In Lens of the World, the first novel of an action-packed and liltingly written trilogy, award-winning fantasist R. A. MacAvoy’s dwarfish hero Nazuret embarks on an adventure that will take him through a lifetime of challenges. His story is filled with surprising rewards and amazing adventures. By the hands of Powl, mentor, madman, and lens grinder, he is put to extreme mental and physical test and is blessed with knowledge. He embarks upon a journey to his destiny through war, darkness, and death. He is determined to emerge beyond the tiny status he was given at birth.
Here’s what Library Journal said about it:
In this, the first volume of a fantasy series, MacAvoy does not merely set the stage, hint at a plot to be unveiled later, or tease readers with suggested themes. Instead, she presents a fully developed novel that preserves interesting territory to be explored in the future. The plot crosses the classic quest fantasy with the bildungsroman, and the novel is composed in the epistolary style. Nazhuret, a child seemingly without family, is the ward of a military school for the sons of nobility. As an adolescent, he finds himself propelled into a weird relationship with the mysterious Powl. Their meeting is a memorable set-piece worthy of Poe. Nazhuret’s re-education under Powl involves trials to make the most hardworking student shudder. At the end of it, Powl sends Nazhuret into the world, a kind of beggar/philosopher, a lens-grinder on tour. It is here that MacAvoy’s intent becomes clear, because Nazhuret is indeed, for readers, the lens of the world, the optic through which they see the mysterious, shifting ambiguities that create a reality. This is a plot and a theme and a character so rich that revelations would be unforgivable. Add to these one of the most surprising supporting characters and plots in years and a fantasy setting that is always intriguing but never intrusive and you have a book that readers won’t want to end. –Cathy Chauvette, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It will be hard for you to set the trilogy aside after the first book, so let me summarize the sequels.
King of the Dead follows the story of dwarf-like Nazhuret, a modest and fastidious lens grinder. Although he could have chosen an exalted and wealthy life as a noble member of the court, he wishes to live in humble and undisturbed poverty with his lady Arlin. But the ordinary life that Nazhuret wants is abruptly shattered when a vicious attack by paid assassins forces him to run. With possible enemies on all sides, the only place to go is the neighboring kingdom of Rezhmia, where Nazhuret has an ancient blood-tie. However, he finds that Rezhmia is no safe haven, for dark clouds are gathering there, intent on destruction of the homeland of Nazhuret’s heart. Evil tidings, treacherous family members and powerful sorcery threaten to overtake him, but Nazhuret must survive for the sake of those he loves.
In the climactic Belly of the Wolf, Nazhuret embarks on his final adventure. He must unwillingly end a long period of exile and once again take up the sword in defense of freedom. His old friend the King is suddenly and unexpectedly assassinated, leaving the kingdom in chaos. Nazhuret interrupts the peace of his old age to endure the horrors of war and the supernatural realm of the dead. Before his journey comes to an end, he must test his wisdom to its limit in the face of danger and treachery. He is accompanied by his beloved daughter Nahvah and, as Nazhuret’s final debt of honor is paid, he faces the darker side of human nature with both of their lives at stake.
R.A. MacAvoy is a highly acclaimed author of imaginative and original science fiction and fantasy novels. Her debut novel, TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON, won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She has also written the DAMIANO trilogy, the chronicles of a wizard’s young son, set during the Italian Renaissance; THE BOOK OF KELLS, and TWISTING THE ROPE, the highly acclaimed sequel to TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON. All of these books are available as E-Reads reprints .