StarMan was released in December 1996. StarMan has a great cover by Perth artist, Shaun Tan (who did the revised version of BattleAxe), and who looks like doing the rest of my books for the immediate future. StarMan brings to a close the story of Axis’ battle with Gorgrael.
While the third verse of the prophecy seems straight forward, it is not quite as clear as it seems. Both Gorgrael and Axis misinterpret it – with some unforseen and tragic results. Neither is the identity of the traitor of the third verse as clear as might seem. Axis is betrayed from deep within his camp, and it comes from a source that none could possibly have imagined.
As with the rest of the trilogy, there are action scenes aplenty and I take the opportunity to introduce some new characters: Artor the Plough God steps into the world; Urbeth, the great icebear of the north; and the strange Chitter Chatters that Ho’Demi finds lost down a mine. I also explore the world of the Ravensbundmen in much greater detail. Someone (or, rather, some few) finally get to step through the Star Gate (but in which direction?).
Following Gorgrael’s successful manipulations, the Gryphon swarm. By book’s end the Destroyer has almost 70,000 of them, enough to darken the skies of Tencendor, and far too many for Axis to cope with. Azhure and StarDrifter explore the fabled Island of Mist and Memory; there Azhure’s troubled past is finally explained, the manner of her conception revealed, and Azhure and StarDrifter finally work out their relationship. Artor, thoroughly annoyed by the progression of events in Achar/Tencendor, decides to take a personal interest in what’s going on … but he finds opposition from a most unexpected source.
And briefly … Rivkah has an unexpected surprise (and an unwelcome one for Axis), Belial meets the Star Gods, Faraday plants out her forests, Gilbert achieves his life’s ambition, Goodwife Renkin makes a welcome return, Jayme has a problematical encounter with a plough, we find out what happened to the Ravensbund people left behind when Ho’Demi fled south, Timozel realises his visions, Azhure revisits Smyrton, and, to top it all off, there’s a final, apocalyptic battle at Gorkenfort. With an outcome you couldn’t possibly foresee.
The identity (or is that identities?) of the Dark Man is (are?) finally revealed (or have you guessed it – them – yet?).
While StarMan concludes the Axis Trilogy, there are enough loose ends for the story to continue … let me say that while I originally wrote four books, HarperCollins bought only three, saying they could only sell a trilogy, but now the fourth book – Sinner – has become the springboard for the new series, The Wayfarer Redemption.
©1996 Sara Douglass
Follow this link to see the maps of Tencendor and Escator, the realms where The Axis Trilogy, The Wayfarer Redemption, Beyond the Hanging Wall and Darkglass Mountain trilogy are set.
Editors note: Starman is Book 3 of The Axis Trilogy. Overseas it was called The Wayfarer Redemption and The Axis Trilogy was the first half of the series of six books.