The Elabon series is a series of four fantasy novels written by Harry Turtledove, that deal with the adventures of Gerin the Fox. The name is taken from the Elabonian Empire, the dominant government of the world in which the books are set. This Empire is an analog of the Western Roman Empire where magic works, and its constituent nations and rival empires are based on those of Rome. The series volumes are:
- . Werenight (1978 and 1979, revised 1994), originally published under the name Eric Iverson, and split into two volumes Wereblood and Werenight.
- . Prince of the North (1994).
- . King of the North (1996).
- . Fox and Empire (1998).
When the series begins, the Trokmoi are preparing to invade the Elabonian Empire, and the Empire saves itself by closing the mountain passes to the province known as the northlands, where Gerin's fiefdom is located. In the chaos which follows, Gerin, who is much more civilized than most Northlanders, sees the need for a developed government and society. Most of his subjects and neighbors are at most lukewarm, and often resistant, to this idea, but Gerin quickly becomes powerful among his fellow feudal lords, declaring himself a Prince and then a King as his territory expands. He is constantly being besieged by enemies both human and divine.
The series contains some deliberate allusions to two classic science fiction works by Isaac Asimov. "Nightfall," a novella set on a planet with six suns which is facing the prospect of all six setting at once for the first time in thousands of years, is used in the concept of "werenight", the titular plot device in the first novel. Gerin's committed to maintaining civilization against encroaching barbarism, as a great but declining empire withdraws from the region, is reminiscent of the Foundation series, with the title Fox and Empire being an homage to the novel Foundation and Empire. The Elabon plots do not greatly resemble Asimov's plots in any other manner.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Videssos Series, a multi-volume fantasy epic by Turtledove, set in an analog of the Eastern Roman Empire where magic works.
- The Opening of the World Series, another fantasy work. As in Elabon, people from a "civilized" empire in the south join forces with northern nomadic "barbarians" to save their homeland from imminently dangerous barbarians from further north. The series POV Hamnet Thyssen has some traits in common with Gerin the Fox.