Children of Chaos

Dave Duncan

Tor Books

On a dodecahedral world in thrall to the tyrannical, war-obsessed Hrag dynasty, no one could stop the Bloodlord from sending troops over the Edge to Florengia, invading its major cities, and offering them a choice between strict colonial rule and immediate and total destruction. When the doge of Celebre was faced with this ultimatum, he gave his children up as hostages so that the rest of Celebre might live. Thus the four young Florengians were taken from their homes and scattered across the Vigaelian face.

Fifteen years later, and you'd never guess that they're siblings. Fabia was adopted by a wealthy landowner and spoiled rotten, Orlando desperately yearns to overcome his Florengian blood and fight for the Vigaelian army, Benard is a flighty but talented artist, and Wisdom has it that Dantio, the eldest, died fighting his captors. But when Celebre suddenly takes on crucial political significance, one of the siblings must return home to serve as Celebre's puppet ruler, and the others must be eliminated so that there are no rival claimants to the throne.

It's going to be tough enough finding one another, let alone deciding whether enough kinship remains after fifteen years apart that the siblings will care to help each other out of their respective predicaments. If they're feeling particularly altruistic, the Celebres might even take on the bonus round: trying to save Dodec from the culture of death and war imposed on it by its evil warlords.

One thing's for certain: the Celebre children are going to have a lot of adjusting to do . . .

Children of Chaos is the start of a stirring, politically-charged quest duology by acclaimed fantasy author Dave Duncan.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
BENARD CELEBRE was not looking for trouble, far from it. But a woman screamed.
Benard spun right around and headed back along the alley. Nils, who had been shambling unsteadily beside him, took a moment to realize that he was now alone. He hurried back to wrap both hands around his friend's thick arm and pull. "No!" he said. "Not at all. No trouble, Benard. Benard, they are warriors! There are three of them! They will shred you." As Nils was not only slighter, but even drunker, he found himself being towed along the alley willy-nilly. They and some friends had set out


Praise for Children of Chaos

"Inventive, labyrinthine, witty, and thoroughly engaging: Duncan rarely disappoints, and here he outswashbuckles himself."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Paragon Lost

"The long-running Light Fantasy series with hidden depths may sometimes seem like the exclusive province of Terry Pratchett, but he has at least one genuine rival in North America."
--Locus on Impossible Odds

"Probably the best yet. There's dark magic and light, captures and escapes, devious plots and light humor, and best of all, a story that moves quickly and convincingly toward its perhaps somewhat unexpected climax. Thoroughly good stuff in the spirit of Dumas and Sabitini."
--Chronicle on The Jaguar Kings

"Duncan's people are marvelously believable, his landscapes deliciously exotic, his swordplay breathtaking... [A] handsomely crafted commentary on honor and betrayal."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Gilded Chain

"Distinguished by its sophisticated structure and themes, Duncan's exceptional sequel to The Gilded Chain will satisfy both fantasy fans looking for high adventure and those more interested in rich characterizations... Duncan can swashbuckle with the best, but his characters feel more deeply and think more clearly than most, making his novels, especially this one, suitable for a particularly wide readership."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Lords of the Fire Lands

"An enormously clever and impressive reshuffle, whether you regard the final twist as a brilliantly contrived sleight or an outrageous swindle: for panache, style, and sheer storytelling audacity, Duncan has few peers."
--Kirkus on Sky of Swords

"One of the leading masters of epic fantasy."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Paragon Lost

"Duncan has a wonderful knack of conjuring up wacky scenarios and making them believable and fascinating; his characters are perky and distinctive, and his narratives strike an ideal balance between whimsy and gravity. Another winner."
--Kirkus Reviews on Past Imperative

"Duncan writes succinctly, avoiding the verbiage that bloats so many other contemporary fantasies. His novel features gritty, well-developed characters, several of whom change and grow believably in the course of the book."
--Publishers Weekly on Present Tense

"The estimable Duncan manages, somehow, to be in tremendous form every time out; his fans certainly won't be disappointed with this one."
--Kirkus Reviews on Future Indefinite

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Dave Duncan

  • Originally from Scotland, Dave Duncan has lived all his adult life in Western Canada, having enjoyed a long career as a petroleum geologist before taking up writing. Since discovering that inventing imaginary worlds is more satisfying than poking holes in the real one, he has published three dozen novels, mostly in the fantasy genre, but also in young adult, science fiction, and historical. He has at times been Sarah B. Franklin (but only for literary purposes) and Ken Hood (which is short for "D'ye Ken Whodunit?").

    He has been married (to the same lady, Janet) since 1959. They have one son and two daughters, who in turn are responsible for a spinoff series of four grandchildren. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Dave Duncan Mathieson & Hewitt Photography





    Available Formats and Book Details

    Children of Chaos

    Dave Duncan

    • e-Book



    Tor Books