Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Tarr, Judith

(1955-    ) US writer whose first published work was The Hound and the Falcon trilogy: The Isle of Glass (1985), The Golden Horn (1985) and The Hounds of God (1986), assembled as The Hound and the Falcon (omni 1986). A well realized medieval fantasy (despite its rationale that the human-seeming folk taken to be Elves are the product of natural mutation), the trilogy shows JT's scrupulous historical accuracy and intelligent but sometimes florid characterization. These tendencies variously persisted over the next decade, as her work gained assurance and poise.

The Avaryan series – The Hall of the Mountain King (1986), The Lady of Han-Gilen (1987) and A Fall of Princes (1988), these three assembled as Avaryan Rising (omni 1988), plus Arrows of the Sun (1993) and Spear of Heaven (1994) – though set on an invented planet is a Dynastic Fantasy involving mages and power politics. A Wind in Cairo (1989), a fantasy of medieval Egypt, and Ars Magica (1989), about Pope Gerbert, are transitional works. They were followed by the expansive Alamut (1989), a historical fantasy set in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and its sequel, The Dagger and the Cross: A Novel of the Crusades (1991). Set (very tangentially) in the world of The Hound and the Falcon, they are perhaps JT's best novels.

Lord of the Two Lands (1993) is an historical novel, with some fantastic elements, about Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt; it has set the tone for much of JT's subsequent fiction, which has tended toward large historical fantasies or historical novels with minimal fantasy elements. These include Throne of Isis (1994), Pillar of Fire (1995) and King and Goddess (1996). [GF]

other works: His Majesty's Elephant (1993), a children's novel about Charlemagne; The Eagle's Daughter (1995), a historical novel.

Judith Tarr


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.