Berg, Carol

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Berg, Carol

PERSONAL:

Married; husband's name Pete (a mechanical engineer and consultant); children: three sons. Education: Graduated from Rice University and University of Colorado.

ADDRESSES:

Home—CO. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, software engineer, and educator. Worked as a high-school math teacher and as a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Colorado Book Award for genre fiction, 2004; Geffen Award for best translated fantasy, 2005; Prism Award for best romantic fantasy, 2006.

WRITINGS:

"BOOKS OF THE RAI-KIRAH" SERIES; NOVELS

Transformation, ROC (New York, NY), 2000.

Revelation, ROC (New York, NY), 2001.

Restoration, ROC (New York, NY), 2002.

"BRIDGE OF D'ARNATH" SERIES; NOVELS

Son of Avonar, ROC (New York, NY), 2004.

Guardians of the Keep, ROC (New York, NY), 2004.

The Soul Weaver, ROC (New York, NY), 2005.

Daughter of Ancients, ROC (New York, NY), 2005.

"THE LIGHTHOUSE DUET" SERIES; NOVELS

Flesh and Spirit, ROC (New York, NY), 2007.

Breath and Bone, ROC (New York, NY), 2008.

OTHER

Song of the Beast, ROC (New York, NY), 2003.

Also author of novella Unmasking, included in the anthology Elemental Magic, Berkeley Trade (New York, NY), 2007. Author of the blog Carol Berg Amazon. Contributor to blogs, including Deep Genre. Author's works have been translated into six foreign languages.

SIDELIGHTS:

Carol Berg is the author of the "Books of the Rai-Kirah" and the "Bridge of D'Arnath" series of fantasy novels, as well as other works of epic fantasy. The "Books of the Rai-Kirah" series begins with the novel Transformation. Seyonne, a slave, has been captured, brutalized, and stripped of his magical powers. Struggling to survive in his hostile environment, he soon becomes aware that his master and owner, Aleksander, the prince of the Derzhi empire, is a powerful figure who conceals some important hidden talents. Seyonne recognizes the prince's latent magical abilities but does not know how to convince him to act upon them. In the aftermath of a dreadful conspiracy, the prince is forced to flee and become a fugitive in the wake of actions by a race of demons who want to seize control of Derzhi. Determined to save his master, and the kingdom around him, Seyonne takes on the heavy responsibility despite the danger it brings to him. Romantic Times Online reviewer Melinda Helfer called the novel "superbly textured" and "splendidly characterized."

In Revelation, Seyonne has returned home, but he is met with suspicion because of his short-lived role as the lord of the demons who seek to take over the realm. He resumes his role as a magic-wielding warden and continues to do good deeds, even though the kingdom's elders do not trust him. Seyonne still struggles with the changes he has undergone through his years of captivity. Some changes seem to be for the better: he questions unjust and senseless laws and rules. When he encounters a demon who is not evil, he chooses to let the creature live. However, this results in him becoming an outcast in the realm. As he learns more about the demon whose life he saved, he becomes determined to find out why the demons are at war with his homeland. Entering the demon realm itself, he discovers truths that will forever alter him and the world in which he lives. "Carol Berg lights up the sky with a wondrous world that exists in every fantasy fan's imagination," commented Harriet Klausner in a Best Reviews Web site critique.

Restoration, ties together all questions and plot strands from the first two books as Seyonne confronts some of his greatest fears in order to save his friend and former master, Prince Aleksander, now in exile from the kingdom he once stood to inherit. Berg's "enjoyable tale contains a robust storyline, likeable characters and a realistic ending," remarked critic Kelly Rae Cooper, writing in the Romantic Times Online.

The first book in the "Bridge of D'Arnath" series, Son of Avonar, finds Seriana Marguerite of Comigor, a Leiran noblewoman, in exile after her husband, Karon, and son have been branded as sorcerers and killed, the victims of a realm-wide ban on the practice of magic. Soon, she meets D'Nathiel, a fugitive who at first seems dangerous, but soon becomes a valued ally. Since he is unable to speak, D'Nathiel's past is unfathomable, but as Seri continues to attempt to communicate with him, she begins to suspect that he possesses strong magical powers in addition to his warrior's skills. Writing on the Best Reviews Web site, Harriet Klausner remarked, "Imagination harnessed to talent produces a fantasy masterpiece." Berg "has created an intellectual fantasy with deep characterization and a complex world that will be appreciated by epic fantasy readers," commented Ginger Armstrong in Kliatt. Roland Green, writing in Booklist, named the novel a "promising new multivolume work that should provide much intelligent entertainment."

In Guardians of the Keep, Lady Seriana has returned home facing two traumatic events: her brother's death and the resurrection of her husband, Karon, dead for ten years after being burned to death as a sorcerer. To her dismay, Karon remembers nothing about his previous life or his marriage to Seri. Elsewhere, while a sorcerer helps Karon recover his lost memories, Seri's nephew has been kidnapped and systematically corrupted by the Lords of Zhev'Na, a group of rogue sorcerers who intend to destroy the young man and the kingdom's lands as well. "Berg excels at strong world-building and complex, sympathetic characters," commented Romantic Times Online reviewer Jen Tally Exum. Booklist reviewer Frieda Murray remarked that Berg's "characterizations are altogether superior."

The Soul Weaver brings still more changes to the troubled lives of Lady Seriana, Karon, and their son, Gerick, as they continue to resist the dread lords of Zhev'Na. When a murder devastates the Dar'Nethi plan to defeat the Lords of Zhev'Na without violence, the Prince of Avonar must face the possibility that his own son is responsible. When Gerick appears to inflict a terrible enchantment on his wife that leaves her a mindless shell, the Prince vows to execute the youth. Gerick, half crazed with nightmares and visions, and swearing he is wrongly accused, flees beyond the boundaries of the world to a realm of outcasts who believe he is their savior king. As the reluctant Gerick takes on this new responsibility, the Lords of Zhev'Na bring war to the Wastes. Father and son must overcome their mutual distrust to unveil Gerick's hidden talents and root out the true betrayer. Booklist reviewer Frieda Murray called the novel "very good," but recommended reading the previous two books in the series first.

The last book of the "Bridge of D'Arnath" series, Daughter of Ancients, brings Gerick back to magical Gondar to investigate the appearance of the mysterious D'Sanya, who wanders in out of the desert claiming to be the daughter of the ruler of the kingdom from a thousand years ago, held captive by the Zhev'Na until her recent escape. The woman quickly becomes popular throughout the kingdom as a healer and source of hope for the population. As Gerick probes her story, he finds many inconsistencies and determines that D'Sanya is not everything she professes to be. Soon, Gerick must face the memories of his own time among the Zhev'Na and the atrocities he committed as Lord of Zhev'Na. As he struggles with personal guilts and fears, he seeks to uncover the true identity and intention of the perplexing D'Sanya. "Berg's world-building is stellar in this wonderfully written fantasy," Exum remarked in another Romantic Times Online review.

In the novel Song of the Beast, Aidan McAllister has emerged from seventeen years of brutal captivity after being accused of treason when he was twenty-one. Though he was once a brilliant musician, Aidan's music has been silenced by his torturous ordeal, his hands ruined, the music purged from his soul. Even now, Aidan does not know why he was accused by his cousin, the King of Elyria. As the story unfolds, Aidan uncovers the truth piece by piece, even as he discovers his fate among the dragons that are magically enslaved by the Ridemark, a barbaric clan of dragon riders that serves as the kingdom's defense force. Politics and religion figure prominently in Aidan's search for answers and personal redemption. "This book holds appeal even for readers who traditionally shun fantasy," remarked Kliatt reviewer Courtney Lewis. Romantic Times Online reviewer Kelly Rae Cooper remarked that in this novel, Berg offers readers "robust characters in a detailed, multilayered environment." Green, in another Booklist review, concluded that "Berg's intelligence and narrative skill make this stand-alone fantasy most commendable."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 2003, Roland Green, review of Song of the Beast, p. 1651; February 15, 2004, Roland Green, review of Son of Avonar, p. 1047; September 1, 2004, Frieda Murray, review of Guardians of the Keep, p. 74; February 1, 2005, Frieda Murray, review of The Soul Weaver, p. 950.

Kliatt, July, 2003, Courtney Lewis, review of Song of the Beast, p. 28; May, 2004, Ginger Armstrong, review of Son of Avonar, p. 28.

Library Journal, May 15, 2007, Jackie Cassada, review of Flesh and Spirit, p. 82.

MBR Bookwatch, February, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of The Soul Weaver.

ONLINE

Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (June 21, 2001), Harriet Klausner, review of Revelation; (July 20, 2002), Harriet Klausner, review of Restoration; (April 10, 2003), Harriet Klausner, review of Song of the Beast; (January 10, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of Son of Avonar; (August 12, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Daughter of Ancients; (January 30, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of The Soul Weaver.

Broad Universe,http://www.broaduniverse.org/ (November 27, 2007), bibliography of Carol Berg.

Carol Berg Home Page,http://www.sff.net/people/carolberg (November 27, 2007).

Fantastic Fiction Web site,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (November 27, 2007), bibliography of Carol Berg.

Fantasy Literature,http://fantasyliterature.net/ (November 27, 2007), profile of Carol Berg.

Genre Go Round Reviews Web log,http://genregoroundreviews.blogspot.com/ (October 20, 2007), Harried Klausner, review of Breath and Bone.

Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (November 27, 2007), Jen Talley Exum, review of Guardians of the Keep; Kelly Rae Cooper, review of Song of the Beast; Melinda Helfer, review of Transformation; Kelly Rae Cooper, review of Restoration; Jen Talley Exum, review of Daughter of Ancients.

SFFWorld.com,http://www.sffworld.com/ (September 1, 2001), interview with Carol Berg; (March 5, 2004), Kseniya Shabanova, interview with Carol Berg.