The Ashuak Chronicles
The Ashuak Chronicles were published in 2002-3 by HarperCollins Voyager division.
The motivation for the Ashuak Chronicles was a homage to my favourite 'heroes' of the real world - Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Christ - people who resisted tyranny and oppression, not with swords or power but with reason and love. It also looked at how and why people must not tolerate oppressive regimes of any kind. The aim was to create a fantasy story in which the central hero is as much pacifist as possible.
The novels follow the core stories of three characters - Shana the gladiatrix, Sukaal the general of the ruling regime, and Alwyn the philosopher who seeks freedom for his oppressed people. Their human scale struggles are played out against a titanic struggle between the dragons released in the time of the Andrakis trilogy and the Alfwyn.
While the common themes and tropes of fantasy abound in the books - heroism, loyalty, magic, dragons - they are also socio-political explorations of human cruelty and greed for power. There are deliberate reflections on the impact of the Roman Empire and the British Empire on native populations.
Cover artwork was by Shane Parker whose work can be found via http://www.fantasygallery.net/parker/