Friday, 30 November 2007

What's wrong with Melanie?

Another of my favourite fantasy authors is Melanie Rawn. Years ago she wrote the Dragon Prince and Dragon Star series, which got me hooked. After that came The ruins of Ambrai (which is still one of my all time favourite novels) and the Mageborn traitor, which are the first two books in the exiles trilogy. At least, it's meant to be a trilogy. Mageborn traitor came out in 1997.

Melanie's latest book, Spellbinder, came out last year in the USA, and I just picked it up here in paperback. I was rather excited to read it, and shoved aside the six other books I'm in the middle of, with the intention of devouring it. It has been frustrating to have a favourite author MIA for almost a decade, so this was to be a real treat.

Problem is, this book is nothing like her previous books. Not that this is necessarily a problem in itself; but when the differences are in depth of character, plot structure, and the writing craft itself, I think I'm allowed to be disappointed. It's hard to believe the same writer wrote this book.

So where has she been? Where is the last book in the exiles trilogy (The captal's tower)? An author's note in the back of Spellbinder suggests that she has been very unwell, clinically depressed. It says that this book needed to be different from all her others as part of her healing process. All I can say is that I hope she is healed now. I would really love for her to finish exiles and return to her former writing glory.

I know it's terrible and selfish of me. But it's just such a shame. Get well, Melanie!

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