Lyskarion: The Song of the Wind
(Book One in the Karionin Chronicles trilogy)
Can a world of many races exist without racism?
Fantasy author J. A. Cullum doesn’t believe so! In her novel, Lyskarion: The Song of the Wind, the author’s story unfolds against a backdrop of racial and religious tensions, which are a curious reflection of our modern society.
Hundreds of years before the story takes place, the Great Wizards created the Karionin, eight living crystals which substantially increase the bearer’s power. When a conflict breaks out among the great wizards, this increased power results in mass destruction and death. Now people fear the wizard’s potential for destruction, and few children train to become wizards.
Plagued by racial and religious hatred, Tamar is home to nine races-humans live side by side with races who have the ability to shift their shape from human to animal form, including dolphins (Ingvalar), tigers (Linlar), and lizards (Isklar). The dolphins and humans get along; yet prejudices exist. The tigers and lizards have been attacking human settlements, and a devastating war seems inevitable.
Cormor, the last of the great wizards, knows that the only chance for peace is for a legion of powerful wizards to reign once again. The fate of Tamar falls upon three youths - each with great potential, each with a reason for resistance. These young wizards-in-training must learn to overcome their differences and restore peace once again or humanity will be destroyed.
Lyskarion is the first book of the Chronicles of the Karionin trilogy.
About J. A. Cullum
As a child, J. A. Cullum could read and write by the age of four. Her major writing influences can be traced back to her father’s “stacks” — a collection of nearly two tons of science fiction and fantasy magazines — including works by Leigh Brackett, C. L. Moore and Poul Anderson. [MORE]
"I've read enough fantasy over the years that characters and events in the stories don't often surprise me anymore. Not so with Lyskarion. Janice A. Cullum displays some truly original ideas. There's sensitive animal-lover Del who can sway hive mentality to his own designs. I hope to see this character used more in the next book. I loved Errin, part ingvalar, were-folk who shape shift into dolphins so frequently that they live on the beach and don't bother with clothes. Living crystals are intriguing, especially when realizing they have their own agenda and can bind or reject their keeper. Lord Jerevan mentally plants information on his crystal so he can access it later. There are travels to different lands, contact with different races, exploration of different gods and religions, and purely despicable villains." -faerydragon from Eureka, CA United States
"...a richly textured novel full of marvelous invention, peopled with fabulous creatures and wonderfully likable heroes, caught forever between the dreams and desires of an ordinary life, and the demands of a service which will bring them dazzling powers and exceptional rewards, but which will cost them much." -Marie Jakober, author
"One of the big battles facing fantasy authors, is the need to create a vivid, finely detailed realm for their players to rummage around in, but at the same time not to become so enthralled with said creation, as to over indulge in it and ignore the storyline. Here author Cullum excels. Her creation of Tamar life with its complex political and social life is well rendered, working as a solid framework for her real story: the trials and tribulations of her characters." -R.F. Briggs, Yet Another Book Review
"Home to nine races of humans and near-humans, the world of Tamar lies on the brink of total war unless the living crystals known as the Karionin find young wizards capable of attuning themselves to the magic of the stones. First novelist Cullum begins her epic fantasy series with the tale of three young people destined to become bearers of the crystals. A unique approach to magic along with memorable characters makes this series opener a good choice for most fantasy collections." -Library Journal review
"Looking back, were I to read the book twenty times, there would be enough richness to sustain my interest and always something more for me to explore. This is a wonderful work of fantasy that readers of the Dune series might enjoy as the action jumps from place to place and characters dance on and off the stage for solos and different pairings.... At the last sentence of the book, when I saw there were no more words on the page, I felt bereft." -Asta Sinusas at SFRevu.com
"Lyskarion is a fantasy, a family saga in a world where humans, shape-changers of different types, wizards and gods meeting on a playing field rather more level than the one we enjoy. It's a saga, and those who like the slow bringing together it intertwining lives (and plot lines) together with intelligent writing about an alternate world should like this one." -D Jason Cooper
"This is a fantasy with high ideals that takes a close look at the social conscience of our real world.... so there's no excuse not to attack this ambitious work." -Robert Boyer, reviewer
"I just loved your book Lyskarion. I do hope that it is the first in a series. I must know whether Elise and Errin reach their full potential and how Jerevan gets on. The world you created was a place I'd like to visit and the people took on lives of their own as I read... I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy and your voice is a truly enjoyable reading experience. Thanks so much for sharing your story." -Rhané Vennes
"J.A. Cullum doesn't have the reputation of Sawyer or Salvatore, but "Lyskarion" (Edge, $13.95, 331 pages) works much better. It takes a while for the book to get going, but Cullum eventually gets the lengthy cast of characters and complex plot -- which involves nine different humanoid races on a planet without much technology -- all marching steadily in the same direction." -Clay Kallam, Worlds Beyond Book Review
"Cullum takes a hard look at the results and the high price of ignorance, bigotry, and ethnocentrism in a thoughtful novel with an unusual piece of magic at the center of its story-a curse...placed on the protagonist to "help" him see reason. Great fantasy with a conscience." -Paula Luedtke, Booklist review
"...a fantasy world rich in detail, with a large population of interesting creatures interacting with lifelike complexity." -Poul Anderson
"It will definitely get a favorable review in my column ... I am enjoying the book... J. A. Cullum is a byline to watch carefully." -Jacqueline Lichtenberg
"A rich and intelligent fantasy with well-realized characters and an ingenious twist on how to get a reluctant lord to turn wizard, marred slightly by a lack of discipline in plotting. I have long hoped for the sequel to continue the story of Jerevan, in particular: the whale-sized wizard who must master magic to overcome a curse of gluttony." -Lynda Williams, author
Books in this series:
- Lyskarion: The Song of the Wind
- Cinkarion: The Heart of Fire
- Vyrkarion: The Talisman of Anor