Thraxas

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Thraxas
Author Martin Scott (Martin Millar)
Country UK
Genre Fantasy
Publisher
Published 1999–2015
Media type
No. of books 10 (List of books)
Website www.thraxas.com

Thraxas is a series of ten[n 1] fantasy novels written by Martin Millar under the pen name Martin Scott. The first eight were originally published in the United Kingdom by Orbit Books between April 1999 and May 2005. The ninth and tenth book were self-published by Millar, in March 2013 and February 2015 respectively.

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 begins, Thraxas is still an excellent swordsman 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]

Books 1–8 published by Orbit Books; books 9–10 were self-published via BookBaby.
  1. Thraxas – April 1999[1]
  2. Thraxas and the Warrior Monks – May 1999[2]
  3. Thraxas at the Races – June 1999[3]
  4. Thraxas and the Elvish Isles – August 2000[4]
  5. Thraxas and the Sorcerers – November 2001[5]
  6. Thraxas and the Dance of Death – May 2002[6]
  7. Thraxas at War – July 2003[7]
  8. Thraxas under Siege – May 2005[8]
  9. Thraxas and the Ice Dragon – March 2013[9]
  10. Thraxas and the Oracle – February 2015[10]

Publication history[edit]

The first eight titles were originally released in the UK by Orbit Books as mass market paperbacks between 1999 and 2005; several titles were also released in hardcover by the series' North American publisher Baen Books, starting with Thraxas and the Sorcerers (book 5), in 2005.[11][n 2] English-language e-book editions were released by Orbit Books-affiliated publisher Hachette Digital in September 2008.[12][n 3] Series books have also been published in several other countries and languages.[n 4]

After the eighth novel, Orbit did not want to publish additional installments. In addition, Millar's agent could not come to an agreement regarding rights of future Thraxas titles with Baen Books. Baen was also republishing the series in omnibus form, two titles at a time (see below); it stopped publication after the second omnibus volume.[13]

Despite the difficulties with publishers, Millar stated that he planned to continue with the series. In September 2012 he blogged that he had nearly finished a 9th book, Thraxas and the Ice Dragon.[14] It was eventually released in March 2013 – almost eight years after the previous volume – as an e-book through BookBaby, a self-publishing company.[9][15] Millar released the tenth book, Thraxas and the Oracle, via the same channel and format in February 2015; [10] by that date all titles were available in e-book format only.[16]

Select editions[edit]

  • Baen omnibus edition (US – discontinued)
  1. Thraxas – September 2003[17] – Contains Thraxas and Thraxas and the Warrior Monks
  2. Death and Thraxas – August 2004[18] – 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."[19]

A favorable review of the second omnibus Death and Thraxas maintained, "[t]he strength of [the included] novels lies in their humor and quirky characters."[20] In an also-favorable 2005 review of book 5, Thraxas and the Sorcerers in the science fiction magazine Chronicle, frequent series reviewer Don D'Ammassa stated, "[t]he first few volumes in the series were pretty frothy, but I've actually become more fond of the character with the recent volumes,..."[21]

The first book in the series, Thraxas, was the winner of the 2000 World Fantasy Award.[22][n 5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As of February 2015 (see § Publication history).
  2. ^ Baen released 3 other titles in hardcover: Thraxas and the Dance of Death in 2005, and in 2006, Thraxas under Siege and Thraxas at War (OCLC 60799728, 70230651 and 62341583 respectively).
  3. ^ However, several titles had been previously published electronically: digital editions in libraries (Worldcat catalog). Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  4. ^ Non-English editions in libraries (Worldcat catalog). Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  5. ^ The award was a surprise to some, as was humorously noted in a Fantasy & Science Fiction column: Di Fillipo, Paul (July 2004). "The Slan Corps Wants You!". Plumage from Pegasus. Fantasy & Science Fiction. Vol. 107 no. 1. Hoboken, New Jersey: Spilogale. pp. 101–104. ISSN 1095-8258. [A] bombshell announcement that's going to be a bigger shock than Thraxas winning the World Fantasy Award. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Millar, Martin (1999a). Thraxas (paperback). Thraxas. 1 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-85723-729-0. 
  2. ^ —— (1999b). Thraxas and the warrior monks (paperback). Thraxas. 2 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-85723-731-3. 
  3. ^ —— (1999c). Thraxas at the races (paperback). Thraxas. 3 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-85723-734-4. 
  4. ^ —— (2000). Thraxas and the elvish isles (paperback). Thraxas. 4 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-002-1. 
  5. ^ —— (2001). Thraxas and the sorcerers (paperback). Thraxas. 5 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-077-9. 
  6. ^ —— (2002). Thraxas and the dance of death (paperback). Thraxas. 6 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-121-9. 
  7. ^ —— (2003a). Thraxas at war (paperback). Thraxas. 7 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-242-1. 
  8. ^ —— (2005a). Thraxas under siege (paperback). Thraxas. 8 (1st UK ed.). London: Orbit Books. ISBN 978-1-84149-254-4. 
  9. ^ a b —— (2013). Thraxas and the ice dragon (e-book). Thraxas. 9 (1st UK ed.). London: Self-published. ISBN 978-1-6267527-1-9 – via BookBaby. 
  10. ^ a b —— (2015). Thraxas and the oracle (e-book). Thraxas. 10 (1st UK ed.). London: Self-published. ISBN 978-1-4835491-8-7 – via BookBaby. 
  11. ^ —— (2005b). Thraxas and the sorcerers (hardcover). Thraxas. 5 (1st US hardcover ed.). Riverdale, New York: Baen Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-9908-8. 
  12. ^ —— (2008). Thraxas and the dance of death (e-book). Thraxas. 6. London: Hachette Digital. ISBN 978-0-7481-0897-8. 
  13. ^ —— (7 December 2007). "Thraxas". martinmillar.com (blog). Self-published. Retrieved 2016-08-06. 
  14. ^ —— (14 September 2012). "Dead projects, Revived projects". martinmillar.com (blog). Self-published. ¶ 3. Retrieved 2016-08-06. 
  15. ^ Giammateo, Giacomo (23 July 2012). "Is Bookbaby or Smashwords Best for Self-Publishers?". Production. How-To For Authors. London: Alliance for Independent Authors. Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  16. ^ Millar, Martin (5 February 2015). "Thraxas and the Oracle". martinmillar.com (blog). Self-published. ¶ 1. Retrieved 2016-08-06. 
  17. ^ —— (2003b). Thraxas (paperback). Thraxas. 1 (US omnibus ed.). Riverdale, New York: Baen Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-7152-7. 
  18. ^ —— (2004). Death and Thraxas (paperback). Thraxas. 2 (US omnibus ed.). Riverdale, New York: Baen Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-8850-1. 
  19. ^ Strahan, Jonathan (December 2000). "Locus Looks at Books: Reviews by Jonathan Strahan". Locus. Vol. 45 no. 479. Oakland, California: Locus Press. p. 60. ISSN 0047-4959. 
  20. ^ Armstrong, Ginger (March 2005). "Scott, Martin. Death and thraxas". Book Reviews. Kliatt. Vol. 39 no. 2. Wellesley, Massachusetts: Kliatt. p. 29. ISSN 1065-8602. 
  21. ^ D'Ammassa, Don (October 2005). "Thraxas and the Sorcerers/The Time of Troubles I". Critical Mass. Chronicle. Vol. 27 no. 9. Radford, Virginia: DNA Publications. p. 6. ISSN 0195-5365. 
  22. ^ "2000 World Fantasy Award Winners". World Fantasy Convention. World Fantasy Board. n.d. Archived from the original on 2001-01-19. Retrieved 2016-08-07. 

External links[edit]