The Ships of Merior: Janny Wurts amazes me

Janny Wurts THe Wars of Light and Shadow, The Curse of the Mistwraith, Ships of Merior, Warhost of Vastmarkfantasy book review Janny Wurts Wars of Light and Shadow Curse of the Mistwraith 2. The Ships of MeriorThe Ships of Merior by Janny Wurts

Janny Wurts amazes me.

The Ships of Merior flawlessly continues The Wars of Light and Shadow saga. Arithon, the Master of Shadow, is on the run, which is fine by him because his perfect cover is also his heart’s desire: working as apprentice to the master-bard Halliron. Lysaer has been far from idle during Arithon’s absence. He carries on his plans to become appointed high king, courts Talera, begins the rebuilding of the ruins of Avenor, and wins over the townships to his cause of hunting down Arithon. Meanwhile, the Fellowship of Seven dangerously pursue the means to defeat the Mistwraith once and for all and to lift the curse that has Arithon and Lysaer at each others’ throats, threatening to plunge Athera into bloody war.

If there is anyone who can write more beautifully than Janny Wurts, I haven’t run across ‘em yet. Her characters are so genuine and her worlds are so life-like, it seems as if she isn’t making up these stories, but translating them onto paper as the characters relate them.

What makes Ms. Wurts’s stories so “real” is her extensive knowledge regarding everything she writes about. In The Ships of Merior, she describes music in such a way that the reader can’t help but realize that there truly is something magical about it. Her descriptions of shipbuilding recognize that it’s an art form as well as a practical skill. Wurts’s biography states that she’s a musician and an offshore sailor, among several other remarkable achievements. What it doesn’t say is that she’s apparently a military strategist as well! The clans’ guerrilla tactics and the campaign of Lysaer’s war-host reveal the wisdom of a seasoned general.

The more books by Janny Wurts I read, the more I’m impressed by her genius.

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GREG HERSOM’S (on FanLit's staff January 2008 -- September 2012) addiction began with his first Superboy comic at age four. He moved on to the hard-stuff in his early teens after acquiring all of Burroughs’s Tarzan books and the controversial L. Sprague de Camp & Carter edited Conan series. His favorite all time author is Robert E. Howard. Greg also admits that he’s a sucker for a well-illustrated cover — the likes of a Frazetta or a Royo. Greg live with his wife, son, and daughter in a small house owned by a dog and two cats in a Charlotte, NC suburb. He retired from FanLit in Septermber 2012 after 4.5 years of faithful service but he still sends us a review every once in a while.

View all posts by Greg Hersom (RETIRED)


  1. This series is high on my list, but I need to wait until I have the time to sit down and give it the attention it needs and deserves (or wait until it comes out on audio — crossing my fingers).

  2. Janny Wurts’ writing style is so unique. It does have a high drama kinda flare that fits so perfectly in the fantasy genre. But it does take a chapter or two to get in-sync with, and its definitely a story that has to be savored, not rushed, and free from interferences.

  3. I started reading Curse of the Mistwraith last night. I wasn’t too sure at first, but about half way through the first chapter, I had that moment where I knew I was along for a wild fantastic ride. I’m so excited.

  4. HEY!!! Who gave you permission to read that?? If you all start reading that epic, It’ll be forever before I get any other reviews out of you!!

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