|Author||Martin Scott (Martin Millar)|
|No. of books||11 (List of books)|
Thraxas is a series of eleven written by British author Martin Millar under the pen name Martin Scott. The first eight were originally published in the United Kingdom by Orbit Books between April fantasy novels 1999 and May 2005. The remaining three titles were self-published by Millar, between March 2013 and January 2019. The series has been generally positively received, and has produced one World Fantasy Award winner.
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.
Later in the seriesthe bulk of the action shifts away from Turai, as the city is conquered by an Orcish army and most characters, including Thraxas and Makri, are forced to flee. Following the fall of Turai, Thraxas tentatively regains part of his previous status when he is given official responsibilities in the effort to retake the city. This development however has little effect on his behavior.
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.
|1||Thraxas||April 1999||224 pp||paperback||ISBN 978-1-85723-729-0|
|2||Thraxas and the Warrior Monks||May 1999||256 pp||paperback||ISBN 978-1-85723-731-3|
|3||Thraxas at the Races||June 1999||256 pp||paperback||ISBN 978-1-85723-734-4|
|4||Thraxas and the Elvish Isles||August 2000||256 pp||paperback||ISBN 978-1-84149-002-1|
|5||Thraxas and the Sorcerers||November 2001||272 pp||paperback||ISBN 978-1-84149-077-9|
|6||Thraxas and the Dance of Death||May 2002||256 pp||paperback||ISBN 978-1-84149-121-9|
|7||Thraxas at War||July 2003||272 pp||paperback||ISBN 978-1-84149-242-1|
|8||Thraxas under Siege||May 2005||272 pp||paperback||ISBN 978-1-84149-254-4|
|9||Thraxas and the Ice Dragon||March 2013||211 pp||e-book||ISBN 978-1-6267527-1-9|
|10||Thraxas and the Oracle||February 2015||169 pp||e-book||ISBN 978-1-4835491-8-7|
|11||Thraxas of Turai||January 2019||184 pp||e-book, paperback||ISBN 978-1-79284999-2|
|Books 1–8 published by Orbit Books. Books 9–11 were self-published via BookBaby, with book 11 also available through CreateSpace|
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. English-language e-book editions were released by Orbit Books-affiliated publisher Hachette Digital in September 2008. Series books have also been published in several other countries and languages.
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; it stopped publication after the second omnibus volume.
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. It was eventually released in March 2013 – almost eight years after the previous volume – as an e-book through BookBaby, a self-publishing company. Millar released the tenth book, Thraxas and the Oracle, via the same channel and format in February 2015; at that time all titles were available in e-book format only.
The series was eventually reprinted between February and October 2017, in single-title or two-title editions . They were released through CreateSpace, a print on demand self-publishing subsidiary of Amazon. As of April 2019 [update] all republished titles were listed in Amazon websites as part of The Collected Thraxas edition.
In January 2019, four years after the release of the tenth book the eleventh installment, Thraxas of Turai, was simultaneously self-published in POD and e-book editions.
|1||Thraxas||August 2003||448 pp||paperback|
contains Thraxas and Thraxas and the Warrior Monks
|2||Death and Thraxas||August 2004||480 pp||paperback||contains Thraxas at the Races and Thraxas and the Elvish Isles||ISBN 978-0-7434-8850-1|
|1||Thraxas Books One and Two||16 February 2017||332 pp||paperback|
contains Thraxas and Thraxas and the Warrior Monks
|6||Thraxas Book Ten||24 May 2017||182 pp||paperback|
contains Thraxas and the Oracle
|Print-on-demand edition, self-published via CreateSpace.|
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."
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." 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,..."
A mini-review by Jon Courtenay Grimwood of Thraxas at War(book 7), appeared in The Guardian (London) in July 2003.
The first book in the series, Thraxas, was the winner of the 2000 World Fantasy Award.
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