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Janny Wurts

Janny Wurts

About Janny
Wars of 
Light and Shadow
Cycle of Fire
Standalone books
Empire series
with Ray Feist

Janny Wurts

Janny Wurts is both a talented author and illustrator, these days she has the luxury of painting covers for her own novels.  Although Janny's novels are set in fantasy worlds, characterization and character interactions are at the heart of Janny's work. Her novels are not simple by-the-numbers affairs to be read with your brain in neutral - you are challenged to understand the complexities of the events presented and, even further, you are challenged to make your judgment as the story transpires. 

Janny's first novel was Sorcerer's Legacy in 1982, a tale of political maneuvering. She followed this with a "coming of age" story in the Cycle of Fire trilogy of Stormwarden (1984), Keeper of the Keys (1986) and Shadowfane (1988) which follows the growth of a brother and sister and a sickly orphan on a world beset by daemons. 

Raymond E. Feist, well known author for his Riftwar saga, asked Janny to co-author a series set on the Tsurani world around the Lady Mara and her struggle to survive in the vicious politics of her home world.  The resulting Empire series of Daughter of the Empire (1987), Servant of the Empire (1990) and Mistress of the Empire (1992) thrust Janny's name into prominence as a quality fantasy author.

Janny's grandest project is the awesome Wars of Light and Shadow series which she has been planning for over a quarter of a century, starting when she was in college.  The books mentioned above were the grounding she needed to tackle her grand epic - almost. She needed a character study and so she wrote Master of White Storm (1993) about Korendir: a man driven to perform superhuman deeds and go on dangerous quests; a man about whom we are told little; a man who explains nothing about himself and whose actions we see from the very inadequate observations of his sometime companion.  We are forced to interpret and understand Korendir by his actions, to understand what drives him and why he chooses what he does.  The parallels between Korendir and Arithon are deliberate as the writing of Master of White Storm allowed Janny to fully develop Arithon - a necessary fact given Arithon is a major part of the Wars of Light and Shadow to date.

The Wars of Light and Shadow is a sweeping epic told in five story arcs. Originally intended to be one book per arc, The Curse of the Mistwraith (1993) contained the first arc whereas the second arc was told in the hard cover edition of Ships of Merior (1994)or split into Ships of Merior and Warhost of Vastmark (1995) in paperback. The third arc is called The Alliance of Light and will comprise four books: Fugitive Prince (1997), Grand Conspiracy (1999), Peril's Gate (2001) and Stormed Fortress (tba). Arcs four and five are unknown at this stage.

In a nutshell, The Wars of Light and Shadow follow the fortunes of two half-brothers:  Lysaer s'Ilessid, called the Lord of Light, and Arithon s'Ffalenn, called the Master of Shadow. Already at odds on their birth world, they are exiled to Athera, the original world of their ancestors,  where they are prophesized to defeat the Mistwraith encircling the world in constricting fog.  The Mistwraith seizes on their conflict to set Lysaer and Arithon against each other in ongoing bloody conflict.  Against this backdrop are the Fellowship, a group of seven mages who negotiated the human refuge on Athera who are trying to preserve Athera from desecration by humanity for return to the magical Paravians.  This series plots the machinations, politics, intrigue as well as the human emotions of hatred, jealously, vanity, arrogance and sheer stupidity. Janny doesn't force a moral high ground on the reader, the facts are laid out in stark clarity.

In amongst this, Janny released a collection of short stories called That Way Lies Camelot (1996) and is working on another standalone novel, To Ride Hell's Chasm (tba).

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