It’s a tough thing to have to change publishers in the middle of a trilogy. That’s exactly what happened with Midori Snyder’s The Queens’ Quarter, which began with her second novel, New Moon, published in 1989. The last two novels followed over the next four years.
New Moon (1989)
Sadar’s Keep (1990)
Beldan’s Fire (1993)
Snyder’s first novel was Soulstring (1987), a standalone fairytale based on the Scottish legend of Tam Lin (which we covered here). Two years later, she decided to turn her attention to a secondary world fantasy. The first novel, New Moon, appeared in paperback from Ace in February 1989 with a fine cover by Jody Lee (above left; click for bigger version).
If subsequent books in the series had also had covers by Jody Lee, or even kept the same cover design, they would have been easy to spot as part of the same series. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Snyder was forced to switch publishers in midstream. As a result the second book, Sadar’s Keep, arrived in paperback in the US March 1991 from Tor Books, with a fine but strikingly different cover by Dennis Nolan (above middle).
I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I would have connected the two books above as part of the same series. Typical for Tor at the time, they were not also identified as part of a series on the cover (as the Ace edition was). This could not have been helpful for sales.
The third book, Beldan’s Fire, was also published by Tor, in January 1993. It also had a cover by Nolan (above right), which at least gave the last two books some visual symmetry.
The Queens’ Quarter trilogy was originally published as an adult fantasy. However, to add to the confusion, Firebird/Puffin republished the books as Young Adult in 2005 with brand new covers and — just to make sure we were throughly confused — they also retitled them The Oran Trilogy.
I’m sure Synder was happy to have the entire trilogy back in print, with a matching set of covers for once. But this is the kind of thing that gives collectors headaches.
The books are currently out of print. There are no digital editions.
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