Thraxas

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Thraxas
Author Martin Scott (Martin Millar)
Country UK
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Orbit Books
Published 1999–2013
Media type
No. of books 9 (List of books)
Website www.thraxas.com

Thraxas is a series of nine[1] fantasy novels written by Martin Millar under the pseudonym Martin Scott. The first eight were originally published in the United Kingdom by Orbit Books between April 1999 and May 2005, while the ninth book was self-published by Millar in March 2013.

Overview[edit]

The stories take place in a mythical, Middle-earth-type World, that includes Humans, Orcs, Elves, and a variety of magical creatures. Thraxas, the eponymous protagonist, is a middle-aged private investigator in the city-state of Turai, a kingdom of middling influence and power. In the pre-series timeline he had been a failed sorcery student, an able soldier, and a far-travelled mercenary. He also used to work at the Palace of Turai, but was booted out for his drunken behavior.

As the series starts, Thraxas is still an excellent swordman and competent fighter, and has retained some minor magical ability. Mainly though, he just gambles, drinks a lot of beer, and consumes a lot of food. He is always broke and has to live in the poor, rough part of the city, above the tavern of his old friend Gurd, a barbarian. Thraxas is overweight, somewhat bad-tempered, and a keen gambler at the chariot races. In between his other pursuits, he tries to support himself as a detective-for-hire.

Thraxas is usually helped in his cases by his young friend Makri, an escapee from the Orcish gladiator pits, and the best fighter ever seen in Turai. Makri is part Human, part Orc, and part Elf, and she often suffers prejudice from all three races. She works as a waitress at Gurd's tavern, wearing a skimpy chainmail bikini to entice the rough-and-tumble working class customers into leaving better tips. Her exotic good looks and lithe physique have earned her quite a few admirers, but she also has intellectual aspirations, studying at a Turanian College.

The stories – narrated in first person by Thraxas – happen in real time and are in chronological order. They are also linked by the presence of many of the same characters throughout the series. Typically, Thraxas finds himself entangled in dangerous but realistic situations that involve political intrigue and all kinds of conspiracies. Through luck and pluck, as well as a well-honed sense of humor, he somehow manages to pull through against heavy odds.

Titles[edit]

Original UK edition

  1. Thraxas – April 1999[2]
  2. Thraxas and the Warrior Monks – May 1999[3]
  3. Thraxas at the Races – June 1999[4]
  4. Thraxas and the Elvish Isles – August 2000[5]
  5. Thraxas and the Sorcerers – November 2001[6]
  6. Thraxas and the Dance of Death – May 2002[7]
  7. Thraxas at War – July 2003[8]
  8. Thraxas under Siege – May 2005[9]
  9. Thraxas and the Ice Dragon – March 2013[10]

History[edit]

The titles were originally released in the UK by Orbit Books as mass-market paperbacks; several titles were also later released in hardcover format by the series' North American publisher, Baen Books.[11] English-language e-book editions were released by Orbit Books-affiliated publisher Hachette Digital in September 2008.[12] Series books have also been published in several other countries and languages.[13]

As of the eighth novel the series had not concluded. Original publisher Orbit Books did not want to publish a ninth book, and Millar's agent could not come to an agreement regarding rights of a future Thraxas title with Baen Books. Baen was also republishing the series in omnibus form, two titles at a time, but stopped publication after the second omnibus volume.[14]

Despite the difficulties with publishers, Millar stated that he planned to publish a ninth Thraxas novel. In September 2012 he blogged that he had nearly finished the book, entitled Thraxas and the Ice Dragon, which was eventually released in March 2013 as an e‑book.[15]

Other editions[edit]

Baen omnibus print edition (US – discontinued)

  1. Thraxas – September 2003[16] – Contains Thraxas and Thraxas and the Warrior Monks
  2. Death and Thraxas – August 2004[17] – Contains Thraxas at the Races and Thraxas and the Elvish Isles

Reception[edit]

Locus reviewer Jonathan Strahan praised the first novel in the series as "an entertaining addition to the fantasy PI bookshelf," further stating, "Scott is careful to balance the various requirements of humorous fantasy and PI crime fiction."[18]

A favourable review of Death and Thraxas maintained, "The strength of [the included] novels lies in their humor and quirky characters."[19] In an also-favourable 2005 review of Book 5, Thraxas and the Sorcerers in the science fiction magazine Chronicle, frequent series reviewer Don D'Ammassa stated, "The first few volumes in the series were pretty frothy, but I've actually become more fond of the character with the recent volumes,..."[20]

The first book in the series, Thraxas, was the winner of the 2000 World Fantasy Award.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ As of April 2013, see § History.
  2. ^ Millar, Martin (1999a). Thraxas (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 1 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-85723-729-0. 
  3. ^ —— (1999b). Thraxas and the warrior monks (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 2 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-85723-731-3. 
  4. ^ —— (1999c). Thraxas at the races (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 3 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-85723-734-4. 
  5. ^ —— (2000). Thraxas and the Elvish Isles (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 4 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-002-1. 
  6. ^ —— (2001). Thraxas and the sorcerers (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 5 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-077-9. 
  7. ^ —— (2002). Thraxas and the dance of death (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 6 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-121-9. 
  8. ^ —— (2003). Thraxas at war (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 7 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-242-1. 
  9. ^ —— (2005a). Thraxas under siege (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 8 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-254-4. 
  10. ^ —— (2013). Thraxas and the ice dragon (kindle-compatible formats) (e-book). Thraxas [book series] 9 (1st UK ed.). London: Self-published. ASIN B00BOV3S9E. 
  11. ^ —— (2005b). Thraxas and the sorcerers (hardcover) (print). Thraxas [book series] 5 (1st US hardcover ed.). Riverdale, New York: Baen Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-9908-8. [Baen released 3 other titles in hardcover]. 
  12. ^ —— (2008). Thraxas and the dance of death (kindle-compatible formats) (e‑book). Thraxas [book series] 6. London: Hachette Digital. ISBN 978-0-7481-0897-8. ; Hachette Digital simultaneously published most series novels in this format in 2008, however several titles had been previously published digitally: E‑book editions in libraries (Worldcat catalog). Retrieved on 2012-04-06.
  13. ^ Non-English editions in libraries (Worldcat catalog). Retrieved on 2012-04-06.
  14. ^ Millar, Martin (7 December 2007). "Thraxas". martinmillar.com (blog). Self-published. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  15. ^ —— (14 September 2012). "Dead projects, Revived projects". martinmillar.com (blog). Self-published. ¶ 3. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  16. ^ —— (2003b). Thraxas (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 1 (US omnibus ed.). Riverdale, New York: Baen Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-7152-7. 
  17. ^ —— (2004). Death and Thraxas (paperback) (print). Thraxas [book series] 2 (US omnibus ed.). Riverdale, New York: Baen Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-8850-1. 
  18. ^ Strahan, Jonathan (December 2000). "Locus Looks at Books: Reviews by Jonathan Strahan". Locus (Oakland, California: Locus Press) 45 (479): 60. ISSN 0047-4959. 
  19. ^ Armstrong, Ginger (March 2005). "Scott, Martin. Death and thraxas". Book Reviews. Kliatt (Wellesley, Massachusetts: Kliatt) 39 (2): 29. ISSN 1065-8602. 
  20. ^ D'Ammassa, Don (October 2005). "Thraxas and the Sorcerers/The Time of Troubles I". Critical Mass. Chronicle (Radford, Virginia: DNA Publications) 27 (9): 6. ISSN 0195-5365. 
  21. ^ World Fantasy Convention. "2000 World Fantasy Award Winners". World Fantasy Board. Retrieved 2012-05-15. ; the award was apparently a surprise to some, as was humourosly noted in a Fantasy & Science Fiction column: Di Fillipo, Paul (July 2004). "The Slan Corps Wants You!". Plumage from Pegasus. Fantasy & Science Fiction (Hoboken, New Jersey: Spilogale) 107 (1): 101–104. ISSN 1095-8258. "[A] bombshell announcement that's going to be a bigger shock than Thraxas winning the World Fantasy Award." 

External links[edit]