Quentaris Home.
Main - Quentaris Home.Quentaris.Creators.Authors.
The Gimlet Eye - James Roy

I wrote The Gimlet Eye after Paul Collins approached me about writing the third instalment in the ‘Lost City’ series of Quentaris books. Paul had written the first, and Alyssa Brugman had done the second, so I felt flattered to be invited to become one of the Chosen Few. I mean, look at the list of authors who’ve written Quentaris books - who wouldn’t want to part of that club?

I’d never written much fantasy before, so this felt like a good place to start, since Quentaris is an established world with established characters. I don’t know how impressed Paul and Michael were that I killed off one of those recurring characters in the first chapter, but sometimes bad things happen to good people! I left pretty much everyone else alone. Eventually.

Without wanting to give away too much of the story for those who haven’t read it yet but are planning to, I really liked the idea of using a playhouse as one of the central settings and themes of the book. In my mind I pictured the Globe, the old London playhouse in which many of William Shakespeare’s great plays were performed. Those playhouses were like the cinemas of the day, and they were rowdy, exciting places, where you could buy tickets for the good seats and stalls around the edges, or you could pay less and stand on the straw-strewn floor in front of the stage, a bit like a mosh-pit these days.

I also wanted to have some fun with the way plays were written back then, with characters plotting against other characters, mistaken identities, and of course an assassination plot or two. And all of this was a perfect setting for one of my favourite Quentaris characters, the actor Fontagu, who is so incredibly puffed up with his own self-importance. He was a lot of fun to write, especially when his fragile ego was bruised by things others said about his acting.

But of course there needed to be a lot of action as well, so I included break-ins, kidnappings, watery worlds crowded bizarre creatures, and mysterious hidden lane-ways inhabited by Fallowclan, a kind of half-child, half-old woman. It was so enjoyable to let off the handbrake and go hard at some fun, rollicking adventure, and I’m really grateful to Paul and Michael for giving me chance to get stuck into some fantasy. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Much has changed in the sky-city of Quentaris.

With the Archon dead, dark forces have come into play. New faces are appearing, familiar ones vanishing, and the horrid Florian has claimed the throne. Then, as Quentaris slips quietly through a vortex into the watery world of the Yarka, Tab Vidler and her friends suddenly realise they are the city’s only hope.

Plots, intrigue, magic, mystery, high adventure and more – everything you’ve come to expect from the Quentaris series.

The Archon was dying. In his palace, beside the Square of the People and in the shadow of the great mainmast and sails that towered over Quentaris, the old man lay breathing his last.

The room was silent, save for the deep, sighing, gasping breaths of the man who had spent so much of his life serving Quentaris. His nephew Florian Eftangeny sat by his side, his plump face devoid of emotion. It wasn’t Florian’s way to show anything as weak as sadness.

In fact, the only emotions he’d ever been known to show were anger, envy, bitterness, arrogance and occasionally fear. None of the good emotions, like love, or empathy, or gentleness.

‘You may touch him, my lord,’ the court physician said in a whisper.
Florian grunted. ‘Why would I want to do that?’ ‘He’s in pain, my lord. He might like you to hold his hand.’

Florian turned his head slightly. ‘In pain, you say?’

‘Yes, my lord.’

‘Then easeit!’ Spittle flew as Florian shouted at the physician. ‘In the name of all that’s magical, man, give him something to relieve him of it!’

The physician swallowed hard, gave a quick nod, and scurried out of the room.
‘Melpeth,’ Florian snapped, pressing his fingertips to his temples.
The servant lad came over, bowing his head low. ‘Yes, my lord?’
‘Melpeth, I’m still waiting for the magicians.’
‘Yes, my lord,’ Melpeth murmured, quickly backing away with his head still bowed. Then he too turned and scuttled out.

‘Idiots,’ Florian said. I’m surrounded by idiots.’
‘Why do you even want the magicians here?’ asked a voice from the shadows that gathered amongst the wall hangings on the far side of the room. ‘What do you think Stelka and her brood of gibberers are going to do for him now?’

‘They need to see this, Janus,’ Florian replied, flapping his hand towards the tiny, shrunken man in the bed. ‘They need to see that it’s gone too far now, even for them. They need to know that there’s nothing that even they can do. That...’

‘That it’s your turn?’ Janus stepped forward into the light, eyes still hidden by the dark triangular shadows of his brow. ‘Florian, I’m only saying this because I’m your friend. I wouldn’t say this to just anyone.’

Florian looked up. ‘What’s that? What do you need to say to me?’
Janus walked across the cold marble floor on silent feet, stopped in front of Florian, and dropped to one knee. ‘My lord,’ he said. ‘It is your time.’

Florian’s eyes darted towards the Archon’s face. ‘Janus! He’s not even dead yet!’
‘Florian. You know that there is the power that is assumed, and the power that is taken, and they’re not equal. They never have been, never will be.’

‘I course I know this – we studied the same texts,’ Florian snapped.
‘If your uncle dies now — if he simply stops breathing – you will assume great power.

You’ll be leader of Quentaris...’

bullet The Gimlet Eye
Equen Queen
Battle for Quentaris
The Spell of Undoing
Vampires of Quentaris
The Skyflower
The Prisoner of Quentaris
Pirates of Quentaris
The Forgotten Prince
Stars of Quentaris
Stolen Children of Quentaris
Nightmare in Quentaris
The Murderers’ Apprentice
The Cat Dreamer
Princess of Shadows
Rifts Through Quentaris
The Plague of Quentaris
The Mind Master
Treasure Hunters of Q.
The Ancient Hero
Angel Fever
Stones of Quentaris
Dragonlords of Quentaris
Quentaris in Flames
Swords of Quentaris
The Revognase
The Perfect Princess
Slaves of Quentaris
Beneath Quentaris

Subscribe to the Quentaris Newsletter

Fontagu’s Folly
Torby’s Terror

Back to Top Site by Elephant Graphics © Copyright 2009