Welcome to the Xiantha website
Xiantha is Book Three in the Ammonite Galaxy series, a seven book sci-fi saga written by Gillian Andrews:
Grace is blaming herself for the death of two good men on Kwaide – even Six’s teasing can’t raise a smile at first. A strange first contact on a distant planet might provide a vital clue to Arcan’s past, but it can’t quite cure Grace of her feelings of guilt.
When they arrive on Xiantha, they find a stunning planet; hot, sunny and full of colour. For the first time they can start to relax and enjoy a holiday – at least, until the independent Diva is forced to swallow her pride and beg Six to help her out on a very personal matter. His decision will change her future.
Meanwhile, back on Valhai, Atheron is grimly determined that nothing is going to stop him this time. He has been laying his plans for revenge carefully, and they include using Grace to bait a trap which will cause the total destruction of the orthogel entity ...
—Not all of them can come out of this unscathed ... and what happens on Xiantha will impact their lives forever.
Xiantha is Book Three in The Ammonite Galaxy Series, and follows on from Valhai, Book One and Kwaide, Book Two.
It takes up the story of Diva, Six and Grace directly after the Independence ceremony on Kwaide, and covers the following few months. Although the beginning of the story takes place on Pictoria, most of the action in the book occurs on Xiantha.
Here is a plan of the binary system, where you can see Xiantha. It is one of the planets in orbit around Cian, which in turn is in orbit around Almagest, the red dwarf.
You can always find out more about the other books by visiting:
www.valhai.com, for Book One in the series
www.kwaide.com, for Book Two in the series
This site for Xiantha, Book Three in the series
www.planetpictoria.com for Book Four in the series, which is called Pictoria
www.thelostanimas.com for Book Five, The Lost Animas, published September 2013
www.thenamurastone.com for Book Six, The Namura Stone, published September 15th 2014
and www.trimorphs.com, here for Book Seven, The Trimorphs, which is the final book in the series.
From the author:
Xiantha started out from one photograph: the Nasa one of Miranda, one of the moons of Uranus, where you can see huge twisted chunks of torn material soaring up into space. As soon as I saw it I could see Xiantha. The Xianthes were suddenly there in my mind, and I knew exactly what would happen in the central part of the book. This happened quite a long time before the Ammonite Series actually got as far as Xiantha; I think that the Xianthes are mentioned either in Valhai or Kwaide. So it was almost a relief to finally get there, and try to write down everything I could see so clearly in my head. It took quite a while to get the surrounding parts into place, but that central part of the book didn't change.
The canths were a very important part of this book. They are introduced here, but I knew that they would continue on into the other books too, so I wanted readers to meet them in their right surroundings.
Xiantha is a colourful world, with a different way of looking at things. I love the way the Xianthans simply close their eyes so as not to see what they don't want to see. The Xianthan way of life is very appealing; a sort of soul-searching to decide who you are, and to become the best person you possibly can be. Of course, neither Six nor Diva are likely to become adepts!
One of my favourite characters in Xiantha is the ticket collector; he only has a small cameo, but one I empathize with. Just an ordinary person, yet rather special at the same time, and so pleased with himself to have more colour.
I feel that there is a kind of inevitability about Xiantha; some things come as an acute surprise, and yet they had to happen. It is one of my favourite books; I just hope that readers feel the same way!
I am not sure how many people will read my books. But ideally I would love to feel that some of them feel they have taken the same long journey as my characters, and that they come back down to earth with a sense of disjointedness, and hopefully with a sense of almost missing something. That is how I feel. Oh - and I want them to finish the books with a smile on their faces, and to put them aside in the pile of 'Books to be re-read soon'. And, if possible, have that feeling of eager expectation for the next one in the series that I used to feel with some of my favourite authors. But that's a lot to ask for!
(About breaking into the American market) I must say, it would be easier if I lived in the States! But there has been a terrific response from those Americans who have found the series; people have written to me to say how much they like the books and are looking forward to the next, so I am hoping it will all gather momentum at some point, and that the books come to the notice of a wider public in the USA.
I would love the series to gain a larger audience, but it is all really a matter of scale. I am still at the stage where one good review makes me happy for days.
Thanks to The Site Wizard, for help building the site.
Here is another picture that seems to represent Grace very well:
And here is a surreal impression of her in the cage on the Xianthes. This was used on one limited edition of Xiantha, and represents Grace in one of the cages. It always reminded me of a Phillip Pullman cover:
The name of the canths is meant to be a tiny homage to Anne McCaffrey. One of the dragons in her Pern series was called Canth, and the name just seemed so right for the strange animals living on Xiantha. In the Ammonite Galaxy series, there are quite a lot of names which are meant to give a small doff of the hat to favourite writers or tv shows. Tallen comes to mind. The name is similar to Talyn, the child ship in the australian show Farscape. I don't suppose anybody else would connect the names, but it's nice to have a small link to some of the authors who have given me so much pleasure.