Lindskold, Jane 1962–
Lindskold, Jane 1962–
(Jane M. Lindskold)
Born September 15, 1962, in Washington, DC; daughter of John E. (an attorney) and Barbara (an attorney) Lindskold; married Jim Moore (an archaeologist). Education: Fordham University, B.A., 1984, M.A., 1986, Ph.D., 1989.
Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA, assistant professor, 1989-94; writer, 1994—.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Roger Zelazny, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1993.
(With Roger Zelazny) Chronomaster: The Official Strategy Guide, Prima Communications (Westminster, MD), 1996.
Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls, Avon (New York, NY), 1994.
Marks of Our Brothers, Avon (New York, NY), 1995.
Pipes of Orpheus, Avon (New York, NY), 1995.
Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold's Chronomaster, Prima (Westminster, MD), 1996.
(With Roger Zelazny) Donnerjack, Avon (New York, NY), 1997.
Changer: A Novel of the Athanor, Harper Collins (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Roger Zelazny) Lord Demon, Avon (New York, NY), 1999.
Legends Walking: A Novel of the Athanor, Eos (New York, NY), 1999.
The Buried Pyramid, Tor (New York, NY), 2004.
Child of a Rainless Year, Tor (New York, NY), 2005.
Through Wolf's Eyes, Tor (New York, NY), 2001.
Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart, Tor (New York, NY), 2002.
The Dragon of Despair, Tor (New York, NY), 2003.
Wolf Captured, Tor (New York, NY), 2004.
Wolf Hunting, Tor (New York, NY), 2006.
Wolf's Blood, Tor (New York, NY), 2007.
"BREAKING THE WALL" SERIES
Thirteen Orphans, Tor (New York, NY), 2008.
Also author of short stories.
Fantasy and science fiction novelist Jane Lindskold is the author of numerous stand-alone titles in the genre, two of which were written in collaboration with the writer Roger Zelazny. She has also penned the popular "Firekeeper" series, a six-book sequence detailing the adventures of a noble-born young woman who was raised by wolves. The oldest of four children born to lawyer parents, Lindskold herself was raised in Washington, DC. "The Smithsonian museums were free, as was the National Zoo," Lindskold noted on her author Web site. "Our parents made us comfortable with both. When we grew older they didn't hesitate to let us adventure into either on our own." Summers were spent in a cottage on Chesapeake Bay, when the four siblings would go crabbing. The rest of the year, in Washington, the family was tangentially involved in the local industry: politics. With a grandfather who was a former governor of Ohio, Lindskold and her family had contact with the political life of the nation's capital. Education was also a high priority in their home, with Lindskold attending Catholic schools through high school and then the Jesuit-affiliated Fordham University in New York, where she ultimately earned her doctorate in literature. Though her dissertation focused on the British writer D.H. Lawrence, Lindskold was and has remained an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. Though she took one writing class while in college, she had no dreams of becoming a professional writer at that time. Following graduation, Lindskold took a position as assistant professor of English at Lynchburg College in Virginia. Here she began writing seriously, creating science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, some of which saw later publication. She also wrote a critical study of the science fiction writer Zelazny, a project that ultimately changed her life.
Already married, Lindskold left her husband and her teaching job in Virginia and moved to New Mexico to live with Zelazny, a man who greatly influenced her career, as Lindskold noted on her Web site: "I can't neatly sum up the impact Roger had on my writing. He was impassioned about both the art and the craft. We talked about writing continuously. He gave me books, comics, advice, and support. He told me what I now tell aspiring writers…. Best of all, even when it might have helped me to publish faster or more frequently, Roger never tried to turn me into a clone of himself." By this time, Lindskold had already published her first novel, the 1994 Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls. Other novels followed, and then, as Zelazny was dying, he made Lindskold agree to finish two of his works. The first of these is Donnerjack, a tech thriller set in the future. Long after a worldwide computer network collapses, the virtual reality gods the net created attempt to conquer the human world. Writing in Booklist, Roland Green felt the novel "is one of [Zelazny's] largest and most ambitious," and that Lindskold and Zelazny "tackle a venerable theme with wholly satisfactory competence." Similarly, a Publishers Weekly contributor commented of the collaboration: "It's good to see a master of the form going out on a high note." Lindskold also finished Zelazny's Lord Demon, a tale of a long banished demon, Kai Wren, who threatens to end an unstable peace between his fellow demons by searching for the killer of his human servant. Green, writing in Booklist, thought "there are … no visible seams between [Zelazny's] and [Lindskold's] contributions" in this "absorbing tale, full of delicately nuanced language … [which is] a credit to both authors." A Publishers Weekly reviewer also had praise for this collaborative effort, writing: "Lindskold effectively captures the voices of Zelazny's wisecracking characters and continues the expert blending of magical and mundane that makes his work so enjoyable."
Lindskold was also developing her own voice at this time. In Changer: A Novel of the Athanor and its sequel, Legends Walking: A Novel of the Athanor, she posits an alternate world shared by immortals, the athanor, that humans have turned into mythological tales, such as the King Arthur tales and the Greek and Norse myths. The beings from this world live beside humans but cannot be detected. In the first novel, a shape-changing coyote, Changer, enlists the aid of Arthur to track down the killers of his family. Writing in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Charles de Lint remarked on "Lindskold's ability to tell a fast-paced, contemporary story that still carries the weight and style of old mythological story cycles." In Legends Walking the story focuses on Shahrazad, daughter of Changer. De Lint, writing in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, had praise for this novel, noting that "Lindskold manages to give us all the delightful elements that made Changer the treat it was, while still covering new ground."
Other stand-alone titles from Lindskold include The Buried Pyramid, an adventure set in the 1870s about a hunt for an Egyptian pharaoh's treasures, and Child of a Rainless Year, something of a magical realist fantasy about a middle-aged woman who attempts to discover the truth about her mother, who disappeared when the protagonist was a young girl. A Kirkus Reviews critic described The Buried Pyramid as a book about "a young pistol-packing American girl [who] accompanies her uncle, a wealthy British archaeologist, on a Victorian-era quest up the Nile." The reviewer felt that "a wildly unbelievable climax that undercuts strongly realistic beginnings." A Publishers Weekly reviewer was more positive about this book, however, observing: "Lindskold does a fine job of describing the English lifestyle of the day and ancient Egyptian rituals." A similar assessment was offered by Library Journal reviewer Jackie Cassada, who concluded that The Buried Pyramid is "a tale of mysticism and derring-do that should appeal to both adult and YA fantasy fans." Reviewing Child of a Rainless Year for the Bookslut Web site, Colleen Mondor found it "luminous" and "a very mature fantasy." De Lint, writing in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, thought that the novel was "a career high for Lindskold." Likewise, a contributor for Publishers Weekly termed Child of a Rainless Year "an extremely enjoyable read," while Library Journal reviewer Cassada found it a "powerfully written tale of art and life."
Lindskold has also completed the six-part "Firekeeper" series. The first novel in that sequence, Through Wolf's Eyes, introduces the fifteen-year-old Firekeeper, who returns to human society after being raised by a pack of wolves with special gifts. She has help in making the adjustment, for she is accompanied by the wolf Blind Seer. It turns out that Firekeeper is Lady Blysse Kestrel, the only other member of the family of King Tedric, whose throne is heavily contested. Thus Firekeeper finds herself immediately caught up in human intrigue, which she continues to view through the prism of her wolf culture and training. Reviewing the first installment in the series, Booklist contributor Paula Luedtke observed, "Lindskold's engrossing, fast-paced yarn about a strong heroine will delight anyone who appreciates the wild side of the feminine psyche." A Publishers Weekly contributor also had praise for this title, calling it a "beautiful and complex book" Lindskold continues her saga in Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart, "a stirring sequel," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer who noted: "Human behavior and the pack mentality remain at intriguing odds as Lady Blysse Kestrel, aka Firekeeper, plunges deeper into the workings of human society." Not all reviewers were pleased by the series, however. A Kirkus Reviews critic noted of the second installment: "Firekeeper remains Lindskold's only compelling character in a story buried in monotonous subplots and overly familiar high-fantasy intrigues." The third novel in the sequence, The Dragon of Despair, finds Firekeeper better adapting to human society and court life as she is now settled in the court of Hawk Haven. Now she must battle the wicked schemes of the sorceress Melina Shield in a "a standout fantasy saga," as Library Journal contributor Cassada called the third novel and the entire series. With The Dragon of Despair, Lindskold completed the first major story arc of the "Firekeeper" series.
In Wolf Captured, Firekeeper is kidnapped by an animal worshipping people, the Liglimoshti, who want her to teach them her ability to communicate with animals. A Publishers Weekly reviewer found this an "exciting book," and one that displayed "an increase in pace and greater character depth" that the first three books in the series. With Wolf Hunting, Firekeeper is entrusted with the mission of returning sanity to the magical jaguar, Truth. Termed a "thrilling fifth installment" by a Publishers Weekly contributor, this tale also was commended by SF Site Web site reviewer Steve Lazarowitz, who called it "an exceptional book from a talented author." In the concluding volume of the saga, Wolf's Blood, Firekeeper must discover the origin of a plague that long ago destroyed the sorcerers who ruled the Old World. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that "this volume rewards patience with a thought-provoking tale of magic and politics, enlivened by Firekeeper's wry and wolfish point-of-view."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August 1, 1997, Roland Green, review of Donnerjack, p. 1887; August 1, 1999, Roland Green, review of Lord Demon, p. 2038; June 1, 2001, Paula Luedtke, review of Through Wolf's Eyes, p. 1856; October 15, 2002, Paula Luedtke, review of Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart, p. 395; August 1, 2003, Paula Luedtke, review of The Dragon of Despair, p. 1968; May 1, 2005, Regina Schroeder, review of Child of a Rainless Year, p. 1575; March 1, 2006, Paula Luedtke, review of Wolf Hunting, p. 76.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart, p. 1183; June 1, 2003, review of The Dragon of Despair, p. 784; May 15, 2004, review of The Buried Pyramid, p. 478.
Kliatt, July 1, 2005, Sherry Hoy, review of The Buried Pyramid, p. 30; November 1, 2006, Lesley Farmer, review of Child of a Rainless Year, p. 28.
Library Journal, October 15, 1997, Susan Hamburger, review of Donnerjack, p. 97; July 1, 1999, Jackie Cassada, review of Lord Demon, p. 142; August 1, 2001, Jackie Cassada, review of Through Wolf's Eyes, p. 171; October 15, 2002, Jackie Cassada, review of Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart, p. 97; July 1, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of The Dragon of Despair, p. 132; May 15, 2004, Jackie Cassada, review of The Buried Pyramid, p. 118; November 15, 2004, Jackie Cassada, review of Wolf Captured, p. 55; May 15, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of Child of a Rainless Year, p. 112.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 1, 1997, Charles de Lint, review of Donnerjack, p. 26; February 1, 1999, Charles de Lint, review of Changer: A Novel of the Athanor, p. 30; December 1, 1999, Charles de Lint, review of Lord Demon, p. 29; July 1, 2000, Charles de Lint, review of Legends Walking: A Novel of the Athanor, p. 27; January 1, 2006, Charles de Lint, review of Child of a Rainless Year, p. 34.
Publishers Weekly, June 30, 1997, review of Donnerjack, p. 70; July 5, 1999, review of Lord Demon, p. 63; July 23, 2001, review of Through Wolf's Eyes, p. 54; September 30, 2002, review of Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart, p. 54; July 14, 2003, review of The Dragon of Despair, p. 61; May 3, 2004, review of The Buried Pyramid, p. 176; October 25, 2004, review of Wolf Captured, p. 32; April 4, 2005, review of Child of a Rainless Year, p. 47; January 9, 2006, review of Wolf Hunting, p. 36; January 15, 2007, review of Wolf's Blood, p. 36.
BookLoons, http://www.bookloons.com/ (May 18, 2008), Hilary Williamson, review of Through Wolf's Eyes.
Bookslut, http://www.bookslut.com/ (May 18, 2008), Colleen Mondor, review of Child of a Rainless Year.
Debbie Daughetee Web site, http://dls3001.livejournal.com/ (June 22, 2007), interview with Jane Lindskold.
Fantasy Book Spot, http://www.fantasybookspot.com/ (May 18, 2008), review of Through Wolf's Eyes.
Fantasy Freaks, http://www.fantasyfreaks.org/ (May 18, 2008), review of Lord Demon.
Green Man Review, http://www.greenmanreview.com/ (May 18, 2008), review of The Dragon of Despair.
Jane Lindskold Home Page, http://www.janelindskold.com (May 18, 2008).
Midwest Book Review, http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (May 18, 2008), Harriet Klausner, review of The Buried Pyramid and Wolf Captured.
Romantic Times Online, http://www.romantictimes.com/ (May 18, 2008), review of The Buried Pyramid.
SciFi.com, http://www.scifi.com/ (April 30, 2007), John Joseph Adams, review of Wolf's Blood.
SF Site, http://www.sfsite.com/ (May 18, 2008), Robert Francis, review of Lord Demon, Steve Lazarowitz, review of Wolf Hunting.
Simegen, http://www.simegen.com/ (May 18, 2008), Harriet Klausner, review of Child of a Rainless Year.
Women Writers, http://www.womenwriters.net/ (June 6, 2005), Kim Wells, review of Child of a Rainless Year.