Yes, I Am Still Writing Book Five « Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Yes, I Am Still Writing Book Five


Dearest readers: I have emerged from the singularity called Alorin to discover that six months have passed since I last updated you on the progress of book five (a fact which more than many of you have recently pointed out). I guess it’s time for an update.

First, let me assure you that I am actually writing book five. I am not therefore using my writing time to produce television shows, run charities promulgated by my vast popularity or develop board games—not that I am suggesting these would not be admirable and legitimate ways for an author to spend his or her workdays.

In the intervening months since the last thunderous clamoring for an update dragged my head out of…wherever it had been to answer up to a charge of negligence, I have added another hundred and fifty pages to the completed pile for book five, bringing the grand total to somewhere in the range of 400-ish pages. For many authors, this would be a completed manuscript. For me it equates to barely half a book.

I’m not updating the little chart that I included in my November post because it would only dishearten you, and I’d have at least half of you asking what the hell those 150 completed pages actually represented, because barely anything seems to have changed on the chart.

Mainly that 150 pages represents the first half of the book with Trell, Tannour and Loukas. Adding to the other chapters already finished, I’ve completed the first half with Ean, Tanis, Pelas, Darshan, Isabel, Björn, Trell, Tannour, Loukas, Alshiba and some new characters like Baelfeir, who crosses paths with other characters I won’t specify to avoid spoiling my own story.

That still leaves a lot of work to be done writing Carian, Franco, Vaile, Alyneri, Fynn, Gydryn, Sebastian and Queen Errodan. My fear is that by the time I finish writing those story threads, we’ll have another half a book sitting there, and then that’s it for book five. Which doesn’t really work, see. I’ve got to continue a lot of the first set of storylines through the second half of the book also. Not to mention somehow clue you in on what's happening with Marius, Phaedor, Felix, Nadia and Valentina. And Shail, Dore, Niko and collaborators.

So there are some vexing issues to be solved yet with this book. Like how I’m going to fit in everyone’s story thread and still have a cohesive story that falls somewhere on the shorter side of War and Peace.

So far, none of you have complained about the length of my books. So, that’s a plus. But it starts getting difficult to hold a book in your hands when it weighs ten pounds (speaking to those of us who still read the printed word on actual paper). While this is something I ponder (read: have nightmares about), it obviously isn’t the deciding factor on how long the book will be. The story itself dictates that.

Which brings me to the real holdup on getting this book finished: it’s really damned complicated. I don’t know what I was thinking, imagining I could finish this story with only one more book. I can’t even get everyone into only one more book.

I’m in the process of trying to figure out what storylines to include in this book and which ones will have to wait for book six. GRRM and RJ both hit this point. I remember being exceptionally irritated with Jordan after he left Mat buried under a wall at the end of book seven and then not even taking us back to find out what happened to Mat until book nine (we’re talking Wheel of Time here, in case any of you have somehow not read Jordan’s series). But that was three or four years or something that I (and everyone else) spent wondering if Mat had even survived.

So while I don’t want to do that to all of you, it is getting increasingly difficult to cram everyone’s story threads into a single book. I’m very interested in your feedback and thoughts on this, actually.

For example, I’m sure all of you would rather read about Trell than Dore Madden, but there wouldn’t be much conflict, tension (or frustration) in the story without Dore. Not that we’ll be spending inordinate amounts of time with Mr. Madden, because even I can only handle him in small doses. But my point is, I have to follow the character threads that most drive the plot forward, and sometimes fan favorites have to take a sideline to forward progress. (Don’t worry, there’s plenty of Trell in this book).

Hopefully you see my point, though. Whose storyline can wait and whose can’t? This question hounds me constantly as I’m conceiving of plot ideas and writing each character’s thread. I’m also asking myself which conflicts I can finish off in this book, as in resolve, because that’s part of the issue: there are just too many wars going on (or about to break out). There isn’t time to deal with all of them in one book.

It’s presenting something of a challenge. (To be honest, I feel like the book is the Hulk slamming me around like Loki in The Avengers. Challenge doesn’t really begin to describe it.)

But in the bag are some very fun chapters. Ean is going to do some fantastically cool things in this book. Likewise Tanis. And of course, Trell is Trell. I’m excited for you to read about their adventures, and for you to meet the new characters. I’ll be looking forward to your feedback on the Lord of All Warlocks, especially. But then, I have something of a soft spot for my immortals, no matter their ethical inclinations.

So that’s where things stand: not finished yet but making progress.

As a note for those of you who haven't read much about my writing process, when I finish a chapter, I consider it completed. Maybe I'll do some minor edits as I head into the final editing process once all chapters are written, but I don't do rewrites or  “first draft, second draft,” etc. I have to get everything right the first time through or I simply can't continue with the story. So once I finish writing a chapter…it's basically final. When I then say I have 400 pages done, that's essentially 400 pages of a finished story. 

Let me know your thoughts on my question about pushing some story threads to book six if you have an opinion one way or another.

And thank you, as always, for the gentle reminders that, yeah, you’re waiting ever-so-patiently for the next book in my series, too.

166 Responses to “Yes, I Am Still Writing Book Five”

  1. Tom Bohinc says:

    The Story has been great so far. I for one am in no hurry to see it end 5 of 6 more books would be great. Keep up the good work and thanks for all the hard work you put into the books.

  2. Jacqui Lesiak says:

    As Wheel of Time was my favorite series until I read yours, I say the more books the better. 🙂

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Jacqui, you made my morning. 🙂

    • John ard says:

      I plan on reading everything you write. I wouldn’t mind a few more books or ten!

      • Melissa McPhail says:

        You’re amazing, Jacqui. Thank you.

        • Victor Douglas says:

          I am beyond thrilled with the serious. I was so caught up in the characters growth and substance that these books will forever be my favorite. Cephreals hand had me hooked from the beginning and they have only gotten better. I am sooooooooooo stoked to read the book you are working on now.

          • Melissa McPhail says:

            I’m honored by your praise, Victor, and thrilled that you’re enjoying my series. It’s always especially nice to know when the story grabbed a reader right away in book one. That book can be a tough haul for some, so it’s really nice to know there are just as many others who have no trouble with it whatsoever. 😉 Thank you for sharing your thoughts and encouragement, and thank you for reading.

  3. Chris Boxshall says:

    Loving the books so far – some of the best written in the genre! That in itself is the balance and key. The number of books, the speed of delivery and the inclusion of limited plotlines are all forgivable necessities which people are happy to live with as you deliver so well on the style and content.
    I would rather wait for the conclusion (Wot took a looping time!) than to have compromises in that which sets your books apart.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much for this, Chris. I am honestly quite relieved by what you say. Of course, you’re right – I would feel the same way about another series I was reading and enjoying. More plot lines? Bring it on, right? But as the author…sometimes I get a little nervous because there is SO much going on. I don’t want to lose people.

      No compromises, you can depend upon that. 🙂

  4. Heidi Kemp says:

    My feedback is: go, go, go and damn the logistical limitations. Clearly the story has a life of its own and it must be told in its fullness. The less time you spend worrying about how long the story is, the more time you have to tell it. As a dedicated fan, I welcome the idea of another book! I hope others will back me in this. It is in fact a relief because I already know there is NO WAY I am going to be ready to leave Alorin after just one more book. So here’s to inspiration and resolutions, to unexpected plot twists and character conundrums… bring it! As quickly as possible, please! (Not that we’d ever rush you. 🙂

  5. Ben Barlow says:

    First off thank you so much for the update. I have recently started listening to the books again as a means of appeasing my need for the story. I have been one of the many wondering how things were going. If it takes six or even seven books to finish, I am Okay with that. As for which threads to put in which book? I don’t know, the threads are coming together in so many ways that to leave someone out would leave out others. My friend and I are very interested to see the Valorian brothers along with Tannis and his entourage of potent mentors to make an appearance that is for sure.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you for this feedback, Ben. It’s actually valuable and important to me to know who my readers are hoping to spend time with. I think Tanis and the val Lorian brothers are a given, but everyone has their favorite.

  6. Peter says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Love your books, please let the story unfold as it needs to, if that means 1,2 or even more books to complete the journey then so be it. I for one am happy to wait for each of the characters to complete their journey as necessary however long that might take.
    Good luck knitting it all together.


    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Peter. Yours is the sentiment I’ve adopted – letting the story unfold as it needs to, as I have always done. Trying it the other way (“must finish in one book!”) was stifling and restrictive. I get much more forward progress when I just let the story lead me, as it were.

  7. Ken Davis says:

    I think Heidi Kemp nailed it Melissa!
    It’s not your story anymore, Alorin now has taken a life of its own; you are now the scribe for it. Not only for your readers (super-fans?) are you entrusted with this task, but the Sormatage (sp?) is also now awaiting your record of the reawakening of Adepts and Alorin. Rock on! Oops, I mean ‘Write On’ !

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thanks, Ken. I am always so grateful for your thoughts and feedback – and continuing support! <3

  8. loukas says:

    i second what Heidi says (and what everyone says for that matter). Whatever choices you make about the storylines to push vs include in book 5 will be right and we will be lucky and happy readers, as always. I’m happy there will be two more books partly because I want to stay a part of the universe, but also because a game and storyline as epic in scale as you have created deserves a proper resolution. Not a rushed one.

  9. Deon says:

    My thoughts are take as many books as you like to write the books. As you mention lots of authors leave you hanging for characters whilst ploughing on with the story, I’d reckon that the waiting is a lot sweeter if you reintroduce them later on as you’ll be like seeing a friend who’ve you’ve not seen in a while. So it works for me. I’d rather you stayed true to the story than force everything in! Thanks for the update.

  10. AJ Giacalone says:

    You do what you feel is best. You are an amazing writer and I am anxiously waiting for the next book.

  11. Dave Geneski says:

    I switched over to jeff wheeler while you are writing your next books, yes plural, I didn’t think you could end this epic story in one more book. My opinion is that your writing is excellent because you do go into the details, and those details make your book. I cant wait for your next book, but I would rather wait for a excellent book than a hurried good one. and yes I agree with others here that I could read more books on these story lines, it doesn’t have to end in 5 or 6 books, if that is not how the story should end.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Well, you were quite right that I couldn’t finish the series in just one book, Dave. 😉 It definitely makes it easier to be thinking with “however many books it takes” versus needing to “solve the story in one or two books.” You wouldn’t think that would make such a difference, but it’s very freeing.

  12. Gregg says:

    Thanks so much for the update. Take your time I remember thinking that it’s be impossible to complete this story in only one book. I’m totally down with pushing some characters to the 6th book. Sometimes that just has to happen. I’m
    Planning on doing a reread of your books once I finish Malazan Book of the Fallen. I can’t wait for the new book! Thanks again so much for updateing us! I push your books in every group I’m in constantly. Plus I’m my opinion the longer the book is the better!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, Gregg. I really appreciate the word of mouth to others. Likewise your happiness to have more books in the series, since that’s definitely where the story is heading.

  13. Hunter says:

    There are many authors that simply refuse to do any kind of real updates (Glares in Rothfuss direction), so this is all actually very nice to hear.

    Personally I love a good long epic, if this series has to go for ten books I’ll be fine with that. Though, I am sure you want to move on to other things.

    Whether you choose to write smaller or shared POV sections to fit everyone in, or you set some of the ancillary characters off to the side for a while until they get around to doing something relevant, either is fine so long as you don’t drop my homeboys Pelas and Tannis, since this is honestly their story as much or more than the others I don’t think we have to worry about that too much, but I would be super frustrated if they pulled a Matt and disappeared for the majority of or a couple books.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      LOL, Hunter. No worries there. We definitely will be spending time with Tanis and Pelas.

      I really appreciate knowing how happy everyone would be to have several more books in the series. You’d think that would be an assumed, but it’s not. Good news for me. Thank you for reading!

  14. Susan Davi says:

    I too am in no hurry to see your complete your captivating tale in 5 or 6 books. Please write all details- I would be glad for your characters to entertain me for years on end!

  15. Justin says:

    I’d like to offer my services as a beta reader
    Also, wayyy

  16. Djaye says:

    I was wondering about book 5 during my morning commute this week, so yay for the update. I for one am okay with expanding to an additional book or books as needed. Just knowing you are actually working on the continuation of the series and not creating other works or living in con world or sculpting or whatever is reassuring. I adore this series and it holds up well, for my tastes, to Jordan and Sanderson. So, Sally forth! Thanks for the update.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I know what you mean – it’s nice to know the author is actually, you know, authoring. 😉

  17. James Hinman says:

    Thanks for the update. Yes, you have created a complex world. The reading of it is addicting, pleasantly so. Does this have to be the last book? Seems like you may be hinting at a continuation. Thanks again

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      James, there will definitely be more books. It isn’t possible to finish the story in this book. 🙂

  18. Leslie says:

    I wouldn’t mind more books!!! Can’t wait for book 5. Thank you for what you do

  19. Leslie says:

    I wouldn’t mind more books!!! Please write as many as you need to give a proper closure to these wonderful characters. …. Your word is amazing. Can’t wait for book 5. Thank you for what you do

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Leslie. It’s great to know you’ll be with me to the end (whenever that may be). 🙂

  20. Slick says:

    Your doing amazing! I can’t even comprehend how you keep all these characters and plotlines rolling at once, take your time and do it right and when it’s done we’ll still be here =)

    Thanks for all your hard work!!

    If anybody is looking for great fantasy books to fill that empty void in your heart where A Pattern of Shadow & Light Series is here’s a few suggestions (Which some if not all of you might have read):

    Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
    Night Angel Trilogy & The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks
    Mistborn & The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson
    Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
    Kings Dark Tidings by Kel Kade
    PowderMage Trilogy by Brian McClellan
    Daniel Faust by Craig Schaefer
    Drenai by David Gemmell
    The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson
    Raven’s Shadow by Anthony Ryan
    The Book of The Black Earth by Jon Sprunk
    Chronicles of the Black Gate by Phil Tucker
    Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne by Brian Staveley

  21. Patrick Wallen says:

    I love the series. I’m currently reading 3 book series, yours, Sanderson’s Storm light, and the Night Blade. All are writing the next book. I discovered your books from a Facebook add and love your books, keep up the awesome work, you have me hooked.

  22. David Cook says:

    Melissa, no story every truly finishes, all we get is an ending not the ending (see what I did there considering your references to WoT 🙂 ?). If it takes 2 books then that is great, if it takes 5 then even better, just the fact that you are writing is a vast relief compared to some authors. The series so far has been captivating, exciting and more and more detailed and intricate as both the story and your writing style grows and develops, I for one greet the news of more books to come with joy and anticipation.

  23. Andy Southam says:

    This is one of my favourite series. More books you say? That’s a win for me. All the characters are brilliant, their stories captivating, and I’m awed and inspired by how you weave and intertwine them. Can’t wait for the next however many there are.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Andy. I’m honored by your kind words. I am really looking forward to some of the storylines in this book. “Looking forward” because I have scenes that I’ve envisioned but because I write sequentially by character thread, I can’t write the scene until I get to it in the storyline. Sometimes those scenes act as incentive to keep going, I suppose.

  24. Matt Isherwood says:

    As others may have said, please don’t rush! I for one would much rather wait another year rather than miss reading about Ean smack Dore in his slimy face, or Tanis innocently flirting with Nadia!

    Also, we’re all good if you need to double your original five to ten; the strands work in multiples right?

    So please take it easy maybe have a holiday and come back to it?

    Looking forward to your next post in november, a book title spoiler would not hurt by the way. 😉

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Hmm…a title spoiler…I’ll think about that, Matt. I’m often not entirely sure about the title until the themes emerge, usually at about the halfway point. I’ll keep it in mind – it’s a great idea.

  25. Kevin says:

    Keep it up! The respect you show your readers will keep us coming back. It’s your world and your story and I’m so happy you choose to share it with us. At the same time you respect the fact we choose to invest in it! Wish all writers understood that back and forth! Can’t wait and will continue to suggest the books to others!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      It’s definitely a mutual investment, Kevin. Thank you for sharing my work with others. <3

  26. Matthew Fry says:

    Book 6!! Book 6!!! *Does a happy dance!!*

  27. Chris Burton says:

    I just don’t want you to feel rushed with the series, so let it go where it will for however many books it takes. Even if a lot of time passes between novels I’m not averse to re-reading a series to refresh an amazing story. I have probably re-read the king killer chronicles books 6 times now waiting for book 3 to come out. All that matters is a book you are proud to publish. Also more frequent updates would still be a boon though. That’s just my two cents 🙂 #agreewithHeidiKemp 🙂

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Very good points all, Chris. I will try to do more frequent updates also. Thank you for your patience and support, and thank you for reading.

  28. Louis Melendez says:

    I am currently on the Paths of Alir on my promised second time through the series. I must say I am enjoying them even more. I realized how much was put into the first couple of books this reading. I was not versed enough in your style to understand but I see it now. Will probably finish this weekend and just have to wait for the next book. As to your question I say take your time and as many books as necessary. I loved the WoT and hated the fact RJ passed away before completion. I enjoyed BS’s work to finish but felt it could have been another few books to really get it done right. I can’t say who my favorite is but leaning to Phaedor, Tanis, and Pelas. I am always willing to lend feedback if you want more. A true follower of your work and I am totally captivated again. Thanks for the story. Can’t wait for the next one but I will.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’re finding more things to appreciate on your reread, Louis. That’s always rewarding to hear. I remember having a similar experience reading Jordan’s work and trying to emulate that for my readers.

      I’m definitely always interested in feedback. Send it my way! You can easily contact me via my website or the facebook page.

      Thank you for being so devoted to my series!

      • Louis Melendez says:

        I still couldn’t figure out who killed Asmodean (sp) even though RJ said hints were in earlier portions of the book. I have found a couple of characters like Demetrio Consueve I can’t remember what happened to them or where they are in the story arc. So yes I am keeping a look out for that. I am currently on Tanis’ trip with Phaedor to and Marius.

        • Melissa McPhail says:

          We saw Consueve only once in Kingdom Blades, as a sounding board for Niko’s angst, but we’ll see his nasty head again in more detail in book five.

          I know exactly what you mean about Asmodean. I’ve never totally forgiven RJ for that.

          How fun that you’re aboard ship with the zanthyr and Marius. I love those scenes. 🙂

  29. Nicholas Wright says:

    Yep – VERY happy for there to be a book 6. Don’t rush, don’t take short cuts.
    I listen to your books on the way to work, during lunch, and on the way home from work. In fact, I’m on repetition 3 atm.
    Then lengths of your books have never been an issue for me – although admittedly I’ve only listened, never read 😉
    I’m desperate for the next book, but that’s for me to deal with – not you 😉

    Don’t panic. Don’t rush. Take your time. Continue to do what you’ve done so amazingly well for 4 books, and apply to books 5/6/x.
    We have utter faith in you.
    Please don’t have nightmares. Have fun, and sleep well =)

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Nicholas. No nightmares for me with so many staunch supporters in my readers (or listeners, as it were). I’m so amazed you’re on journey number three. You’ll know the story better than I do! 😉

  30. Michael Hallatt says:

    I will never complain about the length of these books. When I finish one I wish it was another 300 pages longer!

  31. Kevin S says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Take your time. perfection may be unobtainable but with time you can get pretty darn close. I love your stories and look forward to your creations.


  32. Robert Demyen says:

    You have become one of my favorite authors and as much as I am impatient waiting for your next installment, it is tempered with the knowledge that good things come to those who wait. Cliché, I know. All I ask is that you finish all the books before the last segment airs on HBO (wink wink).

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Robert. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying my series. I will endeavor to meet your deadline. 😉

  33. Cyndee Luna says:

    I love your story and your characters so you won’t hear or read any complaints from me about having several more books. Can’t wait to see where the story takes us next!

  34. Mike says:

    Sorry if somebody already wrote this (I have time to read your books but not everyone’s comments lol), but is there a problem with doing part 1 and part 2 of book 5 w both parts having their own arcs? I know that’s oversimplifyin, but i think that would be cool.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      There’s absolutely no problem with that, Mike, and I’m definitely keeping it on the table as an option. Thanks for the idea!

  35. Ross says:

    I’m so happy you aren’t neglecting the series to work on alternate projects. I know you didn’t mention names but Rothfuss has seriously turned me off from any of his future works.

    I think you should write as much as you need to feel content with the story. No one should care if it takes 2 or 5 more books. As long as the author is forthcoming and honest with fans about goals and expectations I think any amount of time or additional books can be accepted.

    P.S. Please give us some type of closure in book 5 with ean and isabel! It’s killing me!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Very good point, Ross. I will try to keep you all updated as best I can while I’m getting this book finished.

      You’ll definitely have closure on Ean and Isabel in book five, one way or another. 😉

  36. Kurt says:

    I am thrilled to read you are going to be doing a book six. This is what happens when you have so many characters in your storylines. RJ did leave us hanging, so please bring some of these storylines to some kind of conclusions in book five. Keep writing your wonderful books, your public will wait.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Kurt. I am doing my best to start wrapping up outstanding threads so I don’t leave any strays by the time the story ends. Thank you for your encouragement, and thank you for reading.

  37. Felicia says:

    I am eagerly awaiting the new adventures in book 5 (and book 6, 7, 8, 9, 10…..25) I have read countless long fantasy series and find myself grieving -literally grieving- for the characters when the series finally comes to an end. I find myself missing them, as I would a friend or family member, and I’ll admit to crying more than once as I put down the last book, not because the book ended sadly, but because my journey with my new friends has ended. With that said, I could read about the Val Lorian’s, the Malorinathgul (Pelas….OMG! ~swoons~), the Vestal’s, and everyone in between, until my eyes are too old to read the pages. The character’s that you have created feel like my family, truly, so why take my family away, or cram their story into a 10-pound book? Could your life story be crammed into 4 or 5 books? I bet not, or, at least, I hope not :p

    If I were you, I would sit back, take my time, and let the words flow out as they will. Maybe write a couple novellas to expand upon a storyline (not sure how that works, but it sounded good in my head). I honestly believe that your truest fans could read about Björn van Gelderan’s Kingdom Blades and their friends, and foes until the end of time. I know I could!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I love the way you think, Felicia. We’re kindred spirits in this regard. I hadn’t thought of things this way in regards to how others might feel about my characters, but of course, that makes perfect sense!

      I will definitely let the story be in charge from now on. Trying it another way just brought my creativity to a screaming halt.

      I truly appreciate your kind words about my series, and your encouragement and support. Thank you!

  38. Dusty says:

    I want to start by saying how much I enjoy this series. I know there are a out of great writers out there in the genre but now after finishing the fourth book, I think you are pushing the envelope and creating a story authors for years to come with be compared against.
    My life does not afford me much time to sit and read so I must indulge my passion for fantasy through audio books. I choose a new book or series usually based on two things, how long is it (the longer the better) and who’s preforming it. Your story paired with Nicholas Podehl has made for for listening bliss.
    Over the years I’ve found too often that authors in an attempt to expand their universes keep adding story lines and characters that have the opposite effect. They only seem to draw out the length of a tale and give it little else. I am so impressed that with your cast you have not only created a world that pleasing to the senses to envision, but are literally creating universes that draw me in wanting more.
    Before I started on this epic journey I didn’t realize that the for volumes were not a completed works, as I said before they met my criteria for a listen. As 4 drew to a close today you left me with a longing inside. I am pretty sure I will listen through again to savor your unique adventure as I wait for more.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words about my series, Dusty. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my story on Audible.

      It is definitely a challenge when you keep expanding storylines. One of my purposes is to make every character’s thread interesting enough that you never turn to the next chapter and sigh, wishing it wasn’t “this guy” again. I really try only to introduce viewpoint characters who will help tell the story from an important perspective. In any case, I’m so happy you’re enjoying all of them.

      Thank you for listening.

  39. Gareth says:

    It is a fantastic story! Complex but well told, you never feel dissatisfied after finishing a book as you spoil us readers with the breadth of the characters stories and the intertwining of their paths. Very similar to RJ and TWOT. My feelings are the same for your series, I will happily read as many pages and as many books as you can print!

  40. Richard says:

    If you will permit me a “fanboy” gush… your work is freaking amazing!! I consider myself to be a rabid consumer of all things fantasy and your work stands among the greats as far as I am concerned. It is clearly evident that Alorin is a passion. The effort you have taken to create this amazing universe for us to experience is bar none. I will simply add my voice to the myriad of others and say, please take your time. The depth of your characters and the texture of the story are what make this epic so extraordinary, so keep up the good work and how ever many books it takes, is how many it takes. Also, the connection you maintain with your readers and the openness with which you express yourself to us is wonderfully refreshing. Thank you for that and carry on, because, in a way I cannot explain, this also adds to enjoyment of the story.

    The conflict I hope to see resolved soonest is the one between Ean/Arian and Isabel. I hope that Ean gets out of his head, embraces the wholeness of who he is and moves on from the “Arian was a better man than me” angst he experiences. In that process, I hope also that he comes to realize that Isabel quite possibly saved the realm by teaching Pelas how to sublimate Darshan’s compulsion. It was an impossible decision, but Isabel made the right one and continuing to punish her for it is beneath him. Book four is moving him in that direction, but I would like to see a complete resolution there. I will confess, also, that I am hoping that Dore Madden and Viernan hal’Jaitar meet with ends commensurate with their level of vileness…

    One last thing… I love Carian vran Lea. He makes me laugh… out loud… often. I think a pub crawl with him and Fynnlar would truly be a night to remember. I rather imagine that Carian is what Captain Jack Sparrow aspires to be when he grows up. Thank you for this most wonderful adventure. I am so looking forward to the next installment.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Richard, thank you so much for the fanboy gush. I’m always honored when my readers reach out to me so enthusiastically about the story. I’m glad to know, too, that you appreciate my openness and dialogue about it.

      Thank you for the feedback on where your attention remains after the last book. I will definitely be picking up the dropped thread of Isabel and Ean in book five. And it’s safe to say that since *****spoiler***** his interaction with Darshan and Tanis at the end of book four, he is become a new man. I think you’ll be pleased with where his thread is taking him in book five.

      I would love to go carousing with Carian and Fynn also, dangerous to my health though it would be. 😉

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my series, and thank you for reading!

  41. shelli says:

    I am anxious to hear all the stories your characters. If it is 400 pages per character so be it. Ten books or six, you write I will read them. I am engulf in the characters, their stories and the weave of the tapestry. I have read the series five times so far finding new connections in each reading. You write. I will wait. 🙂

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      My goodness, Shelli – you may know the series better than I do! 😉

      I’m so honored by your kind words. It’s wonderfully encouraging to know I have such support from you. Thank you!

  42. Dianna says:

    Melissa. After having spent 30 years teaching teenagers to read and criticially analyze texts of all genres, I must say I WISH I had had your books to bring to my classroom. I was a reading specialist and language arts department head in a massive school district in a Houston, Texas. As you can imagine I have read so many books that I have developed a sort of snobbish view of authors and their style, imagery, character development, etc. You, my dear, have hit the highest mark I could give. Your love of philosophy is ever so apparent and I find myself stopping, rereading, soaking in the ideas and wishing I was not retired so that I could share some of your brilliant quotes with my kids. I would ask you to teach others how you do it, but if you are like me, you love to write, are good at it, but can’t exlplain how or why. It just comes and I put it down. Most kids grow up dreaming of becoming a great actor, singer, dancer, etc. But if there is no inherent talent there you won’t amount to much. Well, the same with writing. Only so much can be taught. I have dreamed of becoming a world famous author but am too chicken to share. I have the technical skills but not the imagination that you have. So I say I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. Just keep that brilliance coming. I’m waiting!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I’m honored by your praise, Dianna. I think it’s incredible to have dedicated your life to helping students find a love of literature and writing. And of course, I do understand how you would develop discriminating taste in the doing. 🙂

      There’s a lot of truth in your statements. Much of the way I write comes naturally to me. I could certainly teach others what I do, but I’m not sure how many of them would be successful using that method. There’s a certain aptitude needed for writing epic fantasy to begin with, much less writing it organically.

      It’s always rewarding to hear when my readers appreciate the philosophy in the story. I couldn’t do one without the other. I greatly appreciate having you as a reader. <3

  43. Russ says:

    I really enjoy your books. I just started listening to epic fantasy 2.5 years ago and have plowed throw about 150 of the most celebrated books including WoT, Everything Sanderson, Abercrombie, Lynch, Rothfuss, and Robertson. This series is stands on even ground with these story tellers. I will continue to recommend your books to my book buddies. I can’t wait for book 5 & 6. Will you complete them at the same time? Any recommendations in the meantime?

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Hi Russ,

      I’m so happy to know you’re enjoying my series on Audible. Thank you for your kind words. I’m honored to be included in your esteem alongside such wonderful authors. I don’t know yet whether I’ll publish five and six as a two-part book or separately, but I’ll be sure to post to my blog when I have my head around that more.

      I posted a list of fantasy that I’ve really enjoyed over the years (the criteria being I enjoyed all of the books, not just the first one or two, and not including the bigwigs everyone knows about). There might be a series there that you haven’t gotten around to yet. I’m not sure how many of them are available on Audible. In addition to those on that list, I also really enjoyed The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.

      Many readers also replied with some of their own lists of favorites, so that might give you more options there also. Thank you for listening!

  44. Adam Miller says:

    5 books for 5 strands? What about dejin (or however it is spelled) what about shadow? You know what? Let’s get a book for every law and esoteric!

  45. Laurie says:

    I was actually a bit disappointed that Wheel of Time ended after just 14 books. I could have continued to read stories about the daily lives of all those characters. I am all for more volumes of A Pattern of Shadow and Light, as many volumes as it takes to tell their stories. I would just add that I think Tannis needs to be included in each additional book, even if just a single chapter. As I believe him to be the character at the heart of your story. I always looked at Ian as being very central to the overall story as well. I do have thoughts as to which characters can wait until book 6. I really love Trell and Sebastian! Oh and the Sun-dragons… who am I kidding! I love them ALL!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I don’t think it would possible to write any book in this series without Tanis, Laurie. No worries there. As with most precocious children who are also prodigies, he has more or less usurped the story and now takes center stage from everyone else. And we’re all happy that he has. 😉

  46. Will says:

    I started my epic fantasy tale with the wheel of time, and every book I was like this series can go on forever and I’ll be satisfied. Since the start of that epic journey I have longed for a series that can sweep me away like that one ( i read the entire series over each time a new book came out). After starting your series I had the same reaction as I did for R. Jordan. I could read tales of these characters forever. That is simply amazing. If you choose to finish it up in one book, or 15 it won’t matter to me. I’ll re-read it over and over and over and always wonder what more I could read and imagine about the world. Please take your time, you are an amazing writer and I will enjoy each subsequent re-read of your series as new books come out. Even if you finished the main story arc and continued with more stories, I’d be honored to continue reading them. Thanks for everything that you do!

  47. Heidi and Jeb says:

    You have our vote for taking your time, letting the story tell itself and writing as many books, six included, as you need to! It would be a shame to finish such a story in a rush without doing justice to its complexity and unique characters, including but not limited to Trell.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I agree! I’m definitely not going to try to finish it in a rush. The story has always been in charge, so I’m letting that continue for as many books as it takes, until it decides it is finished.

  48. james harasymiw says:

    Love your writing and while I am anticipating book 5, the writing situation you describe is very favorable for me as a reader; in that I get to enjoy a captivating story for a longer period of time. Obviously at some point every story needs to be wrapped up (unless you are Piers Anthony) you are nowhere near that point. Thanks for the update.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, James. It’s heartwarming to know so many of my readers are eager to stay in my world with me. Thank you for reading.

  49. Liam Olney says:

    Melissa we love your books! In fact I’ve read them through once, then downloaded the audio books. I have just finished my second play through of the audio books. I am eager for the next instalment but not so much as to rush an incomplete product.

    I remember going through my first time and thinking to myself in book 4 omg that was what happened in book 1! Things like that make this series so amazing and I’ve recommended it to everyone I know. I’ve given my books away to my nephews to read (though they struggle with the more complex words), but once I told them it had dragons in it I couldn’t stop them. I’ll be ordering signed copies of the hard books as a keep sake!

    Please keep up the amazing work.


    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Liam, I am truly grateful for your kind words of praise about my books and especially for sharing my world with others. I’m so glad you’re finding those threads of connection. It’s very fun when the time comes to tie those story threads off and present new understanding to my readers. Thank you for reading (AND listening!).

  50. Ann says:

    Loving your books BUT if you use the terms “sagacious” or “echoic” one more time – I WILL SCREAM. You have thousands of words to choose and it is really detracting from the quality for an author to use the same phrases again and again.
    Waiting anxiously for the next installment.

  51. Chris Hart says:

    Love the books so far, bigger the better in my opinion, I don’t have to worry about the weight since I listen to your books via Audible 🙂

  52. Jet says:

    What you do with words and story lines is incredible! The details and descriptions really bring it to life. Shortchanging that would be unconscionable! I want to keep listening & never have the story end…lol. in fact, I’ve been taking my time as I go through my first read of Kingdom Blades to prolong as much as possible because I don’t want to leave this world. It is epic, so write as many books as you want… I’ll keep listening!!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Jet. I appreciate that very much. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the series on Audible, just the way it is. I wouldn’t want to change anything about the storytelling either. I love that you never want to leave the world. That’s definitely the product I’m going for. 😉

  53. Sean says:

    You do you.

    Tell the story that’s in your head and in your heart. THAT is what has made this adventure as wonderful (and as unspeakably awful. I’m looking at you here, Pelas, you irredeemable d!ck.) as it’s been up to this point. I will read whatever you write, whenever it comes out . . . provided that the TV show doesn’t catch up to, and then pass by, the books. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      LOL, Sean. Okay, you have a deal. I’ll do me (and Ean, Trell, Tanis, and yes, even Pelas) and see where they all take us. Thank you for reading!

  54. Frida Haas says:

    I was heartbroken after finishing The Wheel of Time knowing there would not be another book. I am in love with the world you have created and all the singular beautiful complex characters. Don’t ever stop writing and in my humble opinion I am in no hurry for the story to end.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Frida. If I’ve learned anything from this experience with book five, it’s that I am not in charge of when the story ends. It will tell itself all the way through and it will decide when it is finished. 😉

  55. Kay says:

    Absolutely in love with your world. Take your time. While it is torture to wait, it is sheer bliss to delve in ! I’ll reread all the previous volumes before the next comes out as I did with Wheel of Time. Guarantee I’ll enjoy just as much the second time round

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’re loving my series, Kay. I’m working hard on book five. Sorry about that torturous wait. Trust me, I’m feeling the pressure even though everyone has been incredibly supportive and encouraging. They say to take my time, but I know that really means they still want the book tomorrow. 😉 Thank you for reading.

  56. Don says:

    I am so happy that i discovered your 1st book. All of your books are amazing, definitely on par with Jordan and Sanderson. I am pleased there will be more books beyond book 5. I trust your judgement on the direction of the story line, thanks again for all your hard work.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I’m honored by the comparison, Don. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, and thank you for reading!

  57. Travis says:

    Melissa, this has got to be one my favorite series I’ve ever read! I can’t get enough and, while I’m extremely excited to get the next installment, I’d rather it be all you can make it, than something rushed for readers. And if it’s another couple volumes to round out the story, even better :). Keep up the amazing work!!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Travis. I appreciate your support. I agree that I don’t want the story to ever feel rushed. With that said, I am writing as fast as I can. This is going to be a very long book, longer than Kingdom Blades. Either that or I’ll have to split it into a part 1 and a part 2 and publish them at the same time. I’m just letting the story lead me for now, and I’ll worry about how to actually publish it later. 😉

  58. Victor says:

    Well someone needs to tell you to wrap it up….but it won’t be me!! XD. Keep up the great work I think it is very nice of you to interact with your fan base. As others have said take your time. It must be as fun creating the story and discovering where it goes as it is for us to read it. My favorite characters are Tannis and Pelas. I’m interested to see where the story goes with Tannis and his world no universe creating abilities! Looking forward to book 5 and beyond!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I’m so happy to know you’e enjoying my series, Victor. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. You’re not alone in loving Tanis and Pelas. I’m always surprised by what Tanis can do. He’s just so fearless! If only we could all live life that way, eh?

  59. Mark Applewhite says:

    Nothing short of stunning I have a 1000 or so books in the attic but I still find myself reading all your previous books again before I read your next instalment, what’s really sad is I can’t help but marathon read the new book, I sprinted through kingdom blades in three days, keep up the good work and let me know if you need any proof reading doing, I’d be honoured I had loads of good plot ideas when I was reading kingdom blades

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I’m honored to know you’re so enjoying my series, Mark. I know what you mean about the marathon read. I have books that do that to me also. It’s like a drug almost, and you don’t want to lose the high. 😉

      I’d love to hear what you would’ve done – all those plot ideas you had. Different universes (yours and mine) sometimes create miraculously similar ideas and sometimes diverge to be completely unique. It’s always fascinating to me.

  60. Nicole says:

    I absolutely love this series. I got swept away immediately – I had picked up the first couple books because I had surgery in a few weeks and I read them before I even had surgery. Then had to scramble to get the third one for recovery time.
    Your books are the epic fantasy I love, while being a slightly more accessible read than Robert Jordan or Tolkien – both authors I enjoy. It was so easy to get into the characters and travel along their roller coasters of travel and emotion. Would love to see this series be more than 5 books (7,8,9,10??)!
    Thank you for all your hard work! I understand how much time and effort writing takes, so waiting for your best work will be worth it. Besides, this wait is nothing compared to GRRM and you give updates!!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Nicole. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying my series. Thank you for your feedback also. I appreciate knowing how readers are receiving the story – how accessible do they feel it is, in other words. That’s great to hear. We’re definitely going to be six books, possibly more. Definitely more if you consider that book five will be practically two long books in itself.

      Thank you for your words of encouragement, and thank you for reading. I hope your recovery went swiftly and smoothly.

  61. A Pattern of Shadow and Light has been fantastic and I know it will continue to be great. Your story is worth waiting for. I will snag book 5 in several formats the moment it comes out. Just don’t hand it off to B Sanderson like RJ did! Those fellas were much more compatible in writing style.

    I’m not sure how long you’d want to stay in the singularity, but I know I would even read a spin off focused on Fedor’s exploits. Like way, WAY down the road.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I think it would be very fun to write a spinoff about Phaedor, Kyle. I’m sure lots of people would enjoy reading that also.

  62. Hasan says:

    That subtle GRRM dig..!! Gold!

  63. Philip says:

    You have created a great world! Don’t rush to try and wrap it up because there are so many roads to explore. Side stories and back stories along with histories of Alcorn not to mention future events! Because as you know nothing ever works out perfectly ( : life is messy. There is always a new story.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I like the way you think, Philip. There is always a new story – so true! I’m definitely not rushing the story, but I am doing my best to get book five completed this decade. It’s going to be another long one! 😉

  64. Richard Parker says:

    To start, I must have missed where you agree 5 books (one per strand) would not be nearly enough. I am grateful for that. I’ve yet to read any “filler” sections in your books, and as many have said, another several books would certainly be a grand thing, with the caveat of ensuring none become filler books.
    Referencing WoT, which was also one of my favorite series, the late, great Robert Jordan did seem to run into an issue where he had too many filler chapters in pretty much every book past 4 or 5. Not that I didn’t enjoy the series, but, unlike your books thus far, I felt that RJ would ramble on in such a way that did not forward the plot much. Many if the WoT books felt like a House MD episode: do this, that, and the other…didn’t work? Let’s get some resolution with 5 minutes left in the episode.
    The pace of your books astounds me. Mainly because it’s not so quick as to cheapen the experiences and development of characters, but also not so drawn out to feel you just want unnecessary book length/more money by throwing things into the next book.
    I highly appreciate and enjoy your pace and narrative. As well, and as much as I’d like to lose patience, the fact that you update us all with honest descriptions of progress makes the wait certainly worth it.
    I doubt any of your fans would be more pleased with a faster, albeit less polished version of your current art, which seems to be more and more common these days.
    Thank you for the updates (and a chance for me to reread the books a third time) and for all the hard work!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much for this comprehensive feedback, Richard. I really appreciate getting your input on the pacing of the series. It’s always one of my concerns when sequencing the story, which in itself can be challenging when I didn’t write it in the order that you’re reading it. Sometimes I feel a bit like a movie director at the editing board, trying to put this whole storyline together to make sense when it was filmed completely out of sequence. 😉

      I know what you mean about WoT. I’ve tried very hard to learn from RJ’s mistakes, because I hold his work as the gold standard in fantasy. I love your analogy to House – perfect.

      I think I decided shortly after my first update about a year ago, where I initially brought up the “five strands, five books” thing. If you ever read the comment string, you can almost see my mind changing as it goes along. I appreciate my readers in SO many ways!

      Thank you again for this encouraging feedback, and thank you for reading (again and again).

  65. Tim says:

    I discovered this series only a few days ago and am just starting book 4. I can’t put them down.
    Thank you so much for these. I eagerly await the next!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Wow, Tim, you’ve inhaled those books. I’m impressed! Thank you so much for letting me know you’re enjoying my series, and I’m very glad that you are. It’s the greatest blessing to be able to share this world with others and find out they love being there as much as I do.

      Thank you for reading.

  66. Chase Holifield says:

    I picked the first book up on audible about a month ago, and I immediately bought the other three. I just finished book 4 and can’t wait for book 5. I really enjoy the complexity of the story line. If you are worried about how fans recieved the length of the books, I search for longer books. Keep on doing what your doing.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      That’s all great to hear, Chase, especially the length, because book five is going to be LONG. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your feedback on my series, and thank you for listening.

  67. Jeff Cunningham says:

    I know this thread is a little older at this point, but I just finished book four and have to say how much I love the story your crafting. With this I would say, no one should be complaining if this story goes on for another two books and beyond. I don’t often comment towards things like this, but felt compelled for this subject. Making it known that the only thing I would like more of is this story. Whatever course it takes, I’ll be happy to ride it out and read it. As has been said previously. This series has literally gotten better and better with each release. Keep up the good work and thank you.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Jeff. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying my series. It’s definitely a challenge to keep raising the bar on my work, book by book. I appreciate your kind words about the books getting better each time. And of course, thank you for the warm support. It’s incredibly encouraging to know so many of my readers are happy to stay in the world, no matter how many books the story runs to.

  68. Matt Accolla says:

    I couldn’t read all of the comments, which makes me happy to see there are so many other fans of this amazing series. I’ll say what I assume many others have said, and that is to just write the story. Don’t focus on finishing in 6 books, or 7, or 8. However many books it takes to complete your vision will be good for your fans. As long as there is none of the Jordan “filler” and the story is progressing, I know my sister and I will be happy!

  69. James Lucas says:

    I held Sanderson, GRRM, and RJ in unparalleled esteem, and still do, until you showed up and left me in awe with the world you have created. 6 books makes sense to me, 5 for the 5 strands and a six for deyjiin, your mind had the balance right, you just hadn’t realized it yet. I can’t wait to read more!!!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, James. The series may even go past six books – I’m making no claims either way at this point. I’ve learned my lesson about who is ultimately in control of this story, and it isn’t me. 🙂

  70. Julie K says:

    I for one am thankful I read WoT after all the books were published, I would have gone crazy wondering for years!! I absolutely love the first 4 books, and the length of the series does not matter as long as you get everyones story told, I am invested in everyone and need to know what happens no matter how long it takes!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      It makes me so happy to know you’re invested in the story, Julie. I am definitely aiming to wrap up everyone’s storyline in the final books of the series so no one is left hanging on things. Thank you for reading.

  71. Dustin D says:

    I’ve ended up recommending your books to everyone I know that reads fantasy and a good number of people who don’t. You are a master storyteller and the complexity of your work is stunning. The Wheel of Time was a masterpiece but it wouldn’t have been so without the grand vision that brought such a huge story to light. I, for one, will wait however long necessary to let you do your story justice because it is nothing short of miraculous.

    And please don’t skimp on Dore. It’s hard to fall in love with heroes when there’s no villain worth hating.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Dustin. I greatly appreciated your kind words about my series, and especially your recommending it to others. Thank you!

      You’re quite right about Dore and all of my “villains”. I’m stepping up their game in book five, because, frankly, the field is looking a little stacked now on the side of the good guys and that doesn’t usually make for an exciting story. 😉

  72. An says:

    I originally bought the first three books together as a deal, thinking it to be merely a trilogy. I generally read long and involved series, the more books, the better. Had I known that the story was not completed, I would not have started! I didn’t read Wheel of Time until it was completed by Sanderson! I’ve been reading book 4 painfully slow, with many books in between the chapters. I don’t want it to be over, longing for the next book! Even though the wait is agony, I say let it take as many books as it takes!! (And hopefully it’s not like the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, over 30 years to complete..) I love everything about these books, and will continue to follow your progress with excitement!! While I’m not happy to be in the midst of an incomplete series, I am truly overjoyed to have found you and your books!! Your world and your characters are beautiful. Your language and imagery is captivating. I’ll be continually checking in to ensure that I have every book your write in my collection!! Good luck and enjoy the unfolding of your story in your brilliant imagination!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      An, I truly appreciate your kind words about my series. I’m thrilled that you found your way into Alorin, even though the journey isn’t yet complete. As Ramu would say, the journey may be more important than the destination. 😉

      I expect the series will be wrapping up in the next couple of books, and with the exception of book five (which has an added year) I’ve really been trying to stick to a schedule of a book out every two years. Considering how long they are, this is about as fast as I can manage it. 😉 Not finished yet, but definitely not thirty years in the making.

      I know you found your way into the world not realizing the series was still ongoing, but I’m so glad you’ve joined the rest of us in this journey. Thank you for reading. <3

  73. Jane Knappe says:

    IN the words of the little forgetful fish, Dory; just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

  74. Shane says:

    I myself am a huge fan of audiobooks. It let’s me enter another world at work. After listening to the LitRPG series The Land read by Nick Poedehl I couldn’t get enough of his skill at really bringing out the life of the book with believable voices, attitudes, and emotion. It made the series a favorite even though it didnt start out as my style. It made me love long 20 hour worth of content books and the more books in the series the better. I never want a good story to end. I searched for other books read by nick and found yours and at first found it hard to get my head around what was happening in the beginning but once I started to understand I’ve been hooked entirely. Never have I experienced such a well crafted story line and such amazing believable characters with converging storylines. I’ve just finished book 4 and have no idea what to do with myself. What could possibly top this series? I can’t wait for book 5!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I’m really glad to hear all of this, Shane – especially the part where you’re enjoying my series. 😉 I’m so glad you decided to look for other books narrated by Nick. I agree, he’s an amazing talent.

      If you think about it, please consider writing a review for Cephrael’s Hand on Audible. As you noticed, it can be difficult to figure out the story for a while into book one, and encouragement from listeners who have stuck with it to appreciate the series’ complexity is always helpful to others.

      Thank you for listening!

  75. Shelley says:

    I am a Potter and love nothing more than to put my headphones on and disappear in to a good audio book while I am working!! I came to your books by searching Nick Podehl as I really enjoy the way he brings characters to life. I was hooked on this series from the get go and have relistened 3 times, discovering new and wonderful things with each listen. Such a beautiful and complex world you have created!! I hope for the new book soon, but definitely have the patience to wait until you are satisfied with the next entry in this series. I am so looking forward to see what unfolds. Thank you for your gift of writing.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Shelley. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series on Audible. Nick Podehl has an amazing talent. I feel blessed to have him as the voice of my series. Thank you also for sharing the series with others. It’s the greatest compliment you could give me.

      Please assure your brother I’ll have book five finished as soon as possible. I’m hoping to have the first draft off to my editors by the end of the year.

  76. Shelley says:

    P.S. I recommended this series to my brother who listens on his 2 hour commute to work every day and he also loves this series. He just texted me conincidentally to see if I had heard anything more about the next book. LOL. I told him to be patient

  77. JL Lucaban says:

    Dear Ms. McPhail,
    I make this post simply because I want you to know that your latest book has tortured me more than any book I have ever read. In fact, I equated it to the punishment of Tantalus, and, before I saw this site and your updates, a little of King Sisyphus’s hopelessness as he rolls a boulder uphill.

    But, what I really want to say is that, I care not if it takes eternity until the fifth is released, I shall wait for it even through multiple lifetimes.

    P.S. I seriously believe in all (or atleast almost all) of the philosophies in your series. I have always believed that there’s something more beyond the cage of what we all think as reality, and the even the Tapestry, I had made my own theories of its existence too. I never found anyone I know who would have the same perspectives and this book, this story of your perception, really gave me the feeling that I’m not alone.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      John, I’m honored by your words (although very sorry to think of you undergoing Olympian punishment as a result of book four). Thank you for your support and encouragement. Book 5 is closer than it seems.

      I’m so glad to know that you’re finding ideas in my work that you can agree with. I think we all strive to find like-minded individuals, others who share our beliefs and viewpoints. It’s particularly fun for me to show how the world would look if certain ideas were more generally held to be true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, and thank you for reading.

      • JL Lucaban says:

        I have a lot of things I wanted to talk about…things in your series such as the idea of the Returning, or remembering the past accurately and vividly, or the threads that connects everyone and everything, or the Creation and the Void with a third force in the middle as a buffer… I’ve never been so excited in my whole life than when I read your books, and saw the world that I’ve constantly been thinking about since I was young given a story. I always felt so alone because while I look up and see how vast Everything is, how magical and wonderful Everything from the smallest grain of sand to the largest of galaxies, everyone else thought that I was too weird and odd for having such perceptions.

        Although, I wouldn’t presume that I can just have that conversation since I’m just a fan and a stranger, not least that I’m also young to talk about such broad topics… but I just really want to convey how happy I am that I found this story. That mere words can’t express how valuable this story is to me. It may seem like I’m exaggerating but, by all the truths and honesty in the worlds, this is truly one of the greatest gift I got in this life.

        Thank you very much for making this story.

        • Melissa McPhail says:

          It’s my pleasure and my passion, John. Please feel free to email me at melissa (at) if you’d like to discuss any of the topics or philosophy in my books. I’m always open to your feedback, thoughts and ideas. This type of discussion often brings new ideas to light for me, so it’s usually mutually beneficial.

  78. Caleb Thomas says:

    I loved these books, I am so excited to see what the next installment has in store for me, the only thing I ask is to make sure to get Tanis in and give him some limelight. Out of all the characters, Tanis’ story is probably my favorite (probably because I guessed the big parents reveal like one or two books beforehand) but every time something AWESOME happens, the camera shifts and I get left hanging. Just let Tanis do some badass stuff, like create whole worlds, and conquer the whole freaking realm of shadow! (for me please?)

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Hopefully you’ll agree Tanis gets decent facetime in this book, Caleb. His thread is the first one I wrote and it’s already finished for the entire book, while I’m still writing many others. I honestly had hoped to get even more time with him, but with so many characters to follow it makes it really difficult. I’m really trying to be disciplined and NOT invent more viewpoint characters. Twenty-seven is plenty. 😉

  79. Marolyn Haggai says:

    I just wanted to say I have listened to all of the audiobooks in your series and Impressed is to mild a word. Ever single word in your novels are pure perfection. I am so happy to have found your series and cannot wait to continue with the next books in the series. My mind is blown after listening to all these awesome, amazing, fascinating, etc… characters and all the different stories throughout the stories and stories, etc… I love it. Thank you for sharing your amazing mind with us. To Me you are the best Author. I look forward to future novels in this series.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Oh, thank you so much for your kind words, Marolyn. I feel lucky to be able to share my world and characters with others who can appreciate them, and very blessed indeed to have Nick Podehl as the voice of my series on Audible. He’s such a talent! I’m thrilled you’re enjoying listening to them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, and thank you for listening.

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