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Cherry Wilder

Cherry Wilder was an important writer of science fiction and fantasy novels and short fiction in the last quarter of the twentieth century. A writer whose work both entertained and also challenged rigid social mores, her best-known works are the RULERS OF HYLOR trilogy, a high fantasy work comprised of A Princess of the Chameln, Yorath the Wolf, and The Summer’s King, and the science fiction first-contact TORIN trilogy comprised of The Luck of Brin’s Five, The Nearest Fire, and The Tapestry Warriors. Born in New Zealand, she used Maori folklore and legends to inform the background of the TORIN trilogy. Ms. Wilder’s fiction, both novel length and shorter works, ranges well beyond epic fantasy and hard science fiction to include dark fantasy, horror and the weird, as well as mysteries and thrillers. Cruel Designs is a stand-alone contemporary dark fantasy novel that evokes horror by its allusion to people and events in Nazi Germany, the consequences of whose actions cast a dark pall over the residents of a house decades later. Her novel The Wanderer, co-written with Katya Reimann, is the first in a projected trilogy entitled SECRETS OF HYLOR. Cherry Wilder lived for some years in Australia, and then for a number of years in Germany with her husband, Horst Grimm and their two daughters, before returning in 1996 to her native New Zealand, where she lived until her death in 2002.

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A Princess of the Chameln: A thoughtful and magical coming of age story

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A Princess of the Chameln by Cherry Wilder

In A Princess of the Chameln, Cherry Wilder tells the story of Aidris Am Firn, whose parents, the king and queen of the Firn and one half of the rulership of the Chameln, are attacked in front of her. As her last living act, Aidris’s mother gives her a magical stone that will aid her in the future, and commands her not to let anyone else see it. Not long after, another assassination is attempted on her life and the life of her cousin, Sharn Am Zor, the prince who is destined to rule at Aidris’s side when they are grown. Aidris is sent to live with regent after regent, constantly on the run for her life, while she tries to seek out who poses a threat to her rule.

In some ways A Princess of the Chameln felt episodic rather than following one clearly-defined course of action. A... Read More

Yorath the Wolf: A good follow-up to A Princess of the Chameln

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Yorath the Wolf by Cherry Wilder

Warning: May contain spoilers for A Princess of the Chameln

One of the mysteries laid out in Cherry Wilder’s A Princess of Chameln is the identity and whereabouts of Aidris’s cousin, the child of Elvedegran, her mother’s sister and the queen of Mel’Nir. The common understanding is that, because of a monstrous birth defect, the child and the mother both died. However, late in A Princess of Chameln, Aidris receives news that confirms her mother’s deathbed prophecy: Elvedegran’s child lives.

Yorath, the titular character of Yorath the Wolf (1984), the sec... Read More