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Literature / The Books of the Order

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The Books of the Order are a series of Fantasy novels written by New Zealand author and podcaster Pip Ballantine. They are, in order:

  • Geist (2010)
  • Spectyr (2011)
  • Wrayth (2012)
  • Harbinger (2013)

The Books are set in the land of Arkaym, where the Order of the Deacons are the only line of defence between citizens of the Empire and the "geists", dangerous spirits that draw power from the Otherside. The first book introduces Deacon Sorcha Faris, one of the many Actives capable of using their Gauntlets to combat geists. In Buddy Cop Show fashion, Sorcha is partnered up with the newly-minted Sensitive Deacon Merrick Chambers, and later they run across "Pretender" Raed Rossin, a pirate captain and heir of the family who ruled Arkaym before the current Emperor took over. The three find themselves having to face off against a dangerous geist incursion and save Arkaym from destruction — and that's just the first book.

Geist provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Broken Bridge: A sudden glacier movement prevents Raed's ship from leaving Ulrich once its arrived, leaving him, his crew, Sorcha and Merrick stranded.
  • Buddy Cop Show: Sorcha is a cigar-smoking, Famed In-Story Active and legend among the Deacons. Merrick is a fresh-faced by-the-book Sensitive. They're partnered up. You can guess where this goes.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: In Geist, the protagonist's sidekick discovers a rune written with blood while looking for a missing person. Apparently the blood wouldn't have been strictly needed, so it was a case of the missing person not being able to get a pen.
  • Government in Exile: After Raed's father and much of his court fled the capital following the Emperor's coup, they believed that they — and subsequently Raed — were this trope. Raed knows better.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Raed has very little interest in becoming the ruler of Arkaym as he was supposed to and longs to be free of the Rossin's curse.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Raed's curse causes him to transform into a Rossin when disturbed by traces of the Otherside.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The geists are spirits created by people when they die. They can become creatures or possess people. They draw power from the Otherside. Geistlords are absurdly-powerful geists that live in the Otherside and would become Eldritch Abominations if they ever escaped to the real world. They can also create "unliving".
  • Psychic Link: The Bond between parters of the Order is this, allowing a limited sharing of abilities and consciousness. The strength of Sorcha and Merrick's powers causes a much stronger Bond in a shorter space of time than usual. When Sorcha Bonds with Raed, the link becomes three-way.

Alternative Title(s): Geist