Black Trillium


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Those with the gift have the power One stormy night, three princesses are born. As each baby is placed into her mother's arms, so the Archimage Binah bestows on her a gift of great power: a pendant containing a bud of the long-extinct Black Trillium. One day that power will be all that protects the princesses from certain doom

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Mar 27, 2008

Surprisingly good

Although Alibris lists only Marion Zimmer Bradley as the author of "Black Trillum," the book is actually a joint effort between MZB, Andre Norton, and Julian May. This story surprised me pleasantly; the use of heightened language reminded me of Tolkien (and it didn't pale greatly in comparison, either). This aspect also allows a certain leeway in character development, so I was willing to accept the characters as archetypes rather than needing a deeper realism, at least at the beginning. The points of view from the three main characters don't have the confessional aspect of say, Robin McKinley, but follow a more formal system of fantasy symbolism. As the story moves along, the characters gain depth accordingly.
The three authors set up a seemingly formulaic premise, wherein three princesses are destined to save their country, discover themselves, grow in wisdom, find talismans, etc etc. It all sounds very staid. But these authors are not amateurs; the story zipped and swerved in unexpected ways and I found myself caught up in the thick of the action, wondering where in the heck it was all leading. This is not a book of talking heads, despite how it seems at the beginning. I'll probably look for the sequels in this series.

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