The node has failed, rendering humanity's battle clankers and the Aachim's constructs useless. The battle has been lost. Now hordes of alien lyrinx are swarming out of the tar pits of Snizort, intending to fall upon the survivors and destroy them to the last man.
Tiaan is held prisoner by a vengeful Vithis, who is determined to extract her geomantic secrets at any cost. For his failings, Nish has been cast out and branded a traitor while Irisis, accused of high treason, has been forced to flee for her life.
The fate of humanity is dependent on the survival of one wily old man, Scrutator Xervish Flydd. But Flydd has been blamed for the defeat at Snizort. His enemy, the vicious Chief Scrutator Ghorr, has expelled Flydd from the Council and stripped him of all rights. Now Flydd is condemned to die a brutish death as a slave, hauling ironclad clankers out of the battlefield mire until his heart bursts under the strain.
Scrutator listed in the Sydney Morning Herald's BEST BOOKS OF 2003 (by Tim Cadman).
Honourable Mention, Scrutator, Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel, 2003.
‘Scrutator is the most engrossing book I've read in years, the lucid prose unfolding an action-and-suspense storyline featuring wonderfully credible characters.' Van Ikin, Sydney Morning Herald.
'Ian Irvine is arguably the most inventive fantasy author to emerge in recent years. Geomancer succeeds in being a page-turner of the highest order ... Irvine can now consider himself comfortably ranked next to the works of Robert Jordan and David Eddings and, more appropriately, the mighty Anne McCaffrey. Formidable!' SFX (UK)
'Irvine's strength here is that he makes us care not only about the idealistic, wet, misguidedly ruthless Tiaan, but also about the occasionally vicious and manipulative Irisis and Nish, who are not merely villains, but products of their unpleasant world somewhat redeemed by their growing regard for each other. This is, attractively, grimmer and grittier than most fantasy novels with a real sense of industrial squalor and a society in paranoid melt-down-and with a neatly unpleasant set of twists at the end.' Roz Kaveney, Amazon.uk
'Ian Irvine has produced one of those rarities in the fantasy genre, and that is a unique, well-thought-out world coupled with a well-written storyline. A gripping read.' Enigma (UK)
'Readers of Eddings, Goodkind and Jordan will lap this one up.' Starlog (UK)
'Irvine mixes in plenty of interesting characters of uncertain moral fibre to create a compelling adventure in a landscape full of wonders.' Locus.
'Irvine imagines the epic landscape through which the characters move in persuasive detail and describes it powerfully. The misery of the manufactory's oppressed children and fearful adults is effectively communicated and elaborated. Driven by fear and inadequacy ... they cheat, lie and betray others in the cause of their own ambition, but are nonetheless sympathetically portrayed.' Australian Book Review.