Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Rawn, Melanie

(1954-    ) US writer, most of whose work falls into two linked series, with a third and unconnected series underway.

The Dragon Prince series – Dragon Prince (1988), Dragon Prince #2: Star Scroll (1989) and #3: Sunrunner's Fire (1990) – features a standard semi-medieval Fantasyland divided into a number of small kingdoms, the dynastic squabbles of the ruling classes of which form most of the plot material. MR is a writer of Dynastic Fantasy in which the fantasy elements are for the most part local colour in a plot whose emotional resonances have as much to do with the sexual and financial shenanigans of soap opera as with fantasy. Nonetheless, the books feature the ability of some of the characters to wield magic fire as a weapon of enormous power and others to use a more generalized Magic, and include non-sentient Dragons who are used by the heroes to sniff for gold.

The Dragonstar series, set in the same fantasyland a generation later, comprises Dragonstar #1: Stronghold (1990), #2: The Dragon Token (1992) and #3: Skybowl (1993). Rohan, hero of the first series and now a High Prince, faces complicated succession crises and the massive incursion of genocidally inclined barbarians from another continent. These barbarians, who travel in longships and have most of the standard attributes of Vikings, are largely immune to the magic Rohan and his people rely on. MR allows the tone of this second sequence to become rather bleaker than expected.

The Exiles series, begun with Exiles #1: The Ruins of Ambrai (1994), deals with the aftermath of a magical catastrophe which has made certain sorts of magic workers a fairly standard Pariah Elite. [RK]

other works: Quantum Leap: Knights of the Morningstar * (1994), tv tie.

Melanie Robin Rawn


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.