So we begin with the setting of the aptly named Andvell Saga, which begins with Evensong and Jeff Powell’s arrival in his fantasy world, and continues through the Cadis Trilogy (and will it end there?)
Andvell is the second largest country on the continent of Dunira, sitting in the centre between Margolin to the west and Drest to the east. The population has reached roughly 35 million people, spread out around an expanse of farmland and forests. The capital and surrounding area hosts about 3 million people, with the rest of the country mostly broken up into territories, the land given to its lesser rulers by Andvell’s monarch as thanks for service in the country’s military or for deeds of great bravery.
The Gendron family has been on the the throne for three generations, the current queen being Ansella, named after the first of her house, King Ansell. But more on the royal family later on. The country hit some hard times under the reign of the previous house, King Francis losing his mind and deciding he would rather a dead people than a thriving one that might try to overthrow him. Many families were made or broken under his name. Feldall managed to escape unscathed, being far enough away from the capital to escape the blow. This era wasn’t the first civil war within the country, but probably the most brutal, hundreds hanged a day on top of those struck down in the street on the kingsguard’s whim.
Only two other historical events compare in sheer horror of that one. The first happened during the Dragonkin, when the new wave of dragons were born and attempted to gain dominion over the country through fire. Although they had the upper hand for a good while, they were eventually defeated and the species nearly wiped out before a truce was made with the dragon elder.
The most recent atrocities were performed under the reign of the madman, Raul, although I can’t say much about the fun he has without spoiling the Meratis Trilogy for you.
Southern Andvell, being more heavily populated than the north, is fairly self-sufficient within its own territories, trading with Cordelay for the ocean-sought goodies. Northern Andvell on the other hand relies heavily on trade with Orland and Margolin for their survival. Orland is a mining country, primarily, so the exchange of goods benefits both sides of the border.
But aside from the day-to-day of politics, commerce, and household drama, Andvell has its share of magic (more in detail later). Although magic users went into hiding under King Francis, they’re highly respected under House Gendron. The land is infused with power, creating areas known for their magical disturbances. One such area is in the Andvell Forest, which will be familiar to those of you who have read about The Sisters; another would be The Fountain, the secret glen near Feldall’s Keep. Other magical “hot spots” like this exist around the country. Random patches where people walk towards them only to find themselves walking away; stretches of road one can only see if one is invited; and, of course, the Nagan Mountains, where the dragons come from.
A country so full of history, mysteries, and surprises, is it really any wonder its residents fell into the paths of so many adventures?