Tortallan Universe

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The Tortallan Universe is the setting of most of Tamora Pierce's books and refers to the universe that encompasses Tortall and the surrounding lands. The books are mainly set in Tortall, but other countries provide the setting for a few books.

The other universe created by Pierce is the Circle Universe aka The Emelanese Universe. The two universes are completely separate and there is no overlap at all.


Published series

Books are listed by publication date. HE (Human Era) refers to the time period within the Tortallan Universe.

Short stories

Upcoming books

  • A trilogy on Numair SalmalínThe Gift of Power as the first book (unpublished)
  • A companion book with maps and other info included (unpublished, date unknown)[1]
  • A book about Maura of Dunlath—as T Pierce has many other books planned both in this universe and in the Circle Universe, it is doubtful that a book on Lady Maura will be published any time soon.

Major characters

Please see this list for more information about characters in the first four series. Please see this list for more information about specific characters in the Provost's Dog trilogy.

Nations and peoples of the Tortallan Universe

Pierce bases a lot of countries and societies on real life.


  • Tortall, based on generic western European medieval society with some Renaissance elements; plus medieval Europe and England[2]
  • Carthak, based on ancient Egypt and ancient Rome (Roman cuisine), Phoenicia, Assyria, and the Hittite Empire of the Middle East
  • Copper Isles, based on the Philippines, and the culture and palaces of Indonesia. The wildlife is from Central and South America
  • Yamani Isles, based on Japan and samurai history
  • Scanra, based on Scandinavia
  • Maren, based on western medieval society like Tortall[3] - specifically medieval Europe and England
  • Tyra, is a Venice-like merchant republic
  • Galla, based on medieval France (literally in the name "Galla" vs. "Gaul", shares other similarities of course) plus medieval Europe and England
  • Tusaine based on medieval Europe and England
  • Sarain, mix between Tortallan culture and Cambodian/Vietnamese culture[3]; a medley of medieval Europe, Southeast Asia, and samurai culture (samurai armor, specifically)
  • Barzun (conquered by Tortall in the 4th century HE)
  • Jindazhen, based on China.[4]

Other Lands

The Eastern and Southern Lands were once one Empire, prior to the banishing of the Immortals from the Human Realms

"South of the Carthaki land mass is a large ocean and a continent that corresponds to Antarctica. West of the Copper Isles and the Yamani Islands are Jindazhen, the lands where Qiom and Fadala are presently traveling, and a huge southern continent. A sea full of islands lies between that and eastern Carthak. North of Jindazhen is a vast, empty forest where the weather is too harsh for people to live year-round. It tapers off into arctic tundra, and the frozen lands of the north."[5]


  • Raka, based on indigenous people of the Philippines
  • Bazhir, based on the Bedouin tribes
  • K'miri, based on the Mongols[3]


The entire series of Tortallan Universe books starts with the Song of the Lioness in 429 HE, meaning "Human Era", or 429 years after the banishment of the immortals to the Divine Realms. The in-universe perspective encompasses the years 429 up to 464 HE, then 247 to 249 HE. Events outside of those parameters were referred to in the text, but did not happen in the books.

Please see the timeline for more in-depth and exact information about events, birth years, etc. of the Tortallan Universe.

See also

Notes and references

  1. Random Buzz; "Random Tortall Questions..."; April 22, 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Link to website that is compilation of T Pierce's words on multiple sites

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