Series: The Old Kingdom

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Series description

The story takes place in The Old Kingdom and its southern neighbor Ancelstierre. The Old Kingdom is filled with magic: technology does not work there. Originally, all was Free Magic, but seven great practitioners created The Charter, and its attendant Charter Magic to control the chaos. The Charter is manifested in the Charter Stones and in three bloodlines: The Royal family, the family of the Abhorsen, and the Clayr.

Technology does work in most of Ancelstierre, and there is a wall marking the approximate division between the countries and magic and technology. Ancelstierrre's society seems to be somewhat similar to early 20th century Europe. Magic is not entirely impossible in Ancelstierre, especially when a north wind is blowing, and most people who do not live in the north don't believe in it. Ancelstierre maintains a Perimeter, to which access is strictly limited, and anyone living near there believes in magic. The soldier guarding the perimeter use guns, but always have swords on hand for when the magic seeping over the border cause technology to fail.

One of the greatest dangers to the Old Kingdom, and by extension northern Ancelstierre, is the wandering of dead spirits and the activities of necromancers, who use bells in their work. The Abhorsen (the word is a title) is a sort of anti-necromancer, the only one authorized the user of the bells. He or she enters Death, a strange, perilous river with nine gates. He returns the dead to Death, hopefully sending them past the ninth gate, from which there is no return. He may sometimes rescue people from Death, if they have not travelled too far.

Lirael and Abhorsen are in effect one novel.   [Nicholas Sayre and] The Creature in the Case can also be considered a part of this novel, since it takes up six months after the other ends and continues Nicholas and Lirael's story.


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To create a series or add a work to it, go to a "work" page. The "Common Knowledge" section now includes a "Series" field. Enter the name of the series to add the book to it.

Works can belong to more than one series. In some cases, as with Chronicles of Narnia, disagreements about order necessitate the creation of more than one series.

Tip: If the series has an order, add a number or other descriptor in parenthesis after the series title (eg., "Chronicles of Prydain (book 1)"). By default, it sorts by the number, or alphabetically if there is no number. If you want to force a particular order, use the | character to divide the number and the descriptor. So, "(0|prequel)" sorts by 0 under the label "prequel."

What isn't a series?

Series was designed to cover groups of books generally understood as such (see Wikipedia: Book series). Like many concepts in the book world, "series" is a somewhat fluid and contested notion. A good rule of thumb is that series have a conventional name and are intentional creations, on the part of the author or publisher. For now, avoid forcing the issue with mere "lists" of works possessing an arbitrary shared characteristic, such as relating to a particular place. Avoid series that cross authors, unless the authors were or became aware of the series identification (eg., avoid lumping Jane Austen with her continuators).

Also avoid publisher series, unless the publisher has a true monopoly over the "works" in question. So, the Dummies guides are a series of works. But the Loeb Classical Library is a series of editions, not of works.


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