Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hidden Gems 4: Melanie Rawn

There is a tendency to portray the eighties and early nineties as a bleak time for the fantasy. It has been said that there was no variety, that there were simply rehashes of Tolkienesque or Jordanesque fantasy and that worst of all fantasy authors of the period were accused of producing works that didn’t make the reader think. All of that is of course absolute rubbish.

Queue the latest addition to the hidden gems of fantasy Melanie Rawn. Rawn is best known for her two trilogies set in the same world Dragon Prince and Dragon Star. Rawn was able to produce an interesting cast of characters whose motivations were often complex. Pol and Andry were perfect examples of characters who were shades of grey. What’s more she took a rather novel approach and followed the characters over several decades and showed the reader as they grew up, developed, grew old and eventually died. In short she made characters who mattered to the readers, I can remember feeling absolutely frustrated with Sioned near the end of the last book to the point where I wanted to scream at her. Now that’s writing. Rawn also spent a great deal of time focussing on romances between the characters and there is certainly a greater emphasis on this than in most fantasy. As always with Rawn they are masterfully developed. Politics was also a subject which received a great deal of attention.

Besides the two trilogies already mentioned two books in the planned exiles trilogy have been released.The quality is right up there with her previous work but be warned it has been twelve years since the second book was released and the as of this point there are no definite plans to write the third. She also collaborated with Kate Elliot and Jennifer Roberson on the Golden Key. Currently Rawn is working on an urban fantasy/paranormal romance series titled spellbinder of which two have been released.

I can’t recommended Rawn enough so if you’re stuck for something to read give her a try. I know you will thank me.

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