The book is no doubt heavily influenced by David Gemmell, my all time favourite writer.
To the left is a map of the continent of Kelas, where all the action in The Calvanni takes place.
On Yos all metal is magical. Weapons are crafted of exotic ceramics, the secrets handed down from master glassmith to apprentice for centuries. Razor sharp, but often brittle, the lanedd blades can be cast no longer than a long knife or calv. Calvanni means 'knife fighter'. On Yos there are no swords, and specialist pole arms called 'scythes' and spears are the weapons of choice in the field.
Control of magic is the ultimate basis for power. Since the fall of the Bulvuran Empire the Druids have monopolized power, outlawing the ancient practice of Sorcery, once the domain of the Bulvuran nobility.
Yos has twin suns that play havoc with the weather. Their regular eclipse causes Storm Season, when most of the wildlife - and the various sentient races - stay out of the cold and the vicious storms that follow. Any human unlucky enough to find themselves out in Storm Season has to contend with the Heat, a biological mechanism that can keep them alive - at a price.
The events in The Calvanni are set thirty years after the fall of the once vast Bulvuran Empire, when Kelas is divided into waring sardoms, and the ancient enemy of Man, the Eathal, plot their long-awaited revenge in the deep caverns of Maht.
My first foray into the world of Yos was a novella called Flight of the Phoenix, set at the fall of the Empire. Learning of the plot to destroy the Bulvuran Emperor and his family, the aging general Belin has to race through the night to save the life of the Empress Evylin and her newborn child. Always fearful of magic, Belin is confronted with powerful sorcery, facing an Eathal shapechanger in an epic battle that shakes the foundations of Yos itself.
The novella was published in 2003 in the Fantasy Readers Wanted - Apply Within anthology.
I am very excited to announce that Flight of the Phoenix will be republished by Naked Reader in electronic format (May/June)!
I have a signed copy of the Fantasy Readers Wanted - Apply Within anthology to give away (which has a poem by Neil Gaiman in it. No really.) to the first person to email me at "chrismcmahonAT
How many Temples of the Iris are there?
HINT: If you have not read The Calvanni, the answer is somewhere on my website.