“Yes, I will write Captal’s Tower,” Mealnie Rawn revealed to her fans on Kate Elliott’s blog yesterday. Anyone who’s followed Rawn’s career knows what huge news this is, but for those that aren’t familiar with Rawn’s Exiles trilogy, know that the path to the trilogy’s conclusion has been slow and fraught with peril.

“I’m very sorry it’s taken so long. My sincere thanks to all of you who have been so patient,” Rawn told fans. “I’m currently writing the fifth book in the Glass Thorns series, and after that my plan is to get to work on Captal’s Tower.”

The Captal’s Tower is the final volume of Rawn’s Exiles trilogy, which began in 1994 with The Ruins of Ambrai. Fans have been waiting for the end of Collan Rosvenir’s tale since the 1997 release of the second volume, The Mageborn Traitor. Personal issues, including clinical depression, prevented Rawn from completing work on The Captal’s Tower in the late ’90s.

This is, of course, fantastic news for fans of the trilogy, who have been waiting for 17 years for its conclusion, and great news for Rawn, who begins work on a project that has long cast a shadow over her other works of fiction during the past two decades. Time is often the best and only medicine for such illness. Though work on The Captal’s Tower stalled, Rawn has been a productive author during that period of time, publishing six novels and several short stories.

In the author’s note for her novel, Spellbinder, published in 2007, Rawn addressed the issue surrounding To Captal’s Tower. “To those who are disappointed that this isn’t another book — The Captal’s Tower or an offering the Golden Key or Dragon Prince universes — well, what can I tell you?” she wrote. “Life happens. So does clinical depression. […] When I was able to write again, I wanted — needed — to do something entirely different than anything I’d done before.”

As one can imagine, Rawn has faced criticism similar to that directed toward popular authors such as George R.R. Martin, Scott Lynch, and Patrick Rothfuss. However, the enthusiasm and hunger for The Captal’s Tower remains strong and speaks to the quality of the first two volumes in the trilogy. This seems as good a time as any to reread Neil Gaiman’s wonderful post about reader entitlement.

There is no release date for The Captal’s Tower, and Rawn has said on her website that it can take anywhere from “18 months to five years” for her to write a book. So, be excited, but also patient.

For more Melanie Rawn-goodness, Judith Tarr’s recently began a re-read of The Dragon Prince trilogy for Tor.com, which is a great way to revisit a genre classic.

  • Matt July 23, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    This is great news! I will be patiently awaiting (and re-reading the first two books in the series).

    The re-read going on over at Tor.com is fantastic, btw.

  • Lela July 24, 2014 at 3:51 am

    It is very encouraging and inspiring that someone as smart and creative as Melanie Rawn is (and hopefully can be) so forthcoming about life and clinical depression.
    I am, like Matt, glad to await the coming book!

  • Leela McMullen March 27, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    The first two books of this series played a massive role in shaping who I grew up to be. Reading The Captal’s Tower at last, as an adult, might just be a blessing in disguise. I’ve waited this long. I can wait until it is finished – as long as it IS finished in my lifetime (and Melanie Rawn’s, of course!) Curiosity is going to be gnawing at me until that one mystery is solved, though!

  • Colagirl April 20, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Great news, been waiting for this since the 90s. Really looking forward to this one!

  • Brandi April 21, 2015 at 2:28 am

    Ithat would be one thing for any author to take a break AFTER writing a series or a trilogy. But it is something completely different to be drawn into a world starting almost 20 years ago, required the purchase of 8 books to get to the last one and at the time we were all told Melanie needed a break. OK, I could see taking a year to regroup – but to my dismay, she had started writing completely different series or more specifically short stories. And for the past 20 years we readers have heard rumor after rumor and not to be harsh, but at this point I do not careally if you were or still areally in the middle of a nuclear reactor meltdown. I, as did hundreds of thousands of people made you incredibly RICH, by paying for your books just to have you selfishly say sorry, but thank you for your patience. Well, not anymore, there come a point where all you ridiculous, self-indulgent, diva wannabes, author that you actually finish what you start. Rothfuss this goes for you too. I, and my extremely large group of book collectors have decided that from here on out, authors get two years only in between writing/releasing the next book in line or you will no longer get our business.
    Why don’t you all take a lesson from Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, R.A.Salvatore and of course Brandon Sanderson and achieve what they have – they keep their promises and deliver quality product everytime. There are of course many other authors out there that do exactly that as well, but we could very well spend an entire week listing you all. Brandon alone is like a machine, and yet he continues to finish series in timely manners while actually having several going at one time how he keeps it all straight is nothing short of amazing and yet Melanie and Patrick, the two of you can’t even finish one book. Stop working on other projects and finish the ones you started- you obviously cannot multi-task like Brandon. So get with it or lose our business forever.
    Thank you

  • Robert Stultz April 27, 2015 at 2:52 am

    This is very good news to hear that Melanie is finishing the Exiles trilogy! As a fan of both George R. R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss, I’ve learned patience. So, what’s a 17 year wait for a conclusion!

  • Sundae May 6, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    I’m happy to hear that Melanie is still working forward to finish one of my favorite series.
    Having depression affects all parts of a person’s life and is sometimes hard to work through and I’m encouraged to hear that she has found a way to do what she feels she has to to help herself.
    If someone is a real fan of an author the amount of time to wait for another book to come out shouldn’t matter, especially if the author apologizes and gives a valid reason for the delay.

  • zeldafitzgerald May 19, 2015 at 12:57 am

    “required the purchase of 8 books”

    what series were you reading?

  • Gobstruck May 26, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Is it just me? I find Brandi’s post above disrespectful and quite dim witted.

    Read Gaiman’s blog on entitlement, find some empathy for clinical depression then understand you paid her for what you have consumed already, she owes you nothing on your timescale, you obviously rate what you have paid for so far quite highly or you wouldn’t be banging on about it..

    I suspect the majority of authors would happily tell you and your “extremely large group” to foxtrot oscar..

  • carolyn June 17, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Thank you for thinking about starting to write the third book in the Exiles series. Great news about your continued recovery. Keep on keeping on.

  • Dragonchef June 22, 2015 at 7:21 am

    I know what it’s like to have depression; had it most of my life. A great many things I started out to conquer, only to leave them half conquered later in my quest.
    Melanie, I have read your Dragon Prince series and fell in love with your style and voice. I continued on to read the first two of Exiles and became distraught when The Captal’s Tower never materialized. Years later I learned of your dilemma and hoped that maybe one day you would finish. Years drifted by with no word on the third book, during which time I read other good books written by many great authors. And soon you were placed in stasis, only thought of once maybe twice a year with a brief search on the internet for your status. But alas, through the years there was no real indication of change, until now. I think I still have the first two Exiles somewhere, and will most likely dust them off – if I can find them, and if not repurchase – and re-read when the Tower comes available. I am definitely looking forward to it. I am glad you are doing better in life and health. Blessings to you.

  • B. Hudson July 21, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I hope this is true. The Exiles series are two of my favorite books and I have never wanted a finale for a series more than I do this one.

    I understand why she hasn’t finished the series and while it made me sad, I simply accepted it would never be written. While I have concerns about its final quality given the length of the hiatus and her temporal and emotional distance from writing the original material, I would still buy this in a heartbeat and devour it in greedily like I did the first two books if it were released (after going back and re-reading the original two).

    Either way, I hope she’s doing well and finds as much enjoyment revisiting her world as I have in reading about it.

  • hueyduck55 August 1, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I was so intrigued to read the Exiles series anstill wait with baited breath for the Captals Tower. I too have hasd issues with depression and I’m sure everyone and their idiot cousin has all kinds of therapy to deal with it. Just want to send love and encouragement and a time of peace and quiet to finish this outstanding story. not to put much pressure on you but i am 60 and would prefer not to hear itt at my funeral. lol

  • billy August 17, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    i reread this trilogy every year in august its kinda a ritual’. so i am very happy to here she is going to finish it i can’t wait!!!