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I read this fantasy trilogy (maybe even 4-5 books) about 15 years ago. I'm not sure it is a Young Adult series, but it was published at least 20 years ago. My memory of the books is quite fuzzy, but I will describe the parts I remember as well as possible.

It starts with a male protagonist (probably about 16ish years old) who lives in a castle. His parents/family might have been the rulers of the area. As some of the residents (probably his parents?) were assassinated/attacked, he has to flee with (a) companion(s). The reason for the attack was a (long-lasting) war with the neighbouring country, under the rule of a dark lord. The enemy might have been beast-like, but I'm not sure about that. We learn that the dark lord has magic powers and that the protagonists can defeat him with their magic. However, it is necessary to find some rare magic enhancing gems/items that are lost through the ages. If I remember correctly, they end up with a group of 7 (I hope I got this number correct) protagonists.

Along their journey, they find these gems, and every one of them has a unique ability. I remember one of the gems would enhance/give the power to fire flames (it was red), and it was found in/under a big rock. They found it because one of the protagonists could trace the imprints of the flames left in the surrounding rocks/buildings/ground. Two of the late acquired items were a silver/gold kelk and a gold/silver sword (don't remember which was what material, the sword was probably silver). They could identify the goblet/chalice (there were fake goblets in circulation) because it was one of the hardest materials in the world and could only be scratched by the sword, which they recently acquired.

Regarding the series, I also remember a few details. The setting was medieval, and the protagonists country's warriors wore armour of impenetrable gems, that glittered in the light. This was an important aspect highlighted in the first book, as the armour of the knight regarded as priceless. The cover of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson reminds me of the cover of the first book. One of the 7(?) protagonists is a girl named Atara (or Altara, something similar). Lastly, one of the books is called something like Sword of Light and the series is called something like The Trilogy (if it's not a trilogy then Books or something similar) of Eve (or Ava/Avaen, idk sorry).

I know these are a lot of random facts (maybe not really facts) and I'm quite frustrated that I am not able to find the series knowing some of the detailed points. Hopefully, you can help me out, I have been looking for ages :) The only series that I could find that somewhat fits this story is Deltora Quest, but that is not it. (The books I'm looking for are not so childish.)

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2 Answers 2

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I believe this is the The Ea Cycle series by David Zindell. It's comprised of five books, published from 2001-2007.

Here's a review of the series:

Plot:

Valashu Elahad is the seventh son of the King of Mesh, one of the nine kingdoms of the Valari warriors. But unlike many of his kin, he aims to be a warrior of the soul instead of the sword and abhors war. So when he is asked to join in the quest to find the fabled Lightstone – that wonderful gelstei that will make men more than men and bring the people of Ea to an Age of light and love and wonder – he jumps at the opportunity. After all, why wouldn’t he try to go after the one thing that will stop Morjin, the Red Dragon of Sakai, who himself is more than a man, from obtaining the ultimate power? But little does Valashu know, and little do his companions know, of the fate of the world and their own. And of the fate of the Maitraya, the Shining One.

Opinion:

I simply love this series. On wikipedia it’s described as a series of sword-and-sorcery with the theme of the evolution of consciousness. I say they should have added the word ‘epic’ to it, because the story itself is of epic proportions. Not only Mesh, but all of the Valari kingdoms, and in turn all the other kingdoms and countries Ea is made up of, play an enormous part in the books. Valashu’s companions too, come from all over Ea and even from other worlds.

I was very interested in the gelstei – different stones and crystals with magical uses – and how they came about. In the series it is made clear how they all work and what people need to fear from them, but it was never really said how they came to be. Did they originate from Ea? Or from the other worlds? I would’ve loved to learn more about them.

Another theme that plays a big role in these books, is fate. Whether you can fight it, or make your own. In some cases it seems like people are being pushed towards their fate, and in some instances it seems like they take up their sword and carve their own. War is another theme of the books. Valashu hates war and yet he seems doomed to fight and fight and fight again. He hates killing and yet to protect the Lightstone and the Maitraya, he has no choice but to kill.

A lot of the characters struggle with the difference between good and evil and having to do evil things for the greater good. One of these is Kane, who was once Kalkin, a great king of men who became more than a man. He became an Elijin – a being not unlike an angel, without the wings or power to create. His journey, his rise and his fall and then his struggle to maintain faith in The One, is what was most intriguing to me. The other higher orders as well: the Galadin, the Ieldra and of course The One.

But so were all of the other characters as well: Atara, Liljana, Maram, Daj, Estrella, Alphanderry, Master Juwain, Sajagax, Ymiru, Bemossed and all the others. They were all so well-rounded and they all had battles of their own to fight. Especially Maram, a prince from Delu and Valashu’s closest friend, who is afraid of everything, and yet does the most courageous of things, surprising himself again and again. All characters in the books have their own background and stories to tell and though they are many, none of them is unnecessary.

There is so much more to tell, but you can find out about all of that on your own.

Rating:

9.5/10

The fifth book, The Diamond Warriors, features knights clad in diamond armour:

We waited all that day, and a little longer. The following morning, just before noon, Lord Harsha returned at the head of fifteen knights whose great horses pounded the little dirt lane into powder. All had accoutered themselves for war: they bore long, double-bladed kalamas and triangular shields and wore suits of splendid diamond armor.

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  • That's certainly a closer match than my guess
    – Moriarty
    May 24, 2021 at 22:51
  • 1
    Thank you for your answer, this is exactly the one that I was looking for! Now that I have the answer I feel like I find the books everywhere lol (probably the cookies). Also, thank you for the extensive explanation, very nice!
    – Aquilifer
    May 25, 2021 at 9:42
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This could be Emily Rodda's Deltora Quest series. I haven't read them but my kids loved them in the early 2000s and I can tell you that the following details match:

  • YA series
  • late teens protagonists
  • Dark Lord, called the Shadow Lord
  • Quest to find seven gems

However a bunch of other details don't match.

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  • 1
    This is a very good guess, I also found this one and at first glance, I thought this was the series I was looking for. Your points fit my description suspiciously well, but unfortunately, it's not the one I'm looking for. Thank you anyway!
    – Aquilifer
    May 25, 2021 at 9:45

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