I occasionally feel daunted by the sheer breadth of other people’s fantasy universes. Much of Lhûn is vague to me—I’m not a visual person at all, beyond the occasional vivid scene (roses!). Even in terms of cast, mine seems narrower than so many other series. There are various major characters, to the point that I worry about the lack of focus, but the sense of a wider world … I don’t know.
So I actually went through the first half of the novel to see how many people are mentioned at all.
It’s, uh, fifty-one. Of these, seventeen actually appear. Only seven are more or less major characters: Arceptra, Loraya, Giva, Ariana, Tal, Lian, and Rei. Another is slated to show up in Chapter 9. That gives us ten minor characters (people like Giva’s father or Magister Nolani), and thirty-four mentioned but not actually showing up.
The ghost characters include a theologian, offscreen Alayr, the queen, various other students, and members of the Elentian pantheon, among others.
Well, it’s not Tolkien (or Martin, for that matter), but … I wouldn’t say narrow. Comforting, anyway.