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Seven By Seven

Title

Seven By Seven

Author

Mycroft Johannson

Pages

342

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Xorique Sequence

Seven By Seven is a Novel authored by Mycroft Johannson and is the first in the Xorique Sequence of Novels. It was released in 1937 and published by Harper & Row. It sold very little in the first few years, but during the rise of Weird Tales, it became a staple novel that is often cited as "The Popularity of Weird Tales Compiled". By the end of Mycroft Johannson's Life, the book sold over 300,000 in the United States alone, the smallest amount of his books sold.

PlotEdit

SettingEdit

Seven by Seven and the Xorique Sequence are set in the realm of Alba'ra which is controled by the seven sets of gods who has one set awoken every Age until the end of their reign which signals the return of the One, Farash'se. The book is set in the Country of Ghujar where Queen Amshalli Dras, the ruler of the kingdom of Lars Dras, had recently arrived to sign a treaty between the twelve kingdoms of men.

Plot SummaryEdit

The story begins with the Arrival of Queen Amshalli Dras at the royal palace of Shaq in Ghujar. There she meets with ambassador Ghorl from the Draconian Lands to the north. She learns of a secret plot among the Zaji priests who wish to bring back Dgheroth, the Underlord of Kanas who was banished for practicing the forsaken arts of Xoriquan, the Dark Arts of Alba'ra. She consults the king who tells her of the real reason for the meeting.

Meanwhile, Prince D'yur of the Kraddish Tribal Kingdoms begins conversation with the Librarian of the Palace who tells him of the Lineage Blade, a legendary sword hidden somewhere in the palace. She then is driven mad by the clue "When the sun sets into the stone of the lost king, find the sword in dungeon rings."

He heads back to his room and finds a note from the Librarian who says the blade is hidden somewhere in the chamber of King Raddes, the king of Antes who stayed for five months and then died of an unknown death. He also is informed that there is another person searching for the sword.

So Prince D'yur goes into the Chambers and find a secret passage that lead down into the city catacombs. He travels through the remains of warriors who have tried and failed, triggering each booby trap until none are left. He finally makes it to the rubble of an old Fortress underground where he meets with the other person searching for the sword: the Librarian. It is soon discovered it was all a ploy to keep him from stopping the Treaty from being signed.

Meanwhile, Queen Amshalli Dras is finally signing the treaty among the twelve kingdoms, but shortly after signing, she sees the Zaji Priests above the King Shaq Akkar. She soon realizes the Treaty is a ploy made to be used to ressurect Dgheroth. She grabs hold of the treaty and rips the bond in half, but soon learns the paper is magically enchanted to come back together after being torn. Growing frustrated, she tosses ink on the paper to destroy it, but learns the paper absorbs the ink and in turn, spits it out at her.

Enfuriated by this act of dishonesty, she storms out of the room and rushes to her room where she is met by a Zaji Priest who warns her not to interfere with their plans. Taking it as a hollow remark, she throws Spice into his eyes and blinds him. She rushes out of the room to rendevous with her servant, Drassar Cal. But to her own luck, Drassar is also a follower of the Zaji Priests and obeys their orders and attempts to kill her, only to have her wounded badly and escaping to the underground catacombs through an escapee hatch.

The Closing chapter is told as a Zaji priest name Orunne from Glascus who learns that they are searching for the Queen and the Prince below in the catacombs while they employ the assassination of all the Royals in the Palace along with the servants. He closes with, "The Mark of Xothique is made, so shall the mark of the Absolute One."

ReceptionEdit

The Book received generally good reviews and was a favorite among readers. Steve Kroeger of Harper & Row said, "Of Many books I've read, Seven By Seven remains a favorite."

August William Darleth commented, "An excelling book that reminds me a little of Robert E. Howard's Writing Style, but keeps the original flavor of new and Exciting Ideas. The Adventure carries on a lot, but it is complimented by the amount of Action as well. The story is well played and well thought out."

When the book was republished with Arkham House in 1974, it was awarded a World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and The Locus Award, being nominated also for the Hugo.

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