Cover image for Mortal suns
Mortal suns
Lee, Tanith.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Woodstock, N.Y. : Overlook Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
335 pages : map ; 24 cm
Format :


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Epic in scope and thrilling in detail, Mortal Suns is set in the corridors of power in the mythical kingdom of Akhemony, which recalls the world of Ancient Greece. Acclaimed author Tanith Lee transports her readers to an ominous yet seductive alternate universe, where fate arganises the forces of nature to bring ruin to those who dare to control it. Horrible screams pierce the night as Daystar, The queen of Akhemony, wrestles with the delivery of the king's child, beautifully formed except for its lack of feet. Cast away, the child returns later in life to reclaim the throne.

Author Notes

Tanith Lee, September 19, 1947 - May 24, 2015 Tanith Lee was born on September 19, 1947 in London, England, the daughter of ballroom dancers. She attended various primary schools and had a variety of jobs, from file clerk and assistant librarian to shop assistant and waitress. Lee attended an art college for one year, but felt she would be better writing her ideas than painting them.

Her first professional sale was "Eustace," a 90 page vignette which appeared in The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories in 1968. While Lee was working as an assistant librarian, she wrote a children's story that was accepted for publication. Others of her stories were also bought but never published. In 1971, Macmillan published "The Dragon Hoard," another children's book, which was followed by "Animal Castle" and "Princess Hynchatti and Other Stories" in 1972.

Lee was looking for a British publisher for her book "The Birthgrave," but was denied at every House she went. She then wrote to American publisher DAW, known for it's fantasy and horror selections, who immediately accepted her manuscript and published the book in 1975. Thus began a partnership between the two that lasted till 1989 and resulted in 28 books. After the publication of her third book by DAW, Lee quit her job and became a full-time freelance writer.

Lee has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, the August Derleth Award and the Nebula. She has had more than 40 novels published, along with over 200 short stories.

Lee died peacefully in her sleep after a long illness on May 24, 2015.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lee presents the marvelous world of Akhemony, where the sun is worshiped and the Heart Drum of the kingdom is never silent, lest the heart of the kingdom cease to beat. One of the queens of Akhemony struggles to give birth to the king's child, a beautiful but seriously crippled girl--she is born without feet. Her mother immediately consigns her to the Temple of Death. Yet, later, the girl is retrieved from doom, raised as a princess of the kingdom, and eventually chosen as consort to its king. From that station, she witnesses the downfalls of the kings and of traditional ways. Lee embellishes this reasonably simple plot with great richness of detail, and she makes Akhemony, though it calls to mind a number of places in our world's history, a unique place. As is her wont, Lee weaves style, subject, and characters into a seamless whole. --Frieda Murray Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in a world resonant with the myths and legends of ancient Greece, Tanith Lee's latest fantasy, Mortal Suns, tells the tale of Sirai, a princess born with a terrible deformity-no feet. After a slow start, the story gathers momentum to reach an enthralling conclusion that holds the promise of further adventures for Sirai. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Fantasy author Lee (White as Snow) excels at creating exotic worlds similar to our own but different enough to jar our perception and entice us. Some of her creative spark infuses this latest novel, but unfortunately it is not strong enough to sustain a mediocre story. Deformed at birth, Callistra is sent by her mother, one of King Akreon's young wives, to the Temple of Thon, god of the underworld, where she is expected to perish. Instead, Callistra survives and is eventually brought back to the kingdom of Akhemony. Magic and reality work side by side at the Court of the Great Sun. For a brief time, Callistra herself is a consort to her brother/king. But tragedy stalks the heirs of the kingdom, and in the end, the dynasty is doomed. The plot itself is not particularly involving, but the book still contains strong elements of Lee's mesmerizing prose. Because Lee is quite popular among fantasy readers, her book should be considered for purchase by public libraries where fantasy is in demand.-Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Columbia, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Qerabp. 9
Stroia 1 Birth: The House of Deathp. 13
Stroia 2 The Snake, the Eaglep. 59
Stroia 3 The Eagle Grips the Sunp. 153
Kepstroip. 225
Stroia 4 Thunder, and Nightp. 233
Stroia 5 Sun's Isle: The Last Marchp. 293
Telestroionp. 329
Qutmp. 333