Far away across our own small sheaf of the great, ever-shifting Pattern of universes, there lies an alternate Earth occupied by four small realms where humanity is slowly finding its feet centuries after the banishment of an ancient and terrible evil.
Here Dragons are real—ancient travelers from another world far away among the stars. Here magic, in several forms, is more or less a commonplace. Here the Goddess Who rules everything is not hidden away, but part of most people’s lives, walking in Her world. And here the matter of who you love, and how, is between you and Her… no one else.
In such a world the impossible can unexpectedly give way to the marvelous. In such a world, a part-time blacksmith, a runaway prince, a rogue Dragon, a wandering swordswoman and an insatiably curious fire elemental can join forces to put the exiled, rightful King on his throne, defeat the Goddess’s immortal and malicious Shadow, and (if they’re very lucky) ultimately save a world that’s very much worth saving…
The Middle Kingdoms series comprises (so far) three novels exploring the first fantasy universe created by New York Times bestselling author Diane Duane. Debuting in 1979 with The Door Into Fire, and causing Duane to be nominated two years running for the Astounding Award for best new writer in the SF/fantasy field, the pansexual, polyamorous, and broadly inclusive fictional culture Duane constructed for the Middle Kingdoms was an early example of non-straight representation in the epic fantasy genre, and garnered critical praise across its field.
The series—also called The Tale of the Five—continued with The Door Into Shadow in 1984 and The Door Into Sunset in 1992. After a hiatus spent working on other projects such as her YA Young Wizards series, media tie-in work for Star Trek, Marvel and DC, and film and TV for SyFy and others, Duane returned to the Middle Kingdoms universe with short fiction featuring the Rodmistresses Sirronde (the Sirronde’s World series, in progress) and Lior (Lior and the Sea), and more recently the “Tales of the Five” prose miniseries of novel- and novella-length works bridging the time period in the Middle Kingdoms between the end of book three, The Door Into Sunset, and the beginning of the fourth and final book in the series.
The final and long-awaited novel in the main sequence, The Door Into Starlight, is presently in progress. Please check this page at the MiddleKingdoms.com site for more information.