Snow, Fire, Sword
Book one of the Chronicles of El Jisal


Inspirations for El Jisal

The Curse of Zohreh

The Tyrant's Nephew

The Maharajah's Ghost

The Jinns


Snow, Fire, Sword is set in modern times, on the parallel-world island of Jayangan(based on Indonesia), where ancient magic and modern technology exist side by side, the spirits talk to people--and there's a terrible danger threatening the whole culture..

Dewi has never ventured beyond her village in the highlands of Jayangan, where she lives a comfortable life with her siblings and her father, who's a respected dukun, or village healer. But one day while working in the rice fields, she stumbles across Adi, an apprentice sword-maker, alone and hiding from the terrifying, masked, motorbike-riding bandits who kidnapped his beloved master.  When Dewi's father seeks the help of the tiger-spirits who watch over the village, he is told that the young people must seek Snow, Fire and Sword, if they are to help Adi's master and avert the doom that is hanging over the entire country..But what are Snow, Fire and Sword? And how can they find them? They set off on a journey to the flower-city of Kotabunga to find answers..

But then Dewi's father also goes missing, and she and Adi have to embark on their frightening and dangerous quest alone: a journey to find not only  Snow, Fire and Sword, but also the source of the mysterious happenings and disappearances all over the island--before it's too late. They will find signs to lead them, but also paths to mislead them. They will find friends to help them, but obstacles to hinder them. And all the while, a hidden, deadly enemy stalks them, shadowing their every move...


Snow, Fire, Sword was published in Ausralia, the US, and Thailand. It was shortlisted in two categories for the 2004 Aurealis Awards for Fantasy and Science Fiction(Fantasy and young Adult Literature).

What readers and reviewers have said about Snow, Fire, Sword:

'Epic in scale, universally human. Drawing on Indonesian mythology in all its richness, Sophie Masson combines her unique gifts of marvellous storytelling, high drama, and poetic intensity.' (Lloyd Alexander, author of the Prydain Chronicles.)

'Like all of Sophie Masson's work, Snow, Fire, Sword has a real storytelling intelligence directing it, and a true and vivid sense of what makes a fascinating narrative. And what I like especially is that it isn't the usual fantasy setting, but something quite original.' (Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass).

'The strength of this novel is its all-engrossing and completely evoked fantasy world..' Christopher Bantick, Sydney Morning Herald)

'Snow, Fire, Sword is a beautiful and mythic journey through an Indonesia that is a little bit mythical, a little bit modern, and a little bit fantasy. It's a world where the ancient spirits of Arabic and Indonesian myths coexist with motorcycles, helicopters and an absolutely adorable slightly-supernatural car. The story is exciting and filled with a rich cast of wonderfully-envisioned supporting characters.' (Sheila Ruth, Editor,

'I can't believe how much I loved this book! it had incredible action, and the real, rich depth of mythology, combined into the normal world in which we live today. The characters you can really relate to. I really loved this book!' (teen reader, Emily)

'For readers who enjoy fast-paced fantasy fiction, Snow, Fire, Sword is a treat. ..Unpredictable and tightly plotted, it's a book that's hard to  put down. The world of Snow, Fire, Sword, is also another of its strengths. It is a world both intriguing and unlike any other. Snow, Fire, Sword is a great read for fantasy lovers of all ages, and with its modern elements may appeal even to those who shy away from traditional fantasy.' (Lynn Crow, from