I’ve finally made a large scale map of the vast majority of the world of Avenesse. This covers the three grand empires from the novels: over the Avenesse Empire, the Dragon Empire and Orun Aye: the Deathlands. These empires in turn cover the majority of three continents: Eirenna in the north, Anara in the south, and Assuwa in the far east.
Here is a blowup of a little more of the Avenesse Empire minus the arctic regions of Umtlond and Thula, the mysterious unnamed province in the map in the book. It covers most of western Eirenna and surrounds the White Sea.
The Dragon Empire, which dominates large parts of the continents of Eirenna and Assuwa, separated by the Golden Channel, a very shallow sea. Khirek and Parset continue far beyond this map in near endless grasslands and deserts until they collide with the distant eastern lands of Kyoushou. Which probably won’t come up in the novels. Probably.
And last but certainly not least, the mysterious Deathlands. The locals don’t call it that of course, they call it Orun Aye, a blasphemous name that in the Yoruba language means something approaching Heaven on Earth. The Deathlands covers most of the continent of Anara and has pushed into southern Eirenna in the region called the Auwali, which is Swahili for ‘border’ or ‘boundary’. The Avensh call this region ‘the Doomed Kingdoms’ as they were conquered and slaughtered by the armies of the Deathlords so quickly. Back when living mortals lived here, it was referred to as the Illgarian subcontinent. It pushed into the Eirenna continent and formed the massive Dragonspine mountains (roughly equivalent to the Himalayas), which for now serves as a natural barrier to the advance of the armies of Unlife. I’m not entirely sure how much I’ll reveal of the inner workings of Orun Aye in this series of books.
Reviews for Mistress of the Dancing Bones are starting to come in and people have been very generous with their praise. Here are some of the highlights.
“Once I read the description which includes a strong female protagonist, blood as currency, and vampires as part of the norm I couldn’t wait to jump in.” – Chenelle Bremont
“She travels with a Don Quixote sort of hero, aged a bit rugged, and a naughty languorous two-tailed cat.” – Victoria Bastedo
“There is adventure, excitement and romance and it keeps you turning pages wishing to know the whole story” – Paul D Bacon
“The setting and the characters are so much a part of the landscape that I do not question their existence but instead ache as they thrust themselves into danger and am giddy when any trickles of romance play out.” – Rachel Barnard
“The vampire/nephilim weave is instantly reminiscent of Anne Rice and the fantasy world build up reminds me of Stephen R. Donaldson’s style.” – Kevin W Smith
“The take on vampires was different enough that I didn’t feel that it was just more of the same old same old.” – Charles R Harris
“The author has created a rich and complex universe in this book: Worlds within worlds.” – Doc
“I particularly liked the way that the nature of the world was shown rather than explained.” – Charles R Harris
“The characters were distinctive and robust and became increasingly intriguing to me as the web of relationships and allegiances was revealed, like a world shrouded in mist that becomes clear piece by piece as the mist drifts away.” – Rachel Barnard
“Vivid descriptions of magic that were as unique as they were enthralling. Moments of horror from which I could not tear my eyes away.” – Doc
“I spent about four hours yesterday solid finishing this great read.” – Kevin W Smith
“I’m excited that this is just the first in a series and I look forward to spending more time with them.” – Jenna Normandy
Thank you all for the kind words.