12

This is a series I read partially something like 15 years ago (I think). It is set in a universe with magic of some sort - I think the magic was derived from geological processes (?). One of the things I remember - which was the reason I abandoned the series - was that it grew ever more gory; when I stopped reading, one of the main protagonists was flayed alive.

I only remember fragments - there were hints that the universe had been magically split into three or four parts, three relatively normal parts and The Void. I remember there was a powerful person/ruler called Tensor, and a kind of monstrous race with powerful magic, called 'Lorsk', which originated in the void and had evolved from humans that had been trapped there.

I'm a bit ambivalent about reading the series again - it seemed to be a never-ending death spiral of soap operatic proportions, but I'd like to see if my impression from then was actually right.

15

I wonder if this is the Well of Echoes series by Ian Irvine.

This is a followup series to The View from the Mirror series, and Wikipedia describes the setting as:

In the Three Worlds Cycle there are naturally Three Worlds. These Three Worlds are separated by the Void, a place of incredible ferocity and violence. Not much is known about the Void, but what is known is that it is a place where life is brutal and fleeting and those who live within must constantly re-make themselves to ensure their survival.

The names of the Three Worlds are Aachan, Santhenar or Santh and Tallallame

  • So the setting matches.

  • There is a character called Tensor in the View from the Mirror books, and he is mentioned briefly in the Well of Echoes series. He is described as The leader of the Aachim and former partner of Malien. Tensor is consumed by hubris and it is his folly that unleashes Rulke upon the world. He embarks on more than one doomed scheme and is determined to return the Aachim to their former glory, whatever the cost.

  • There are no Lorsk but there is a race of monsters from the Void called the lyrinx.

  • The first book is called Geomancer, which chimes with your recollection of Earth magic being involved.

  • I can't find any scene in the book where someone is skinned alive, but flaying alive is a common punishment and there are scenes where someone is rescued from being flayed alive just in time. Though I guess this is true in lots of fantasy books.

Although I have the books I don't recall ever reading them so I can't describe them in any great detail. But they do seem to have a lot in common with your memories. If you can remember any specific points I can check in the books to see if they match.

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  • That's the one - I remember the names now. Thx! – j4nd3r53n Feb 4 at 10:58
  • @j4nd3r53n I'm now wondering if you are remembering the earlier series The View from the Mirror. But I don't have those books so I can't check if the flaying scene you remember is in them. – John Rennie Feb 4 at 11:00
  • It could be - I read several books in the series, but stopped when Jal-Nish subjected his own son to some wildly cruel treatment invoving the tears of the node, I believe. – j4nd3r53n Feb 4 at 11:03
  • You seem to have found your answer, but this is also incredibly similar to the Sword of Truth series. Magical barriers break the world up into 3 parts and theres lots of threatening to flay people, and one person is flayed alive. – NullWaltz Feb 4 at 18:09

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