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Australian edition cover
|Translator||Fantasy World, Greece Azbooka, Russia|
|Cover artist||Nick Stathopoulos|
|Series||Well of Echoes|
|Published||29 September 2003 Orbit Books, Penguin Books|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|ISBN||0-670-04119-X (paperback edition)|
|Preceded by||View from the Mirror quartet|
Geomancer is the first book of the The Well of Echoes quartet, written by Ian Irvine. It is set on the world of Santhenar, 200 years after the events of The View from the Mirror series. The old humans of Santhenar are engaged in a war against the Lyrinx, a monstrous humanoid race that emerged from The Void after the Forbidding was broken. The Council of Scrutators rule in this time of crisis with an iron fist, testing everyone to see where their talents lie, then forcing them into jobs where they are needed. People often feel unsatisfied with this, but any who refuse become 'non-citizens', people without any rights who can be imprisoned or sold into slavery. The council is constantly developing new ways to use the Secret Art to fight the Lyrinx threat while using the war to retain their power. One of the ways of using the art is the use of clankers, large eight to ten legged constructions, powered by crystals and produced in huge manufactories. In order to keep army numbers up, most men who can fight and have no other talents (such as mechanical skills needed to create clankers or a talent for the Art) or have committed a crime not serious enough for execution are inducted into the military and sent to the front lines while breeding factories are set up for women to produce more raw recruits. Much propaganda is spread about the breeding factories and breeding in general by the Council, saying that it is the duty of all women to breed. However, most know the breeding factories are a punishment for women who disobey the law. Despite all these measures, the Council is slowly losing the war. Battles with the Lyrinx have been lost more than won and for every new tactic and advancement the council invents, the Lyrinx find a way to counter it.
The novel starts in a manufactory near the town of Tiksi on the east coast of Mirrilladell at the beginning of winter. It follows three main characters:
On Santhenar, a Geomancer is also a user of the Secret Art. They utilise the magical properties of crystals and minerals and can tap into the power of the earth itself, channeling the pressure behind a geyser or the weight of a fault line into their magic. This makes Geomancy one of the most powerful and destructive arts on Santhenar. Due to the size of the power being channeled however, Geomancy is also an extremely risky art. The user must be very skilled or very lucky to survive using it. Gilhaelith is the most powerful Geomancer on Santhenar. Tiaan also learns some of the basics behind the art, first from the Aachim and later from Gilhaelith.