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Quentaris in Flames - Michael Pryor

Since ‘Flames’ was going to be one of the first two books in the Quentaris Chronicles, I wanted a story that introduced the scenario. I wanted to do a bit of a travelogue, showing parts of the city and what it had to offer. But, of course, I did want to have a story to bind this together, a story that was involving, thoughtful and interesting.

Writers are, naturally, influenced by what goes on around them. When I was writing ‘Flames’, the refugee debate was at its peak, with the Tampa incident and the children overboard. It got me thinking about fairness, and discrimination, and people who are dispossessed. What grew out of this was the idea of a population living away from its home, and how they’d feel, and how those around would treat them.

Add to this a personal journey of a young Quentaran growing up and learning to love the city, and then you’ve got ‘Quentaris in Flames’.
When a fire is deliberately lit in the city of Quentaris, Nisha Fairsight and her minstrel friend Tal investigate and soon uncover a plot threatening its inhabitants. Adding to the city’s woes is the threat of invasion from the vicious, insect-like Zolka, who are making it even more dangerous than usual to pass through the rift caves.

Nisha must discover her fire-magic heritage and her place in Quentaris. Will she be able to save the city and her friends?
‘Nisha. Don’t move.’

Tal’s voice came from behind her. She looked over her shoulder. His face was white.

‘I’m all right,’ she said, and she started to rise.

The floor dropped again with a loud groan. Nisha fell on one elbow and cried out. Then she realised the floor was tilting towards the great black hole.

‘Don’t move,’ Tal repeated. ‘Nisha, this is very, very important.’

Nisha tried to find handholds in the damp, ash-slick floor. ‘I think it’s stopped. I can crawl out of here,’ she called. A tremor ran through the floor underneath her. ‘Which way should I go?’

‘Stay there.’ Tal’s voice was soft and urgent. His face was even whiter than before.

‘Don’t be silly. Even if the floor collapses, what of it? I’ll fall a few feet, that’s all. I’m not afraid of spiders or rats, and that’s all that’s likely to be under a house.’


A deep groan made Nisha turn towards the hole.

A huge hand was slowly rising from the blackness. It was as big as a washing basket. Each finger was swollen and round, making the hand look like a bunch of sausages sewn together. It groped the air for a moment, then it fell, grasping the side of the hole. Another gigantic, pudgy hand joined it a moment later.

Nisha was frozen. She watched helplessly as a head the size of a rainwater barrel loomed out of the pit. It was almost perfectly round. The eyes were black smears, the nose, ears and mouth simple folds and twists. It was the colour of clay.

‘Earth elemental,’ Tal breathed.

bullet The Gimlet Eye
Equen Queen
Battle for Quentaris
The Spell of Undoing
Vampires of Quentaris
The Skyflower
The Prisoner of Quentaris
Pirates of Quentaris
The Forgotten Prince
Stars of Quentaris
Stolen Children of Quentaris
Nightmare in Quentaris
The Murderers’ Apprentice
The Cat Dreamer
Princess of Shadows
Rifts Through Quentaris
The Plague of Quentaris
The Mind Master
Treasure Hunters of Q.
The Ancient Hero
Angel Fever
Stones of Quentaris
Dragonlords of Quentaris
Quentaris in Flames
Swords of Quentaris
The Revognase
The Perfect Princess
Slaves of Quentaris
Beneath Quentaris

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