The Phoenix Unchained

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The Phoenix Unchained
Author Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
Country United States
Language English
Series The Enduring Flame Trilogy
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher Tor Books
Publication date
October, 2007
Media type Print (Hardback and Paperback)
Pages 398 pp (Hardcover) 382 pp (paperback edition)
ISBN 0-7653-5506-X (paperback edition)
OCLC 213301035
Followed by The Phoenix Endangered

The Phoenix Unchained is the first book of Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory's The Enduring Flame Trilogy. Its sequel is The Phoenix Endangered.


Harrier Gillain is the youngest of four brothers and born in a family that has held the Harbor Master position in Armathelieh for centuries. As the youngest, he must follow in his father's footsteps to become the next Harbor Master. He is good friends with Tiercel Rolfort, the eldest of 6 children and born and into minor Nobility. The begins during Festival Sennight in the city and Harrier's naming day falls on the first day. He receives a book called A Compendium of Ancient Myth and Legend, Compiled from the Histories of the City from his frequently travelling uncle, Alfrin. Having no desire to read the book, he hands it to Tiercel to read who is fond of reading and is actually interested in the book. A couple of days later Tiercel begins reading the book and his interests are piqued when he comes across topics he has not heard of before, among them are: High Mages, High Magick, and the Third War against the Light. The only magic he, or anyone he knows has ever heard of was Wild Magic, his curiosity got the better of him. Tiercel goes off to the Great Library to look for a book titled A History of the City in Six Volumes.

Working in the city harbor, Harrier stumbles upon a ship that is wrecked, the captain of the vessel claims that it is a kraken that attacked the ship, but krakens were presumably destroyed along with all the Endarkend at the conclusion of the Third War against the Light. Harrier showed Tiercel the ship and its damage and explained to him the story the captain is giving on the damage's origin. Tiercel felt sympathetic to the captain's losses and was determined to see if High Magick can discover the truth of the matter. Having discovered a spell from one of the books in the Great Library called a Knowing Spell, Tiercel decides to attempt to cast it on a piece of the ship so he can know the truth of the captain's tale. Tiercel attempts to cast the spell at home not following the instructions verbatim but nothing happens, he gets tired and falls asleep.

During his sleep he starts to dream about a beautiful lady within a lake of fire. She is waiting for something and he knows that if she gets her hands on whatever it is, its going to be trouble. Although the dream's imagery is not scary, the feeling that he gets frightens him greatly—more so because he feels that it is so real. Tiercel then wakes up amidst a fire in his room, the fire is snuffed out by his servants and he reports to his parents that he was trying to read during the night. He realizes that he must have messed up on the spell, having to improvise on a few things. He remembers from his readings that the simplest High Magick spell that can be cast is fire. Unknowingly, Tiercel has become the first High Mage in more than a thousand years.

Main characters[edit]

  • Bisochim
  • Harrier Gillain
  • Tiercel Rolfort

Minor characters[edit]

  • Alfrin Auvalen, Harrier Gillain's uncle and brother to his mother. He frequently travels around the world going from one exotic land to another. He arrives on Harrier's naming day and gave him the book, A Compendium of Ancient Myth and Legend, Compiled from the Histories of the City, as a present.
  • Elunyerin
  • Rilphaniphel
  • Idalia, formerly the sister of Kellen Tavadon the Knight Mage, she was reborn as Sandalon the King of the Elves' sister at the conclusion of the Third War against the Light. She is married to Jermayan and is known as a Great Healer.
  • Jermayan, is an Elven Knight and bonded to the dragon Ancaldar. He became the first Elven Mage since the time of Vielliessar Farcarinon and the Great Bargain in the Second War against the Light. He married to Idalia and he is the Great Father of Farabiel, Elunyerin and Rilphaniphel. He is old and dying, and as a last request he asks Sandalon the Elven King to cast a Great Spell to transfer his bond with Ancaladar to Tiercel so he may power his High Magick and use it against the impending danger. He disappears after the bond was transferred.
  • Farabiael, is the mother of Rilphaniphel and Elunyerin.
  • Sandalon, the King of the Elves and the older brother of Idalia and father of Vairindiel. He is bonded to Petrivoch and is an Elven Mage. He survived the horrors of the Third War against the Light and at Jermayan's dying request to transfer his bond with Ancaladar to Tiercel, he decides to grant it at the expense of his and Petrivoch's life. He is willing to sacrifice his life for the transferring of the bond because he has lived a long life and does not want others to suffer under the shadow like he did. He crowns Vairindiel before he casts the Great Spell to transfer the bond. He along with his bonded dragon disappear after the conclusion of the spell.
  • Vairindiel, is the daughter of Sandalon the King of the Elves and Idalia's niece. She is crowned by Sandalon just before her father casts the Great Spell to transfer the Jermayan's bond with Ancaladar to Tiercel.


  • Ancaladar, the oldest of the bonded dragons and responsible for the repopulating of the dragon race. He survived through the Second War against the Light through hiding and helped to win the Third. He was Bonded to Elven Knight Jermayan, but as the elf's dying wish, his Bond was transferred to Tiercel to provide the power he needs to cast the High Magick and to allow Ancaladar to live and to love again.
  • Ithoriosa, a bonded dragon that Harrier converses with. She is the one that reveals to Harrier that Jermayan is dying and quickly. She reveals the truths to him about what happens when a dragon is Bonded.
  • Kareta, a female unicorn who has a coat described as being like pale gold in morning sunlight with a white blaze down the centre of her face. She has a short bushy white mane with a white lion-like tuft on her tail with white socks. Her nose is pink as well as her cloven hooves. She is the one responsible for giving Harrier his three books of the Wild Magic and proclaiming him to be the first Knight-Mage born since Kellen Tavadon.
  • Petrivoch, a dragon Bonded to Sandalon the King of the Elves. He, along with his Bonded, grant Jermayan's dying wish to transfer his Bond with Ancaladar to Tiercel by performing a Great Spell. He disappears after the spell was completed.
  • Simera, is a centauress and a Student Forester for the Forest Watch. She saved Harrier and Tiercel from bandits early on their journey and accompanied them since she believed it was her duty to see them safely. She befriends both of the boys and decides to take some time off of her normal duties because she would like to see how Tiercel and Harrier's adventure will end. During their travels they arrived in a deserted town called Windy Meadows, they realized that there was something wrong in the town and decide to leave it. They were attacked by goblins and tried to run for it, unable to run as fast as horses Simera decided to stand her ground and fight, Harrier and then later Tiercel joined her. She ended up getting poisoned by a goblin's bite and died in Harrier's arms.
  • Saravasse, a young female dragon who bonds with wild mage Bisochim. Servasse is dismayed by her bond mates plans on bringing darkness into the world again, but can do nothing about it.