Vintage Treasures: The Shining Falcon by Josepha Sherman

Vintage Treasures: The Shining Falcon by Josepha Sherman

The Shining Falcon-small The Shining Falcon-back-small

Josepha Sherman’s first short story, “The Shrouded Sorceress,” was published in Space & Time in 1981; her first novel was the YA title The Secret of the Unicorn Queen in 1988. She passed away in 2012, leaving behind a rich legacy of written work: 10 anthologies, including In Celebration of Lammas Night (Baen, 1996) and Urban Nightmares (Baen, 1997; with Keith R. A. DeCandido), and over two dozen novels, including media tie-in books for Bard’s Tale, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek, Mage Knight, Highlander, and Xena: Warrior Princess.

But her most acclaimed novel was also her first book for adults, The Shining Falcon. It won the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel of the Year, and was widely praised when it was first released. Esther Friesner called it “A gloriously rich tapestry of pageant, adventure and magic,” and Morgan Llywelyn said, “A world based on Slavic history and mythology, a world both exotc and darkly familiar… darkly brilliant and shimmering with magic.” Library Journal said:

A shape-changing prince, a magic-fearing noblewoman, a jealous princess, and an unscrupulous courtier find their destinies inextricably linked by the forces of love, hate, and magic. Drawing heavily on Slavic mythology for her first adult fantasy, Sherman creates a richly detailed novel with all the charm and readability of a fairy tale. Highly recommended.

Sherman’s other standalone novels include A Strange and Ancient Name (1993), King’s Son, Magic’s Son (1994), and Son of Darkness (1998). The Shining Falcon was published by Avon Books in November 1989. It is 343 pages, priced at $3.95. The cover was by Kinuko Craft. It has never been reprinted in the US. Copies generally aren’t hard to find; I paid $2 for mine at Half Price Books last month.

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