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The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches is a fantasy book series by author Robert Stanek. Detailed information on the books and the series as a whole follows. This page features the art covers for the echo editions! Robert Stanek has written a sequel series to these books called In The Service Of Dragons. Join the more than 5,000,000 people around the world who have read the Ruin Mist books today!


The Kingdoms & The Elves Of the Reaches

Synopsis: Three heroes set out on an epic journey of discovery only to find that at the end of their journey nothing is what they thought it was and that is undergoing a transformation that will change everything. Survival in a changing world depends on their ability to adapt and if they fail, their world and everything they believe in will perish.  Read Now



The Kingdoms & The Elves Of The Reaches II

Synopsis: To save her kingdom Queen Mother sent her most trusted warriors on a perilous journey across the Great Sea. But the elves were betrayed. Only a handful survived, and only two reached the far shores. The survivors did not find quick allies. They found a kingdom under siege and a shattered alliance. What lies beyond, they don't know. The future is uncertain. But they do know that they must win this fight, for failure would certainly mean the end to everything they hold dear.  Read Now


The Kingdoms & The Elves Of The Reaches III

Author: Robert Stanek

Synopsis: Adrina, Emel, Vilmos, Galan and Seth face even greater challenges as their world is transformed. Vilmos, in his quest to become the first human magus in a thousand years, must control the darkness within him. Adrina must accept her place and work together with Emel to help the elves make their plea to Great Kingdom's council. What happens will amaze you. Read Now


The Kingdoms & The Elves Of The Reaches IV

Synopsis: Great deeds could not undo the past, or change the prejudice of men. Elves and men are enemies, as it has been, and King Andrew has his own concerns. The kingdom alliance is shattered. An ally and a great king is dead. War seems inevitable. If there is any hope, he must rid Great Kingdom of the enemy's spies. But is such a thing possible without the backing of those he needs the most?  Read Now

The magic doesn't stop with Book 4! Robert Stanek's In the Service of Dragons continues the epic story of Adrina, Vilmos, Seth, and their friends.



Robert Stanek first started writing about the world of Ruin Mist in 1986. What follows is a short FAQ regarding the books and Robert Stanek's writing.
What Are The Books About?

The Ruin Mist books are foremost a story of a struggle for power. In the kingdoms, King Andrew and King Jarom fight for control, and there is intrigue, plotting, and scheming.

Who are the main characters?

King Andrew is the patriarch of House Alder. The main characters in this family are King Andrew's children:

Adrina……….Youngest daughter of King Andrew. She is becoming a woman and has many concerns for her future and that of her family.

Midori……….Daughter of King Andrew who has been exiled. Her given name is Delinna. She took the name Midori after becoming a priestess.

Valam……….Only son of King Andrew, also known as the Lord and Prince of the South.

Calyin……….Oldest daughter of King Andrew. She lives in the far north with her husband the Lord of the North.

King Jarom is the patriarch of House Tyr'anth. In the early books not much information is provided about this powerful family. That changes as Emel makes his way through the southern kingdoms, and as King Jarom's plots become bolder.

Other characters in the books hail from places within and beyond the kingdoms. These characters include:

Emel……….Young guardsman who is one of Adrina's closest friends.

Galan……….Elf from East Reach across the great sea.

Jacob……….A priest of the father and friend to House Alder.

Martin……….A keeper of the lore, guardian of the ancient texts and knowledge.

Seth……….Elf from East Reach across the great sea.

Vilmos……….Young boy from Tabborrath Village in Sever. Sever is one of the southern kingdoms.

William……….Prince of Sever who becomes king after his father's death.

Xith……….Vilmos' benefactor who rescues him and leads him away from his homeland.
These characters have significant parts to play in the books, but they are not the only characters in the books. Other characters you'll see include Edward Tallyback, the troant, Myrial, the servant girl, and Ansh Brodst, captain of the Imtal guard.

How does the author manage so many characters?

It is a challenge to create so many diverse characters and maintain their identities, but the many characters help breathe life into the story. The characters' lives are interesting, and they each have their own concerns, likes, and dislikes. They give the plot depth and make the world feel real.

Whenever readers write to Robert Stanek, they tell him about their favorite characters. Sometimes they tell him how worried they are for a particular character. He especially likes hearing about characters that readers can really identify with.

The character everyone seems to identify most strongly with is Adrina. Most readers understand her great sadness over the loss of her mother and how it has affected her life. In the third book, there is a dark scene where Adrina faces her demons, and Robert Stanek has heard from more than a few readers about that scene.

Seth, Emel, and Vilmos also have a lot of fans. Of these three, the one character that the author was initially unsure of was Emel. Emel is Adrina's dearest friend. They've been getting in trouble together since they were toddlers. In the original planning for the first book, he had a small part, but as the author got into the writing, there was so much chemistry between Adrina and Emel that he expanded the role. Emel is a favorite of many readers.

It gladdens the author's heart when readers also understand and sympathize with minor characters. A lot of readers love Edward Tallyback and they want nothing more than for him to come back and play King's Mate with Vilmos. Unfortunately, that would be difficult given Edward's current condition, so the only thing we can tell these fans is that Vilmos will play King's Mate again and the game will have a much more significant role in the story when he does.

Myrial is another minor character that readers are particularly fond of. Her character originally had a very small part to play in the books, but, like Emel, she came to life on the page, so much so that the author expanded her role.

So as you can see, Robert Stanek manages the characters as though they were real people. Every character in every book has a history, a past. Sometimes what he writes onto the page, the things they do in the story, changes what he originally saw as their future. Because of this, their roles in the story change.

How come the Ruin Mist world has differing histories?

Like the author has said before, there are two sides to every story. Our version of a story may be different from yours, even if we're witnessing the same events. Now, if we're talking about history, the stories from opposing societies and peoples are often very different. The contrast may be as different as night and day.

In our own history, we're starting to see how very different viewpoints can be.

What is the dark place Vilmos visits?

Ruin Mist has three distinct realms of existence: Under-Earth, Middle-Earth and Over-Earth. Under-Earth, with its blood-red skies and lack of sun, moon, or stars, is a dark place at first blush. But as you get a deeper, better understanding of this otherworldly realm, you may see it in a different light. Literally.


Where do the dragons and titans live?

Over-Earth is the home of dragons and titans. But don't forget about the eagle lords. Those three are the great races of Ruin Mist's past.

At the dawn of the first age, it was the titan Ky'el who gave the lesser races (men, elves, and dwarves) their freedom—at a great cost to himself and his people. Before that, the lesser races were slaves to the greater races (dragons, titans and eagle lords).

Over the millennia, knowledge of Over-Earth's existence faded from the memory of the living, even that of the long-lived elves and dwarves. Most believe it is a place of myth and legend, and that it never truly existed. That's all we can say without giving away too much of the story in later books.

How come men and elves are enemies in Ruin Mist?

Men and elves have a rich history together as friends and foes. In the time of Ky'el, men and elves labored side by side catering to the whims of their masters. But by the dawn of the Second Age, men and elves became the masters of their own lands and kingdoms. Thanks to Ky'el and his great sacrifice.

A peaceful time followed, but that peace was broken by Dnyarr, Elf King of Greye. Dnyarr united the elves against men, and that betrayal was the greatest in the long history of Ruin Mist. That betrayal is the reason men and elves are divided. There is more of course, but the true secrets are revealed in the books over the course of the story.

© Robert Stanek, Magic of Ruin Mist: A Candid Look At Robert Stanek's Life, Work & Books. All Rights Reserved


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