James Barclay

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Photograph: Charlotte Knee

Books

Agent: Robert Kirby
Assistant: Kate Walsh

Books

James was born in Felixstowe, Suffolk, in 1965 and is the third of four children. He gained a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies in Sheffield before heading to London to train as an actor. With acting roles in short supply, he worked in marketing and advertising until 2004 when he became a full time author.

James is the creator of the two Raven trilogies: Chronicles of The Raven and Legends of The Raven, and the epic fantasy duology, The Ascendants of Estorea. Following that, he published the seventh and last Raven novel, Ravensoul. He has written two novellas, Light Stealer and Vault of Deeds. He is currently working on a new fantasy trilogy, the first of which, Once Walked With Gods was published in August 2010. The sequel, Rise of the TaiGethen is due for release in February 2012.

Away from fantasy novels, James is writing contemporary young adult fiction, and is collaborating on a TV drama. He is also working on two screenplays, one of which is an adaptation of his first novel, Dawnthief.

James has recently begun acting again and took a role in gritty indie Brit-pic The Estate which premiered in October 2010 and which has enjoyed strong dvd sales. He is back on set in January 2012 in the director’s next and far bigger movie project.

Beyond writing and acting, James spends as much time as possible with his sons, Oscar and Oliver, his wife, Clare, and Mollie the Hungarian Vizsla. That’s a dog to anyone not in the know. They live rather noisily in Teddington, Middlesex.

James is  is developing a series for young adults entitled THE EARTH GUARD while writing his forthcoming book BLOOD AND FIRE for Orion which is due to be published in 2016.

 

Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes
2013

Gollancz

Thousands of years ago the elves were enslaved by the Wytch Lords. Murdered in their thousands, worked to death in slave gangs and divided against themselves, the wounds inflicted by man run deep - and elves have very long memories. Two of them - Auum and Takaar - led the rise against their enslavers, and united their people against men in order to free their nation. Now Calaius is at peace...but that doesn't mean their nation is safe.

Men need their help.

The Wytch Lords have rallied, men's magic has grown more powerful, and their politics have become altogether more dangerous. Especially now: one of the mages has created a spell, called Dawnthief, which has the potential to destroy all living things on the planet. All four magical colleges are fighting to seize it and, in the background, the Wytch Lords have schemes of their own. Schemes which involve crushing the elven nation for good. Whoever seizes the spell, it places the elves in tremendous danger. But can Auum and Takaar overcome their differences and work together to save Calaius? And even if they can, is it not already too late...?

BLOOD AND FIRE

Orion

Blood and Fire has a simple premise of nomadic fantasy nations warring over diminishing resources; it has a strong twist with a main character who uncovers a series of game-changing government lies; it combines politics, war and romance into a gripping story.

This is also a bold proposal: our hero may have uncovered the truth, but that doesn't mean he can prove it. If he wants to save his team he may have to abandon them. If he wants to win the girl he'll have to persuade her not to turn her back on him. If he wants to prove the lies, he may have to risk a descent into madness.

And all against the backdrop of a vicious daily war for survival.

2012

Gollancz

The Elves have been driven out of their capital. The invading forces of Mankind, backed by the terrifying power of their mages have taken hundreds of elves as hostages and have now begun to plunder the sacred jungles of Calaius. The remaining free Elves have gathered, under the leadership of the Taigethan warrior Auum, in the jungles around the city and have begun a hopeless guerilla war to harass the invading forces. But for every man killed dozens of captured Elves are slaughtered. There seems to be no hope. Even Takaar, Lord of the Taigethan, returned from self-imposed exile seems overwhelmed by madness. But perhaps salvation lies with him afterall. James Barclay's Elves are lethal warriors, skilled in bushcraft, mystically linked to nature. But now they face their sternest test: a magic that breaks all of natures rules. A magic that mankind uses without fear or discretion. Is this the end for the Elven race?

2010

Gollancz

The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of 100,000 elves lost to the Garonin. The elf who led that fight, Takaar, is blamed for the losses and has gone into hiding. Now the weakened elf race is tearing itself apart in civil war, human mercenaries have arrived in Calius and are ripping the continent apart. Only one elf can unite the elves. And only one elf believes in him. A young warrior named Auum sets out to bring back the shamed hero and save the elven race. James Barclay's ELVES trilogy will tell the whole story of his immortal elven race, and will appeal to all fans of Tolkien and fantasy - this is a uniquely entertaining take on a fantasy staple perfect to bring new readers to Barclay. And old readers of James Barclay will welcome a return to one of their favourite creations and will also love seeing one of their favourite characters again - the Tai Gethan warriror Auum destined to be one of the Raven.

2003

Gollancz

The Raven have fought together for years, six men carving out a living as swords for hire in the war that has torn Balaia apart, loyal only to themselves and their code. But when they agree to escort a Xesteskian mage on a secret mission they are pulled into a world of politics and ancients secrets. For the first time The Raven cannot trust even their own strength and prowess, for the first time their code is in doubt. How is it that they are fighting for one of the most evil colleges of magic known? Searching for the secret location of Dawnthief; a spell that could end the world? Aiming not to destroy it but to cast it . . . DAWNTHIEF is a fast paced epic about a band of all-too-human heroes.

2003

Gollancz

Now, his band of slightly ageing past-their-prime mercenaries, The Raven, are back and attempting to right the wrongs from the previous story. The Dawnthief spell has been cast but it has ripped apart a hole between dimensions that will allow an invasion of dragons into Balia and signal the land's destruction. The Raven are forced into an alliance with Sha-Kaan, a dragon whose brood are fighting a desperate war in the dragon dimension. With Balia having to defend itself against armies of Wesmen, The Raven are the only ones able to help the Kaan defeat their enemies and save Balia.

2008

Gollancz

With Nightchild James Barclay brings his remarkable debut trilogy to a stunning and startling conclusion. The book picks up from the previous entry as the Raven are faced with a terrible moral dilemma: Lyanna, the daughter of Raven warrior Denser and mage Erienne, has been blessed (or cursed) with the power of The One. This power is threatening the very land of Balaia and the four magic colleagues who are desperate to control the power or stop it--even if that means killing a five year old girl. Erienne, fearful for the life of her daughter, goes into hiding and the Raven have little time to find her. When they do, they face a terrible choice that none of them want to make. Nightchild is a cracking finale to what has been a real treat for fans of action-based fantasy.

2003

Gollancz

Another action-packed adventure from the new master of fantasy launches Legends of The Raven, a new trilogy starring the cult heroes made famous in Chronicles of The Raven. The Raven travel to a new continent in search of mages to help the ruined college of Julatsa rebuild . . . and find themselves in the midst of an ancient curse - a curse that has unleashed a plague that threatens to wipe out the elven race. Barclay excels with another tale that pitches The Raven against the clock and unseen foes. Full of desperate fights and secret betrayals the story also fills in more of Balaia's history and delves deeper into the ancient emnities between the colleges. Barclay has created a wonderfully appealing group of heroes and with every book their history grows and the land they live in becomes wider and richer. This is landmark fantasy in the making.

2004

Gollancz

The Legends of The Raven, began with Elfsorrow which served as an introduction for new readers. Now, with his fifth book, he tests The Raven to the point of destruction and unleashes a savage war across his world as the magical colleges of Balaia tear the land apart in their struggle for supremacy. Barclay has never been scared of killing off favourite characters, and this has given his books their unique edge. Now he threatens to destroy everything they have known. Can The Raven even survive, let alone triumph?

2005

Gollancz

THIS IS THE END . . . The dragons have gone home, the elves are safe. The Raven have kept their promises. But fate has not finished with them. As the war between the colleges rages on an old enemy senses that his chance to revenge a bitter defeat has come. Tessaya, Lord of the Paleon Tribes has waited patiently for his moment and now, with Balaia in flames, he makes his move and unleashes the Wesmen hordes. In Xetesk, his forces scattered, Dystran, Lord of the Mount faces certain defeat by the Wesmen unless he unleashes the horrfying power of dimensional magics. And Dystran has not come this far to be beaten at the last by a rabble of ignorant tribesmen. And so the veil between dimensions is torn . . . And beyond, a predatory evil stirs. Demons catch the scent of countless souls in Balaia. Can even the Raven prevail when the world is coming to an end? A fantasy milestone is reached. James Barclay brings his sensational saga of The Raven to a heartstopping conclusion.