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The Book of Dryjhna was the thousand-year-old[1] Seven Cities holy book of the Whirlwind Goddess whose opening spelled the beginning of the Apocalypse. It was said that Sha'ik had been prophesized to open it and lead the Whirlwind rebellion against the Malazan Empire.

The book had been in the High Fist's vaults at Aren before it was removed, presumably stolen, by followers of the Apocalypse.[2]

It was bound in stained and scarred bhederinhide. Its pages were lambskin which smelled of lanolin and bloodberry ink.[3]


"On this day, Raraku rises."
―XXXIV. II.1.81 ‘Words of the Prophecy’[src]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

Kalam was compelled to deliver the book into the hands of Sha'ik by Mebra, a spy in Ehrlitan. Unbeknown to Kalam, a small piece of the book had been removed to make it possible for Tene Baralta and his Red Blades to follow the courier to Sha'ik's hiding place.[4] Immediately after its delivery, Sha'ik was assassinated by a group of Red Blades which included Lostara Yil. It was then recovered and protected by Sha'ik's former bodyguards, Leoman and Toblakai, who proceeded to wait for her promised re-birth.

When Felisin turned up, she was proclaimed 'Sha'ik Reborn' by Leoman.[5] Felisin dared her travelling companions to open the book. Leoman began to open the book and a glow the colour of spun gold emanated from it. First a whisper, then a roar could be heard. Felisin commented that the Whirlwind had awakened, although not there. Leoman then opened the book fully but only saw blank pages. Toblakai however, saw something which reduced him to tears and prompted Felisin to say to him "Such beauty"... "And beauty makes you weep. Do you know why you feel such sorrow? No, not yet. One day..." Heboric flatly refused to open the book.[6]

Felisin began to receive preternatural knowledge about things from the Whirlwind Goddess whilst travelling with Leoman, Toblakai, and Heboric into the heart of Raraku. Rather than opening the book, she struck a deal with the Whirlwind Goddess.[7]

Although she took possession of the book and accepted the title of Sha'ik Reborn, Felisin never actually opened it herself.

In House of Chains[]

Sha'ik charged Mathok with keeping the book safe at the Army of the Apocalypse's camp at the Raraku oasis. On the eve of the Battle of Raraku against Adjunct Tavore Paran's Malaz 14th Army, Mathok feared the battle was already lost. He handed control of the desert tribes to Leoman and made prepartions to flee to Y'Ghatan with his warriors and the book. Mathok admitted to Leoman that Dryjhna "once belonged to us...The tribes of this desert. The Book's prophecies were sewn to a far older skin. The Book was in truth naught but a history, a telling of apocalyptic events survived--not of those to come".[8]

In The Bonehunters[]

Mathok and his warriors travelled by quiet and secret routes toward Y'Ghatan, but the Bluetongue Plague spread before they could rendezvous with Leoman. Then Mathok's shamans were beset by visions summoning them to Hanar Ara, the City of Fallen, to deliver the book to Felisin Younger, the new Sha'ik Reborn. But what Mathok found was a cult softened by gluttony and dissolution. When he tried to hand over the book, Felisin claimed she had no need for it and would compose her own Book of Salvation. Mathok dropped the Book of Dryjhna to the ground, breaking its spine and sending pages scattering, before walking out of the temple.[9]

Notes and references[]