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Melanie Rawn

Melanie Rawn(1954- )
Melanie Rawn is the three-time Locus Award–nominated author of the bestselling Dragon Prince trilogy and of the Dragon Star trilogy. She graduated from Scripps College with a BA in history and has worked as a teacher and editor. Rawn lives in Flagstaff, Arizona and also writes historical fiction. Here’s the official Melanie Rawn website.

Dragon Prince: Now on audio!

Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn

Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy is finally being produced in audio format by Tantor Audio. The series begins with Dragon Prince (1985) and follows the inhabitants of a continent divided into several princedoms and ruled by a nasty and ruthless High Prince who has 17 bratty daughters but no male heir.

At the beginning of Dragon Prince, the prince of the desert region of the continent is killed while dragon-hunting and is succeeded by his son Rohan. Rohan’s youth and bookish nature do not inspire much confidence from his subjects and the High Prince and other princes assume they can take advantage of him. (There are some women in the family, including Rohan’s strong and competent older sister, who probably would have made excellent ruler... Read More

The Star Scroll: A mild epic fantasy

The Star Scroll by Melanie Rawn

The Star Scroll (1989), the second novel in Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy, picks up fourteen years after the end of the first novel, Dragon Prince. You’ll want to read Dragon Prince before starting The Star Scroll. This review will contain spoilers for Dragon Prince.

Life has been pretty easy for Prince Rohan, his wife Sioned, and their son Pol since Rohan beat Roelstra, the evil High Prince, and claimed his throne for Pol fourteen years ago. Rohan and Sioned have become rich, thanks to a secret never-ending supply of wealth that is related to the dragons, and they plan to use their wealth t... Read More

Sunrunner’s Fire: Not the end of the story

Sunrunner’s Fire by Melanie Rawn

Sunrunner’s Fire (1990) is the third and final book in Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy, but it is not the end of the story. The story continues in a second trilogy called DRAGON STAR. While the immediate tension of Sunrunner’s Fire is resolved by the end, there are looming issues that remain, making Sunrunner’s Fire feel like another middle book.

The story begins just after the end of the previous book, The Star Scroll (for which this review will contain spoilers) and moves us quickly through several years’ worth of significant events before settling in on the main plot. Andry is the new lord of the Sunrunne... Read More

Stronghold: A soap opera

Stronghold by Melanie Rawn

I’ve been reading Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE and DRAGON STAR trilogies because the audio versions of this late 1980s / early 1990s fantasy epic are just now being released in audio format and Tantor Audio has sent me review copies. Stronghold (1990) is the first book in the DRAGON STAR trilogy but it’s really just book four of the DRAGON PRINCE trilogy. I have no idea why the epic was divided into two trilogies since you must read DRAGON PRINCE if you hope to have any clue about what’s going on in DRAGON STAR.

Perhaps the division is signaling a change in focus from Rohan and Sioned’s generation to that of Prince Pol. At this point in the story, Pol has taken on more and more of ... Read More

The Dragon Token: Did Not Finish

The Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn

I tried and failed to finish The Dragon Token, the second book in Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy (really the fifth book in her DRAGON STAR trilogy). These novels are currently being released in very nice audio formats by Tantor Audio who has generously sent them to me for reviews. I feel bad for quitting, because these are such excellent audio productions narrated by Christa Lewis, but I am just so bored with them and each book is quite long.

Readers who enjoy or feel nostalgic for a medieval-style fantasy epic with a huge cast of white nobles who try to gain power, keep power, or scheme with others to wrest power from someone else, will certainly get more enjoyment out of these books than I did.

While Rawn attempts to flip the s... Read More

The Golden Key: Hard to put down

The Golden Key by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott

Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott collaborate here to create a novel that is very hard to put down — despite its formidable length and flattish characters. What drew me in was the carefully designed world, the totally believable magic, the overall mood, and the centuries-spanning plot. This novel is set in Tirra Virte, an Italy-ish province where all official ceremonies and transactions are recorded not with words but with paintings. I thought for a moment — "Hey! that can't be reliable! The artist can paint something that didn't really happen!" But then it made me realize just how unreliable words, too, can be. A scribe can write lies as easily as an artist can paint them.

This art-centered world, of course, requires artists. This novel follows the rising and falling fortunes of one family of ... Read More

Touchstone: Not recommended

Touchstone by Melanie Rawn

Melanie Rawn’s Touchstone is the first book in her planned GLASS THORNS trilogy. Unfortunately, it was a struggle to get through and I finished it with little interest in continuing the story, though it did pick up a bit toward the end.

Touchstone is sort of The Commitments meets Dragon Realm. In Rawn’s world, the major form of entertainment is a sort of theatrical performance which makes use of magic to convey a more full sensory and emotional experience. The performing groups are made up of members, each of which plays a specific role (a glisker, a tregetour, etc.) and if they are good enough they get to Trials (a judged performance at the Court), and then they can go out on Circuit and move up in the world.

Touchstone follows one such group — the eponymous Touchstone ... Read More

Epic: Legends of Fantasy: Lives up to its title

Epic: Legends of Fantasy by John Joseph Adams (editor)

Epic: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy. The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it’s very difficult to tell short epic stories (though some of these authors do manage to pull it off) but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves. George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kate Elliott, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Aliette de Bodard, Michael Moorcock, Melanie Rawn, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Trudi Canavan,  and Juliet Marillier all contributed stories to this volume.

Epic: Legends of Fantasy opens with a novella by Robin Ho... Read More

More by Melanie Rawn

Exiles trilogy — (1994-1997) Publisher: A thousand years ago, Mageborns fled prejudice and persecution to colonize the planet Lenfell — pristine, untouched, a perfect refuge for those whose powers were perceived as a threat by people not gifted with magic. But the greater the magic, the greater the peril — and Lenfell was soon devastated by a war between rival Mageborn factions that polluted the land, sea, and air with Wild Magic, and unleashed the hideous specters known as the Wraithenbeasts. Generations after that terrible war, with the land recovered from crippling wounds and the people no longer threatened by genetic damage, Mageborns still practice their craft — but under strict constraints. Yet so long as the rivalry between the Mage Guardians and the Lords of Malerris continues, the threat of another war is ever-present. And someone has been planning such a war for many long years, the final strike in a generations-old bid for total power…

Melanie Rawn fantasy book reviews Exiles: 1. The Ruins of Ambrai 2. The Mageborn Traitor 3. The Captal's TowerMelanie Rawn fantasy book reviews Exiles: 1. The Ruins of Ambrai 2. The Mageborn Traitor 3. The Captal's Tower

SpellBinder (Holly McClure) — (2007-2009) Publisher: Holly McClure has it all: beauty, success, a great apartment in Manhattan, good friends, and a very sexy new boyfriend.  And one more thing… a very rare magical talent. Holly is a witch. There is magic in the big city… literally. New York City has a small, and very discrete, population of witches and wizards and Holly is one of them, though she tries to keep magic out of her daily life. But trouble has come to the City, in the form of a black coven run by a murderous psychopath. And he wants Holly, for the power of her blood. The danger to Holly is extreme. Her passionate affair will be derailed by those who want to drain her for their own purposes, and her dearest friends will be put in peril of their lives. In the end it will be magic against magic, and Holly McClure will have to risk all for life and love.

Melanie Rawn Holly McClure: 1. Spellbinder 2. Fire RaiserMelanie Rawn Holly McClure: 1. Spellbinder 2. Fire Raiser

Click here for more stories by Melanie Rawn.