Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Storm Lord by Tanith Lee

This first printing May, 1976 DAW paperback is missing the DAW number in the cover logo. For DAW collectors this is DAW # 193. The cover artwork is by Gino D’Achille. The Storm Lord is one of my favorite of those early DAW paperbacks because Tanith Lee’s writing is so strong. The book is long, 350 pages, and this was before thick paperbacks became the industry standard. The story is pure fantasy with sword and sorcery elements combined with themes such as racial prejudice. Raldnor is the bastard son of a king, The Storm Lord, who raped his mother and caused her death. Most of the novel involves his coming to understand and accept his destiny as the new Storm Lord. Set on an alien world and populated with different races, including telepaths, Raldnor’s  story includes court intrigue, social unrest, sinister plotting and some heroic fights. Tanith Lee is an imagistic writer, meticulous in her plots (or at least that’s the impression I have), and imaginative in her creation of characters and scenes. I have never read one of her books that I didn’t admire at some level. She must have been instrumental in the success of those DAW paperbacks because she contributed so many novels. It’s hard to believe this great novel is pushing forty years old. Over the years I have found copies in used book stores and given them away to friends and told them, “This is how a fantasy novel should be written.” Tanith Lee has several titles for you e-readers with a Kindle or Nook but I don’t see that The Storm Lord is available. I recommend tracking down a copy. While you’re at it try her books The Birthgrave, Black Unicorn, Biting the Sun or Death’s Master. Her page on Amazon can put you in contact with a variety of her books.

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