Black Trillium

~ 1st Novel in the Trillium Series by Andre Norton

& Marion Zimmer Bradley and Julian May


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Black Trillium

 

 

Synopsis ~

Write-up from the back of paperback edition ~

In an unprecedented literary event, three of fantasy’s most beloved names have combined their talents to create a supremely rich tale of magic, humor, insight, and love…
Black Trillium
Ruwenda is a pleasant, peaceful land -- but the magic of its guardian, the Archimage Binah, is waning. Binah must pass along her protector-ship to the triplet princess of Ruwenda. She bestows upon the infant girls the power of the rare and mystical Black Trillium-badge of the royal house, symbol of an ancient magic. While the sisters blossom into beautiful young women, neighboring Labornok use a dark magician to sunder Binah's protection. As invaders pour into Ruwenda, the Archimage orders the princesses to flee-and changes them to search for three magical talismans which when brought together will be their only chance to regain their kingdom and free its people. Each must accomplish her task separately-and to succeed - each must also confront and conquer the limits of her own soul.

 

Write-up from the back of the UK paperback edition ~

Those with the Gift have the Power…
Late one stormy night three infant 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…
Marion Bradley, Julian May and Andre Norton – separately each author has millions of books in print and a legion of devoted fans. Now in Black Trillium they’ve combined their formidable talents to produce a masterpiece of breathtaking imagination which will captivate old and new readers alike. 

 During a conversation with Andre about the release of this story she told me that her, Marion, & Julian each took one of the sisters and wrote that part of the story. When I asked her which sister was hers she replied “Have you read the book?” When I answered no she instructed me to “Read the book and figure it out myself”. So as you read this wonderful story try to figure out who wrote what. (Spoiler Alert) If you want to figure it out for yourself - do not read the front flap of dust jacket.

 

Write-up from the front flap of the dustjacket ~

When three brilliant talents unite in crafting a single tale, the results is nothing less than magical – and an unprecedented literary event. Individually, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, and Andre Norton have won the love and admiration of millions of readers. Together, their combined mastery of the storytelling art has resulted in a supremely rich fantasy epic, replete with keen insight, gripping drama, sly humor, and unforgettable characters. It is the story of Black Trillium.
The country of Ruwenda is a fruitful and pleasant land, where human and Oddling coexist in peace under the ancient guardianship of the Archimage Binah. Yet even the longest lived must fade at last – and Binah’s magic wanes, Ruwenda grows increasingly vulnerable.
The Archimage’s only course is to pass along her protectorship – yet even she cannot guess the outcome of this uncertain act. She can only hope… and soon thereafter she attends the birth of the triplet princesses of Ruwenda. There the Archimage bestows upon the infant girls the power of the rare and mythical Black Trillium, badge of the royal house and symbol of an ancient magic no longer understood by any human on Ruwenda.
As the sisters blossom into beautiful young women, Binah’s worst fears are relized. The King of neighboring Labarnok has summoned a magician of his own, one whose dark allegiances enable him now, at last, to sunder Binah’s protection. As invaders pour into Ruwenda, the Archimage orders the princesses to flee – and charges them to search for the three magical talismans, which brought together will be their only chance to regain their kingdom and free its people. Each must accomplish her task separately. And to succeed, each must also confront and conquer the limits of her own soul…
Harimis. Eldest and heir to her father’s lost throne, her fascination with power tempts her to a dangerous alliance. Introspective Haramis was created by Marrion Zimmer Bradley, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Mist of Avalon and the popular Darkover series.
Kadiya. The fiery huntress must overcome her impetuous nature if all three sisters are to succeed. Quick tempered Kadiya was written by Andre Norton, whose Witch World novels are beloved by readers of all ages.
Anigel. Sweel but timid, she is fated to face the perils of unknown terrain… and the love of a fierce enemy. Lovely, innocent Anigel was drawn by Julian May, acclaimed author of the five-book Saga of Pliocene Exile.
Together for the first time, these three remarkable talents have created a story brimming with magic, mystery, and love – the story of Black Trillium.

 

Write-ups from fans ~

Triplet sisters are born the to King and Queen of Ruwenda, a Kingdom whose royal symbol is a black trillium flower.  Naturally, the girls come to be referred to as the Royal Trillium.  Haramis, the oldest, is the designated heir; Kadiya, the second child, is more interested in the companionship of the Oddlings who inhabit the swamp around the capital city; Anigel, the youngest, was the most feminine of the three.  The neighboring Kingdom of Labornok coveted the assets of Ruwenda, and schemed to conquer the kingdom.  But the Archmage Binah protected it too well.  However, even Archmages come to the end of a lifetime, and Binah's powers began to fail, and Labornok invaded, killing the King and Queen and despoiling the city.  The triplet sisters, however, escaped, and following Binah's advice each searched out one part of a talisman that enabled them to defeat the evil sorcerer who was the power behind the throne of Labornok, thereby defeating the King, leaving the rule to his son, who had already fallen in love with Anigel. ~ SL

 

Great Read, but, warning--It shifts point-of-view between four characters.
This one can't have been too easy to write. Coordinating the tale between three writers across the country was a prodigious feat that might have daunted lesser-talented authors.
Triplet princesses are on the run from the soldiers of Labornok, a neighboring kingdom who has conquered Ruwenda. They have to deal with all kinds of environmental dangers as well as the minions of the invaders' evil sorcerer, Orogastus. The dying Archimage, Binah (whose weakness allowed the invasion) has given the Princesses each a quest to find a talisman that when united will prove to be a formidable weapon against Evil and will help restore balance to Ruwenda. Scholarly Haramis, written by Bradley has to find the "Three-Winged Circle". Rash impetuous warrior Kadiya written by Andre, has to find the "Three-Lobed Burning Eye". Sweet, frivolous Anigel must track down the "Three-Headed Monster." They encounter several different aboriginal tribes of furry people, some helpful creatures and unexpected allies including a love interest for one of them and a temptation for another. There is lots of magic as well as technology from the "Vanished Ones", a highly advanced people who died out millennia before. The Princesses wear magic Amulets each containing a bud of a Black Trillium, the mystic flower of Ruwenda. They must discover the uses and limitations of the pendants on their own. These quests must be finished by the "Feast of the Three Moons". These authors seemed to compete in piling much grief and stumbling blocks in their princess's path. I believe that Andre framed the story and wrote the sections where the princesses interact. They each wrote sequels to this book, each being the further adventures of their own princess. ~ PG

 

KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issue: 1990
Three top fantasy stars combine in this tale of three royal sisters--whose combined magical powers save their kingdom from evil invaders. The Queen of Ruwenda gives birth to triplet daughters. The White Lady, magical protector of the kingdom, comes to aid in their birth, and gives each of them an amulet made of the Black Trillium--a rare flower that grows in the swamps of Ruwenda--and prophesies that the children are destined to save the kingdom. Years later, Voltrik, the greedy King of neighboring Labornok, invades Ruwenda, aided by an evil sorcerer. Knowing of the prophecy, Voltrik and his sorcerer intend to kill the three sisters, now young women: scholarly Haramis, shy Anigel, and Kadiya, lover of the woods and deep swamps. The three princesses escape, are separated, and undergo various trials; they grow in strength as they discover their true inner natures. At the end, they unite--along with the swamp people--to defeat Voltrik and fulfill their magical destinies. The somewhat formulaic plot aside, this is an inventive quest fantasy with strong characters and a well. realized setting--quite worthy of the considerable talents involved. 

 

Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles about Andre

1990 Kirkus Reviews
1990 by Richard E. Geis in Science Fiction Review Vol.1 #3 (fnz), Autumn
1990 by Carolyn Cushman in Locus, #355, August
1991 by Baird Searles in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, March
1991 by Wendy Bradley in Interzone #46, April
1991 by Martin Brice in Vector #161, June/July
1991 by Steven Sawicki in Science Fiction Review, December
1992 by Lynne Bispham in Paperback Inferno #95, April/May

 

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Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

To Uwe Luserke
who planted the seed of the Black Trillium

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1990) Published by Doubleday Foundation, HC, 0-385-26185-3, 978-0-385-26185-2, $19.95, 410pg ~ cover by Mark Harrison, map by Claudia Carlson {Black Paper Boards & Gray Paper Spine, Maps on end pages}
  • (1990) Published by SFBC, HC, # 17364, $8.98, 410pg ~ cover by Mark Harrison, map by Claudia Carlson {Gray Paper Boards & Black Paper Spine, Maps on end pages, # 17364 on Rear of Dust Jacket}
  • (1991) Excerpt: in Spectra: A Galaxy of Bestsellers, Published by Bantam Spectra, PB, 0-553-18056-8, 978-0-553-18056-5, $Free, 54pgs. ~ "Anthology of 10 excerpts from Bantam Spectra books for Summer 1991. Five of the excerpts are from paperback reprints, books are already available in hardcover or trade paperback editions. This is a free promotional anthology available in bookstores and at the ABA" (pgs. 24-30)
  • (1991) Published by Grafton Overseas, PB, 0-586-21102-0, 978-0-586-21102-1, £4.99, 491pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Geoff Taylor ~ This is an “Open Market” edition and is available only in non-English-speaking countries.
  • (1991) Published by Grafton, TP, 0-246-13733-9, 978-0-246-13733-3, £7.99, 347pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Geoff Taylor
  • (1991) Published by Grafton, HC, 0-246-13717-7, 978-0-246-13717-3, £13.99, 347 pgs. ~ UK printing ~ cover by Geoff Taylor
  • (1991) Published by Bantam Spectra, PB, 0-553-29079-7, 978-0-553-29079-0, $5.99 US $6.99 Canadian, 503pg ~ cover by Mark Harrison, stepback illustrated by Larry Elmore, maps by Claudia Carlson
  • (2001) Published by Voyager, PB, 0-586-21102-0, 978-0-586-21102-1, £4.99, 491pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Geoff Taylor
  • (2011) Published by Gateway/Orion, DM, 0-575-11395-2, 978-0-575-11395-4, £4.99, 491pgs. ~ UK release
  • (2015) Published by Open Road Media, DM, 978-1-4976-6117-2, $7.99, 36pgs. ~ cover by Angela Goddard
  • (2015) Published by Open Road Media, PB, 978-1-4976-8490-4, $16.99, 368pgs ~ cover by Angela Goddard

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (1991) Published in Copenhagen, Denmark; by Gyldendal, PB, 87-017-2994-2, 231pg ~ translation by Jan Lyderik ~ Danish Title Den sorte Trillium
  • (1993) Published in Copenhagen, Denmark; by Gyldendals Bogklubber, PB, 87005-3795-0 ~ translation by Jan Lyderik ~ Danish Title Den sorte Trillium
  • (1991) Published in Amsterdam; by Utrecht: Het Spectrum, PB, 90-274-2258-3, 371pg ~ translation by Dons Reerink ~ Dutch Title De Zwarte Trillium
  • (1991) Published in Paris, France; by Oliver Orban, PB, 28-556-5640-0, 396pg ~ translation by Monique Lebailly ~ cover by Mark Harrison ~ French Title Les trois amazones
  • (1992) Published in Paris, France; by Pocket, PB, 22-660-5085-0, 396pg ~ translation by Monique Lebailly ~ cover by Wojtek Siudmak ~ French Title Les trois amazones
  • (2000) Published in Paris, France; by Pocket, PB, 22-661-0683-X, 396pg ~ translation by Monique Lebailly ~ French Title Les trois amazones
  • (2009) Published in Paris, France; by LGF, PB, 22-530-8984-2, 637pg ~ translation by Monique Lebailly ~ French Title Les trois amazones
  • (1995) Published in Munich, Germany; by Heyne, 35-530-9221-X, 541pg ~ translation by Marion Balkenhol ~ German title Die zauberin von Ruwenda
  • (1995) Published in Germany; by Rheda-Wiedenbrück: Bertlesmann-Club, OCLC: 312129550, 542pg ~ translation by Marion Balkenhol ~ German title Die zauberin von Ruwenda
  • (1990) Published in Milan, Italy; by Longanesi, 88-304-0981-2, 546pg ~ translation by Edo Belfanti and Stefano Mosetti ~ illustrated by Mark Harrison ~ Italian title Il giglio nero
  • (1993) Published in Milan, Italy; by TEA, 88-781-9428-X, 546pg ~ translation by Edo Belfanti and Stefano Mosetti ~ illustrated by Marina Romagnoli ~ Italian title Il giglio nero
  • (1995) Published in Poland; by Amber, 83-708-2921-X, 238pg ~ translation by Ewa Witecka ~ cover by Mark Harrison ~ Polish title Czarne Trillium
  • (1993) Published in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; by Rocco, 85-325-0127-3, 468pg ~ translation by Aulyde Soares Rodrigues ~ Portuguese title O Trílio Negro
  • (1996) Published in Moscow, by Armada, 5-763-20093-4, HC, 512pg ~ translation by M. Ishkova ~ cover by S. Tsylov ~ Russian title Чёрный Триллиум
  • (2002) Combined with "Blood Trillium" by Julian May translation by E. Ghuprov ~ Published in Moscow, by Eksmo and St. Petersburg, by Valerie SPD, 0-5-699-01081-5, HC, 1056pg ~ "Black Trillium" translation by M. Ishkova ~ cover by Stephen Youll ~ Russian title Черный Кровавый Триллиум [Black Blood Trillium]
  • (1992) Published in Barcelona, Spain: by Ediciones B, S.A., 84-406-2538-3 ~ translation by Mirta Rosenberg ~ cover by Maroto ~ spanish title El Triilium Negro

 

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