The Icemark Chronicles

The Icemark Chronicles

The Icemark Chronicles is a series of books consisting of "The Cry of the Icemark", followed by "Blade of Fire", and " Last Battle of the Icemark" [ [http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1905294700 Amazon.co.uk: The Last Battle of the Icemark (Icemark Chronicles): Books: Stuart Hill ] ] . The books were written by Stuart Hill from Leicester. Fox 2000 Pictures have bought the film rights to the book. The film, to be produced by Courtney Pledger and Sarah Radclyffe, is slated for release in 2008. The book is published by Chicken House.

The Cry Of The Icemark

The Cry Of The Icemark tells the story of Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield , a fourteen year old Princess to the land of Icemark.

Thirrin enjoys life as a carefree daughter. She is an impulsive teenager, who gets bored in the lessons that she has with an old scholar named Maggorie Tottus. Her father, King Redrought 'Bear of the North', stresses that she not only is adept in the subject of fighting, but has the sharp mind of a competent scholar. After troubles in an expansive forest that borders the capital of the Icemark, Frostmarris, she meets Oskan Witch's Son, a fifteen year old boy, with healing talents learned from his mother, a White Witch. He later becomes Royal Advisor and accompanies Thirrin throughout the story.

The Polypontian Empire, led by General Scipio Bellorum, have lost few battles or and never a war, and have taken control of all the countries around them, save the Icemark . They are said to improve the world with Science and a better quality of life. They are inspired by the Romans. It is in one of these Polypontian territorial wars that Redrought sacrifices his entire army, including himself, to give Thirrin time to prepare to fight off the rest of the empire's forces, after making an alliance with the Wolf Folk, to evacuate Frostmarris, Capital of Icemark, before the entire Polypontian army invades. After defeating a small Polypontian army, Thirrin succeeds in reaching the Hypolitan people, an Amazon-like tribe, who were forced out of their lands for they could not live the way they wanted to, much like the exodus of the Hebrews. She is disheartened however, when several Wolf-Folk spies come back with her father's dead body. As a result, Thirrin becomes Queen of the tiny northern country. She embarks on a quest to find new allies for the Icemark, resulting in alliances with the Vampires and the mythical and ferocious Snow Leopards. Later, as the harsh winter's ices begin to thaw, the Polypontian army begins to advance. Queen Thirrin's army of her own Housecarls, the Snow Leopards, the Wolf-Folk, and Vampires are waiting for them.

Thirrin and Tharaman-Thar(leader of the snow leopards) fight various battles without the help of other allies. In one fight, Thirrin's aunt, the Basilea (the leader of the Hypolitan), dies. In another, Oskan, seeing that Thirrin is in danger, calls down lightning which kills many Polypontian troops, but almost kills him too. Later, Oskan is healed miraculously, but for Thirrin things gets harder. In one of the last battles, General Scipio Bellorum himself fights with Thirrin in a challenge, where Thirrin cuts his hand off. In the last battle, with Thirrin's army outnumbered and the black army (Polypontian armies are named after colours) arrives, Oskan, having recovered during the battle, rings a bell and calls "The allies are here". General Scipio Bellorum's army gets frightened to see unnatural people coming. The vampires and the snowy owls drink the blood of many soldiers and the were-wolves tear the soldiers apart. Also the Holly king and the Oak king's army arrives with their summoned creatures of the wood. Thirrin wins the battle when the Polypontian Empire flees. The story ends with the preparations for the Yule like the story started.

Blade of Fire

Since the last book, twenty years have passed, Thirrin and Oskan have married,and had 5 children. However, when war threatens the Icemark twenty years after the first war, their crippled son Charlemagne is sent to the South Continent as Prince Regent to the Icemark refugees for his and their protection. He has no intention of acting like a good little prince, and sets off to find some of the greatest allies the Icemark could hope for. He travels through deserts and is protected by the Blessed Women, spirits who vow to protect him. He arrives at the Desert Kingdom, he befriends the Crown Prince Mekhmet, loses his disability (thanks to the Dance Master) and learns to fight. He gathers more allies such as the Lusu People and a battalion of zombies, Rock Trolls, and ghosts, proving he has inherited that ability from his mother.Meanwhile back in Frostmarris, Thirrin and her allies are at war with the Polypontian Empire, led by Scipio Bellorum. This time the empire has a new weapon at their disposal - giant airships that can drop bombs hundreds of feet from the air to the ground. The Vampires arrive and battle the ships in their bat form. The war progresses, with the Sky Navy and Vampires being the key of both armies. The Vampires King engages Scipio Bellorum in battle. The battle is of such skill and beauty that all around stop to watch its progress. Bellorum finds himself losing, and asks the King for one last request, and gives a signal. His soldiers clear the deck of the airship, and cannons are revealed, along with muskets. These literally tear the Vampires apart. This drives the Vampire Queen into mourning, and the Vampires return to The Land-of-the-ghosts for his funeral rights, giving the Sky Navy an edge yet again.The final battle appears to be lost, when Charlemagne appears, leading his army. They tear into the Empire's flank, turning the tide of the battle. Bellorum's sons are both killed, with Charlemagne beheading Octavius, although not before he wounds Mekmet, almost fatally, and Charlemagne's sister Cressida impaling Sulla in the stomach. Scipio's army turns and flees, breaking the rock hard discipline of the Empire. Scipio himself flees, but is hunted down by the Vampire Queen. Thirrin takes the pleasure of killing him.Throughout the story, Medea, the youngest daughter of Thirrin and Oskan, is causing havoc. Inheriting the legacy and powers of Oskan and her grandfather, she has the choice between Light and Dark. She inevitably chooses the dark, and causes havoc, trying to murder her little brother Charlemagne for "stealing" her parent's love. She uses her weather powers to create a storm and try to take out the fleet of ships Sharley is traveling with on his journey to Venezzia, hoping that the storm will kill him. Many of the ships collapse but Sharley survives. She later causes the death of her brother, Cerdic and many soldiers of The Icemark by manipulating the leaders of the allies minds and making them go into a battle that they can't be successful in. When Sharley returns to the Icemark she possesses his friend Mekhmet and tries to either make Sharley kill him or be killed himself. Only with the help of the blessed women do neither of them perish. Oskan knows that a Dark Witch is causing trouble, but does not believe it is his daughter. Then, she attempts to murder Charlemagne as he “returns to the north with a blade of fire in his hand” as stated in Oskan’s prophecy. She takes the lightning from Oskan when he draws it down from the sky, and directs it at Sharley. Oskan, enraged, deflects it back at her. Her father then shows her how strong the temptation of the Dark is on him, and how much it could heighten his own powers. Then, he sends Medea into the realms of Dark. The book ends with Charlemagne, Mekmet and an old housecarle who is an expert, fishing, something never seen in the Southern continent.

Last Battle Of The Icemark

With her murderous daughter, Medea, banished to the spirit world, Queen Thirrin's tiny kingdom, the Icemark has enjoyed a time of peace. But her consort, Oskan Witchfather, fears for their nation - and rightly so. Medea is out for revenge. Allied with the King of the Darkness and his terrifying Ice Demons, the power of evil grows stronger day by day. The dark is rising and the Icemark and its allies must stop it.

. [ [http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1905294700 Amazon.co.uk: The Last Battle of the Icemark (Icemark Chronicles): Books: Stuart Hill ] ]

Characters

"See List of Characters in the Icemark Chronicles."

Timeline

Introduction

Prior to King Redrought's reign, The Icemark had a violent history. Of the previous eight monarchs, only two died in their bed. King Redrought's reign lasted the longest. His majesty ruled for more than twenty years.

The Hypolitan of the southern continent were at war for years with eastern invaders before the Hypolitans went north into The Icemark to find peace. The eastern invaders had similar fighting methods to the Polypontians, in particular their tendency to overwhelm their opponents by sheer force of numbers.

At the beginning of the story, The Icemark had enemies to the north (The Land-of-the-Ghosts) and to the south (Polypontus) as well as to the east and west (Sea Raiders).

400 Years Ago

There was a long, fierce war between The Icemark and Hypolitan, during which they came to respect one another. King Theobad The Bold, of The Icemark, granted land to the Hypolitan.

The Land, known as Hypolita, is ruled by woman warriors, and the monarch of The Icemark is its overlord. The Hypolitan became The Icemark's greatest ally.

Maggiore Totus, Thirrin's tutor, discovers in the Hypolitan archives that The Icemark's King Theobad had also signed a nonaggression treaty with The Land-of-the-Ghosts, which mean they had left him to fight with the Hypolitan without fear of invasion from the vampires. This indicates there's a precedent for The Icemark making a treaty with the vampires.

250 Years Ago

The Blood Wars happened 3'000 moons (250 years) prior to the events in The Cry Of The Icemark.Wolf-Folk fought against the vampire king and queen.

Unknown Time Ago

According to Maggiore's history lesson, the navy of the southern continent helped in the defeat of the Corsairs and Zephyrs in the great Battle of the Middle Sea. exactly when it happened is not indicated (or not known), but it was prior to events in The Cry of The Icemark.

Ghost Wars: King Redrought defeated the army of the vampire King and Queen at the Battle of the Wolfrocks - mountain range to the north of Frostmarris and province of Hypolita.

Werewolves were banished from The Icemark after The Ghost Wars. Evil witches were banished from The Icemark, but good witches were allowed to remain, as they're good healers and midwives, can drive blight from the harvest, and are a brilliant defence against the vampire King and Queen. They're staunchly loyal and the first to offer help.

One Year ago

The Icemark was attacked by a fighting fleet of Southern Corsairs and Island Buccaneers. After massing his forces, King Redrought defeated their army at the battle of Sea Haven. The victors burned the enemy fleet. The battle lasted one day.

Present

Thirrin recognised early that there was a need for new allies; Thirrin suggested The Icemark approach The Land-of-the-Ghosts. Though enemies of The Icemark, the vampire King and Queen and their undead peoples might join them against the Polypontian Empire for their mutual benefit and safety.

Notable Locations

The Icemark

A small, northern country. The object of war to Scipio Bellorum. The country is barbarous and is strong willed and improvising. The people of the Icemark use everything available to aid their cause and/or need. Implied to be the equivalent of a Scandinavian country, or the Vikings if they had survived, due to the fact when warriors die they are sent to Valhalla, a vital part in Viking myth.

Hypolita

The land given to the Hypolitan people in the north of the Icemark following a war with the Icemark. Home of a matriarchal society of warriors who dress in bright colours. They originally came from the southern continent before being driven out by a great army, possibly the early Polypontians. Their society appears to be based around the Amazons of Greek myth, and the name itself appears to be derived from Hippolyta, an Amazon queen.

The Polypontus

A huge Empire, spanning over several continents. The main drive of such success is the Polypontian army, an equally expansive army of loyal soldiers, driven constantly to fight and fight alone. Implied to be the equivalent of The Roman Empire, most especially based on their traditional speech as they enter enemy lands. As the Romans did, they proclaim "veni, vidi, vici", or "I came, I saw, I conquered".

The-Land-Of-The-Ghosts

A dark, Arctic wasteland. Ruled by their Vampiric Majesties. The land is inhabited by the more "strange" species, Namely the Wolf-Folk, Vampires, Zombies, Ghosts, giant snowy owls, and rock trolls.

Venezzia

A southern country, ruled over by the Doge. The land enjoys favourable climates and excellent resources and is center of learning and commerce. The City is implied to be the equivalent of Venice.

The Desert Lands

A land that is astoundingly dry and arid. The people who live there are very exuberant and rich. The land in seered over by the Sultan. They are monotheist and disdainful of alcohol. It is implied to be equivalent of the Muslim World. It's capitol is Haifolex, or "the jewel of the Desert."

Arifica

The hot and lush lands of Arifica play host to the amazing people of the Lusu. Fierce warriors and gentle people they pride in their resilience. Arifica is the obvious equivalent to sub-Saharan Africa, rich with exotic animals and fauna.

The Hub of the World

Even farther north than the Land-of-the-Ghosts and beyond the northern ice sheets, this is home to the giant Snow Leopards.

The Circle Of Dark

The seventh and most dangerous of the circles of the spirit plains. Very few who enter this realm survive. They suffer an unending torture from the demons of the realm before their souls get trapped into one of the many shards of snow that make up the realm.

References to the modern world

In the Icemark Chronicles (Particularly in "Blade of Fire"), the characters make many references to places in their world that can be related to our modern world. A non-exhaustive list follows:

In Book 2, Blade of Fire:
*During the siege of Frostmarris, Gen. Scipio Bellorum's sons refer to the tactics they're using as 'Lightning War', which suggests that they're using the Blitzkrieg form of fighting that Germany used during World War II.
*In a few instances, characters (namely Charlemagne, Thirrin, and a few others) say how their dead loved ones are waiting for them in Valhalla, the hall of Odin; this statement(s) gives a reference to the Norsemen (also see Viking).
*There is a reference to the Ottoman Empire region (namely the Middle East) in the form of the desert that Charlemagne travels in search of allies, and the Desert People he encounters (i.e. Crown Prince Mekhmet and his father the Sultan).
*A reference to an area of Africa (Northern Africa or Central perhaps) is tied in in the form of the Lusu. Another reference that may solidify this is that after Charlemagne got the Lusu on his side, a statement was made that was something like "the brave warriors of Arifica", which is just Africa but a little mixed.
*In many ways (such as in the names of the people), the Polypontian Empire is the equivalent to the Roman Empire, only with the use of some form of sail-powered airships (a ship-of-the-line galleon supported by hydrogen balloons), muskets, cannons, and other pre-World War I weaponry.
*The Hellenic (see Greeks) fleet uses a type of incendiary that "burns even on water", called Hellenic Fire; this could be none other than the famous (or infamous) Greek fire.
*The city Venezzia, where Charlemagne landed after his sea voyage, is a city that floats on separate "islands" that you can get from one place to another by series of canals, not unlike Venice, Italy. Also, the name Venezzia just sounds a little more drawn out then Venice, but still sounds the same, indeed the Italian for Venice is Venezia, with a single z.
*The Hypolitan appear to be based on the mythical Amazons featured in Greek legends. This is backed up by the fact that they appear to be named after the wife of King Theseus of Thebes, Hypolita alongside their Greek-sounding names e.g. Elemnestra.
*In Last Battle Of The Icemark the reference to the Polypontus buliding a wall around the Artemison territories because they couldn't fully control them is probably a parallel to when the Romans built Hadrian's Wall
*Cronus is a parallel to Lucifer. There are many occasions when he is called the fallen immortal and at the beginning of the book he is banished from Heavan by the Goddess.

References


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