Author: Sara Douglass
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 0-73225-865-0

BattleAxe is the first book of the Axis Trilogy (Also known as "The Prophecy of The Destroyer")* by Sara Douglass, it was published in Australia in 1995 by HarperCollins.

The book starts off in a realm called Achar, which is under the control of a strict religious authority known as the Seneschal. The Seneschal preach the way of the Plough, that trees and forests are evil and the only safe land is land that has been controlled by man by cutting down the trees and ploughing it.

The Seneschal preach that a thousand years ago the Acharites righteously drove the evil creatures known as the Forbidden from their land and it's a death sentence to speak of the Forbidden or be associated with them in any way if the Seneschal find out about it.

The story is that of Axis, the bastard son of a dead princess, BattleAxe of the Seneschal and leader of their army, the Axe-Wielders. Achar is under attack by a strange force from the northern ice-wastes and it falls to Axis to discover the truth of what they are facing as well as lead the army against the strange creatures that are invading.
Along the way Axis discovers the truth of his parentage, along with his innate magical power, falls in love with a princess and learns the truth about the Forbidden races and the evil that the land faces.

Although the story-line is in some ways very "standard" for a fantasy novel (princesses, evil warlords, discovering hidden magical powers), there are good twists and surprises, no plot holes that I noticed, and the quality of writing is superb & extremely easy to follow. Sara Douglass is a very talented writer.
I was enthralled by the concepts of magic and the universe that the book contains, they're very cool.

I re-read all three books in this trilogy in about a week, cost me many hours during which I should have been sleeping but I couldn't wait to read the next part.

Part two of the Axis Trilogy is called Enchanter.

There's a lot of further information about the world of Tencendor at

* There are six books all up set in this world - the American version of these calls the entire series of six The Wayfarer Redemption (which is the title of the second trilogy in Australia).