The Five (L-R:) Hasai, Sunspark, Segnbora, Freelorn, Herewiss

Middle Kingdoms

…comprises (so far) three main-sequence novels that explore the first fantasy universe created by New York Times bestselling author Diane Duane.

The series began in 1979 with The Door Into Fire—after which Duane was shortlisted 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 science-fantasy Young Wizards series, media tie-in work for various major licenses (Star Trek, Marvel and DC) and film and TV, 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).

A more recent development is 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 long-planned fourth and final book in the series, The Door Into Starlight.

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