Bronze Canticles

By Tracy & Laura Hickman

Book 1: Mystic Warrior

“Three universes converge-faerie, goblin and human-in this impressive and provocative fantasy, the first of a new series from bestseller Tracy Hickman and [his] Dragonlance cocreator, Laura Hickman. Galen Arvad, a newly married blacksmith, struggles to discover the nature of a dream state connecting him with inhabitants of the faerie and goblin realms. Galen tries to hide this uncanny connection, but fails when he runs afoul of the Dragon Priests in Benyn Township, whose people equate magic with insanity. Galen’s wife, Berkita, and his dwarf friend, Cephas, vow to rescue him. Meanwhile, Galen strives to understand how his fate intermingles with the destiny of a faerie Seeker who wishes to aid her war-torn people and a goblin toiling amid the vast mechanical machines left by Titans. This emotionally intense novel’s meticulously crafted magical system and likable characters evoke an atmosphere both timely and timeless. While lively action sequences and rich descriptive passages provide plenty of excitement, mature examinations of politics and individual responsibility lend philosophical weight and emotional poignancy. Sure to hit many bestseller lists, this is a fine example of socially conscious and unpredictable imaginative fiction.” –Publisher’s Weekly

Author’s Note: Book one had some wonderful ideas … especially the concept of three fantasy worlds coexisting in the same space but in different lines of reality. Also the idea of the hero who really doesn’t want the job but whose destiny is dragging him in a different direction is a fascinating one for me.

Book 2: Mystic Quest:

In the land of the Five Domains, Dragonkings and Dragonqueens destroyed the Rhamasian Empire more than 400 years before; now they’re in conflict with rebel humans who possess the Deep Magic rediscovered by blacksmith Galen Arvad 23 years earlier. Mystics can connect to the other worlds in a dream state, but this ability doesn’t really add much to the rambling quest Arvad’s sons, half-brothers Caelith and Jorgan, embark on to find Calsandria, fabled Lost City of Gods. In the eerie yet lovely fairie world, Princess Aislynn becomes one of the Oraclyn-loi (“Vision Pilgrims in training”) to serve Dwynwyn, queen of the dead, and joins a dangerous expedition to discover another lost city. And in the amusing goblin world, Thux, grand wizard to the goblin emperor, finds himself on another life-changing quest.

Author’s Note: Book Two represented a startling departure in fantasy trilogies — with a generational gap between the first two books. It was part of their vision of producing a ‘trilogy of trilogies’ (nine book series) where the story of an entire history of one family was told and how legend often grows out of more mundane foundations. However, I failed to communicate this concept in this second book (and especially the third) or perhaps it just wasn’t what readers wanted in their fantasy. Readers (and reviewers) were expecting book two to pick up where book one left off — as most other fantasies had done prior to this — and were confused when the book started with our previous main characters there but rather sidelined. The approach may have been more realistic in terms of the flow of history but in hindsight was not what readers were expecting.

Mystic Empire:

Eighty Years have passed since the Mystics founded Calsandria, and now their nation is mired in politics and bloodlines. A woman with no magic, Theona Conlan leads the desperate search for the missing Prince of House Arvad. In the faery realm, Dwynwyn learns that slave creatures are mastering a magic that threatens the fragile peace between the faeries and their enemies. And while the goblin Lunid builds a device to reach across worlds, her masters plot to use it for their own dark ends. But unknown to them all, the gates between realities are about to burst open and plunge humans, faeries, and goblins into a war that can be won only with an undiscovered magic… One that will unite–or destroy–three worlds.

Author’s Note: If the generational break between book one and book two were troublesome for readers, the century break between book 2 and book 3 was completely baffling. Again, readers were expecting a contiguous story between the books. This expectation, in part, is due to the father of modern fantasy: J. R. R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings. Referred to as a ‘trilogy’, the original book was actually one, unified contiguous novel of epic length — but the publisher could not put out a mammoth book of that size. So, being practicle, the publisher split the book into three parts: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. In point of fact, this is not technically a trilogy. Nevertheless, readers of fantasy came to expect two things out of their fantasy novels: (1) that they have a contiguous storyline and (2) that they must come in threes. ‘Bronze Canticles’ challenge that, producing three books with stories that would stand alone but which were unified by a theme (more like what would be a true trilogy). Unfortunately, being innovative and rebellious does not translate into acceptance. The series did not performs as well as the publisher would have liked and the nine book original vision — which would have tied all the themes together in a time of cataclysmic unification of the three worlds — was not to be reached. This, in part, explains why the ending to book III felt completely dissatisfying to many fantasy readers: they were expecting an end to a story whose actual ending was planned for six books further into the future.

29 thoughts on “Bronze Canticles

  1. Just finished the series and came here to try and find out more. I wish this series would get picked up for more stories because I for one love the jumps in time. The time jumps let me see how my heroes ended up instead of never knowing what the future held for them. Is it possible to give us at least an outline of the next 6 novels? For those of who really care?

  2. I like to add my voice to those calling out for a continuation of this series. It’s a really exciting and refreshing series that’s ended far too soon with so much more to tell. I’m keeping my hopes up that you one day can finish this wonderful tale!

  3. I just read this series for the second time and came looking for additional books to the series as well. I am quite sad to hear that there were so many planned but that no more have been written! Is there any plan of trying to finish this amazing series??

  4. This is one of my favorite series that I love to flip back to randomly throughout the years. For me the time gaps were not confusing at all. Sure at the beginning of the second book I might have been a bit disappointed that the previous main characters were more sidelined, but that was quickly overcome by the joy of seeing the evolution of a family line and of an entire culture. Especially when that culture seemed to bring history full circle to a previous culture that seems to have paralleled this one in a sense. The idea of there being a possibility of more books in the series never crossed my mind, but it would be wonderful if more were to be written. It would be great to read about the further evolution of this culture and of the lives of the characters.

  5. Too bad. I enjoyed all three books and would have looked forward to more.

  6. bummed to find out there won’t be anymore books in this series. My aunt and I have been waiting for them to come out only to find they won’t be coming out. It was an excellent start to a longer series. I am a fan of all your writing and wish you could finish it.

  7. I wish there were more to the Bronze Canticles. i came online researching hoping that there might be more, but am saddened and disappointed to learn that Book Three, Mystic Empire is IT. Sigh….. Please write more. Am begging as a fan.

  8. Looking for, and reading through, a good deal of the DL books, I noticed this series in my local used bookstore. I really enjoyed the stories as well as the changes that took place in the time between books. Please, if you ever get the time, look into writing more. I realise that I don’t own or control you, as I’m only a fan, but thousands of us will appreciate more. Perhaps moving the stories into an online or e-book format?

  9. Do you think there is any possiblity that you might offer the rest of the series for download?
    I really love the stories and the concept of this series and really hope you can conclude it they way you want.


  10. I have loved every book you have written. Just read the Mystic Warrior and I just couldn’t put it down till I was done. Am looking forward to reading the next two in this series.

  11. I would like to add my vote for continuing the series! Read all three books in a week and definitely want more.

  12. It saddens me to hear that this incredible series was cut short by something as trivial as sales count. I thoroughly enjoyed Mystic Warrior, and I’m just starting Mystic Quest in about five minutes. I don’t know why the Bronze Canticles wouldn’t sell. :s

    And to Jen ~ My first fantasy series was Shannara too, so the time gaps don’t really bother me either. I actually like reading about the previous book’s descendants, it lends a greater sense of continuity to the story, and a purpose to the previous book’s romance subplot.

  13. Just finished the first two and loved them! To be honest, I sure hope you’ll get support to write more Bronze Canticle books. Since the whole world is a critic, I thought I’d put in my two cents. I think the titles including the word “Mystic” is misleading. Yes, I know the characters are called Mystics in their world, but I think the title is less . . . serious than the work. I love that the magic has rules and that the author sticks to those rules, avoiding the easy way out of simply changing the rules to get the main character(s) out of a sticky situation. Somehow this allows the characters, plot, and universe of the Bronze Canticles to be much more interesting and complex than in a formula fantasy novel. In short, I think the title advertises “simple” while the stories and people are so much more. Good work!

  14. I just finished Empire and came on here to find out when the next book would be. I think it’s a wonderful series, and I can’t understand why people would let generation gaps keep them from enjoying a good story. Maybe I don’t mind it so much because my first fantasy series was the original Shannara trilogy. 80 years from Quest to Empire is nothing compared to the gaps in Shannara (not to mention the prequels)!

    I sincerely hope that you find a way to release the series as you planned it. It would be a shame to let such a great tale die without achieving its Enlightenment!

  15. This actually explains a lot for me. I didn’t mind the time gaps between the books (it felt like a fresh new idea), but at the end of Mystic Empire the quest just seemed so … unsolved. Hope the rest of the series will be written and published some day 🙂

  16. whatever happened to the RPG that was supposed to be released that was gonna be based on the books? i remember u mentioned it when you came to the SLC library for greenlighting mystic warrior, before the book ever came out.

    i suggest you change publishers, if you go through the science fiction book club they might be able to help you, i know they have released a few original SFBC books, and by that i know they are not just a redistributor, are also a publisher.

  17. This series has been a joy to read. The generation gap threw me for a few chapters yes but after I got over that I enjoyed the fact that by just finishing the first book I had effectively read one story and so on. It reminds me of the Dragonriders of Pern series in that regard. Personally I hate to read a series and find out that there were supposed to be more but due to circumstances they were unable to finish. I would love to read the rest of the books if they are ever finished. Please continue the series.

  18. I love this series. I didn’t find the generation gaps troubling at all, and was very excited about the different take on the way the series works. It’s a shame they weren’t successful enough for your publisher. I bet if you got the chance to finish the series, and people could see it through to the end, everything would make sense and the true genius of the series would result in far more success than just these three on their own. I truly hope you can finish it somehow. I look forward to reading it when that day comes.

  19. I found the first in a book shop for only 7 euros. I didn’t know why I excatly bought it, but I must say that what ever spiked me to do it deserves the thanks.

    Having read half-way trough this book, I must say I haven’t been interested in a fantasy book like this before.

    A true jewel in the works of fantasy, yet somehow forgotten. Thanks for writing this fantastic piece of literature!

  20. I just finished Mystic Warrior, and got on to see how far the series goes, because I loved it so much. Will it end at Mystic Empire? This would be truly sad. I read fantasy series exclusively, because once I find a story that I like, I just don’t want it to end, and this one is no exception. Please continue your masterpieces, Tracy. Your fans need you to.

  21. Just finished the books and loved them. Thank you so much for all the wonderful books you have written over the years. You are a truly gifted author.

  22. Annaliese Parkhurst says:

    How could these books not have done well? This was one of the best series I’ve ever read! Mystic Empire was definitly the best and Theona was my favorite charachter. I agree with Kevin it would be nice to find out how the story ends.

  23. Shariq Ansari says:

    It’s a damn shame that these books didn’t perform well. They’re so -good-, and I love how you covered so much time in three books. Quite frankly, it was very refreshing when I could read one book start to finish and get a full story.

    I loved this series so much that I bought it twice (once for myself, once for my friend for her birthday)!

    I will forever hold onto the hope that more stories are written in this series. I love it!

  24. Let me throw my vote in for continuation of this series. Yes, the gaps in the story threw me, but didn’t stop me. I came here to see if there was anything more in the series after not seeing the next book in the bookstores for a looong time. I HATE not being able to learn the completion of a story. I really, REALLY want to see where this goes! Is there a petition I could sign for support of continuing this series?

  25. I didn’t mind the generational gap that was in this series. It reminded me of L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s Recluse series in that regard. The best thing I can say about your series is that it left me wanting more, so I hope you do get a chance to complete the series.

  26. I just finished Mystic Empire and enjoyed the books thoroughly. I came to this site actually to see what the next book in the series is. The gaps in years between the books threw me at first, but shortly into the second book I came to appreciate the necessity for the time span. New magic needs time to be explored and mastered, and those whose life spans are long ARE continuous characters. Only in the cheesiest novels do the characters master their crafts overnight. I would happily buy the rest of the series if you get to write them.

  27. I’m so sorry to hear that these books didn’t do well. I just finished Mystic Empire this evening and loved every page. It was actually my favorite of the trilogy, with mystic quest following close behind. I hope there is a chance, someday, to see how the story ends.

    • We do, too, Kevin! Thank you!

      • I don’t know why I am feeling compelled to write about this series since I have never felt like doing it before with any other. I just discovered the Bronze Canticles series in my local library. I wish I had found it much sooner. I am an avid audio book listener, to the tune of around 400 books a year, and was looking for something new when I found this first book in a series. I admit that the first third of the book made me wonder if it was ever going to get anywhere but when things started to pick up I was hooked. I came to the library today to get the next in the series and found to my dissapointment that it was not in. That led me to this website where I found to my further dissapointment that the series suffered a premature death.

        I am truly hoping that a ressurection is coming. I would like to explore with you the other realities and enjoy the metaphors of your character’s lives.


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