The View from the Mirror

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The View from the Mirror is the first quartet in Ian Irvine's bestselling[1] The Three Worlds Cycle series.


The View from the Mirror consists of four books:

The Three Worlds Cycle[edit]

In the Three Worlds Cycle,[2] 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
  • Tallallame

The Four Species[edit]

There are also 4 species of humans that populate these worlds. The names of the species are:

  • Aachim
  • Charon
  • Old Humans
  • Faellem

The Aachim are the original species of Aachan. They are usually a tall, dark people who can be rather arrogant. They are long lived, though to a lesser extent than the Faellem and Charon. But there is an exception both physically and emotionally with the people of Clan Elienor. These people are small (for Aachim anyway) pale and have red hair. They are usually less long lived than the rest of the Aachim, though Malien is an exception. The people of Clan Elienor are often a lot more caring to others and hope for the prosperity of all human species. The Aachim were mostly brought to Santhenar as the Charon's slaves. A few, such as Tensor, came of their own accord, .

The Charon are a tall, dark people with carmine/indigo eyes and are great users of the Secret Art. They are very long lived, as are the Faellem. They were once Mariem and shared the world of Tallallame with the Faellem. But the Faellem saw how the Mariem were destroying their beautiful world with their machines and devices of magic and knew that if they continued, that the Faellem would soon become extinct. So the Faellem gathered their most powerful mancers together and learnt how to use magical "gates" as the Mariam did, and cast their foes into the void. The Mariem quickly dwindled in that horrific place. But they remade themselves. Giving themselves a new name, Charon, after a frigid moonlet at the furthest extremity of the void, they took Aachan from the Aachim. The Hundred, as the remaining Charon became known, dared allow nothing to stand before the survival of their species. While the Aachim were millions, they were too frightened of the Charon to retaliate. The greatest among the Charon, Rulke, eventually opened the way between the worlds, which caused all the troubles of The Three Worlds. Only three Charon ever ventured to Santhenar: Rulke, Yalkara and Kandor.

The old humans are the original species of Santhenar and are the only species that are not long lived. It is rarer among them to have great talents for the Art, though a lot of people among them have minor talents. The other species think of them as primitive. Old Humans are the most human-like species of the four in The Three Worlds series.

The Faellem are a small, dour people with translucent skin and golden eyes. They are very long lived and their powers with the Art are mostly in the form of illusion, deception, confusion and enchantment. Their home world is Tallallame. Faelamor is their leader and is seen as the most powerful illusionist on the Three Worlds. The Faellem long ago resorted to genocide and sent the Mariem to what they thought was their death in the void. After this, the use of the powers they employed to achieve this, were banned among the Faellem as was the use of machines and devices.

Faelamor led a group of her people to Santhenar, though more recently had been exiled with Maigraith for a great unknown reason, that involved Maigraith's parents.

A Triune is a blending of three species. They are not considered a species, as the majority of them are sterile. They are, however, renowned for their special abilities.

Other species[edit]

The Lyrinx are described as 8-foot-tall (2.4 m) humanoids with huge wings, armour plating, six inch claws on their hands and feet, mouths big enough for a human head to fit inside and chameleonic skin. Lyrinx also have golden flecked, intelligent eyes and crests on their heads which show maturity and gender. Sometimes, a lyrinx infant is born lacking one or more of these features. Such children are allowed to fight if they are able and otherwise live normal lives but they are forbidden from breeding, to stop the deformities being passed on to future generations. Despite their monstrous appearance, Lyrinx are as intelligent as humans and have a strong sense of honour and have the skill of flesh forming.

Main characters[edit]


A young sensitive woman, from Gothryme Manor in Bannador. She is called upon to help steal the wicked Mirror of Aachan and is hunted far and wide by many who desire it. Karan uses her skills to outwit many of the great and soon finds herself with many enemies. Karan falls in love with Llian, with whom she faces many dangers.


A talented master chronicler and teller from Chanthed, Llian is a Zain and strives hard to rise above the stigma of being of that race. He is overly curious and this often causes strife. Llian soon falls in love with Karan and together they face many perils. Because of his ambitious nature, Llian is often questioned about where his loyalties lie.


The age old leader of the Faellem, Faelamor is unceasingly searching for a way home to her beloved Tallallame. For the past three hundred years it was believed that Faelamor was dead, however she herself spread this rumour, before creating the false identity of Faichand. In this time Faelamor constructs a brilliant plan to lead her people home to Tallallame, that centres around her lieutenant Maigraith.


The brilliant lieutenant of Faelamor, Maigraith was orphaned at a young age and knows nothing of her heritage. Though a master of the Secret Art, Maigraith is so dominated by Faelamor and is unsure of herself and her myriad of skills, that her strength is often beyond her reach. Maigraith feels compelled to aid Faelamor to lead her people home.


An Aachim woman and the former consort of Tensor and mother of Rael, Malien is the kinswoman of Karan. After Tensor's betrayal, Malien takes over the leadership of the Aachim and seeks to aid all levels of humanity, not just her own Aachim people. Malien utilises her powers with the Secret Art and skills at healing many times during her journeys.


An age old mancer, bent on seeking revenge on Mendark and the Council of Santhenar for betrayals committed one thousand years ago during the taking of Rulke. Yggur is deathly afraid of Rulke, often paralysed by fear of him. It is this inner hurt that draws Maigraith, who he ever after loves, to him.


An old man from the village of Tullin, Shand is clearly more than he seems, though he often denies it. It is clear that Shand is tortured by a past failure and loss, which he has never been able to come to terms with. After their adventures together Shand begins to think of Karan as a daughter.


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.


The chief lieutenant of Mendark, Tallia is a master of the Secret Art, as well as of armed and uanrmed combat. She forms a strong bond with Lilis, who she cares for as a daughter. Tallia accompanies Mendark on all of his journeys, though she soon begins to have doubts about his intentions.


The Magister of the Council of Santhenar, for the past one thousand years, Mendark is a powerful mancer, who has recently become insecure, due to the threat of his nemesis Yggur. He is corrupt and selfish, though he truly cares for his world, though this is often overshadowed by his need to secure a great reputation in the Histories.

Rulke (aka The Great Betrayer)

The greatest of the Charon, who has been imprisoned in the Nightland for the past one thousand years, though he is released upon the world by Tensor. It soon becomes clear that Rulke's evil reputation is, at least partly, a lie. Rulke is obsessed with the survival of his people.

Nadiril (aka Nadiril the Sage)

The revered Librarian of the Great Library and a member of the Council of Santhenar, Nadiril is a man with the knowledge of the world at his fingertips. He takes on Lilis as his apprentice and later they both journey to Thurkad, so Nadiril can participate in the doings of the Council and the allies alike.


Lilis was a street urchin and waif, whose father was press ganged seven years ago. She escapes the taking of Thurkad with Tallia and Mendark's group and upon arriving at Zile, Lilis takes up the position as Nadiril's apprentice. Lilis's father, Jevander is eventually rescued, by Tallia and the pair are reunited.

Mirror of Aachan[edit]

The Mirror of Aachan is an object of magic. It is a twisted, deceitful thing that never forgets a single thing it is witness to. It is sometimes referred to as "The Glass", "The Twisted Mirror" or "The Mirror" by the characters.



  • Irvine, I. (2001). A Shadow on the Glass, Camberwell:Penguin Books