Juliet E McKenna

Juliet E McKenna is a UK author born in 1965 who, she says, was influenced at a young age by reading folk tales and Greek myths. This grew over the years until she started table top and live action role playing at university and began the creation of new games and role play events, which, she says, taught her what makes a good novel.

The first of her novels was The Thief’s Gamble, following the fortunes of the thief Livak, which then lead to a further four Tales of Einarrin. The same world is used for the Aldebrishin Compass and the Lescari Revolution series but follow different characters, and another series set in the world of Einarrin is currently being written, The Hadrumel Crisis. The first book of this is due to be published in 2011.

As well as writing new books, Juliet is also an organiser of The Write Fantastic initiative, which was launched in 2005 by a group of fantasy authors, including herself, with the aim of promoting the fantasy genre. The initiative holds a range of events throughout the UK, discussing themes and influences in fantasy fiction.

Juliet E McKenna books reviewed


The Tales of Einarinn

  • The Thief's Gamble (1999)
    In Einarinn, the secret of magic is known only by an elite few. They live in deliberate isolation, under the watchful eye of the Archmage. But nothing last for ever. Livak is a part-time thief and a full-time gambler, long accustomed to living by her wits and narrowly avoiding serious trouble. When she attempts to sell a stolen antique to a passing merchant, she finds herself pulled into a new and dangerous world of political intrigue in which the stakes are higher than anyone involved can imagine. For the antique she has acquired dates from a particular period in the history of Einarrin about which little is known, but much has been speculated. And when the truth begins to emerge, Livak decides to take the greatest gamble of her life.
  • The Swordsman's Oath (1999)
    Ryshad had no choice but to kill his long-time friend and ally Aiten. Aiten's mind had been corrupted by the mysterious Elietimm and he was a danger to himself and a deadly threat to others. But that is no consolation to the grieving Ryshad and certainly will be of no help when he tries to explain it to Aiten's family. To distract him from his troubles and from the strange dreams he has been having, Ryshad's patron, Messire D'Olbriot, sends him to Caladhria to assist the wizard Shiv, who is working for the Archmage himself. The wizards are trying to find a way to combat the strange aetheric magic of the Elietimm, which threatens to destroy the land. But Ryshad's desire to help goes far beyond the patriotic - he seeks revenge for the death of Aiten. What he doesn't know yet is that he will have to work with Livak, with whom he had a brief love affair, and that the strange dreams he has been having may hold the key to the mysterious Elietimm ...
  • The Gambler's Fortune (2000)
    Livak has decided it's time she turned her new-found connections with powerful mages and mighty princes into solid advantage for herself. If she is to have any sort of future with the swordsman Ryshad, they need the means to live independently of her gambling and travel and the ties of his oath. Livak discovers that knowledge of the ancient aetheric magic - Artifice as the Tormalin call it - is being sought by both Messire D'Olbriot and Planir the Archmage. By locating those who hold the secrets of Artifice first, Livak will hold the key to untold riches...
  • The Warrior's Bond (2001)
    Shadow and intrigue lies over the land and Ryshad, Einarinn's greatest warrior, must steer a careful course if he is to protect his friend and ally, Messire D'Olbriot. But even the most cautious of strategems can fail and, in an explosive climax, Ryshad must fight to save not only his friend but the very future of Einarinn itself.
  • The Assassin's Edge (2002)
    Livak is bored. Winter in the Kellarin colony has its amusements but she's pretty much exhausted them and is eager to be doing something else. When Ryshad and Temar tell her of their plan to reclaim the southern settlement established by the original colonists, Livak reckons she may as well go along too. What she doesn't reckon on are the pirates looting the midway islands. Meanwhile In Hadrumal, the wizards are increasingly enmeshed in their own politics...

The Aldabreshin Compass

  • Southern Fire (2003)
  • Northern Storm (2004)
  • Western Shore (2005)
  • Eastern Tide (2006)

The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution

  • Irons in the Fire (2009)
  • Blood in the Water (2010)
  • Banners in the Wind (2010)

The Hadrumal Crisis

  • Dangerous Waters (2011)
    The Archmage rules the island of wizards and has banned the use of magecraft in warfare, but there are corsairs raiding the Caladhrian Coast, enslaving villagers and devastating trade. Barons and merchants beg for magical aid, but all help has been refused so far. Lady Zurenne's husband has been murdered by the corsairs, and a man she doesn't even know stands watch over her and her daughters. Corrain, former captain and now slave to the corsairs, knows that Zurenne's guardian is a rogue wizard. If Corrain can only escape, he ll see justice done. Unless the Archmage's magewoman, Jilseth, catches the renegade first...

Short stories

  • Losing Track of Time (2003) (a Big Finish Short Trips story)
  • Urban Renewal (2006)
  • Identify Theft (2006)
  • Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (2006)
  • The Wizard’s Coming (2007) (in The Solaris Book of New Fantasy)
  • Walking Shadows (2008)
  • Noble Deceit (2008)
  • Is This My Last Testament? (2008)
  • Patience: A Womanly Virtue (2009)
  • Reflections (2010)
  • Fear Itself (2010)
  • The Grand Tour (2010)
  • An Unforseen Legacy (2010)

Short fiction featuring characters from The Tales of Einarinn

  • The Tormalin Necklace (2001)
  • The Wedding Gift (2003) (illustrated: available for ordering on author's website)
  • Turns and Chances (2004) (novella)
  • Win Some, Lose Some (2005)
  • A Spark in the Darkness (2006)