Thursday, 30 September 2010

Melanie Rawn's SPELLBINDER series cancelled

It has been announced that the third and concluding volume of Melanie Rawn's Spellbinder trilogy has been cancelled due to lacklustre sales of the first two books in the series, Spellbinder and Fire Raiser. Rawn and Tor have decided to move onto a new trilogy, with the working title Glass Thorns, with the first book due in 2012.


This move appears to have been received badly by Rawn's fanbase. Rawn had left a previous series, The Exiles Trilogy, incomplete after suffering a family bereavement and a lengthy period of depression. Upon returning to writing several years later, she asked for fans' patience as she wished to work on a new project to help ease her back into the field before she tackled The Captal's Tower. The cancellation of Spellbinder appears to have left a window for her to complete the earlier trilogy, but instead she has moved onto this new project.

To put it mildly, this does not appear to be a wise move. With two trilogies left incomplete whilst she moves on to completely new pastures, Rawn is in danger of acquiring a reputation as an author who cannot complete the works she has started, thus eroding any faith her fans have in being able to complete future series and thus damaging future sales. Whilst there is nothing she can do about Spellbinder in the short term (Tor will have exclusive rights on the series for a number of years, preventing other publishers from picking it up or completing it), certainly there should be no rights or publication issues after all this time about The Captal's Tower, and it remaining incomplete at this time does not bode well for the prospects of it ever being finished.

52 comments:

Wise Bass said...

The cancellation of Spellbinder appears to have left a window for her to complete the earlier trilogy, but instead she has moved onto this new project.

She could at least have the decency to try and outline what would have happened in the Exiles Trilogy, had she finished it. There's not a lot more irritating than getting into a book series, then never getting to find out how it's supposed to end.

That said, was this a personal decision on her part to not finish, or did it come down from her publisher? It's possible that they told her the Exiles Trilogy wasn't selling well enough to continue, and they'd prefer it if she started the new one instead.

Jens said...

Hey Wert,

Thanks for this piece of news that had escaped me so far, even though I look at Rawn's message board from time to time.

Just wanted to add that she has a book in the pipeline that has been waited for very long as well: "The Diviner" - a prequel to the Rawn/Elliott/Roberson collaboration "The Golden Key".
The Diviner is scheduled for next year August.

Oh, and it's The Captal Tower, not Capital! ;-)

Paul D said...

I realize that she had some personal problems, and I'm not unsympathetic, but there is absolutely no way that I'll buy a Melanie Rawn novel in an unfinished series now. I also think this was a pretty poor decision by TOR. I think this is the type of move that hurts the whole industry.

Anonymous said...

It could be that she has difficulty going back to the Exiles-series after all this time? I think I saw somewhere that she's pretty much forgotten all about the series - and the world and characters, maybe? I don't remember where I saw this, though - or how reliable the source was - but it might be a possibility?

(I've read the second book - "The Mageborn Traitor", which I liked well enough that I certainly wouldn't mind reading the third - but I don't think I'm in the "raving fan" category.:))

LRK

Dwagginz said...

I've got to side with Paul on this. Whilst it's unfortunate that she's had personal problems which delayed (And eventually lead to the cancellation) the end of her first series, two cancelled series in a row isn't that good.
I don't think Tor should really have approved a third series. If the first one wasn't finished, and she shows no signs of being able to finish it, and the second one had poor sales, what makes them think that a third one is going to work?
I hope she makes the best of it.

Adam Whitehead said...

I'm actually surprised that Tor didn't decide to relaunch her with a new pen-name (something which worked with Kate Elliott, which isn't her real name, after her initial books under her real name bombed) to try and start again from scratch. They probably realised that in this day and age that wouldn't remain secret for very long.

Jens said...

From some of the comments here I have the impression that some people think Rawn's never produced a complete series.
This is wrong. Before the Exiles books she wrote (and completed! ;-) to linked trilogies called Dragon Prince and Dragon Star.

Craig said...

@Dwagginz exiles wasn't Rawn's first series. She completed two trilogies before that.

Adam Whitehead said...

True, but that was a fairly long time ago now. This is the second trilogy in a row that has not been completed, which, whatever the reason, definitely sends out a message of unreliability to potential readers.

Joe Sherry said...

As I understand it, Exiles was mostly her decision. She had the serious personal issues that shut her down for a good long time. When she was able to start writing again, writing Spellbinder was something like therapy for her.

And then she got the contract for two more books in that series.

While we don't know anything about the contract status for Exiles, my guess is that DAW would be delighted to finish the series. If Rawn would write it.

What we do know is that a few years back Rawn solicited some help in getting her back up to speed on aspects of the story and setting, so she was at least thinking about it - though i'm not holding my breath.

Adam: Regarding publishing under a different name, when done for reasons of poor sales, I believe this is normally done to "fool" the purchasing departments of booksellers - so that there isn't a history of poor sales in, say, the systems of Barnes and Noble under the new name.

BUT - here's the thing with Rawn. Tor has signed her up to do more secondary world fantasy - which is where she made her name. It can be easily viewed that Spellbinder (and the second book) was an experiment and now she's returning to her roots.

ExilesFree125 said...

Part of the original announcement:


GLASS THORNS
This new trilogy has been purchased by Tor, and the first book is finished and scheduled for February 2012.

"Glass Thorns" is set in a world in which the intimacy of live theater and the thrill of brilliant performances are enhanced by skilled practitioners of magic into a complete sensory and emotional immersion. Think of it as everything CGI can do, add in Technicolor and Surroundsound and THX and 3-D and Smellovision (an oddity from the '50s--and no, I don't remember it personally, I'm not that old!), then toss in the feel of a sword in your hand and the taste of dust in your mouth and the terror of looking up at a 90-foot dragon--all the senses, sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, plus emotions--and you get an idea of what this theater experience is."

Dwagginz said...

@Craig; My apologies, then. I think Wert summed up my potential comeback, though.

Anonymous said...

To clarify a couple of points--

The first two EXILES books sold very well. Indeed, they're still selling. Those books are still in print (i.e. available brand new/retail, rather than only second-hand/used) some 13-15 years after initial release. That's sign of strong sales. (Most novels go out of print within a year or two, and very few last more than a decade.)

The final EXILES book is still under contract. It has not been cancelled. (This is unusual. In most instances, the book would've been cancelled on the basis of non-delivery by now, more than a dozen years after the manuscript was due.) Whether it will ever be written is another matter.

It's unlikely that another house will ever pick up Rawn's SPELLBINDER series, even if Tor releases the rights, primarily because of how difficult it is to transfer a series to a new house, from a commercial/business standpoint. It's certainly possible with a highly successful series which is a hot property (ex. Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series changed houses--more than once, I think), but it's VERY difficult with a series that's been canceled due to weak sales. It can sometimes be accomplished, but only infrequently. Most of the time, when a publisher cancels a series due to weak sales, that is the instant and permanent death of that series; other publishers don't want to do the considerable uphill work of trying to resurrect a series that has already failed once.

These days, of course, an author has the feasible option of writing more books in the series and self-publishing them electronically--but if the author has new books under contract to a major house (as Rawndoes at Tor) then the income produced by self-publishing an e-book is unlikely to be worth the large amount of time that writing the book would take away from the author's new under-contract projects.

There are a lot of reasons writers do or do not change names after a career problem. In a case like Rawn's, her name has enough recognition and profile to be valuable as a marketing tool. She had enough commercial success behind her that the perception is presumably that -this particular series- failed commercially, and that a new more-traditional series by Rawn has every chance of succeeding commercially.

By contrast, if Rawn had no audience and no name recognition, and if SPELLBINDER had been her first-ever series, then, yes, probably she'd have to undergo a name change to publish professionally again; because the author name associated with SPELLBINDER would be associated with only ONE commercial event: the poor sales and cancellation of a series. Rawn's name, however, is associated with quite a few novels whose success outweighs this recent sales flop, and so her name is too valuable to shed.

ExilesFree125 said...

The description given on her website of the new trilogy, 'Glass Thorns' is definitely not a return to her medieval fantasy roots, but another thing altogether. It seems to be about modern day magicians operating virtual reality theaters. Er . . .

This lady is in some serious trouble and I hope her publisher reconsiders the idea.

Anonymous said...

in short: she is the female jordan or martin(to a lesser extent).

and DAMN TOR. can you imagine the same thing happening to daniel abraham. all these writers FUCKED aside for magic-ass SANDERSON. cause at this point sanderson is basically remaking the wheel of time with WAY OF KINGS.

and what's wrong with melanie? she had a perfect chance to finish her last trilogy yet she starts something else (that is probably going to be unfinished as well). either that's an author trying to redeem herself or just plain being a WIMP at not giving her readers what they want.

Adam Whitehead said...

Tor are huge enough that they don't need to push aside other authors to allow Sanderson to be published. In fact, having huge-selling authors like Sanderson, Jordan and Goodkind means that Tor have the financial resources to take a chance on other authors.

Agreed that Tor missed out with Abraham. Given the time his books came out, it wouldn't have taken much to get his name mentioned alongside Lynch and Abercrombie as the big new authors of 2006, but Tor didn't do a great marketing job with him and certainly didn't do a good job of getting the books on the shelves. They missed out to Orbit, but frankly if Orbit are going to do better by him (and a senior Orbit representative once waxed lyrical to me about how fantastic they think Abraham is), that's not such a bad thing.

I don't think Rawn is being a 'wimp' by not giving the fans what they want, I think she's just decided she's going to work on what she wants to and not what the fans want her to (one of her characters in FIRE RAISER even says as much). Which is her choice and fine, but then the fans have the right not to buy it in protest.

ExilesFree125 said...

You have got to love her total lack of any clue. She says on her site she doesn't understand why people are frustrated with her here:

http://bb.melanierawn.com/showpost.php?p=207719&postcount=29

She apparently read the comments here earlier because she called herself the Wimp in a post a few above the one quoted here. If you read what her fans say in the threads on her website, you can see they are all scared of her and of making her mad. The brown nosing that goes on is nauseating.

I think at some level they are scared that if they're too mean, she will not write Captal's Tower out of spite. I can see her announcing someday that "Sorry, all the ugly fans have changed my mind and you can thank them for the book never being written. I am NEVER going to write it now!"

She's not going to write it anyway, but I could see her using that as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

exilesfree125: if you are talking about anon3, here i am. and to clarify a few things:

1: im NOT melanie Rawn

2: im male (in real life)

3: I hate sanderson with a vengence.

4: you think melanie would use profanity in her posts.

5: while I can see her reasoning for not finishing a series, im telling ya, if se dosent pull her shit together than she's basically the female martin(as i just said).

Joe Sherry said...

Oh that's what you meant by the female Jordan / Martin. I thought you were making a positive comparison based on her earlier fantasy series.

Yeah - not even close. If you meant it as a disparagement, Jordan spent his life working on his series - even right up until his death. His publisher LOVED him and Jordan sold a metric crapton of books and he never stepped away from it to work on other projects.

Martin, and I get where you're going with this, actively continues to work on Ice and Fire. Maybe not as fast as you or his publisher would want, but he's working on it and periodically updates his readers about his progress. Yes, he works on other editing projects as well (which is probably healthy for him, though frustrates Ice and Fire fans) - but he's still working on the books.

How is that at ALL the same as Melanie Rawn? Forget Spellbinder, the publisher cancelled it. She has NO control over that. That's not even a little bit her fault.

But Rawn isn't working on Captal's Tower. Years ago she said she was collecting info, and then it's been silence.

The positive: she finished The Diviner, one of her two long promised but never delivered books. That's one down. Captal's Tower is two.

But how do you compare someone who, apparently, isn't working on the last book in a trilogy from decades ago to two writers who continued to work on their primary series, one going so far as to ensure that the story was finished after he died?

Seriously, dude.

And I like Rawn, but you're going down the wrong path here.

ExilesFree125 said...

Anonymous:
I agreed with you completely, I meant her second to last post on *her* website forums, sorry I was not more clear.
You were spot on. She apparently read these comments, and signed herself The Wimp in a sulk.

She does pretend to have no clue as to why people won't trust her to finish anything now, with two unfinished trilogies. Her words:

"Aside from depriving yourselves for years of what you're almost certain will be a delightful reading experience--many such experiences, in fact--what if the writer croaks? What if YOU croak?"

I could ask her the same thing.

It's so much FUN to wait 14 years for the end to a trilogy that left us on a cliffhanger. Maybe I'll hop on the bandwagon with the George RR Martin folks and see how much fun they are having waiting 5 years for half a book to get written while he posts on his not a blog about the G men and the latest updates from the HBO casting couch.

The fantasy forums on Amazon com have a very good thread going, and one person who is terminally ill came in, and basically said why Rawn should just get her shit together. That person managed to write again even with a life ending illness. The post is here:

http://www.amazon.com/tag/fantasy/forum/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg3?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxRHP2KEWXI0H1&cdPage=3&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=TxI6R319OF3LY3&displayType=tagsDetail

Sure, there are more important things to worry about, and ultimately, it's Rawn whose career is going right down the tubes. But if even those who are dying can be annoyed . . .

The last book came out just shortly after the OJ trial was over, gas was $1.20 a gallon at the pump and DVD's had just hit the market!

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if any author has the sheer talent and skill needed to patch up this convoluted tale. And have it make any kind of sense.
I also wonder if it's possible to write the sequel and have it mesh after such a long hiatus.
She has effectively painted herself into a creative corner. Bear with me a moment.

The story is getting too complicated. Where one or two major groups of families would have sufficed, there are literally hundreds of names the beleaguered reader has to try to remember. You have the 3 sisters' history and the question of Auvry Feiran's true reasons for going evil.

Also, you have the Ganfallin revolt with Avira. Or was it the ancestor of Lusira, Alira Gavennos, Tragan Maifirran - huh? You see what I mean here. Not to even get started on who actually colonized the planet of Lenfell, who started the Mage wars over a thousand years ago . . . Spaceships, anyone? There is just too much stuff.

Second, too many characters are aged too rapidly in the 2nd book. Cailet is just a young woman at the beginning of book 2 and in 100 or so pages becomes middle aged, empty hearted and bitter. There is almost no fleshing out of her character. To be suddenly cheated of her real growth into a woman is astounding.

And worst of all is what is done with Collan. Without going into major spoilers here, all I can say is that what we are left with at the end of book 2 is not enough. Not even close. One page of teasing phrases and almost finished sentences. Just two more words in the right place would have given so much! Now, the explanations will need to come by way of flashbacks, or visions- if the third book actually ever gets written. The whole mystery of his true identity is almost given, then tauntingly jerked away.

At last we are left with Ms. Rawn's 14 year and counting hiatus.
Has anyone thought of just writing the darn thing themselves? Anyone? Not even fanfic? Thought not. The truth is that it will take a lot of talent and brain drain to get the next book to be even halfway coherent and not the total anti-climax mess it probably will be.
In fact, at one point Ms. Rawn called on her readers to help her with it. No joke, the request by her was made on her website and has since been removed. But I remember my jaw dropping to my shoes when I read it. She emphatically stated that a book takes anywhere between 1 and 5 years for her to write, not to get too exited and please not to tell her our own ideas about who Collan really is. She just needs some help with, you know, the story and stuff like that.

Doesn't that just say it all? Even she can't keep it all straight and in fact said she needed the help to remember what happened. Having just finished this, I can see why. Too many names, too much time gone by for both the characters and for the author.

My advice is: Don't read these books until the last book is out. The books are good enough that it is maddening wondering if and when the author will ever finish it.

Anonymous said...

Well, here's one VERY obvious reason for all the confusion, speculation, and frustration about Rawn.

An update on the Official Melanie Rawn Website appears to be nearly as overdue as CAPTAL'S TOWER. Some of the info on there must be at least a decade out of date, and the last time -any- of it was updated appears to be at least four years ago.

Of COURSE readers are confused and keep asking about CAPTAL'S TOWER, when the most-recent information on the -author's- website states she's writing it before writing the two historicals she's sold to Avon (er, that was in the 1990s), and states elsewhere that she's writing it after she finishes SPELLBINDER (pubished four years ago).

Christine said...

Wow, a lot of negative comments here, I just discovered Melanie Rawn's work this summer and thoroughly enjoy reading everything she writes. Yes it would be nice to find out what happens in the unfinished series, but I'm also interested in anything new that she comes up with. I just love her style of writing, the formation of characters, the humour, warmth, intrigue and wit, it's all just such a wonderful experience.

Anonymous said...

Great.....

Anonymous said...

i just hope that she does get to a place so she can finish the ones she left unfinished.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Rawn's Spellbinder wasn't a departure from her roots, but a return to them; she started her career as a romance novelist under the pen name Ellen Randolf. It wasn't until she moved to fantasy that she began to use her real name.

She has said on her message boards that she still intends to finish the series; however, the contract with DAW has expired and they know exactly how profitable Captal's Tower will be when it's completed. They're not going to just give the story rights away. Unless she can convince them to reactivate the contract for a single book and either write it herself, or sell her notes to a ghost writer, it will likely never be published. She could release it as an e-book but I don't know how that all works from a legal perspective.

Anonymous said...

Christine, if it seems like we're bitter, well, she's been leaving many of us in suspence about what has happened to some very dear friends for the last 10+ years. My husband and I are very big fans (we're naming our daughter, due this winter, Cailet -- we even purchased the original book cover sketch from Ms. Rawn to hang in the nursery), it's not as though we simply don't like her anymore because her work is bad. It's that we know how good she is, how great the story is, and it's meant a lot to our lives (my husband and I actually met over Ruins of Ambrai) and we want to know what happens to these characters whose lives she wrote so artfully that they really DO feel real to us.

Anonymous said...

Wise decision... it was less than inspired from the beginning. The first book was disjointed, a mistake to publish. Pages and pages of quotes that had no bearing on the plot, if you can call it a plot. I am moving on, doubt I will buy another book by this author and that says something. I have never put a book down with only the epilogue to read. This one I did..

Katy said...

I read the Exiles books more than 10 years ago and loved them. However, after the unacceptably long wait for The Captal's Tower, (and yes, I understand depression and bereavement very well), I have made the conscious decision to never purchase another Rawn book again. I understand it's a creative process and she "can't be rushed" but this is taking the mickey out of her fans. If you go on her Exiles website, the die-hard Rawn fanatics there speak of her with a reverence and awe that, frankly, she does not deserve - some of them even refer to her as She, with a capital letter, and I find this laughable. Rawn will always be plagued by poor sales until she remembers that loyalty is a two-way street.

andy tan said...

its so sad that she might not actually finish exiles ever.. i will still hold out to that hope
The dragon prince (6 books series) are truely one of my fave fantasy novels ever. I really wish her well & hope she gets her act together

Anonymous said...

The DAW contract has not expired. It remains in force until the publisher cancels, and DAW isn't about to. They want CAPTAL'S TOWER as much as her fans do.

DAW also holds all the e-rights, so Rawn herself can't upload manuscripts. DAW is currently in the process of converting all their backlist into digital format. DRAGON PRINCE is already available.

All of Rawn's DAW books have sold very, very well, including Exiles.

Anonymous said...

I basically agree with most everything that was said on this site. I read the Exiles books when they were first released and I actually loved them. Then came the long wait for the third book (still waiting over a decade and a half) after the first three years of the wait I put the books on the shelf and never read any of her work since. I will not read any of her work until that last book in exiles is complete. Fifteen years on that particular cliffhanger is rotten. I wanted to read the book again this afternoon but remembering the end of the third book, well I picked up an old Goodkind instead.

Karen said...

I cannot begin to count in how many bookstores, I've asked for Captal's Tower and for HOW LONG. No one would ever have any further information. I finally gave up hope.

I got hooked by the Dragon Prince, etc. series. What a great tale. I had to know more and more. They were my first intro to this genre. I couldn't put these stories down, I had to have each one. Then I went to the Exiles Trilogy again, a great tale to tell. When I kept searching to no avail for Captal's Tower, I was very disappointed. I couldn't understand why the publisher wouldn't have sent info to the bookstores.

I love to read so much and to have found such good stories that keep going like these series was very exhilirating. I'd still like to be a fan if I could just have closure to Exiles. Its like taking someone's chocolate.

I still highly recommend the Dragon series to people all the time.

Will have to pick up Spellbinder anyway.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MORE STORIES LIKE DRAGON PRINCE AND EXILES. ITS A MOVIE IN MY HEAD.

Jim Molesworth said...

I loved the Dragon Prince series.
But Melanie's writing was reaching its energy limit by the end of Skybowl.

I have just given up waiting on her to ever finish Exiles. So I threw Ruins and Mage-born in the waste bin today.

Sorry to be blunt but a writer that sells books in a series, then CHOOSES not to finish the series (and pursue other projects) has taken our money unfairly. The same goes for their publisher.

Robert Jordan did something similar by dragging out the "Wheel of Time" series for ongoing profit, while making it virtually unfinish-able before his death.

Melanie Rawn was a good writer once, but I don't consider her a novel writer anymore. Not unless she delivers on her "commitment" to the purchasers of her Exiles series.

Anonymous said...

I also used to consider Melanie Rawn one of my favorite authors ... but its very difficult to want to begin reading a "new" series by an author, who hasn't been able to complete two trilogies. I would imagine that part of the reason she did not have much interest in the Spellbinder series is because her fans are disappointed with how she is handling her writing. It is unfair that she just leave her fans hanging on an amazing story (Mageborn Traitor) to simply move onto another story. Fans are loyal ... and we hope that the authors are also loyal to their fanbase.

Anonymous said...

Fuck melanie rawn. I wish I could unread the exiles books.

Anonymous said...

I first read dragon star and dragon prince series 10 years ago and started re reading them a few months ago. I find I love the series as much now as I did then. My friend who got me into the series recommended exiles to me 6-7 years ago but I never picked it up. I'm glad now that I never did after reading these posts so thanks.

alan said...

Will never buy her books again till she finishes Captals Tower. To not finish a series in this fashion has conned people into buying two pointless books. First three Dragon Prince books were great, the follow up trilogy was ok , Exiles shaped up well but doubly disappointing as never finished. She needs to stop cheating her readers.

alan said...

Also wish I could unread all her books or better still get my money back. She doesn't deserve to profit from leaving people hanging.q

Anonymous said...

Heres my two cents. At the very least she could come out and state that the series will likely not be finished, and if it gets done at some point then fine. I started reading Dragon Prince, but it is not my thing. It appears that Melanie doesn't "get" why fans are annoyed, or pissed, or whatever, but its simple, we are invested in the works.

Anonymous said...

THIS ARTICLE IS DISRESPECTFUL TO MS RAWN. SHE IS SOMEWHAT OF AN IMAGINARY GENIUS. ANY FANS WHO WERE DISAPPOINTED THE EXILES TRILOGY HASN'T BEEN COMPLETED, ARE USED TO THE IDEA OF A TRILOGY NOT BEING COMPLETED, AND HONESTLY THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD TO WORRY ABOUT. SO, QUIT YOUR BITCHING AND LET THE DAMN WOMAN WRITE WHAT THE HELL SHE PLEASES. DAMN.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever heard of self publishing! If she had the inclination she COULD do it herself.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what was going on with Melanie Rawn so somehow I found these posts. I had figured she must have had some personal problems. I too was disappointed about the exile books. Truly you all are being very judgmental. It seems to me Melanie writes from somewhere very deep inside and when that gets broken then the writing is gone.

I love with someone who has major mental health issues and it is very hard for people to understand how difficult it is to live like that. Your Brain doesn't work. I am sure more then anything, Melanie would want herself to be undamaged but you don't go back you go on of you are lucky, and have the drive to do it.

Trying to put back together her work and having to face the scorn, disappointment and anger her actions have caused is a job I would not wish on anyone. I hope she is able to finish the new glass thorn books. They are amazing but very different from her previous works except for her ability to create characters you love and feel are real and can not get enough of. I guess that is why it its so hurtful not to get an ending. I still contend Melanie hurts more then us. And, she ours amazing to keep trying. Sorry for long post and any typos did this from my phone.

Adam Whitehead said...

"Has anyone ever heard of self publishing! If she had the inclination she COULD do it herself."

The trilogy is contracted to DAW Books, so no, Melanie Rawn cannot do it herself. If she writes and publishes the novel, it must be through DAW. As far as we can tell, DAW still want it, so it's the author who is holding things up.

Anonymous said...

With all of this conflict over the unwritten third book, it kind of makes you wonder if she is just trying to create a climate where the third book will sell phenomenally. I mean I bet people that are currently boycotting her would immediately buy the book the instant it comes out. If she ever does write the book, then I hope that she barely makes a profit out of it. She has not only let her readers hanging but also her publisher, which seems like a very dumb idea for any future projects. What I bet will happen is that DAW will try to keep her happy until she writes the last book, then I bet that they will get rid of her. I mean that's what I would do in their situation I was in seventh grade when I first read these books, and I have graduated college and obtained two B.S. degrees since, so I'm not holding my breath waiting for the last one. R.A. Salvatore and Kate Elliot are both incredibly talented writers that you guys might want to check out.

Anonymous said...

Given how testy Ms. Rawn has gotten over requests for information about the "release date" for The Captal's Tower, I think it is a fair assessment that she most likely will never finish it.

I have decided not to buy any of her books new; I have several used book stores nearby that I will browse upon occasion.

Anonymous said...

Rawn has already written under a pen name: Ellen Randolph. She was a romance author long before she wrote fantasy, which is why she reverted to her "roots" with Spellbinder. Unfortunately, she seemed to be writing from a sense of obligation, and so turned her romance into a political platform, which is why it tanked so badly. No one who loves you as a fantasy writer wants to read your screeds against half of the population of your target audience (on top of all the other character and storyline issues).

Secondly, I'm sympathetic to her mental health and creative issues. I understand depression, and know that it can seriously change you on a fundamental level. However — and I say this very respectfully — it's not going to change how people react to being promised a novel that never comes. Look at Robert Jordan; I'm not a big fan of his, but his fans practically fell to pieces when he had the tumerity to die. People feel how they feel, rational or not.

Rawn has said in the past that she does have notes and outlines, and has even asked for fan inputs into theories, storylines, character notes, family trees, etc. She has the information necessary to complete the work. If it's a matter of creative writer's block, there is nothing to stop her from selling the information to a ghostwriter (or a few dedicated fans — not her simpering legion of Spellbinder defenders, but the dedicated ET fans who've been there since '94) and letting them run with it.

Lord knows she could use the money.

Sue said...

I do not read Melanie Rawn's series unless they are complete because of Exiles. So if other readers are like me no wonder the new trilogy didn't do well for the first two books, glad I didn't read them. Love her writing, but I'll wait til she completes the next series also before picking up book one.

Anne said...

I have read most of her work and Exiles was definitely the favourite but I also thought the Spellbinder story was compelling even if the main characters were irritating. Currently have just started reading Glassthorns and was pleased to find a new series as had no idea this was coming. What I can't understand is the vindictiveness of some fans. On one thread alluded to here one or two people have been obsessing for 2 years! Obviously life got in the way for Melanie but not enough life happened for these guys. Its a BOOK for God's sake! I can understand the disappointment but not the nastiness. After all singers cancel performances due to voice problems and their fans don't hold a grudge forever. Seriously maybe its time for some people to watch the film Misery again - see any character you recognise?

Anonymous said...

I have just discovered, after writing a post and deleting it all that I am still very much upset and will NEVER read another of her books. She has no fan loyalty whatsoever. So I have no loyalty to her either.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I was wondering if I was the only one put off by the blatant politics she put in the Spellbinders series. It was obvious from Dragon Prince, Dragon Star and certainly Exiles that she has some strong left-leaning feminist views and that's certainly her right and her prerogative. But the hyper-liberal sermons interwoven with the story in those last two books was a complete distraction from the storyline and for that reason I would not bother reading the third book even if it was going to be published. Stephen King had somebody quote him something when he was jusy starting out as a writer that I think applies here: "Literature and politics rarely mix. Literature and propaganda, never! "

Anonymous said...

It's funny whne people comparing Melany Rawn with Jordan and Martin, which both are/were frustrating (I stopped read Jordan after fifth or sixth book and will never re-read Wheel of Time again... With Martin - I still have hope...), while the best comparison is with David Gerrold... He also had troubles and this and that, but never finished brilliant "War with Chtorr" series - keeps promising , says he is still writing, last update/promise is dated 2010, finish date 2011, we are alsmost in 2014... Same case of betraying his faithful readers and fans, simple as that.