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Josepha Sherman

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Josepha Sherman writes novels usually with a strong fairy-tale or legend base and high degree of success. High fantasy with one major difference-- it's done well.


This is classic high fantasy, complete with sword duels, royal brothers, faeries, magic, etc. It's loosely based on an old ballad, and follows the adventures of Aiden, a magician. He makes a promise to help his royal half-brother King Edmund, and from that point on gets in any number of tangles. Angry evil magicians, cultural clashes, etc. Good stuff. THE SHINING FALCON

Set in a long ago Russia that never was, Maria's noble family is wrongly accused of treachery. They narrowly manage to escape to the wild forests where, quite by chance, the magician prince of another city-state stops by. Meanwhile, back at Kirtesk, the prince's relative, Ljuba, is plotting truly treacherous deeds. Prince Finist and Maria must overcome sly young boyars, evil cousins, disapproving fathers, and a host of other factors.


The Horse of Flame is actually a sequel to The Shining Falcon, though it stands up pretty well on its own. Based heavily on Russian folk-lore and mythology, it contains plenty of magical trials, court intrigue, and (as always) True Love. It seemed slightly less fresh than The Shining Falcon, though, and I did not find the protagonists, Princess Marya and her consort Emelian, to be nearly as delightful as Finist and Maria. The title also seemed inappropriate, as the horse in question was not a terribly major character. SON OF DARKNESS

This is actually an urban fantasy set in-- where else-- New York. This time, however, unlike Mercedes Lackey's Bedlam's Bard series, the characters have brains instead of great gushing emotions! Denise is the curator of the Mesopotamian sect of a large museum in NY, and Ilaron is a rich art-dealer (transformed dark elf, but, hey--). When a cult in NYC conjures up an ancient Sumerian demon who threatens the entire city with disease, it's up to them to send it away. At the same time, Ilaron's nemesis from Unseelie has come to pay a little visit...


These are three less original fairy-tale based works for younger readers. Windleaf pretty much follows the plot of The King of Elfland's Daughter (Lord Dunsany), Child of Faerie, Child of Earth follows the Eros and Psyche myth fairly closely, and The Gleaming Box is a mixture of several. Pleasant, but rather slight.

Josepha Sherman has also written a Celtic based series (Prince of the Sidhe, and Forging the Runes) which are not quite as good as King's Son, and there's another fantasy out there I didn't like as much called A Strange and Ancient Name. By the way, I DO NOT recommend the Bard's Tale series-- Castle of Deception, which she co-wrote with Misty, is one of the worst books I've read.