Adventures in torrid ’80s epic fantasy

SkybowlTor is finally doing a reread of a book series I actually read as a teen – Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince trilogy. Alas, this made me fall into a wave of nostalgia and I reread the first book in, like, two days. There are a lot of things about Rawn that really bug me, but I can’t deny that I devoured those books back in the day. But they are very ’80s (And that awful romance novel cover on Dragon Prince is not a drill.) I never loved them wholeheartedly like I did Pern – in fact, I though the second two books were such a letdown that I originally interloaned the second trilogy instead of buying it.

(Weird realization: If Pern was my Middle-Earth, than Rawn is my Wheel of Time… Huh. Well, at least I never got into Lackey.)

The second trilogy (Dragon Star) is probably the better of the two, and it actually has what I consider to be Rawn’s best villain. Villains are not her strong suit; Most of them are unabashedly, cardboard evil. I guess that’s the risk you run with epic fantasy. But the main villain of Dragon Star is my favorite of hers, and now I’m basically rushing through The Star Scroll and Sunrunner’s Fire to get to Stronghold. Of course, I can’t find any of my Dragon Star paperbacks (and they’re not in eBook) so I took the opportunity to order used hardcovers. So I’m trying not to rush too fast… Why aren’t the damn things in eBook? The first set are. (Oh yeah: I caved and I bought a Kindle Paperwhite. It’s pretty neat.) But at least this way I know I’m getting the Whelan covers… Even subpar Whelan is better than no Whelan, though they seem to have only updated the typography on the first few.

On that note, apparently Rawn is actually going to finish her Exiles trilogy… The less I say about those the better, but I’ll believe it when I see it. And yeah, I’ve sworn off her new stuff, but I’ll probably buy The Captal’s Tower if it ever comes to be. I did love those books a lot at one point, and I still really admire the worldbuilding in that series…

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