Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Wells, Angus

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(1943-    ) UK writer and former publisher's editor who, since 1976, has been a prolific producer of genre fiction, mostly Westerns, and mostly pseudonymously. Apart from an sf novel, Star Maidens * (1977), as by Ian Evans, his first fantasy was the Raven series plotted with Robert Holdstock. AW wrote the first novel, Raven, Swordsmistress of Chaos (1978), with Holdstock, plus two others in the series, The Frozen God (1978) and A Time of Dying (1979), solo. The books are Sword-and-Sorcery with more sex and violence than previously common in that genre. Much later came the Book of the Kingdoms series – The Wrath of Ashar (1988), The Usurper (1989) and The Way Beneath (1990) – routine Heroic Fantasy about the god Ashar whose efforts to rule the world are thwarted by the Goddess Kyrie, who uses humans as her minions. Most of the standard Plot Coupons and Plot Devices are here, with the subplot that the hero, Kedryn, is blinded at the end of the first novel and must first regain his sight by a visit to the Underworld before his Quest against Ashar can continue. The Godwars trilogy – Forbidden Magic (1991), Dark Magic (1992 US) and Wild Magic (1993 US) – is less predictable. The hero is seeking to stop a Wizard from awakening a Malign-Sleeper god, but is tricked into supporting the wrong wizard so that things get considerably worse before they get better. The last two books become rather more formulaic, but AW's use of Magic is exciting and convincing. Lords of the Sky (1994) is AW's most introspective novel to date. Its premise is simple but ingenious. In a Secondary World, one land is being invaded by airships. A student wonders whether he can invoke the Dragons, long believed extinct, to help combat the invaders. The novel is a thoughtful study of the ethical issues raised among a normally peaceful race forced to defend their land. AW's latest series is the Exiles Saga, starting with Exile's Children (1995) and Exile's Challenge (1996). [MA]

Angus Wells


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.