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Paula Volsky

Paula Volsky is an American fantasy writer. Born in New Jersey she attended Vassar and received an MA in Shakespearean Studies from the University of Birmingham, England. She has published 11 novels under her own name, including The Wolf of Winter and The Socerer’s Curse, and the VEILED ISLES series under the pseudonym Paula Brandon.

Illusion: A wonderful historical fantasy!

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Illusion by Paula Volsky

A fictionalization of the French Revolution set in the invented kingdom of "Vonahr" and laced with a little bit of magic, Illusion is a gem of historical fantasy and ought to be a classic. Paula Volsky combines epic ideals, all-too-human characters, and lovely prose to create a book I couldn't put down and will never forget.

The events of these turbulent times are seen through the eyes of a high-born young woman, Eliste vo Derrivalle. Eliste is at first a product of her society and upbringing, a spoiled brat who doesn't think to question her class's superiority over the serfs and working class. She is only willing to respect one serf, the brilliant Dref Zeenoson, whose talents belie everything Eliste has been taught about the inferiority of his kind. When Eliste's father shows himself as a cruel... Read More

Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance

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Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance is the best anthology I’ve ever read. These stories will be enjoyed by any SFF reader, but they’ll be ten times more fun if you’ve read Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, because they are all written in honor of that fantastic work. Each tale is written in the style of Vance, which is quite amusing in itself, and each takes place on the Dying Earth, that far-future wasteland in which natural selection means survival of the cleverest, nastiest, sneakiest, and most self-serving.

Songs of the Dying Earth was written by “many ... Read More

Other books by Paula Volsky

Sorcerer’s Lady — (1986-1989) Publisher: Consort to one man’s dark powers, mistress to his visions, she was to become … The Sorcerer’s Lady.

Paula Volsky 1. The Sorcerer's Lady (1986) 2. The Sorcerer's Heir (1988) 3. The Sorcerer's Curse (1989)Paula Volsky 1. The Sorcerer's Lady (1986) 2. The Sorcerer's Heir (1988) 3. The Sorcerer's Curse (1989)Paula Volsky 1. The Sorcerer's Lady (1986) 2. The Sorcerer's Heir (1988) 3. The Sorcerer's Curse (1989)

Stand-alones:

Paula Volsky fantasy book review The Luck of Relian Kru

Paula Volsky book review The Curse of the Witch-QueenThe Curse of the Witch-Queen — (1982) Publisher: And curse begat curse… even unto the tenth generation!


The Luck of Relian Kru — (1987) Publisher: There’s good luck, there’s bad luck, and there’s The Luck of Relian Kru.


The Wolf of Winter — (1993) Publisher: From the panorama of history and legend, Paula Volsky weaves a spellbinding tale of magic, conspiracy, and desire in the frozen land of Rhazaulle, where the living and the dead live peacefully side by side…until now. Of all the excesses indulged by the decadent Rhazaullean nobility, only one is forbidden-necromancy. It is to these black arts that Prince Varis is addicted, hoping to usurp the Wolf Throne.Paula Volsky The Wolf of Winter His greatest challenge comes in the person of his beautiful niece Shalindra, grown to womanhood in the shadow of exile and dedicated to brining her brother Cerrov-the rightful heir-to the throne. Seized and brought to her uncle’s mountain stronghold, Shalindra is both repelled and fascinated by the mysterious Varis, master of the dead. As winter approaches, their encounter threatens to shape for both of them a destiny far different-and more dangerous-than either could have imagined.


fantasy book review Paula Volsky The Gates of TwilightThe Gates of Twilight — (1996) Publisher: In a fragile alliance, the natives are stirring uneasily under their foreign rulers. Rebellion is brewing, and at the heart of the conflict lies the bloody and powerful cult of the god Aoun, whose followers will stop at nothing to rid their land of alien domination. So civil servant Renille vo Chaumelle, scion of a proud, conquering line mingled with native blood, is conscripted as a spy and ordered to penetrate the fortress-temple known as the Fastness of the Gods. There he is to discover the secrets of the priests of Aoun and — if the chance presents itself — assassinate the lead priest, named in legend as the god’s own son. But in the holiest depths of the temple, Renille finds there is more to the cult than his superiors suspect — far more than they will ever believe. What he learns leads him to the beautiful princess Jathondi, daughter of the native ruler, who is fated to be the crux of a violent confrontation between the fanatic followers of a flesh-hungry god and their arrogant overlords. Together, Jathondi and Renille must brave a whirlwind of revolution and apocalyptic magic that could shatter a nation, and open the long-sealed portal between heaven and earth.


fantasy book review Paula Volsky The White TribunalThe White Tribunal — (1997) Publisher: Despite the warnings of a childhood love, a man makes a Faustian bargain to avenge the execution of his family by the infamous White Tribunal, a decision that could redeem his nation or destroy it.


Paula Volsky The Grand EllipseThe Grand Ellipse — (2000) Publisher: Volsky shines in what is unequivocally her best work to date, presenting a wondrous journey across a world torn by war, a world so enraptured by its technological advances that it now frowns upon magic as ancient superstition. Yet a new magical discovery — Sentient Fire, which obeys the will of its creator — could well prove the only weapon against the expansion of a greedy Imperium.