Reign. Chapter One, Pale, takes place in the 1161st Year of Burn’s Sleep, the 103rd Year of the Malazan Empire, the 7th Year of Empress Laseen’s Rule.

Gardens of the Moon book review
Stephen Erikson biography

The Malazan Empire

Onearm’s Host

Tattersail, Cadre Sorceress, 2nd Army, a reader of the Deck of Dragons
Hairlock, Cadre Mage, 2nd Army, an unpleasant rival of Tayschrenn
Calot, Cadre Mage, 2nd Army, Tattersail’s lover
Toc the Younger, scout, 2nd Army, a Claw agent badly scarred at the Siege of Pale

The Bridgeburners

Sergeant Whiskeyjack, 9th Squad, past commander of the 2nd Army
Corporal Kalam, 9th Squad, an ex-Claw from Seven Cities
Quick Ben, 9th Squad, a Seven Cities Mage
Sorry, 9th Squad, a deadly killer in the guise of a young girl
Hedge, 9th Squad, a sapper
Fiddler, 9th Squad, a sapper
Trotts, 9th Squad, a Barghast warrior
Mallet, 9th Squad, the squad healer
Sergeant Antsy, 7th Squad
Picker, 7th Squad

The Imperial Command

Ganoes Stabro Paran, a noble-born officer in the Malazan Empire
Dujek Onearm, High Fist, Malazan Armies, Genabackis Campaign
Tayschrenn, High Mage to the Empress
Bellurden, High Mage to the Empress
Nightchill, High Sorceress to the Empress
A’Karonys, High Mage to the Empress
Lorn, Adjunct to the Empress
Topper, Commander of the Claw
Empress Laseen, Ruler of the Malazan Empire

House Paran (Unta)

Tavore, Ganoes’ sister (middle-child)
Felisin, Ganoes’ younger sister
Gamet, House Guard and veteran

In The Emperor’s Time

Emperor Kellanved, the founder of the Empire, assassinated by Laseen
Dancer, the Emperor’s chief adviser, assassinated by Laseen
Surly, Laseen’s old name when Commander of the Claw
Dassem Ultor, the First Sword of Empire, killed outside Y’ghatan, Seven Cities
Toc (the Elder), disappeared in Laseen’s purge of the Old Guard

In Darujhistan

The Phoenix Inn Regulars

Kruppe, a man of false modesty
Crokus Younghand, a young thief
Rallick Nom, an assassin in the Guild
Murillo, a courtier
Coll, a drunk
Meese, a regular
Irilta, a regular
Scurve, the barman
Sulty, a serving woman
Chert, an unlucky bully

The T’orrud Cabal

Baruk, a High Alchemist
Derudan, a Witch of Tennes
Mammot, a High Priest of D’riss and eminent scholar, uncle to Crokus
Travale, a pious soldier of the Cabal
Tholis, a High Mage
Parald, a High Mage

The Council

Turban Orr, a powerful councilman and Simtal’s lover
Lim, an ally of Turban Orr
Simtal, Lady of Simtal Estate
Estraysian D’Arle, a rival of Turban Orr
Challice D’Arle, his daughter

The Guild Of Assassins

Vorcan, Mistress of the Guild (also known as the Master of Assassins)
Ocelot, Rallick Nom’s Clan Leader
Talo Krafar, an assassin of Jurrig Denatte’s Clan
Krute of Talient, an agent of the Guild

Also In The City

The Eel, a rumoured master-spy
Circle Breaker, an agent of the Eel
Vildrom, a city guard
Captain Stillis, Captain of Guard, Simtal Estate

Further Players

The Tiste Andii

Anomander Rake, Lord of Moon’s Spawn, Son of Darkness, Knight of Darkness
Serrat, second-in-command to Rake
Korlat, a night-hunter and blood-kin to Serrat
Orfantal, a night-hunter
Horult, a night-hunter

The T’lan Imass

Logros, Commander of the T’lan Imass Clans serving the Malazan Empire
Onos T’oolan, a clanless warrior
Pran Chole, a Bonecaster (shaman) of the Kron T’lan Imass
Kig Aven, a Clan Leader

Others

Crone, a Great Raven and servant to Anomander Rake
Silanah, an Elient and companion to Anomander Rake
Raest, a Jaghut Tyrant
K’rul, an Elder God, the Maker of Paths
Caladan Brood, the warlord, opposing the Malazan armies in the North Campaign
Kallor, Brood’s second-in-command
Prince K’azz D’Avore, Commander of the Crimson Guard
Jorrick Sharplance, a Crimson Guard officer
Cowl, a High Mage in the Crimson Guard
Corporal Blues, Sixth Blade of the Crimson Guard
Fingers, Sixth Blade of the Crimson Guard
The Hound Baran, a Hound of Shadow
The Hound Blind, a Hound of Shadow
The Hound Gear, a Hound of Shadow
The Hound Rood, a Hound of Shadow
The Hound Shan, a Hound of Shadow
The Hound Doan, a Hound of Shadow
The Hound Ganrod, a Hound of Shadow
Shadowthrone/Ammanas, Ruler of the Warren of Shadow
The Rope/Cotillion, Companion of Shadowthrone and Patron of Assassins
Icarium, Builder of the Wheel of Ages in Darujhistan
Mappo, Icarium’s companion
The Pannion Seer, a Prophet Tyrant ruling the Pannion

Midnight Tides – GLOSSARY

Looking for a perfect book to accompany you during your Spain holidays with your family? Then this latest offering is what you are looking for!

Letherii Titles

Acquitor: a sanctioned position as guide/factor when dealing with non-Letherii peoples
Atri-Preda: military commander who governs a city or town
Ceda: title of King’s own mage
Finadd: equivalent of captain in the military
Preda: equivalent of commander or general in the military
Sentinel: the King’s Voice in establishing first contact with non-Letherii peoples
The King’s Leave: a title relieving the holder of all criminal convictions

Lether Place Names

Burl Square: a square in Letheras
Cedance: the dominant set of Titles (see the Holds)
Cul Street: a street in Letheras
Down Markets: a district in Letheras
Errant’s Heel: an alley in Letheras
Eternal Domicile: the new palace under construction in Letheras
Huldo’s: a restaurant in Letheras
Katter Bight: a stretch of water outside Old Katter
Kraig’s Landing: upriver from the city of Trate
Lether: the kingdom and its protectorates
Letheras: the capital city of Lether
Merchant’s Tolls: equivalent of a stock market in Lether
Purser’s District: a district in Letheras
Quillas Canal: one of the main canals in Letheras
Rat Catcher’s Guild: a mysterious guild active throughout Lether
Red Lane: a lane in Letheras
Rild’s: a restaurant in Letheras
Scale House: headquarters of the Rat Catcher’s Guild, Letheras
Sherp’s Last Lane: a lane in Letheras
Soulan Bridge: a bridge in Letheras
Stinking House: abode of Selush the Dresser of the Dead
Tarancede Tower: a watchtower overlooking Trate Harbour
Temple School: an educational institution in Letheras
The Temple: a high-end brothel in Letheras
Urum’s Lenders: an establishment in Letheras
Windlow’s Meatgrinders: an abattoir in Letheras

Letherii Cities:, Villages and Forts

Awl
Brans Keep
Bridle
Cargo
Desden
Dissent
Dresh
Fent Reach
First Maiden Fort
First Reach
Five Points
Fort Shake
Gedry
Harness
High Fort
Letheras
The Manse
Miner Sluice
Old Gedure
Old Katter
Second Maiden Fort
Thetil
Third Maiden Fort
Trails
Trate
Truce

Letherii Protectorates

Bluerose
Karn
Korshenn
Pilott
Pockface Islands

Neighbouring Kingdoms

Kolanse

Letherii Military

Artisan Battalion
Bluerose Battalion
Cold Clay Battalion
Crimson Rampant Brigade
Fent Garrison
Grass Jackets Brigade
Harridict Brigade
Katter Legion
Maiden Garrison
Merchant’s Battalion
Shake Legion
Trate Legion
Wave Wake Brigade
Whitefinder Battalion

Letherii Phrases

Blue Style Steel: an earlier method of ironmongery
Docks: commonest denomination of Lether money
Dresh Ballista: a multi-quarrel war weapon
Letheran Steel: a secret method of ironmongery
Letherii: that of Lether, also the name of the language and of the people
Levels: the coin of the wealthy of Lether
Lupe Fish: a large carnivorous fish resident in Lether River and canals of Letheras
Ootooloo: a primitive but singular sea-creature from Bluerose
Peaks: the coin of the filthy rich in Lether
(The) Seventh Closure: prophesied renaissance
(The) Shrouded Sisters of the Empty Throne: Educators
Stripling: lowest denomination of Lether money
Truce Fever: a common, curable fever
Tusked Milk: an alcoholic beverage

Tiste Edur Places And Names

Arapay: subjugated and easternmost tribe of the Tiste Edur
Beneda: subjugated tribe of the Tiste Edur
Calach Breeding Beds: coastline where Tusked Seals breed
Den-Ratha: subjugated, northernmost tribe of the Tiste Edur
Hasana Inlet: an inlet claimed by the Tiste Edur
Hiroth: dominant tribe of the Tiste Edur
Kaschan Inlet: an inlet claimed by the Tiste Edur
Knarri: a whaling and fishing craft
K’orthan: raider longboats
K’risnan: the Warlock King’s cadre of sorcerers
Merude: subjugated tribe of the Tiste Edur
Morok Tree: a blue-leafed tree used in funeral practices
Sollanta: subjugated tribe of the Tiste Edur
Stonebowl: a natural depression at the base of a gorge north of the main Hiroth village

Other Names, Titles And Terms

(The) Eres’al: the spirit goddess of the Nerek
Faraed: an assimilated people in Lether
Fent: an assimilated people in Lether
Jheck: a northern tribe
Ken’ryllah: a type of demon
Kenyll’rah: a type of demon
Khalibaral:: a type of demon
Meckros: a civilization of mobile, floating cities
N’purel: the Whiskered Fish of the Kenyll’rah homeworld
Nachts: Jaghut-bred versions of bhoka’rala
Nerek: an assimilated people in Lether
Onyx Wizards: sorcerers of Bluerose (defeated in conquest)
Tarthenal: an assimilated people in Lether
The Seregahl: the five gods of the Tarthenal

Mythos (Letherii, Edur And Other)

(The) Black Winged Lord: divinity worshipped in Bluerose
Kilmandaros: an Elder Goddess
Mael: an Elder God
Menandore (Betrayer, Dawn)
Scabandari Bloodeye (Father Shadow, Emurlahnis)
Sheltatha Lore (Daughter Dusk)
Silchas Ruin (The Betrayer)
Sukul Ankhadu (The Fickle, Dapple)

The Holds

The Tiles

The Beast Hold

  • Bone Perch
  • Elder
  • Crone
  • Seer
  • Shaman
  • Hunter
  • Tracker

The Azath Hold

  • Heartstone
  • Keeper
  • Portal
  • Path
  • Mason
  • Tomb
  • Guest
  • Barrow
  • Root
  • Wall

The Dragon Hold

  • Queen
  • Consort
  • Liege
  • Knight
  • Gate
  • Wyval
  • The Lady
  • Blood-Drinker
  • Path-Shaper

The Ice Hold

  • Ice Throne
  • Walker
  • Huntress
  • Shaper
  • Bearer
  • Child
  • Seed

The Empty Hold

  • Empty Throne
  • Wanderer
  • Mistress
  • Watcher
  • Walker
  • Saviour
  • Betrayer

The Fulcra (unaligned)

  • Shapefinder
  • The Pack
  • The Errant
  • Axe (Eres)
  • Crow (White Crow)
  • Fire
  • Dolmen
  • Blade
  • Knuckles

Midnight Tides – DRAMATIS PERSONAE

THE TISTE EDUR

Tomad Sengar, a patriarch of the Sengar Bloodline
Uruth, matriarch of the Sengar Bloodline
Fear Sengar, Eldest Son, Weapons Master of the Tribes
Trull Sengar, Second Son
Binadas Sengar, Third Son
Rhulad Sengar, Fourth and Youngest Son
Mayen, Fear’s Betrothed
Hannan Mosag, Warlock King of the Six Tribes Confederacy
Theradas Buhn, Eldest Son of the Buhn Bloodline
Midik Buhn, Second Son
Badar, an unblooded
Rethal, a warrior
Canarth, a warrior
Choram Irard, an unblooded
Kholb Harat, an unblooded
Matra Brith, an unblooded

LETHERII SLAVES AMONG THE TISTE EDUR

Udinaas
Feather Witch

Hulad
Virrick

THE LETHERII

In the palace
Ezgara Diskanar, King of Letheras
Janall, Queen of Letheras
Quillas Diskanar, Prince and Heir
Unnutal Hebaz, Preda (Commander) of Letherii army
Bryss Beddict, Finadd (Captain) and King’s Champion, youngest of the Beddict brothers
Moroch Nevath, a Finadd bodyguard to Prince Quillas Diskanar
Kuru Qan, Ceda (Sorcerer) to the King
Nisall, the King’s First Concubine
Turudal Brizad, The Queen’s First Consort
Nifadas, First Eunuch
Gerun Eberict, Finadd in the Royal Guard
Triban Gnol, Chancellor
Laerdas, a mage in the Prince’s retinue

In the North

Buruk the Pale, a merchant in the north
Seren Pedac, Acquitor for Buruk the Pale
Hull Beddict, Sentinel in the north, eldest among the Beddict brothers
Nekal Bara, a sorceress
Arahathan, a mage
Enedictal, a mage
Yan Tovis (Twilight), Atri-Preda at Fent Reach

In the City of Letheras

Tehol Beddict, a citizen in the capital, middle among the Beddict brothers
Hejun, an employee of Tehol
Rissarh, an employee of Tehol
Shand, an employee of Tehol
Chalas, a watchman
Biri, a merchant
Huldo, an establishment proprietor
Bugg, Tehol’s servant
Ublala Pung, a criminal
Harlest, a household guard
Ormly, Champion Rat Catcher
Rucket, Chief Investigator, Rat Catcher’s Guild
Bubyrd, Rat Catcher’s Guild
Glisten, Rat Catcher’s Guild
Ruby, Rat Catcher’s Guild
Onyx, Rat Catcher’s Guild
Scint, Rat Catcher’s Guild
Kettle, a child
Shurq Elalle, a thief
Selush, a Dresser of the Dead
Padderunt, assistant to Selush
Urul, chief server in Huldo’s
Inchers, a citizen
Hulbat, a citizen
Turble, a citizen
Unn, a half-blood indigent
Delisp, Matron of the Temple Brothel
Prist, a gardener
Strong Rall, a cut-throat
Green Pig, an infamous mage of old

OTHERS

Withal, a Meckros weaponsmith
Rind, a Nacht
Mape, a Nacht
Pule, a Nacht
The One Within
Silchas Ruin, a Tiste Andii Eleint Soletaken
Scabandari Bloodeye, a Tiste Andii Eleint Soletaken
Gothos, a Jaghut
Rud Elalle, a child
Iron Bars, a soldier
Corlo, a mage
Halfpeck, a soldier
Ulshun Pral, an Imass

The Duncton Chronicles – inspiration and acknowledgement

Since Duncton Wood was first published in 1979, William Horwood has received thousands of letters from readers asking about the conception and writing of what has become a fantasy classic. He has been able to provide some answers through correspondence and at a limited number of public talks. However, now that The Duncton Chronicles trilogy is published, and a companion volume, Duncton Tales, is complete, William Horwood has felt able to record the true and full answers to these questions – and the many more that lie behind the strange, sometimes painful, sometimes inspiring story of Duncton Wood’s creation.

Molelovers, and anymole else, who would like more details of his work should write to William Horwood at P.O. Box 446, Oxford OX1 2SS.

William Horwood – acknowledgements

Duncton Wood
My thanks to the Scottish University Press for permission to quote, and translate into mole language, passages of the graces and invocations in Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica; and to the University of California Press for extracts from Patrick K. Ford’s translation The Poetry of Llywarch Hen. The verse of pages 489-490 is based on a poem by the sixteenth-century poet William Dunbar.

The stait of mole dois change and vary,
Now sound, now seik, now blith, now sary,
Now dansand mery, now like to dee,
Our plesance heir is all vaneglory,
This fals warld is bot transitory,
The flesh is brukle, the dark is sle,
We that in heill wes, and gladnes,
Are trublit now with gret siknes
And feblit with infermite …

Special acknowledgement to the authors of the two standard British works on moles – G. Godfrey and P. Crowcroft, The Life of the Mole (Collins, London), and K. Mellanby, The Mole (Collins, London) – whose work is as loving as it is scholarly. Each of these authors will know where I have used artistic licence, and any exaggerations or errors are entirely my own.
I am grateful to Valerie Gilmore of Oxford and London, to whom I owe much of my knowledge of healing; to Lowri Gwilym, of Trefenter, Wales, for the translations into Welsh; to my father, Chesney Horwood, Emeritus Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, for help with Middle English; to the Trustees of Wytham Wood near Oxford for permission to carry out research on their land; and to Marjorie Edwards for typing a difficult manuscript.
Special thanks to Shefri Safran, my literary agent, and Judy Todd, my editor at Country Life, for their continued help.
Finally, no words can repay the debt I owe my former wife Janet, whose consistent loyalty and support made the writing so much easier.

Duncton Found
My thanks to the Scottish University Press for permission to quote, and translate into mole language, passages from the graces and invocations in Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica.
Readers often ask what the sources of the key spiritual and religious elements are in the Duncton Books. Although I am no longer a Christian it will be plain that the Gospels are a prime source. Two essentially Buddhist texts have been constant companions in my study and on my travels: Chogyam Trungpa’s Shambhala (Shambhala Publications, 1985) and Matsuo Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Trans. Nobuyuki Yuasa, Penguin, 1966). I have also found M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled (Rider, 1985) and The Different Drum (Rider, 1987) very helpful, the latter especially with Duncton Found.
A work as long and complex as Duncton Chronicles makes exceptional demands on its publisher, and particularly its editors. My own have done far more than readers can ever know, or perhaps care to believe, to correct my many errors at manuscript stage regarding whatmole was with whom, when, where, and why, and other matters editorial. My warm thanks therefore to Peter Lavery, Ann Suster, Victoria Petrie-Hay, and to Pamela Norris, who between them turned Duncton Found from an idea into a book with such professionalism and good cheer.
Duncton Quest and Duncton Found could not have been written without the love, support and help of my partner Debbie Crawshaw, and nor would the last months of writing Duncton Found have been so happy without the presence and pleasures of our newly born son, Joshua.

Wolf Brother: the movie

The movie version of Michelle Paver’s highly successful fantasy novel Wolf Brother was first scheduled for a 2007 US release but news has been think on the ground since. Encouragingly though is the fact that Ridley Scott’s name is still attached to the film, due to be distributed by 20th Century Fox.

In getting Ridley Scott to direct the movie they have employed possibly the greatest living director, his portfolio includes Blade Runner, Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, Alien and American Gangster. Most directors would be proud to be associated with only one of the above films.

Scott’s availability may be the cause of the slow start in filming the movie as I guess that he has a pretty busy schedule and currently has eight movies in pre-production.

We will keep you updated as to any developments.

The best fantasy characters

GandalfThe fantasy genre has always been very good at portraying characters that are good or evil. In recent times this distinction has become blurred due to the new breed of authors creating sympathetic villians and flawed heroes.

We have put together a collection of our favourite characters from the fantasy genre. We have focused mainly on the best known and loved characters. Please feel free to email us with your favourite characters and we will add them to our list.

We will begin with the Lord of The Rings. Where better to start? In the good corner we have Gandalf, a kindly, yet powerful wizard who is a friend to all Hobbits. Gandalf is possibly one of the most readily identifiable characters in fantasy, from his first appearance in The Hobbit through to his starring role in The Lord of the Rings, he became known within and outside fantasy circles.

Ged from The Wizard of EarthseaWe will stay with wizards for our next selection. Ged, or Sparrowhawk, the young boy who becomes a Wizard in Ursuala Le Guin‘s Earthsea series is an endearing character whom we follow for childhood through to old age. He is a character that we can all identify with in that although he always tries to do good, there is always a darker side to us that is fighting the other way. He is, in our opinion, the greatest wizard in fantasy after the great Gandalf. If you want to read more about The Earthsea books, we have a full review of The Earthsea Quartet on this site.

Let’s move on and look at an character that would be classified as evil…

We have gone for Lord Foul, “The Despiser” from Stephen Donaldson‘s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant to be our first evil character. In a style similar to Sauron, he never appears in the flesh in the books but his spoken word is pure venow. His aim is to break the Arch of Time and gain revenge upon his enemy “The Creator”. Lord Foul oozes unpleasentness and evil throughout the series and his harm is often more pyschological than physical in its manisfestation.

Bilbo BagginsBilbo Baggins, no further explanation is needed! Bilbo has been enchanting readers for over fifty years. A comfort-loving Hobbit and star of the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo’s reluctant adventures in The Hobbit remain with anybody who has ever read and enjoyed the books. Perhaps it his unwillingness that makes him more appealing than most, a Hobbit who would be quite happy at home with the kettle boiling, he finds himself in conversations with a dragon, meeting trolls and fighting at the Battle of Five Armies. Bilbo has indeed taken his rightful place amongst the best-known literary characters.

Druss the LegendIf you prefer your heroic fantasy characters then David Gemmell‘s Druss the Legend should keep you going for years. He is an old-fashioned hero, a man not without flaws but a great man who lives by a code of decency. He can combat unsurmountable odds and even travel into the Netherworld to help friends. In Druss, Gemmell has given us a hero worth the name.

I think that David Gemmell was the foremost writer of heroic fantasy. Druss will appeal to readers of all ages and in Sieben, his loyal friend we have a great partnership that brings humour into a world full of violence, hurt and sadness. If you have never read any eroic fantasy before, give this a try, you will not be sorry. Read our review for Druss in The Legend of Deathwalker here.

There have been a couple of excellent suggestions since this page was first published in 2008 (the date today is July 4, 2011). They were for Tyrion Lannister from the ever popular G. R. R. Martin series, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Bartimaeus, the irascible djinni for Jonathan Stroud’s wonderful trilogy for older children and young-adults. So, without any further ado, here is a little information on both. If you have any other suggestions, please feel leave to leave them in a comment below.

Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion Lannister, a character in G. R. R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, is a misshapen dwarf nicknamed The Imp and The Halfman. He is capable of cruelty to his enemies but capable of great sympathy for fellow outcasts.

Bartimaeus
Bartimaeus, the titular character of The Bartimaeus Trilogy is a sarcastic and cheeky djinni of the fourth level and 5,000 years old at the beginning of the first book. His many masters have included Gilgamesh, Solomon, Ptolemy, Tycho Brahe, Faust, Zarbustibal, and, most recently, the British boy magician Nathaniel (known as John Mandrake to his peers), who is his master for the duration of the trilogy. His trademark cheekiness and wry, often hilarious side comments annotate the novels. Enjoying insulting his master for appearance, emotions, and stupidity, the chapters that he narrates often contain humorous footnotes that add information on the nature of spirits and his history. Although he is only a middle-class djinni, his quick wits often save him in difficult situations. He has a fairly large ego, due to his many accomplishments over the ages and often becomes indignant when forced to work with jobs he considers “unworthy of his talents”. He is fairly powerful for a Djinn, but has often been forced to retreat against stronger foes such as Jabor. He continually boasts of his many exploits.