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SFF Author: Vera Nazarian

Vera Nazarian(1966- )
Vera Nazarian emigrated to the US from the USSR during the Cold War. She writes other speculative fiction, also. Learn more at her website.



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Dreams of the Compass Rose: Unique format

Dreams of the Compass Rose by Vera Nazarian

Vera Nazarianemploys a fairly traditional and even romantic method of narration, but what makes Dreams of the Compass Rose unique is its format. It’s reminiscent of mosaic novels or even the high fantasy equivalent of Jack Vance‘s Tales of the Dying Earth as each chapter stands well on its own and explores a facet of the various characters. I like the Tales of the Dying Earth comparison, as a minor character in the previous story might take center stage in the next.


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Lords of Rainbow: Epic fantasy with no baggage

Lords of Rainbow by Vera Nararian

A decade ago, I was a big fan of secondary-world fantasies: big sprawling epic plots, an entirely different but familiar setting, and larger than life characters. Had I read Lords of Rainbow back then, I would have immediately fallen in love with it. As I am now, however, there’s a lot less unabashed praise for that particular sub-genre and I’ve become more critical.

What’s obviously commendable with Vera Nazarian is that her cosmology isn’t a random hodgepodge of ideas but rather a cohesion of a single,


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The Duke in His Castle: Slow build-up, big pay-off

The Duke in His Castle

The novella The Duke in His Castle starts out like a conventional fairy tale but it soon spirals into a plotty story with unexpected twists. Admittedly, the book didn’t hook me at first, especially with its rude protagonist (not quite the initial sympathetic hero but some readers will grow fond of him) and the bare-bones setting (everything takes places in a castle) but Vera Nazarian turns things around as the enigma surrounding our main character slowly unfolds.

There are two key figures in the story and both have distinctive,


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Mansfield Park and Mummies: Tricked into reading Jane Austen

Mansfield Park and Mummies by Vera Nazarian

I had always heard great things about Vera Nazarian’s books, both from friends and publications, but I never quite got around to reading any of her work until recently when I picked up her short story collection Salt of the Air, published by Prime Books. The introduction was by Gene Wolfe, a man I have an enormous amount of respect for as a writer. After reading the wonderful things that Gene had to say about her,


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Next SFF Author: Chloe Neill
Previous SFF Author: Ray Nayler

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