Recap / Labyrinths of Echo

Following is a list of volumes and novels of the Labyrinths of Echo series.

Labyrinths of Echo:

The core Labyrinths of Echo series consists of eight volumes, each containing two to seven novellas, set in chronological order:

  • Labyrinth (1996, retitled The Stranger in the second edition). Includes following novellas:
    • The Debut in Echo. Max arrives to Echo and gradually adapts to his new life under Juffin's guidance. When a magical horror invades the house of Juffin's neighbor and nearly claims Melifaro's—Max's future colleague—life, Juffin calls in Shurf Lonli-Lokli to deal with it, while Max comes up with a creative solution for his first Secret Investigations case.
    • Juba Chebobargo and Other Nice People. Max, now a full time member of SI, purchases an apartment, which turns out to be haunted. Simultaneously, Melifaro investigates a spree of surprisingly magic-free thefts all across Echo.
    • Cell #5-Khokh-Au. After the seventh inmate in the past few years dies in the eponymous cell of the magical prison Kholomi, Juffin orders Max to investigate... by doing time in that very cell. Luckily, Max manages to sneak Shurf in as backup. In the aftermath, Max acquires his signature poison spit ability and receives the title of Death in King's Service.
    • The Stranger (alternative translation: Outsider). A spree of brutal non-magical murders makes Max and Juffin suspect that a deranged serial killer from Max's world has found his way to Echo using the same Door Between Worlds as Max did. The circumstances of Max's transition to Echo are explained.
    • King Bangee. Max and Melifaro investigate the disappearance of the police chief General Bubuta Bokh. Simultaneously, Max has to deal with a bizarre case of an aspiring chef turning into a humanoid piece of pate overnight.
    • Victims of Circumstances. While investigating an impending attack on the Order of the Seven-Leaf itself, Max and Melamori acknowledge their feelings for each other but their budding romance is cut short by a series of contrived mishaps.
    • A Trip to Kettari. Max and Shurf are sent to Juffin's hometown of Kettari to investigate why several non-natives went insane while looking for it and claimed it was destroyed. En route, Shurf reveals a lot about his past, and the two of them later deal with one of his biggest enemies. Oh, and Max spends half of the novella magically disguised as a woman, to everyone's amusement.
  • Volunteers of Eternity (1996):
    • The Foxes of Magakhon. Max and Melamori have to work together in apprehending a band of undead outlaws operating from the Magakhon Forest. Atferwards, Max is so exhausted that he is almost drawn back to our world, forcing Juffin to give him a crash course in world-traveling, which takes an entire year before he returns to Echo.
    • A Ship from Arvarokh and Other Bad News. Emissaries from Arvarokh arrive to Echo looking for an escaped rebel leader, and SI is put in charge of their safety. Simultaneously, Max falls in love with Tekhhi Shekk, who turns out to be the daughter of Loyso Pondokhva, the greatest mage who ever lived.
    • Bakki Bugvin's Glasses. Kofa Yokh gives Max an insider tip to one of the best restaurants in Echo. When its owner falls victim to a cannibalistic villain's scheme, Max, Melamori, and Shurf go out to rescue him.
    • Volunteers of Eternity. Max temporarily ends up in charge of SI when Juffin and Shurf are Put on a Bus for a few weeks. During this time, Max has to deal with a threat of a Zombie Apocalypse, coming to believe that only "holy water" from his own world can help. Upon arriving back to our world, however, he finds himself unable to return and wanders around for many years, eventually relating his adventures to a local writer, before returning to Echo a few days after he left.
  • The Dark Side (1997, retitled Simple Magical Items in the third edition):
    • The Shadow of Gugimagon. After Shurf falls prey to Demonic Possession and tries to kill Max, Juffin and Max hunt down the perpetrator, who tries to hide in another world that Max himself unconsciously created. Simultaneously, Max is crowned the king of a northern Barbarian Tribe and receives a dog and an Unwanted Harem.
    • Simple Magical Items. Two minor amulets created far from Echo turn out to have grown tremendously powerful in the vicinity of the World's Heart, and are used for petty crimes. At the same time, Max discovers that Loyso Pondokhva is Not Quite Dead and unexpectedly becomes friends with Juffin's old nemesis.
  • Arbiter (1997, was lumped with The Dark Side in the second edition but split off again, inheriting its title, in the third):
    • The Dark Vassals of Glenke Taval. Echo is attacked by deadly Lone Shadows, and Max, Kofa, and Melifaro are sent to deal with their master, who reveals to Max the extend of Max's own Arbiter powers. The Dark Side is properly introduced, and Melamori leaves Echo for Arvarokh.
    • Dorot, Lord of Manukhs. All inhabitants of Max's palace (including his "wives") are turned into plush dolls, which turns out to be the work of an ancient Mouse King, whom Max and Shurf pursue to the Dark Side and even beyond to undo his magic. Max is impaled by the magical sword of King Mönin, rendering him immune to all charms and illusions, and Melifaro later marries one of Max's "wives".
  • Apparitions (1998):
    • Green Waters of Ishma. An invisible monster takes residence in the river Khuron, charming citizens of Echo to jump into its waters to be devoured. With the help of one of the victims, Numminorikh Kuta, the SI saves most of the victims, then Max and Shurf go on a diving mission to destroy the monster. Numminorikh starts working for the SI.
    • Sweet Reveries of Gravvi. After Melifaro falls prey to a powerful Lotus-Eater Machine, Kofa and Max have to travel to Uanduk to discover a cure. After a run in with a magical city, they return victorious and bring a Cool Airship with them.
  • The Power of What-Might-Have-Been (1998):
    • The Return of Ugurbado. A powerful magister sends The Plague upon Echo, which Max and Juffin manage to cure in the nick of time with some outside-the-box thinking, however, Tekkhi Shekk dies during the epidemic.
    • Swamps of Gugland. A remote prison in Gugland has an outbreak of inexplicable inmate deaths, and Max and Numminorikh are sent to investigate. On the way back, they are unexpectedly joined by Melamori, who returns to the SI.
  • A Talkative Dead Man (1999):
    • The Secret of the Oak Leaf Club. A flying house is spotted floating over Echo and witnesses claim that it belongs to a club of former Junior Magisters of disbanded orders, so the SI takes up the investigation.
    • A Talkative Dead Man. The tell-all memoirs of a long-dead courtier spark civil unrest and Plain Magic abuse all across Echo, so Max and Juffin devise a crazy plan to snag his ghost from the afterlife for a public confession of deliberate misinformation.
    • A Bequest for Lonli-Lokli. The ghost of a distant relative of Shurf's wife leaves him his family house in a distant county, leading Shurf to start an investigation into his death, taking Max with him for a ride.
    • The Book of Burning Pages. A magical artifact of incredible power is about to appear in Echo, potentially driving the whole city insane. The SI devises a desperate plan to avert the crisis but the odds seem stacked completely against them this time.
  • Labyrinth of Mönin (originally published with the second edition of the series in 2003):
    • White Stones of Kharumba. The Grand Magister of the Order of the Seven-Leaf nears the end of his life and requests that Max escorts him to Kharumba, the magical city of The Ageless on Uanduk. To deliver him safely, Max has to sacrifice the Sword of Mönin.
    • Labyrinth of Mönin. King Gurig VIII disappears in his own castle, and Juffin determines that he got lost in the mythical "Labyrinth of Mönin". Max and Melifaro are sent in pursuit of the wayward sovereign.
    • The Quiet City. The mythical King Mönin briefly returns to Echo after centuries of absence, before disappearing along with Juffin. Max keeps the SI going in his absence, but eventually decides to look for him... and ends up trapped in the most inescapable place in the multiverse.

Side stories:

  • Nests of the Chimerae (1997, largely rewritten in 1999). Max is summoned into another world, stripped of his powers, has wild adventures, and returns back to Echo to discover that mere seconds passed since he left. It is believed to occur somewhere during the penultimate chapter of Labyrinth.
  • My Ragnarök (1998). Takes place in our world, where Max is tasked with completing as many eschatological prophecies as possible. Generally assumed to be taking place during the last chapter of Labyrinth of Mönin.

Chronicles of Echo series:

  • Volume I
    • Forelock of the Land note 
    • The Tulanian Mystery
  • Volume II
    • Lord of Mormora
  • Volume III
    • The Elusive Khabba Khen
  • Volume IV
    • Crow on a Bridge note 
  • Volume V
    • The Woe of Mister Gro
  • Volume VI
    • The Laughing Glutton
  • Volume VI
    • Shavanakhola's Gift
  • Volume VIII
    • The Tuburian Game

Dreams of Echo:

In the second Sequel Series, Max returns to Echo at last, after a six-year Time Skip, and is reinstated in Secret Investigations, not as Juffin's deputy, but as the specialist for saving the dreamers — people from other worlds who dream so deeply, they can actually interact with Echo, at the cost of being unable to wake up.

  • Master of Winds and Sunsets (2014). Max's first case is a mysterious artist who stuns Echo with breathtaking illusions of colorful winds and multiple sunsets a day.
  • Too Many Nightmares (2015)
  • All the Truth About Us (2015)
  • Ready or Not (2016)note 
  • Dead Man's Chest (2017)
  • Give Back My Heart (2017)