Monday, 18 February 2008

Chronicles of an Age of Darkness

As a reader of fantasy novels growing up, I was pleased to realise that some of the novels I was reading, were written by a guy living in another part of New Zealand. While I wasn't the most discerning reader, never having met a fantasy or science fiction book I didn't like, I really enjoyed the one or two of these novels which I stumbled across.

They were novels from the ten book series Chronicles of an Age of Darkness by Hugh Cook. Unfortunately they didn't sell well and the publisher, Corgi, stopped publishing them. What made this really unfortunate was that Hugh planned two more ten book series in the same setting, which would have been a phenomenal amount of quality reading.

It turns out that the novels are not easy to get these days and I wanted to collect the series, to both have them for the satisfaction of it, and also just to be able to enjoy reading some great novels. I had two of the novels in my book collection in storage at my parents place. The Wizards and the Warriors (book one) and The Women and the Warlords (book three).

As I had to travel up to Auckland to attend a visa interview at the US consulate there, I decided to see what second hand bookshops I could find and to try and track down the books I was missing there.

I found The Walrus and the Warwolf (book four) for 8$NZ in a second hand bookstore just a side street over from Queen street near the library. At first I thought it was rather expensive, but then again it had been quite a few years since I had bought a second hand book.

Having heard there were several second hand bookstores over in Devonport, I took the ferry over to take a look. The first second hand book store did have one of his books, but it was a little expensive so I decided to leave it for the moment. The next had a great selection of science fiction and fantasy novels at very reasonable prices. I picked up a second copy of The Wizards and the Warriors (book one) there for 5$NZ, just because it was in great condition and so cheap. I also picked up The Wordsmiths and the Warguild (book two) and The Wishstone and the Wonderworkers (book six) there.

Now in America, I have been taking advantage of the internet and not being located in some small and distant country, in order to buy the remaining books I am missing. I had The Wicked and the Witless (book five) sent over from the UK for around 10 pounds. And I ordered The Wazir and the Witch (book seven), The Werewolf and the Wormlord (book eight) and The Worshippers and the Way (book nine) from a second hand bookstore in Tasmania, Australia for around 50$US. Just one more to go, book ten, but that sells for an extortionate amount if you want the Corgi edition in a decent condition (35$AU plus shipping from Australia on ebay).

Hugh has repackaged a couple of his books, including book ten, through a print on demand site called But they are very expensive at around 40$US and don't have the attractive look of the Corgi edition.

I should mention will also be republishing The Walrus and the Warwolf at some stage in the near future. And Hugh also provides one or two of his books in readable form through his web site - but it is of course much better to have the paper copy in hand.

A picture taken of the first half of my collection to identify which I already own as of January 2008.

2008-01-25 - Books - Hugh Cook

Another picture of the books I have bought since I arrived in the states. Book six I read on the plane over, and is the same copy as in the other picture.

2008-02-18 - Books - Hugh Cook

One more to go!


  1. Book 10 was, I think, basically never published. But you can find it as an ePub book to read on iPad, or you can read on the Mac or Windows using Adobe Digital Editions (a free download from Adobe).

    I've just finally found it myself, and I'm going to read it on my iPad. Yay.

    I loved this series as a teenager, and loved the crazy variety of different authorial voices, such as the harshly edited writings of a slightly mad author in book 6. :)

    Like many people, I think book 4 is my favorite, and also liked the comedy/romp flavours of books 2 and 5. But I also remember finding book 3 more serious ad quite touching, with a portrayal of a woman character that was far different from the traditional fantasy tropes for female characters. :)

  2. You can get them. I have all of them. Books 6-10 get increasingly difficult to locate with book 10 (which was published) being the most difficult. Worth every penny should obtain them.

  3. I found it quite easy to locate copies in the end. Between ebay and second hand book stores. It seemed like every time I went into a second hand book store in NZ, I'd find a copy of one or the other of the novels.