Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Black Trillium (The Saga of the Trillium, #1)” as Want to Read:
Black Trillium (The Saga of the Trillium, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Black Trillium

(The Saga of the Trillium #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  3,693 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Ruwenda is a pleasant, peaceful land-but the magic of its guardian, the Archimage Binah, is waning.  Binah must pass along her protectorship to the triplet princess of Ruwenda.  She bestows upon the infant girls the power of the rare and mystical Black Trillium-badge of the royal house, symbol of an ancient magic.  While the sisters blossom into beautiful young women, neig ...more
Paperback, 503 pages
Published June 1st 1991 by Spectra Books (first published 1990)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Black Trillium, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Black Trillium

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,693 ratings  ·  106 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Angela
Jun 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Honest to God, worst fantasy book I've ever read. Incoherent, predictable, and dull. Princess sisters whose personalities can be summed up by their hair colors! Red = hot-tempered! Blonde = Good, gentle, and naive! Black = brooding and mysterious! A reluctantly evil, yet handsome prince who becomes good through the power of loooove... for the pure-hearted blonde, of course. The entire book revolves around a magic flower. A magic macguffin flower.
Jessica
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I got a copy of this from the Science Fiction Book Club when I was in junior high! Wow! I remember it so vividly! Each author took one sister and wrote her story, about how they each searched for one part of a three-fold magical talisman to save their kingdom. Triplet princesses, one with red hair, one blonde, and one with black hair (because that makes total sense). One is a warrior, one is a sorceress, and one is . . . sweet and noble . . . ? Whatever, she was the blonde. This is the kind of t ...more
April Biederman
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites! This book is written by three authors about three sister princesses. At the beginning the sisters are together. After there castle is attacked they split up and each goes on her own journey. Each author writes a chapter about a princess. I had a hard time putting the book down because at the end of each chapter there was a cliff hanger. I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next.
Amanda
Disclaimer: I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Black Trillium was first published in the early nineties, a joint effort of three respected fantasy authors now turning their collective attentions toward a trio of three royal sisters who are fated to restore balance to the world.



It's now being republished with a neat new cover but, unfortunately, the formulaic story with three heroines who may as well be stock characters for all of the depth they do not possess
...more
Katey
Sep 29, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was pretty disappointing. Each of the three stories had potential, but fell very flat. The first 150 pages were very difficult to get through. In the end it was an okay story, but I doubt most people would want to slog through the beginning to get to the mediocre ending. If I read the sequels I'll be getting them out of the library, not buying them. Not even from the used bookstore.

I think the basic problem with this book is that each of the authors needed more time to develop her char
...more
Autumn Is Azathoth
REVIEW: BLACK TRILLIUM by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, Andre Norton
[THE SAGA OF THE TRILLIUM #1]

I first read this classic in the 90's (originally published in 1990) and I remember being both astounded, and overtaken by joy. It was my first introduction to Julian May, though not of course to Andre Norton [who authored the first book I really remember reading, LORD OF THUNDER] nor to Marion Zimmer Bradley. I have stated many times that generally I am not a fantasy person; but in the hands of
...more
Patrick
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book.

The story is fairly formulaic, probably as a result of the collaborative compromises required by having three authors - each one established in her own right - work on the same world and then having each author's idiosyncrasies smoothed out for the combined work. That's not really the point, though.

The point, for me, is that this story featured women who, abnormally for 1991, had agency and didn't experience their character development by the sufferance of the men around them. W
...more
Rob
...The idea behind this novel may have been interesting and the world the authors use as a setting is certainly unusual but that is not enough from saving this book from being a disaster. If you are attracted to it because the book has three female protagonists (rare these days, even rarer in 1990 when the book was first published) or because of the names of the authors, think again. The good thing about buying second hand books is that you can afford to take chances. I never seriously considere ...more
Beth
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I grew up reading Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton. In fact, I would go so far as to say that those two authors are the biggest factor in my continual love for the Fantasy genre. So it was with great excitement that I started reading 'Black Trillium'. While I finished the book less excited than when I began it, I did still enjoy it.

The story itself was interesting, and I loved the idea of the three sisters with their own *and* combined destinies. However, it felt like the book was too long
...more
Debbie
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
Book 1 in the Saga of the Trillium (a collaboration between Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, and Julian May).

Three princesses find themselves on the run after an evil sorcerer murders the rest of the royal family in his quest to take over their kingdom. Each princess has unique strengths and weaknesses and each must learn an important lesson before they can come back together to defeat the evil sorceror, Orogastus.

The eldest, Haramis, loves books and learning, but her quest for power may be
...more
J'aime
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I chose this book because I'm a fan of 2 of the three authors (I have never read Andre Norton). I love Bradley's historical fiction, and Julian May writes some of the best science fiction I have ever had the pleasure to read. Thankfully, this is one of those rare occasions where a book written by more than one author is unnoticeable as such. The story-telling is seamless in this fantasy saga of three sisters who embark on a quest to discover themselves and save their country in the process. This ...more
Kyleigh
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-unowned
I was greatly disappointed by this book. MZB has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, and the promise of a fantasy story with not one but three female protagonists seemed too good to be true. Maybe it was. The story was so incredibly predictable. Each of the three sisters went through the exact same things, just with slightly different colorations. I have no desire to read a book three times in a row, no matter how good it might be. Unsurprisingly, the character development was extre ...more
Commanderd
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a standard fantasy novel this is a good example of an easy-to-read and understand the characters. The three girls involved go from their beginnings as sheltered (and dare I say spoiled) princesses through a journey of discovery of self.

There are a lot of invented words, some of which are not well explained ('ell' as a unit of distance measurement for instance, it does not say exactly how far this is) but I didn't feel they impeded the text much.
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 12, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Another one I really wanted to like. I took it with me to an out of town training session...in Fort Wayne IN. I needed something to read, but it just wasn't that good and I never finished the series...
Szeireil
Aug 17, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Typical and predictable. Ok - just boring. One of the thousands of fantasy book in this world. You really can choose something more original.
Mary
Feb 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
This book was so bad I couldn't even read it. Definitely not recommended.
Elizabeth
Awful. Unreadably bad writing.
Meredith
this book was...interesting. it took awhile for me to get into it because it's definitely a certain kind of high fantasy that has overwrought dialogue and reactions from characters, but once i adjusted to that, reading it got easier.

i appreciated that this was a story about three sisters on a journey to fulfill their great destinies. it's not one you see a lot in fantasy and i did like how the authors worked to show the women changing on their journeys without losing the foundation of their cha
...more
Your Common House Bat
To me this book was a little slow in the beginning but it picked up pretty quick. I liked how all three characters had their own strengths and weaknesses that played well with one another. All three of the princesses, Haramis being my favorite of them. I also liked Immu as a side character. I liked the world building too, it was a little confusing at first but as I read on it started to just come together. Overall I think that this was a compelling fantasy read.
Arwen
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I made a mistake and read the last book in this trilogy first. This first book is written by 3 authors one of which is MZB. It's a pretty run of the mill fantasy novel, (crossing over coming of age with "the journey") but it's well done. Which is probably why I went out looking for the second one right after I finished it.
Rose
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Black Trillium by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, and Julian May.

It started out alright. I was entranced with the goings-on. Then, well, it just wound up being blah. I get to page 190 and . . . I "fell out" of the book. I simply couldn't go on. It just fizzled for me. Not sure why. Perhaps one day I'll try again. For now, however . . . No. Just no.
Lois
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great collaboration by 3 well know authors, thoroughly enjoyable. Will have to check for further books in the series.
Chuck Ledger
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well done young adult book by 3 fabulous authors.
N.A. Fedorak
Good, but not amazing. I expect I would have liked this book better if I were younger and/or hadn't read the various books that were written after it that drew on it for inspiration/etc.
Amy
Mar 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what happened considering these are big names in sci fi/fantasy, but there is little 'showing' and a plethora of 'telling.' The main characters would make great supporting characters.
Ron
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I should probably reread this for a more accurate rating.
Pamela
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books. I first read it during a particularly bad winter in high school. I’ve read it often since then.
Kimber Klos
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this magical world and its contrasting women.
William Ray williams
It was ok. But it lacked something but it's great for teens.
David Sarkies
Jan 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Shelves: fantasy
I must have been really bored to read this book
14 January 2013

This is another of those books that I read a long time ago that I can't remember anything about: in fact I never actually remembered reading this book until I saw it sitting on the shelf of a second hand bookshop when (for some unknown reason) I was running my eye over the science-fiction/fantasy shelf (maybe because I was looking for something vaguely interesting, or at least the DS9 books that were set after the series, not that th
...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Golden Trillium
  • Perseus Spur (Rampart Worlds #1)
  • The Shadow Dancers (G.O.D. Inc., #2)
  • Gilden-Fire
  • Dark Magic (The Godwars, #2)
See similar books…
3,588 followers
Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, often with a feminist outlook.

Bradley's first published novel-length work was Falcons of Narabedla, first published in the May 1957 issue of Other Worlds. When she was a child, Bradley stated that she enjoyed reading adventure fantasy authors such as Henry Kuttner, Edmond Ham
...more

Other books in the series

The Saga of the Trillium (5 books)
  • Blood Trillium
  • Golden Trillium
  • Lady of the Trillium
  • Sky Trillium
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »