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The Will of the Many

The Will of the Many: Winner of the 2023 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel

Hierarchy, Book One

James Islington

  • awardWinner, Best Fantasy Novel, Aurealis Awards, 2023

    The Catenan Republic—the Hierarchy—may rule the world now, but they do not know everything.

    I tell them my name is Vis Telimus. I tell them I was orphaned after a tragic accident three years ago, and that good fortune alone has led to my acceptance into their most prestigious school. I tell them that once I graduate, I will gladly join the rest of civilised society in allowing my strength, my drive and my focus—what they call Will—to be leeched away and added to the power of those above me, as millions already do. As all must eventually do.

    I tell them that I belong, and they believe me.

    But the truth is that I have been sent to the Academy to find answers. To solve a murder. To search for an ancient weapon. To uncover secrets that may tear the Republic apart.

    And that I will never, ever cede my Will to the empire that executed my family.

    To survive, though, I will still have to rise through the Academy’s ranks. I will have to smile, and make friends, and pretend to be one of them and win. Because if I cannot, then those who want to control me, who know my real name, will no longer have any use for me.

    And if the Hierarchy finds out who I truly am, they will kill me.


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    James Islington
    About the Author

    James Islington is the author of The Licanius Trilogy which has sold more than a million copies around the world. He was born in Frankston in 1981, and raised in Cranbourne South. He now lives with his wife and two children in Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula.

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    Text publication date:
    18 July 2023
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    Praise for James Islington
    andThe Will of the Many

    ‘Phenomenal! One of the best high fantasy novels I’ve read in years—think Red Rising meets The Name of the Wind. I couldn’t put it down.’

    ‘Islington’s worldbuilding is exceptionally detailed and thoughtful, making suspending disbelief effortless. Perfectly balancing character development and plot momentum, this will have fantasy fans clamoring for more.’

    ‘Fans of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising will enjoy this book, but it’s darker, deeper, and takes unexpected paths worth traveling. Trust that the author will get you there in the end.’

    ‘Ancient Roman politics, dark academia, and epic fantasy coalesce in this brilliant and gut-churning masterpiece from Islington… This is powerful storytelling at its finest, and the mind-blowing ending opens the series to so much more potential.’

    The Will of the Many is well plotted, well paced, and delivers enough intrigue and action for any epic fantasy fan to enjoy in a compelling, unique setting. Definitely read this one all the way through, and then join me in the wait for the next one, because I’m confident Islington is only going to make it more interesting from here.’

    ‘Readers that love watching a world slowly unfold with lots of political intrigue will thoroughly enjoy this book.’

    ‘Hands down my favourite book of the year so far. A masterful combination of mystery, action, and suspense set in a uniquely immersive world that captivated me from the very first page.’

    ‘The most high-octane, twisting and turning magical conspiracy I have ever read. I stayed up all night to finish it and had to pick my jaw up off the ground once I was done…The magic system and world building felt up there with some of the best in the genre.’

    ‘Islington cleverly intersperses the world and character building with bursts of action and intrigue which kept me gripped from beginning to end…A fabulously addictive read which I would recommend for lovers of epic fantasy.’

    ‘Islington subverts the magic school trope and Roman-inspired world building to make this fantasy-dystopian setting distinctly his own…[He] hits the nail right on the head…The pages truly whiz by.’

    The Will of the Many is my favourite book of 2023. One of the best fantasy books I have read…If you haven’t read fantasy before this is the one to start with.’

    Other editions ofThe Will of the Many
    • The Will of the Many
      ISBN: 9781922791948
      13 June 2023
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