Analysis / Chronicles of the Kencyrath

This page discusses the themes of the novels, and is spoiler-laden; we advise that you read the books before delving into this too deeply.

(work in progress right now - excuse the dust!)

Order Versus Chaos

The cosmic conflict at the heart of the backstory is the fight against an invasive, infectious chaos, Perimal Darkling, to fight against which the Three Peoples of the Kencyrath were formed. Although the chaos is depicted as more inimical to life, the order-bound life ordained for the Kencyr is its own method of hell, one which grinds and breaks its members against the hard cutting teeth of its inflexible, inhuman rules. As the Arrin-ken Immilai tells Jame in the first chapter of Dark of the Moon:

For us, alas, good is no less terrible than evil. We can only trust our honor and try to keep our balance.


Ever notice how many pairs of siblings there are in these books, and how their different sibling dynamics are such an important part of what drives the plot? Pairs of siblings that we have:

  • Jame and Tori (fraternal twins; and with a half-brother in Bane)
  • Gerridon and Jamethiel (fraternal twins)
  • Gerridon and Glendar (half-brothers)
  • Brant and Brenwyr (fraternal twins)
  • Tirandys and Terribend (and a half-brother in Keral)
  • Greshan and Ganth
  • Kallystine and Lyra
  • Essien and Essiar (identical twins)
  • Sheth and Bear
  • Ishtier and Anar
  • Penari and Theocandi
  • Men-dalis and Dally
  • Kibben and Kibbet

There is also a statistically unlikely proportion of twins, although the Kencyr Highborn, being non-human, may have more of a tendency to bear them.

Your parents and upbringing don't define you

Notice how all three of the will-be Tyr-ridan, the trinity of God avatars, are the children of the Fall, of Gerridon or Jamethiel Dream-weaver? And they were all created just to keep Gerridon immortal, to feed him with souls. And all their upbringings were evil in different ways; Jame in the Master's House, Torisen in the exiles' Keep with crazy, homicidal Ganth, and Kindrie with Rawneth and the Priests' College.


Home is of course a big theme in the books, but what's really interesting is that almost all the books have the word "home" in the final line.

Many of the books end with a variously homeward bound ending.
  • God Stalk ends with Jane and Marc setting out for the Riverland, the Kencyr homeland on Rathillien.
    Marc was calling her from farther up the path. She took one last look at the city, settled her pack, and turned to follow him. A sudden feeling of happiness lightened her step. Despite the uncertainty that awaited them both, despite fire, ruin, and the snow that had begun to fall, they were going home at last.
  • Seeker's Mask ends with Jame telling Tori, "Let's go home."
    “Here's Old Man Tishooo at last. Come on, brother. Let's go home.”
  • To Ride a Rathorn ends with Jame going to Gothregor, her ancestral home, for Autumn's Eve.
  • The Sea of Time ends with Jame returning to the Riverland.
    “Tell the others to pack,” Jame said, leaning back against her pillows with a sigh. “We’re going home.”

Dark of the Moon and The Gates of Tagmeth are interesting in that they're not homeward bound—they end with some implication that they've actually succeeded in coming home.
  • Dark of the Moon ends with Tori telling Jame, "welcome back."
    “Oh, and by the way," he said over his shoulder to Jame with a sudden, wry smile, "welcome back.”
  • The Gates of Tagmeth ends with Jame, Tori, and Kindrie all at their ancestral home.
    “Rest, then,” she murmured to him, and kissed the white streak at his temple. “I am here, at last, and so is Kindrie, and so are you. We have come home.”