The universe of the Merge in #ArchibaldLox books…. by Darren Shan | QuestPost

Archibald Lox Book 04 - Forgotten Crypt - COVER_smallerFans of master storyteller, Darren Shan, will be delighted to hear that the second volume in his major new fantasy series is coming this summer. The three novels that make up Volume 2 of the Archibald Lox series take readers further into the Merge and the adventures of locksmith, Archie.

There is no let-up in the action as the next book, Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt sees a couple of assassins catch up with Archie, and he’s forced to flee to the Merge in search of friendship and safety. As his skills develop, he opens a gateway to a long-forgotten crypt, where ancient secrets are revealed. In a city of ice, the greatest gropsters of the six realms have assembled for a legendary Tourney, but a small group of plotters are more interested in kidnapping…

Travel with Archie through books five, Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell, and six, Archibald Lox and the Rubicon Dictate, as he faces further challenges and grave danger, including a fight for his freedom – and his sanity. What will the fates have in store, and can Archie defeat some of the most powerful and merciless rulers of the realms…?

QuestPost by Darren Shan

The universe of the Merge in my Archibald Lox books is a massive, sprawling place. There are six realms (kind of like continents), each of which is home to an almost limitless number of zones. It can be a strange, alienating place for those, like Archie, who are unfamiliar with it, so I decided to start book 4, Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt, the same way I started book 1, in our world, so that readers could kick off on familiar turf before crossing universes and getting to grips with the truly bizarre homelands of the Merge, where rivers of blood carve up the land, and cities can be built out of ice.

When I set a story (or part of it) in a named place on Earth, it’s usually somewhere I’m familiar with or have visited. London is my second home (my main residence is in Ireland) and I’ve featured it quite heavily in various books, but it pops up here again. More specifically, I focus on an area called Seven Dials, which is nestled in the Theatre District.

There’s a tall pillar at the centre of a roundabout in Seven Dials, where seven roads converge. I’ve passed by it often on my way to various plays and films over the years, and it seemed like the perfect spot to position a gateway to a truly unique area of the Merge — the Forgotten Crypt of the title. I liked the disparity of locating one side of the passageway in a part of our world that millions of people are familiar with, while the other side is located in a dark, eerie crypt that just about everyone has forgotten… well, everyone except the fifteen thousand years old boy who lives there and who has been patiently waiting for the doorway to hopefully one day open again.

But before Archie returns to the Merge, his path takes him across the globe to Moscow, when he must flee from a pair of merciless killers. I’m nowhere near as familiar with Moscow as I am with London, but I’d visited many years ago, back in the autumn of 2002, and it left a big impression, so that was where my thoughts turned when I was trying to decide upon a midway city for Archie’s journey.

When I stayed in Moscow, my hotel was near an impressive statue of Yuri Gagarin, which I passed each day on my way from and back to the hotel. I’d have liked to include the statue in the book, but I needed a landmark that would be more familiar, as Archie is on the run there, and doesn’t have time to read inscriptions on statues. In the end I had him spot the colourful towers of the Kremlin, which quickly lets him (and my readers) know exactly where he’s popped up.

Hopefully another story will lead me back to Moscow one day, so that I can feature that statue of Yuri. Or will he have to wait fifteen thousand years, like that boy in the crypt, for a far-in-the-future author to swing the spotlight his way?

Volume 2 in the Archibald Lox series by Darren Shan is released in three parts this summer:

Book 4: Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt 1st July 2021, ebook and paperback

Book 5: Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell 3rd August 2021, ebook and paperback

Book 6: Archibald Lox and the Rubicon Dictate 1st September 2021, ebook and paperback

For more information visit

Volume One, available now:

  • Book 1: Archibald Lox and the Bridge Between Worlds, ebook (free) and paperback
  • Book 2: Archibald Lox and the Empress of Suanpan, ebook and paperback
  • Book 3: Archibald Lox and the Vote of Alignment, ebook and paperback


AUTHOR BIOG:  Darren Shan is a globally bestselling author whose breakthrough came with the publication of Cirque Du Freak in January 2000. He has published more than fifty books, both for children and adults (his recent adult novels have been released under the name of Darren Dash), including the 10-book Demonata series and 12-book Zom-B series. Cirque Du Freak was adapted into a globally translated Japanese manga and a major Hollywood movie, while it was recently announced that the Electric Shadow Company and Fantastic Films have teamed up to adapt his Zom-B series for television. Shan’s books have sold in excess of thirty million copies worldwide, in 40 countries and 32 languages. He has made bestseller charts in the USA, UK, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Taiwan, the UAE and elsewhere. He lives in a small village in Limerick, Ireland, with his wife and children.

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