jennifer roberson's books, art & animals
Chronicles of the Cheysuli
An 8-volume multi-generational epic fantasy series features a divine prophecy intended to unite warring races, each with magical gifts. The Cheysuli are warriors who bond with totem animals and are able to assume a like form at will. Once they served as advisors to human Homanan royalty, until one mad king made them victims of an intended purge. In subsequent years, with bounties on their heads, the Cheysuli have sought refuge in secret keeps deep in the forests of Homana.
The Ihlini are witches and warlocks whose goal is to destroy the Cheysuli prophecy before its completion renders Ihlini extinct by assimilation into a new merged race. To do so they will use any means at hand, including magic and murder. But even as the Ihlini fight to save their race from extinction, the Cheysuli work toward bringing the prophecy to fuition.
They were the Cheysuli, a race of magical warriors gifted with the ability to assume animal shape at will. For centuries, they had been allies to the King of Homana, treasured champions of the realm. Until a king's daughter ran away with a Cheysuli liege man and caused a war of annihilation against the Cheysuli race.
Twenty-five years later the Cheysuli were hunted exiles in their own land, feared for their sorcery, their shapeshifting.
This is the story of Alix, the daughter of that ill-fated union between Homanan princess and Cheysuli warrior, and her struggle to master the call of magic in her blood, and accept her place in an ancient prophecy she cannot deny,
THE SONG OF HOMANA
For five long years the land of Homana had been strangling in the grasp of a usurper king—its people ravaged by strife, poverty and despair; its magical race, the Cheysuli, forced to flee or face extermination at the hands of their evil counterparts, the sorcerous Ilhini.
The time had come for Prince Carillon, Homana's rightful ruler, to return from exile with his Cheysuli liege man, free his land from the evil domination of the tyrant Bellam and his villainous magicians, restore the Cheysuli to their rightful position of grace, and claim his birthright. To do this, he would not only have to raise an army, but overcome the fear and prejudice of an ignorant population and answer the call of a prophecy he never chose to serve!
LEGACY OF THE SWORD
For decades, the magical race of shapeshifters called the Cheysuli have been feared and hated exiles in their own land, a land they rightfully should rule. Victims of a vengeful monarch's war of annihilation and a usurper king's tyrannical reign, the Cheysuli clans have nearly vanished from the world.
Now, in the aftermath of the revolution which overthrew the hated tyrant, Prince Donal is being trained as the first Cheysuli in generations to assume the throne. But will he be able to overcome the prejudice of a populace afraid of his special magic and succeed in uniting the realm in its life and death battle against enemy armies and evil magicians?
TRACK OF THE WHITE WOLF
Niall, Prince of Homana, key player in a prophecy that spans generations, should have been the treasured link between Cheysuli and Homanan. Yet neither of the peoples he is destined to someday rule feel anything but suspicion of Niall. Homanans fear him for his Cheysuli heritage, while Cheysuli refuse to accept him as their own because he has acquired neither a lir-shape nor the lir companion which is the true mark of the Cheysuli shapechangers.
And now, despite his precarious situation within the kingdom, Niall must undertake a journey to fulfill yet another link in the ancient prophecy. He must travel through war-torn lands to claim his bride—a mission which may prove his doom. For searching for both his destiny and his lir, Naill is about to be plunged into a dangerous maelstrom of intrigue, betrayal, and deadly Ihlini sorcery...
A PRIDE OF PRINCES
Brennan, Hart and Corin were the three Cheysuli sons of Niall, ruler of Homana, and the next link in the generations-old prophecy of the Firstborn. Now the time had come for all three to take the paths for which they were fated: Brennan, heir to the throne of Homana, would face the menance of unknown assassins and trecherous Ihlini magic.
Hart, Brennan's younger twin, must journey to Solinde, the kingdom which would one day be his to rule - a land that longed to see the Cheysuli prince overthrown.
And Corin, the youngest prince, must battle sorcery and madness in the court of distant Atvia. Three princes, three destinies - and if even one should fail to fulfill the patterns of prophecy, Homanan and Cheysuli alike would pay a deadly price...
DAUGHTER OF THE LION
She is Keely, twin sister to Corin, and daughter to Niall, the ruler of Homana, and she alone has the power to shapechange into any form - a power akin to that of the Firstborn. Like her brothers, Keely has been chosen to play a crucial part in the Firstborn's prophecy. Yet Keely is no weak pawn to be used in men's games of power and diplomacy. Trained alongside her brothers in the art of war, gifted with more of the old magic than most of her close kin, she will not easily give way even to Niall's commands, nor be forced against her will into an arranged marriage.
But others besides Keely's father have plans for her future. Stahan, the most powerful Ihlini sorcerer, is preparing a trap from which even one as magically-gifted as Keely may find no escape. And in the deepwood, another waits to challenge Keely - an outlaw fully as dangerous to her future freedom as Strahan is to her life...
FLIGHT OF THE RAVEN
Aidan, only child of Brennan and Aileen, and the grandson of Niall, is heir to the Lion Throne of Homana and inheritor, too, of a prophecy carried down through the generations and finally on the verge of fulfillment. But will Aidan, driven as he is by strange visions and portens, prove the weak link in the ages-old prophecy-the Cheysuli who fails to achieve his foretold destiny? For as Aidan prepares to set out for Erinn to claim his betrothed, he will become the focus of forces out of legend, visited by the ghosts of long-dead kinsmen, and by the Hunter, a mysterious being who may be a Cheysuli god incarnate.
Commanded by the Hunter to undertake a quest oclaim a series of "god-given" golden links, Aidan will find himself challenged by the Cheysuli's most deadly foe-Lochiel, the son of Strahan-who will use every trick of Ihlini sorcery to stop Aidan and destroy the promise of the prophecy once and for all...
A TAPESTRY OF LIONS
In the conclusion of Roberson's series, nearly a century has passed since the Prophecy of the Firstborn was set in motion-the generational quest to recreate the magical race which once held sway in the lands ruled by Homana's Mujar. Now, Kellin, heir to Homana's throne, has only to sire an offspring with an Ihlini woman to reach this goal.
But Kellin wants nothing of prophecy, nor even of his own magical heritage. Embittered by tragedy, he refuses the sacred lir-bonding, becoming anathema in the eyes of his Cheysuli kin. But willing participant or not, Kellin provides a very real threat to the Ihlini-the ancient enemies of the Cheysuli people-for should the prophecy be fulfilled, life as the Ihlini know it will end.
How can a lirless warrior ever hope to escape the traps of the Ihlini sorcerers? And how can the prophecy ever be realized when the man born to become its final champion shuns his destined role?