The Edge of the World is book one of Kevin J. Anderson’s Terra Incognita trilogy. The trilogy is set in a Byzantium / Crusades style world, immediately putting itself beyond the herd of faux-Europe off-the-shelf fantasies. Anderson’s world is dominated by two rival but related religions that share a single sacred city, Ishalem; this trilogy follows the events that unfold following a major act of destruction in that city.
What follows then is a sprawling multi-character epic fantasy featuring sea serpents, twisted loyalties, assassins and saboteurs, exploration themes, strange spiritual explorations at the end of the world, humans and gods in conflict with each other, religious fanaticism, mythological beasts and relics, lost continents, tragic romance, harem politics, and the first winkings of an early modern era. Anderson’s storytelling chops propel the reader from one chapter to the next, but his compassion for BOTH sides of this tortured conflict of sister civilizations is what really gives Terra Incognita its soul.
Terra Incognita is as grand and riveting as A Song of Ice and Fire, considerably more humane, and finished. I’d love to see these books made into movies.