Tanith Lee passed away on May 24 of last year, and her loss was a major blow to fantasy readers around the world — especially fans of heroic fantasy. In the fast-paced world of modern publishing, the death of an author frequently means the death of their backlist as well, since without new books being released to drum up interest, older titles can quickly be forgotten.
So I was extremely pleased to see DAW, Lee’s long-time US publisher, re-release her first fantasy novel The Birthgrave in a handsome new edition last June, followed by Shadowfire, the second title in the trilogy, last September. The final volume, Hunting the White Witch, arrives on bookshelves tomorrow, completing the trilogy.
The Birthgrave (452 pages, $7.99 print & digital, June 2, 2015)
Shadowfire (304 pages, $7.99 print & digital, September 1, 2015)
Hunting the White Witch (304 pages, $7.99 print & digital, February 2, 2016)
All three covers are by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme.
[Click on any of the images for bigger versions.]
The Birthgrave follows a nameless protagonist as she seeks to discover who she is. It was rejected by multiple British publishers before Lee approached Donald Wollheim at DAW. Locus called it “An exciting, feverish, obsession-laden sword and sorcery epic, unlike anything then current — or, arguably, since.”
The novel was nominated for the 1975 Nebula Award, and its success in America allowed Tanith Lee to become a full time writer, and abandon “stupid and soul-killing jobs.”
The books were originally published in the mid-70s, the last two with different titles. Here’s the original publication details:
The Birthgrave, DAW Book #154 (408 pages, $1.50, June 1975) — cover by George Barr
Vazkor, Son of Vazkor, DAW Book #272 (220 pages, $1.95, January 1978) — cover by Gino D’Achille
Quest for the White Witch, DAW Book #276 (317 pages, $1.95, February 1978) — cover by Gino D’Achille
Interestingly, DAW has maintained their original book numbers for all three of the new editions. I think that’s neat.
In the early 80s (1981-83), DAW re-released all three books with new covers by Ken Kelly. Here they are.
Our previous coverage of Tanith Lee includes:
The Novels of Tanith Lee: The Wars of Vis by John O’Neill
The Novels of Tanith Lee: Tales From the Flat Earth by John O’Neill
The Novels of Tanith Lee: The Secret Books of Paradys by John O’Neill
The Novels of Tanith Lee: Days of Grass by John O’Neill
The Collections of Tanith Lee by John O’Neill
The Books of Tanith Lee: Companions on the Road by John O’Neill
Tanith Lee’s Secret Books of Paradys by Matthew David Surridge
Return to The Flat Earth: Reviving a Masterpiece by John R. Fultz
Tanith Lee’s Lionwolf Trilogy by John R. Fultz
See all of our recent Vintage Treasures here.