The Binder’s Road


A grieving world.

The gift of remembrance.

The dawn of a new light.

Cover of the book The Binder's RoadIn a dying trader town, three little girls fight to protect a secret that could cost them their lives, while a young lad-of-all-crafts finds that local murders are only the first clue in a stunning conspiracy.

In the far north, the remnants of the realm’s warders struggle to replace magecraft with science. In the far south, a military race is remembering its beginnings and rousing from its stupor. Along the eastern shore, a tight band of guerrilla fighters, posted to repel invasion, prepares to battle for control of the disaster-ridden realm—while one woman, a disgraced soldier, summons the courage to defy them all.

And on a remote, windswept island, a new breed of scholar strives to plumb the mysteries of ancient texts before they crumble in the absence of the wardings that preserved them—and before the realm crumbles for want of the knowledge they contain.


The Binder’s Road, by Terry McGarry
Tor Books, ISBN 0-765-30428-7
Jacket art by Gary Ruddell
Jacket design by Carol Russo Design
Hardcover March 2003
Paperback January 2004

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“…a complex, ambitious book…McGarry’s prose is evocative and lovely, her characters extremely believable and compelling.” —Alyx Dellamonica, Locus

“Six years after Torrin the Lightbreaker destroyed the corrupt magic system that governed the land of Eiden Myr, the country suffers from an unending series of catastrophes: famine, disease, upheavals of the land, poisoned rivers, and drought send the people into chaos and drive a few desperate individuals into action. As a trio of young girls struggle to protect themselves from those who would hunt them for their eerie powers, an island rouses itself to war against the mainland under the leadership of a headman controlled by an exiled mage. Unless a new source of magic arises that can bind together a wounded land and its broken people, only a makeshift army with ambitions of its own and an embittered and broken swordswoman stand between tyranny and freedom for Eiden Myr. McGarry’s sequel to Illumination explores the struggles of people trying to survive in a land that has turned against them. Strong characterizations, an intriguing magic system, and powerful themes of justice, rebellion, and forgiveness make this a priority purchase for most libraries. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal

“The sequel to McGarry’s debut novel, Illumination, The Binder’s Road serves up the magelight universe with coolly evocative prose and an inventive and complex magic system. Through the simple expedient of giving her mystical continent the shape of a human, the author elegantly makes her novel’s geography intuitive and transparent.” —

“The key to saving Eiden Myr lies with three orphaned girls—Pelufer, Elora and Caille—and Louarn, the young man they meet after being forced to flee their home. Their road takes them up hill and down dale, through desolate landscapes, multiple conspiracies and much bloodshed…. [spoilers redacted] A huge cast of characters and rapidly shifting viewpoints make this a challenging read, but the author’s talent for world-building and sure use of language will leave fans, especially those fond of big, intricate fantasies like Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, feeling more satisfied than confused.” —Publishers Weekly

“…a poignant, magical story with fully realized characters, nonstop action, sacrifice and romance.” —Kelly Rae Cooper, Romantic Times

“A great story, hard to put down. But I have to admit that I was confused throughout the ENTIRE book as to why the girl who was the sole main character of Illumination, was not in this book at all. Only once I read Triad did I realize that the author made these three books, not as a trilogy, but as a triad, where you can read any of the three first because all three are about slightly different characters existing in the same world. The logical chronological timeline, however, is Illumination-Binder’s Road-Triad.” —Traci Loudon at Goodreads

“Terry McGarry’s elegantly written follow-up to ILLUMINATION, her marvelous first novel, is an extraordinary tale of heart-rending loss, the desperate quest for truth and understanding, and, ultimately, the renewal of hope and light. Like McGarry’s first book, this one is elegantly written. The author has a unique and compelling voice, and her instincts as a storyteller are impeccable. Yet, there is more to this book than just fine prose. This is a thrill ride, complete with a chilling murder mystery, magic that is both wondrous and eerie, and fight scenes that will leave you breathless. McGarry’s characters are hauntingly real — Pelufer in particular is one of the most compelling, fascinating people I’ve ever encountered in literature — and the world she has created manages to be both fantastic and brutally real. In short this book is a must read for anyone who enjoys fantasy that is at once eloquent and exhilarating, intelligent and passionate. Though a sequel, THE BINDER’S ROAD stands alone as a complete, satisfying tale that will leave you thinking long after you have turned the last page.” —David B. Coe

“Sequel The Binder’s Road proves to be even more subversive, with a plot and characters exhibiting a level of sophisticated/devious complexity I might expect from Gene Wolfe (or recent Jeff VanderMeer), not a new author engaged in her first trilogy.” —Faren Miller, Locus

Portion of book cover art by Gary Ruddell