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1. The Spell Sword (The Gregg Press
2. The Bloody Sun and "to Keep the
3. Star of Danger (The Gregg Press
4. The heritage of Hastur (The Gregg
5. The Planet Savers (The Gregg Press
6. The world wreckers (The Gregg
7. Darkover Landfall (The Gregg Press
8. The winds of Darkover (The Gregg
9. The Forbidden Tower (The Gregg
10. The sword of Aldones (The Gregg
11. Mizora: A prophecy (The Gregg
12. The Shattered Chain (The Gregg
13. The sword of Aldones (The Gregg
14. Stormqueen! (The Gregg Press science
15. Dissecting The Purchase Agreement
16. Collected Writings on Succulent
17. The Shattered Chain
18. 8 Volume Set
19. Complete Darkover Series
20. Collected writings on succulent

1. The Spell Sword (The Gregg Press Science Fiction Series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Hardcover: 158 Pages (1979-02)
list price: US$11.95
Isbn: 083982503X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Reread and Not as Good as I Remember
I hadn't read this in about 20 years but decided to try it again.I really do like many of Bradley's Darkover books, especially the Renunciate books.However, The Spell Sword, one of her earlier works, has little depth to its characters and is not as well written as her later books.As another reviewer said, The Forbidden Tower, which I really like, has these same characters.The Forbidden Tower was published 3 years later and Bradley had improved her character and plot development skills most satisfactorily by then. The Spell Sword left me feeling unsatisfied and frustrated with the weak characters presented in the book.What little informationthe Spell Sword has can be found in later, much more well-written books.
Its most interesting to read the Darkover books in chronological order (as listed at various websites), but you can skip this book and go directly to The Forbidden Tower and you would not have missed anything.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fun read, but not substantial enough
As I go through the Darkover books in the order in which they were written, the quality of MZB's writing continues to improve, but the stories seem repetitive. A person from Earth comes to Darkover, is drawn unexpectedly into adventure, and subsequently decides that Darkover is his true home. The Spell Sword is no exception to this pattern.
I did enjoy this book, partly because (as I implied) it is better written than most of what came before it. Here, we meet Damon Ridenow, a bookish Darkovan who is caught off guard when he and his traveling companions are ambushed by mysterious, invisible attackers. Meanwhile, a Terran named Andrew has crash landed in the nearby mountains, and visions of a woman lead him to safety -- and to Damon Ridenow. Together, they do battle with the powerful, invisible foes who attacked Damon and who are besieging and terrorizing Darkovan towns, holding hostage the woman of Andrew's visions.
These foes are certainly the weak point of the book: we know they are "cat people" and that they've discovered a matrix crystal that gives them great and dangerous power, including that of invisibility. But a mysterious enemy should only be mysterious to a point, if you want them to be interesting. Their motives and their physical characteristics (they aren't always invisible) are left so ill-defined that I found myself imagining a bunch of Felix The Cats with evil grins attacking our protagonists. The cat people never become scary nor interesting.
The Spell Sword is another readable, but somehow lacking, Darkover book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Darkover
Andrew Carr is part of the Mapping and Exploration team which is charting the planet of Darkover for the newly-arrived Terran Empire. Like all Earthmen, Andrew is cynical about psi powers, so he shrugs off a meeting with an old fortuneteller in the Spaceport's trade city who shows him a beautiful red-headed girl in her crystal ball.

What Andrew doesn't know is that this dim, cold world is filled with people with vast psychic powers they call "laran" or "donas", and Andrew himself has been suppressing his potential in the noisy, crowded empire. After his plane crashes in the icy mountains, Andrew receives visions of the lovely Callista, who has been kidnapped by nonhumans. The Earthman must overcome his prejudices and inner mental blocks to aid her kinsman in her rescue, then ultimately find his place between the two worlds.

Classic Bradley. I take out my well-worn paperbacks and re-read them every couple of years.

4-0 out of 5 stars jacket review
from the back cover of the September 1974 Daw paperback edition

Although Darkover was a world inhabited by humans as well as semi-humans, it was primarily forbidden ground to the Terran traders.Most of the planet's wild terrain was unexplored...and many of its peoples seclusive and secretive.
But for Andrew Garr there was an attraction he could not evade.Darkover drew him, Darkover haunted him-and when his mapping plane crashed in unknown heights, Darkover prepared to destroy him.
Until the planet's magic asserted itself-and his destiny began to unfold along lines predicted only by phantoms and wonder workers of the kind Terran science could never acknowledge.

5-0 out of 5 stars a good Darkover novel
"The Spell Sword" is another Darkover novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley.This one is set sometime after the Terran Empire rediscovered Darkover.Now there are both the Darkovan natives, as well as men from Terra living on Darkover.This novel begins in a way that we have seen several times before: with a crash of a Terran vehicle on Darkover.This time it is from a team based at the Terran outpost at Thendara.Andrew Carr is a member of the Mapping and Explorations team that is slowly gathering information about Darkover.In a winter storm, the plane crashed and it was only through what Andrew thought was a hallucination that he was able to survive for very long in the storm.Andrew had visions of a woman named Callista guiding him away from the plane and to safety, but he had difficulty believing that these visions might be true.Eventually, Carr does come to accept that the vision is more than a hallucination, but someone communicating with him.

Damon Ridenow has been called to help find Callista, who has gone missing without a trace.Before Damon arrives at Callista's home he has to travel through someplace called "the darkened land" where the land is in shadows, uninhabitable and attacks can come from invisible assailants.Not a place you would want to spend much time.After passing through "the darkened land", Damon learns more about Callista's abduction and also meets Andrew Carr who was led there somehow by the vision of Callista.When Andrew and Damon discuss what has happened, they see the connection and that the only way to save Callista is by working together.Damon is surprised to discover that Andrew, a Terran, also has the potential to be a telepath, which Damon believed was a skill native to Darkover.

Throughout the Darkover series we hear that there are non-human races on the planet: the chieri and the cat-people.While we see the chieri once or twice, we have never seen the cat-people before and this was an area that I was interested in.For the most part, they are not developed as a race or as characters, except that we now know that some can be telepaths like humans (and chieri).We also know that they are mainly enemies of humans (though they have worked with the less reputable humans from the Dry Towns), though Damon does allow that their motives and culture are so far removed from human that it would be difficult to truly comprehend it.

This is a short novel, coming in less than 200 pages, but I found it to be fairly entertaining and I suspect that it sets the stage for the much longer "The Forbidden Tower" which features many of the same characters."The Spell Sword" serves as introduction to Andrew Carr, Damon Ridenow, and Callista.It is fairly good for a fantasy novel, though it does not feature the depth of some.This is a straight forward story with some action. ... Read more

2. The Bloody Sun and "to Keep the Oath" (Gregg Press science fiction series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Hardcover: 408 Pages (1979-06)
list price: US$12.50
Isbn: 0839825137
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not as good as the later Darkover novels.
I am quite fond of Msrion Zimmer Bradley's world of Darkover, and have read almost all of the books set in it, even including the "Friends of Darkover" fan fiction anthologies edited by Ms. Bradley. It is, however, noticeable that the quality of the writing improved markedly as the series progressed (in real time; the stories were not written chronologically, so many of the earlier-written stories were set later in the history of Darkover). Ms. Bradley learned a great deal about the craft of writing as she matured, and as she wrote. This book is not one of her earliest books, but it isn't one of her latest, either, and so, not surprisingly, the quality of the writing is middling by her standards, which is fairly good by general standards.

One thing that bothered me about the story (which was, in general, a fairly gripping mystery story) was that the love interest, which was central to the plot, was a typical Harlequin-style love interest -- two people, who have absolutely NO reason for falling in love: nothing in common, have barely spoken a civil word to one another, and have very strong taboos AGAINST falling in love, suddenly fall madly in love. Why? Just because. After all, love is irrational, and needs no justification.

Frankly, that is hooey, no matter how popular the notion is, and I find it jarring when as intelligent a woman as Ms. Bradley was falls back on it. I'll chalk it up to immaturity; she generally treats the subject somewhat better in later books, although I have the definite impression that by the time she wrote this book, she OUGHT to have been old enough to know better.

5-0 out of 5 stars This one's a page turner!
This is my second Darkover novel, and it's very different from the firstone I read ('The Shattered Chain'), but much more gripping--I had to forcemyself to put it down and go to sleep at 2am (I recommend waiting to startthis til the weekend!).

This is the mysterious story of an orphaned boy,raised in a Terran orphanage on Darkover, and shipped off to his Terrangrandparents when he's 13.Yet, he can't forget Darkover, and makes hisway back to what he feels is his home planet--though he doesn't really feelthat he fits in anywhere.

He wears a mysterious jewel, that he secretlyhope will unlock his hazy past, reveal his heritage--and maybe evenestablish him as the long lost heir to a kingdom.Turns out he isn't farfrom the truth, and as the adventure unfolds the mysteries becomeincreasingly complex.

This novel focuses on the Comyn, the noble castewith psi powers, and their fascinating world.Darkover's rich heritage andhidden powers are revealed in a gripping tale of intrigue, politics, andbetrayals.

I am now completely hooked on Darkover and its tales! ... Read more

3. Star of Danger (The Gregg Press science fiction series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Hardcover: 213 Pages (1979)

Isbn: 0839825129
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4. The heritage of Hastur (The Gregg Press science fiction series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Hardcover: 381 Pages (1977)
-- used & new: US$125.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0839823630
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars An intense, compelling and intricate epic
Set in an alien and cold world where the relationship between the Terrans and Darkover's original colonists treads a delicate balance of co-existence, Heritage centres on those who seek to bring the planet out of its anachronistic existence and put it on an equal footing with the Terran words. While the people of Darkover reject the advances of Terran science they have developed their own special abilities, namely their mental powers of telepathy and their ability to control the matrix. At the core of the story are Lew Alton, caught between the aggressive young idealists looking to the future and his loyalty to the Comyn; and Regis, the very young potential Regent-heir of Hastur.

The story is a fine interweaving of the complex plot and the personal lives of the many characters. The Comyn people's beliefs rooted in a society where loyalty and honour reign above all else means that even the darker characters have their standards. But among the many individuals both Lew and Regis are particularly appealing characters. Regis especially as he struggles with his own desires; in his early teens and with the longing to travel off world (something denied him) he is a reluctant heir, he is hampered too in having the potential for telepathic powers but seemingly unable to realise them; and he begins to recognises in himself a desire to reach out to other men or youths. Particularly heart-warming is the relationship which develops between Regis his fellow cadet Danilo, a youngster of high moral standards who becomes devoted to Regis.

The Heritage of Hastur is an intense, compelling and intricate epic, but what make it especially appealing is that at its root is the people, the individual and varied characters who populate the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars My "a-ha moment" for Darkover novels!
Before picking up this book, I had read eight Darkover novels, generally in the order of their publication. What, I wondered, drew so many readers to them? Some of them were truly awful, while others were enjoyable, but not great. Then I got to The Heritage of Hastur, and it has given me an "a-ha moment."
In previous works, Darkover as a world was much more compelling than any of its inhabitants, whose personalities melted into sameness. Dialogue tended to be stiff, the narrative erratic. Yet, this fictional planet, with its Darkovan and Terran populace in constant friction, surrounded by the planet's native inhabitants who are at turns beautiful and deadly -- what rich material to mine!
With The Heritage of Hastur, Bradley has produced a tale with believably motivated -- and believable -- characters. The complex plot involves two young men who question the society from which they come and to which they feel indebted. Each considers casting off his destiny among the highest caste of Darkover, and each must struggle with demons within and without before finding his path.
Lew and Regis have appeared in other Darkover novels, both as older and younger characters, but here we get to the heart of their transition into adulthood and their profound effect on Darkovan society.
This book, and its place in the universe of Darkover novels, is brought to light in an excellent introduction by the late Susan Wood (in the 1977 Gregg Press edition). Her comments about Bradley's earlier Darkover works helped me to understand my own reactions to them, and helped me see that part of the reason I found them so poor is that they were written during a time when science fiction publishers expected quick-reading, quickly-written, happy-ending paperback adventures.
The Heritage of Hastur gives the reader so much more; and yes, it can stand alone without one's having read other Darkover books. I recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that changed my life
Among sci-fi/fantasy books, I think I can honestly say that this is the most amazing book i have ever read. In this story Marion Zimmer Bradley combines adventure, romance, political intregue, friendship, and loyalty, all under the theme of self acceptence. This is not the type of science fiction that holds itself together entirely by lightning fast action and improbable technology, the characters have depth and realistic reactions and emotions towards any circumstance. This is the story of Lew Alton and his fight to remain true to both sides of his heritage and his doomed love for Marjorie Scott, but it is also the story of Regis Hastur and his struggle to accept himself, and his friendship and love for Danilo Syrtis.

This book is an amazing read, and though it has moments that made me laugh out loud, it is, principally, a tragedy. I cried twice, but then, I do cry over a lot of things...

Yes, I deffinitely recomend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the Darkover novels.
Certainly exceptional at the time it was written; it is not one of the
earliest written Darkover novels, but it was written much closer to
the beginning than to the end of MZB's career, and it is at least as
good as, and perhaps better than, many of the books that were written
after she'd developed a great deal more experience and seasoning as a
writer. It is one of the best "coming of age" stories I've
ever seen, partly due to the fact that it involves the coming of age
of not one or two, but three main characters, and partly due to the
fact that it is perhaps the single most tasteful, insightful,
believeable, and moving story of the coming of age of a young man
coming to terms with his own homosexuality that I've ever seen. If this
concept truly bothers you, then perhaps this book isn't for you, but
if you're even willing to attempt open-mindedness on the subject, give
it a try.

In the chronology of the Darkover series, this book falls
just before "Sharra's Exile" and "Winds of
Darkover", and just after "The Bloody Sun". It is the
story of the Sharra rebellion (often referred to in the books that
fall later in the series) and is the story of the coming of age of
Regis Hasteur, Lew Alton, and Danilo Syrtis, all characters seen in
other books as older adults.

If you're looking to start reading the
series, this is as good a book to start with as any. If you've read
any other book in the series and liked it, this book is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the best Darkover novel
Everyone goes through an identity crisis as an adolescent or young adult. Compound that with political intrigue, emerging psychic powers, sexual confusion, love, hate, parental power struggles . . . . and even this is afairly limited description of this wonderful book. I have rarely seen theinternal turmoil of a character treated with such compassion - and thatapplies to both Regis Hastur and Lew Alton. I could not help crying atvarious key points in the book. This was a magnificent story, well-told andsensitively written. ... Read more

5. The Planet Savers (The Gregg Press Science Fiction Series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Hardcover: 91 Pages (1979-03)
list price: US$10.50
Isbn: 0839825145
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Marion Zimmer Bradley has written some of the finest science fiction in print. She has been away from our pages too long. So this story is in the nature of a triumphant return. It could well be her best to date.

From the pages of the November, 1958 issue of Amazing Stories. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars the first Darkover novel
"The Planet Savers" is the very first Darkover novel written by Marion Zimmer Bradley.It is a rather slim volume, my copy only had 91 pages, but it tells a fairly complete story.While this novel doesn't seem to fit in with the other Darkover novels, it does help to explain a little bit about who the Trailmen are, which is never explained in any depth in other Darkover novels.Bradley also explains why this novel doesn't quite fit with the other Darkover novels and how this novel came to be in the forward to the book.It is fairly interesting to understand how Bradley conceptualized Darkover.

This short novel tells the story of the 48 year Trailmen Fever.This is a nasty plague like sickness that seems to crop up every 48 years in Darkover's history, and Darkover is about to enter into a plague year.Now that the Terrans are back on Darkover, they are determined to end the plague.But the only way to do that is to get the cooperation of the Trailmen who are immune (and might in some way be a carrier).The Trailmen are fiercely territorial and violent to trespassers.But as a young child the human (the Trailmen aren't considered completely human, I'd imagine more like Neanderthal Man) Dr Jason Allison was raised by the Trailmen and is being recruited to lead the expedition to ask for the help of the Trailment.But Dr Allison seems to suffer from multiple personalities.One is a doctor Jay Allison who is a talented Doctor, but doesn't remember the language of the Trailmen and is something of a wuss.The other is Jason, a rougher man who is fully at ease in physical situations and is still fluent in the language and culture of the Trailment.Somehow a Terran doctor is able to revert Jay to Jason and the adventure begins.

It is a decent enough novel, and it involves other characters familiar to the Darkover reader, in particular Regis Hastur, who is a major player in other novels.As a standalone Darkover novel, "The Planet Savers" isn't anything special and I would not recommend it to anyone who wasn't trying to read all of the Darkover novels (as I am).

-Joe Sherry

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting story for you Darkover fans...
Nobody had reviewed this book, so I thought I would.This was one of the first Darkover books I read, and I enjoyed it very much.The Darkover books seem to vary in quality from slightly interesting to absolutely fabulous, but I'd rate this one as very good.It was first written in 1962, so it's a little dated, but the main character was interesing and it gives true Darkover fans some insights into some little-explored areas of Darkovan life. ... Read more

6. The world wreckers (The Gregg science fiction series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Unknown Binding: 215 Pages (1979)

Isbn: 0839825153
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The wild and beautiful planet of Darkover becomes the target of the World Wreckers, an intergalactic company that destroys the ecology and economy of a planet so that Terran investors can make a profit in restoring it. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars A story of love, betrayal and redemption
Darkover is in danger; intent on bringing the planet fully into the Empire unnamed interests employ Andrea Closson of World Wreckers Inc to bring the plant to the point of destruction. Unusually Ms Closson decides to lead this mission herself. With Darkover already in a time of turmoil with its age old structure of government gone, Regis Hastur now finds himself the frequent target of would be assassins. Fearing the permanent loss of his peoples' telepathic powers Regis has sent out a universal call for all know telepaths in the hopes of regenerating these powers. But even if Regis becomes aware of the plot against his planet, will it be possible to undo all the damage Darkover has already suffered?

In The World Wreckers, in Darkover history it follows on shortly after Sharra's Exile, we find the young Regis now leading his world with faithful Danilo at his side. This story is relatively short by comparison with its two chronological predecessors, and the real centre of focus is the first small group if telepaths who come to Darkover, a mixed bunch of Terrans and those, initially, of uncertain origins. Of these it is David, a Terran medic, and Keral, a youngster of the fabled ancient and long lived Chieri, the alien natives of Darkover.

Young David and Keral, young by his own standards, form a bond, although the indeterminate gender of Keral initially proves a problem; but their relationship leads to interesting developments. Their relationship, and that enjoyed by others in the group, is touching and heart-warming. I would have liked to have seen much more of Regis and Danilo in the story, and especially their relationship, but they do not feature too greatly in the story.

It is a good tale, the main emphasis is on the characters, the plot to destroy the planet playing a relatively minor role on the whole. It is a story of love, betrayal and ultimate redemption.

4-0 out of 5 stars Inconsistencies aside, an enjoyable read!
I've been reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels in order of publication, and given my fairly negative reviews of the earlier titles, you may be wondering why I keep reading them. Well, before The World Wreckers, Marion Zimmer Bradley was wondering why she kept writing them. They hadn't sold well. She felt like she was repeating the same stories. She was ready to call it quits -- and then she found inspiration. (So she says in her introduction to this book.)
That inspiration shows here, and I am glad I kept on. This one is much better than its predecessors -- yes, I enjoyed reading it! Sure, I still get annoyed at the oddities that should have been caught in editing. And if you're a Darkover die-hard, well, take heed of those other reviewers who voice bitter complaints about inconsistencies with other stories of the, uh, Darkover-verse. Still, none of that came at the expense of my enjoyment of this book.
The World Wreckers takes place as Andrea Closson, representing a shady interplanetary business interest, plots to destroy the fabric of Darkovan society. See, Darkovans have been resisting outsiders' attempts to exploit its resources for profit. Andrea wants to destroy Darkover's unique civilizations, so that those who seek profit can move in and build it up again as they desire.
Closson is close to succeeding in her destructive scheme. The old ways, the old peoples, are dying out, the sabotaged environment is killing the planet's population, and those who remain are scattered, unorganized and unable to fight back. This book is the story of a few who come together, from far and wide, to fight for Darkover's survival. The crisis is planetary, but the stories are intensely personal for our protagnoists. And even if the culmination of their struggle is -- well, rather sudden and most definitely a reflection of the era of free love in which the book was written -- I was entertained from beginning to end.

3-0 out of 5 stars An essential Darkover novel.
Although this is not the best Darkover novel written, it contains a conflict we all knew had to happen--Terran interests try underhanded methods to gain control of Darkover.How Darkovans deal with it is interesting.I do think it's a shame that the major villain had to be a lost Cheri.Too predictable.However, I like the reorganization of the Comyn which was forced by the ecological disasters and the weakening of the major bloodlines.

2-0 out of 5 stars The sad thing is, this had a lot of potential...
There were some very good ideas here, and I suppose that theoretically the other (later and better!) books should have been written to be more consistent with this one, but...

Ditto on what the previous reviewers said about inconsistencies, and another one I noticed - Regis is described as fairly short in World Wreckers, while in Heritage he's 5'10" at 15 (and presumably expected to grow some more).

The romance between David and Keral was written well enough and with enough sensitivity to keep this from being a one-star review, but damn, I wish this had been rewritten as The Bloody Sun was....

1-0 out of 5 stars Can I give it zero stars?
"The World Wreckers" is awful.Plain and simple.Now, I'm a die-hard Marion Zimmer Bradley fan, so this is not an easy thing to say.Take my word for it -- this is a BAD BOOK.

Why?The plot is inane.Basically, some evil scum developers come to the invented planet of Darkover with the intention of exploiting its people and antural resources.The aristocracy of the planet jumps into action, and the author seems to forget their previous indifference to the well-being of the peons.

Why else?The characters are better described as caricatures -- always seen by the reader as stereotypes and extremes.The writing itself is confusing, unstructured, and full of grammatical errors.The book lacks originality, and reads like every other science fiction pulp ever written.Even if you love the Darkover series, skip this one. ... Read more

7. Darkover Landfall (The Gregg Press Science Fiction Series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Hardcover: 160 Pages (1978-10)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$197.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0839824041
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (19)

3-0 out of 5 stars good way to kill time, nothing more.
The book has a mildly entertaining plot and Darkover has a lot of potential as story material, but Darkover Landfall fails to rise beyond mere entertainment to achieve any real literary value.Characters are barely developed, narrative is stilted and predictable, and the story lacks any philosophical or spiritual depth.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing look back into Darkover's past
In a refreshing departure from her previous Darkover entries, Marion Zimmer Bradley takes us back to the first human presence on the planet. A ship containing colonists from Earth crash lands on Darkover, and its crew struggles -- first, to repair the ship -- and then, just to survive.
Bradley creates an interesting dynamic here. A schism develops among the survivors. Some would bring their Earth technology, culture and religion to Darkover... to remain in their comfort zone. Others feel that Darkover represents a new beginning, and that what was developed on Earth, was developed for Earth and should be let go.
This was a thought-provoking look at Darkover's distant past, and if you've read Bradley's earlier books (I'm taking them on in order of publication), you'll notice that all sorts of connections to the future of the planet are scattered throughout.
Some of the book feels a bit dated, as one of the ship's "subcultures" feels suspiciously like it's made up of residents of a hippie commune. (They're the only characters in the book who end their sentences like this one, man!) And as with every Darkover book I've read so far, the characters lack a certain depth. They never come alive; I don't miss them when I finish the book.
Still, Darkover Landfall is one of the best Darkover books I've read to date.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent prequel.
Marion Zimmer Bradley's world, "Darkover", came into being as a prism to examine the interactions between a pre-technological culture and a spacefaring "Terran Empire". Her first half dozen to a dozen stories set in the world were set in the period after the two cultures met; during those stories, there were some hints that the world of Darkover was a "Lost Colony" that had initially been settled by Earthmen, probably unintentionally. This is the story of that beginning to human habitation on the world. It does an excellent job of establishing how the settlement happened, and how their technology was lost. Still, it is from early enough in her career that Bradley's writing style isn't as polished as it later became, so I'll only give it four stars rather than five. For fans of Darkover, this is a must-read; for newcomers to the series, it isn't a bad place to start, even if it isn't where Bradley herself started.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Saga Begins
If you like sci fi you will like this book. Extremly fast short easy read that instantly makes you want to read the rest. I have read this book over and over and I highly recommend the author and this book in particular.

4-0 out of 5 stars the origins of Darkover
A Darkover novel.

Chronologically, this is the first Darkover novel.Here we are introduced to the founders of Darkover.We see how humans first came to the planet, and how they began to adapt to their new surroundings.Unlike many other fantasy series, humans were not created on Darkover, but rather there was a space ship on a trip to begin a colony on another planet when the ship had troubles and crashed on an uncharted planet.Granted, that is not a terribly original idea either, but the how Bradley treats the topic is very original, and very well done.

The crew is faced with the dilemma of whether to try to rebuild the ship (which will take several years at best) or to try to settle in and adapt on the unnamed planet (the planet does not get the name Darkover for at least a hundred years of its history).The crew and colonists are divided on this.Before anything else can be done there must be preliminary exploration of the planet so that they will be able to survive for as many years as necessary and also because if they are to be trapped on the planet for a while they must know what kind of planet it is.

We are given glimpses of an ESP power that will be refined throughout the series and are introduced to an alien (though native to Darkover) race.We are shown the Ghost Wind, which induces humans to release their inhibitions....

This novel serves as an introduction to Darkover (I believe it was the first novel in the series that I read years ago) as well as an important time in the history of Darkover (obviously, it is the founding).Darkover Landfall may not be the best novel in the series, but it provided enough interest for me to want to read more in the series. ... Read more

8. The winds of Darkover (The Gregg Press science fiction series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Hardcover: 139 Pages (1979)
-- used & new: US$125.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0839825110
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Unrealized potential
Maybe reading the Darkover books in order of publication wasn't such a hot idea, after all. I'm now on the fifth one, and I'm not sure that I want to go much further. The Winds of Darkover is a clunky, sloppily edited story that lurches along to an improbable ending.

So why not just quit reading Darkover books now? Here's why I'm torn: I'm still impressed with the complex, interesting world that Zimmer Bradley has created. There are so many great stories to be told about it.

But the great stories aren't the ones being told so far.

Our protagonist, a guy from Earth named Barron, is kind of a small minded jerk. Not an interesting jerk, mind you, just your garden variety dude whose usual response to intrigue is, and I quote: "what the devil?"

The Winds of Darkover takes us on a journey with Barron as he is psychically manipulated, drawn against his will to save people who are being held captive after their castle is stormed and overtaken. He is unhappily pulled outside his comfortable, Earth-like spaceport home, and into Darkover proper, where he generally fumes about his situation.

Then he disappears for a good portion of the book, his personality completely subsumed under that of the force using him to save those prisoners. Maybe that force is the true protagonist. That's part of the problem, here. As readers, we're not sure whose story this is, and it never does become clear.

The story does move along fairly briskly -- this isn't a long book. But I never was able to connect with the skin-deep characters or to believe what was happening. It didn't help that poor editing leaves the reader with moments that stutter like a badly cut sitcom: you know when you see an actor showing a certain emotion, the camera angle changes, and the actor's expression is completely different? Yeah, like that, except in print. Small inconsistencies and really awkward sentences abound.

And the ending? Let's just say that Barron doesn't exactly develop so much as undergo an abrupt change of heart without a shred of plausibility.

If you want to try a couple of Darkover books, avoid this one and scan the reviews for something better. If you're a completist, well, The Winds of Darkover is readable enough. Speed through it, then move along, please -- there's nothing to see here.

3-0 out of 5 stars Bradley keeps telling the same story over and again
Dan Barron is a Terran who has spent 5 years working on Darkover.Like nearly all Terrans on Darkover, he has spent all of his time in the Terran Zone and not actually among native Darkovans (which is the way the ruling class of Darkover wants it).He is demoted after causing a nearly horrific accident at the Thendara Spaceport.It seems that Dan has been having "visions" where he suddenly finds himself in some castle somewhere, but he doesn't actually go anywhere.When this happens on the job, accidents can and do happen.While Dan is skilled at what he does, the accident was so severe that he can no longer be trusted to do his job.When the Darkovan Lord Valdir Alton requests a Terran to help teach and train Darkovans to grind glass for telescope and binocular lenses, the Terran Vice-Coordinator selects Dan to do the job.It is the only job that could keep Dan from being transferred off-planet.

One of the visions that Dan keeps having has to do with a young woman, red-haired, in chains, and covered with fire.

Since Darkover novels tend to be told from multiple perspectives (Terran and Darkovan), we are also told the story of the Storn family.Storn castle has been taken over by a bandit army and the Storns have been imprisoned.Lord Loran Storn, blind and nearly helpless, has protected himself with his laran (esp) power and has also sent his sister Melitta out to find help.Loran has also been trying to find a way to help his family himself, so he uses his laran to try to control someone and get the help the Storns need.That someone just happens to be Dan Barron.

Once again, as in the majority of the Darkover novels, "The Winds of Darkover" deals with the cultural differences between Terrans and the natives of Darkover and there is a Terran trying to assimilate to the new Darkovan culture.This is such a common theme that Bradley works with, but due to the nature of her world it is one that is necessary.

"The Winds of Darkover" feels more like a set-up novel than one that is telling a new story.It is world building.This story introduces Dan Barron to Darkover, but it also introduces something called the "Sharra Matrix" which will be important later in the series.The Sharra Matrix is powerful laran magic.It was outlawed years ago because it was viewed as "dangerous" and also "pagan" (of sorts).It can create powerful fire magic in the hands of a leronis (one who can command laran)."The Winds of Darkover" introduces this concept and a couple of others to our understanding of Darkover, but as a standalone novel it is not anything truly special.It builds on what we know of Darkover, but in the basics of the story it is one that Bradley has told several times set in Darkover.

By no means is this one of the best Darkover novels, though it is decent enough."The Winds of Darkover" is one for fans of the series because it fills in some details and introduces a couple of characters and concepts that will be used later in the series, but unless you are trying to work your way through the entire series (as i am), this is one that you can easily skip.It is an average story (even for Darkover) with nothing to recommend it over some of the far superior Darkover novels (The Bloody Sun, The Forbidden Tower, Stormqueen).

-Joe Sherry

4-0 out of 5 stars An important but not quite essential Darkover novel
Among the native people of Darkover, even those outside the rule of the Comyn, certain taboos are strictly forbidden.In this society of telepaths, none must use their mental powers in order to shadow, or take over the mind and body, of another individual.Drastic times call for drastic measures, however, and the situation at High Windward, the outlying Castle of Storn, is indeed drastic.The stronghold has been breached and the family of Storn virtually imprisoned by a gang of ruffians.The oldest son and de facto head of the family, Loran, lies in a deathlike trance inside the high walls of the castle, protected by a magical force field; blind since birth and thus virtually powerless to stop the storming of the castle, he is not without magical recourse in his trancelike state.Eldric, his younger brother, is imprisoned in the dungeon.Allira, his timid sister, has been forcefully taken as a wife by the leader of the gang of bandits, but the younger Melitta has been given, at least temporarily, limited freedom of movement inside the walls of the castle.Alienated from the families of the Comyn on Darkover, Loran Storn has no one to call upon for aid.Taboo or not, his only hope is to search out another mind and engineer some kind of rescue mission through that person.The mind he finds is that of a Terran named Dan Barron.

Barron, after five years of unblemished service as a dispatcher at the Darkover Spaceport, finds himself in serious trouble after his dereliction of duty almost results in the crash of a landing spacecraft.He cannot tell his superiors what actually happened - that he had suddenly found himself lost in a vision of a world he did not know.Rather than being deported, he is assigned to teach lens crafting to a delegation of Darkovans, and so he ventures into the world outside the Terran zone for the first time.These sudden, all-encompassing visions continue to hit him without a moment's notice, and he begins to feel as if two people reside within his brain, as he seems to know things about Darkovan language and culture that he cannot possibly know.Eventually, this other person inside Barron takes full control of his mind and body, sending him on a desperate mission to a city he has no knowledge of; at the same time, Melitta follows the instructions of her entranced brother, escapes from the Castle of Storn, and makes her way to that same city.In this desperate rendezvous of sister and "brother" lies the only hope for the rescue of the Storn family.Dan Barron, as you might expect, takes on a less zombified role in the drama before all is said and done.Still, with no allies to call upon or available mercenaries to hire, Loran Storn's desperate gamble to save his family seems destined to fail until a most unlikely savior comes up with a plan, one involving the breaking of yet another Darkover taboo.

This relatively short novel stands alone quite well, but it also has its place in the context of the entire Darkover series.We meet Star of Danger's Larry Montray, in a relatively minor role here, and Desideria, an important character in the story of The Second Age of Darkover, makes her first appearance (in terms of the Darkover chronology) in these pages as a heroic young lady.Winds of change blowing in the kingdoms outside Comyn hegemony portend the sweeping changes evoked in the land as The First Age of contact with the Terrans draws to a close.Perhaps most significantly, we are witnesses to the rebirth of one of the forbidden weapons from the earlier Ages of Chaos, as the forbidden powers of the fire goddess Sharra are called upon for the first time in centuries.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting aside from mainstream of Darkovan history
The series of twenty-one novels and a dozen anthologies that sprawls across the history of human settlement on the planet of Darkover consists not of an ordered sequence of novels but of trilogies, duos and standalones which weave in and out of each other, sometimes in direct conflict.This is one of the stand alones in this series, an aside from Darkovanevents at large. Very few of the characters appear in or are even mentionedin any of the other novels, and this is not greatly dissapointing as it isdefinitely not one of the best Darkovan novels. The protagonist is a Terranwho, being stationed on this primitive planet finds himself in service toone of the great lords of the Comyn, Valdir Alton. The contact between thisTerran and another, Larry Montray (the foster-son of Valdir, due to eventsrelated in 'Star of Danger')is used typically by MZB as a platform fromwhich to demonstrate Darkovan culture and explore the effects of cultureshock - this technique of immerging a Terran in Darkovan nobility andstanding back to watch the effects is one MZB uses in most of the novelsset after recontact between Earth and its lost colony Darkover. It is quiteslow getting into the story, but when it does it is quite a good rolic. Itis a must read for devotees of the series but definitely not one to starton if unfamiliar with the series - The Heritage of Hastur or The Bloody Sunare probably the best to start on. Those more aware of the series willenjoy the brief contact with Larry Montray, destined to become uncle to LewAlton, one of the most poignant and troubled characters of the wholeseries, and the focus on the Storn family, who are one of those families inthe complex genealogies of the Comyn which receives little attention in themain novels. Particularly interesting for those who found Desideria Stornin 'The World Wreckers' a fascinating character. Perhaps the mostinteresting part of the novel for devotees though is the taboo broken bythe Storn scion in order to obtain help from the Terran: he telepathically'overshadows' him and takes control of his mind and body. Darkover is asociety run by powerful telepaths and the observation of certainconventions, all of which utterly forbid such a maneuovre, is the only wayto make such a society functional. This makes for interesting ramificationsfor all characters in the novel, and interesting explorations ofconscience. The other bonus for those familiar with the series is the onlyexcursion to the Dry Towns (except for the notable rescue in 'The ShatteredChain')in the whole series. However, these items of trivia for the fan arenot enough to sustain a middling novel above a rating of three. ... Read more

9. The Forbidden Tower (The Gregg Press Science Fiction Series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Hardcover: 364 Pages (1979-02)
list price: US$14.00
Isbn: 083982405X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A Darkover series volume, by the author of The Mists of Avalon, presents four challengers to the planet's sacred traditions--ruling caste member Damon, his betrothed, Earthman Andrew, and Andrew's betrothed, a Keeper of the Sacred Tower. Originally in paperback. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

1-0 out of 5 stars Slo-mo sex tease
Though it has its share of New Age/psi-sci-fi components (the usual Darkover kerfuffle about social class, and dreamtime time travel, too), this is basically a romance novel about a pathologically frigid woman (the hoo-ha reasons for the frigidity are explained at great length) and her preternaturally patient, frustrated husband. He eventually turns to group sex with his wife's twin sister and husband, and who can blame him? Happy ending? Well, what do you think? Especially since group sex on this planet, as on so many planets of the 70s, is practically de riguer. (Hint: consummation takes 350 pages.)

At half, no, 1/3 the length, this would have worked. The basic plotline, a simple one, is sturdy enough, and unusual for science fiction, but the interminable repetitions, and unhappy moanings and groanings over unconsummated sex sink the narrative in bleary banality. The sex, when it happens, isn't sexy. The lack of sex becomes intolerably boring. And, aside from a weak subplot about a vindictive teenager, there isn't anything else.

5-0 out of 5 stars over 25 years, omg
I'm happy to see this novel still available.I read it 25 years ago, it was a symbol of my teenage rebellion.

The culture of the early Darkover novels was absorbing and great in that it made you suspend belief, so much so, the culture came alive.

This novel in the series brings a Human from Earth into the culture, giving you the whole fish out-of-water fish-eye view.The character Andrew suffers culture shock due to the fact the two married couples (the wives are sisters), basically; share some intimate quarters.They are also rebels together, going against the ruling parties of Darkover.

Depending where you are in the Chronology of Darkover, sometimes only women can be matrix tower keepers, other time periods, only the men are permitted.

There is some interesting use of Psychic powers that some of the Darkover people have developed, it makes the resistance to Science more easily understandable, especially by the High-born, who rule this medieval like society.

This novel is my favorite in the Darkover series.If you liked this novel, "Stormqueen' is another great Darkover novel.The novels before the 'Terrans' arrived were more fantastic fantasy.

4-0 out of 5 stars not the best of the Darkover novels, but it had potential
"The Forbidden Tower" is another of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels.This one is set shortly after the events of "The Spell Sword", where Callista had been rescued and the Cat People defeated.Damon Ridenow is engaged to marry Ellemir, a daughter of the Alton family.Ellemir's twin sister, Callista, intends on marrying the Terran, Andrew Carr.This seems simple enough.Two couples want to get married.But, this is the basis for the entire novel and the way this plays out is rather interesting.The trouble is in who these people are.

The marriage of Damon and Ellemir is not the problem.The problem is Andrew and Callista.You see, Callista is a Keeper of Arilinn Tower.What this means is that for a woman to become a Keeper there are years of training and conditioning of her senses and her psychic powers and they are honed so tightly that physical contact is almost unbearable, let alone emotional attachment.Callista may love Andrew very much, but years of conditioning has made her unable to physically respond to him, and should she respond there is the threat of Callista's powers attacking Andrew without her control (part of the conditioning).They marry, but understand that they cannot consummate the marriage until Callista's conditioning can be undone, and this may take months and years.

Meanwhile they are all living at the Alton estate (as would be customary on Darkover).Andrew is adapting to life on Darkover and is discovering his role in the household and with his new family in friends.But Andrew still has Terran (think Earth) ways of thinking, and this causes more problems, especially since Damon, Ellemir and Callista are all telepaths, as is Andrew.The closeness of Darkovan and telepathic relationships is frightening and different to Andrew and he recoils at times causing conflict and confusion.

At its heart this novel is a romance, in part between Andrew and Callista, but also between all four of the major characters.Exactly how that works out would spoil the story, but it is something that is presented as fairly natural on Darkover (though if we judged it by our own standards it would be unusual at best and perhaps deviant at worst).There is also a major conflict within Darkover's culture because of how the four are viewing their psychic powers and what proper use of them is (there is tradition and laws on Darkover regarding use of "laran", the psi power.).This puts the four into direct opposition with the ruling powers of Darkover.

While the relationship between Andrew and Callista is at the heart of the novel, the strongest point was (in my view) was the conflict between the four and the rulers of Darkover.This was the most interesting part and one that I wish was focused on much more than the attempts for Callista and Andrew to finally consummate their marriage.This was a good Darkover novel, but not one of the best.Perhaps if the focus would have been on the "Forbidden Tower" aspect of the novel it would have been the best of the Darkover novels.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sheesh
Of the eleven Darkover novels I've read, this is surely the dullest. It's a good deal longer than it needs to be, and the greater part of it is given over to the attempts of four people to help one of them, a former Tower Keeper, perform the `marital act'. Regrettably, there is not much lurid detail involved, so we're denied even something to appeal to our prurient interest. And it goes on for quite a long time. In many places the narrative reads like a first draft, and I kept wishing the author had gone through one more time to tighten up the prose. Later on there's a rather silly time travel sequence, a blast from the past as it were, which doesn't contribute a whole heck of a lot to the proceedings. The action picks up a little at the end, but so what. Unless you're a rabid fan who must read everything this somewhat overrated s.f. writer published, consider this one a waste of time. (BL, Tucker, GA)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book, but don't let your kids read it
We like the Darkover books in my family.My husband got into them first, but they're spreading to the rest of us.These books are mostly real page turners, full of action and suspense; but, nevertheless, they have marvelous character development with tremendous complexity in how the characters think, feel, and interact.

There is some wonderful philosophy sprinkled throughout about the nature of marriage and of gender roles in society.The fantasy and telepathic aspects of the books make for intriguing variations on what leads to dominance in relationships and what leads to successful and unsuccessful relationships, whether between husband and wife; parent and child; or between siblings.

This book shares these nice features with many others in the series.

My older son, age 12, is a strong reader and loves reading adult science fiction and fanatasy.He has picked up on these books and started stealing them out of my husband's bookcase and loving them.For the most part, I think that's o.k. for the Darkover series, BUT NOT FOR THIS BOOK!It's too bad that books don't have ratings like software or movies.This one is definitely R or possibly NC-17.For myself, I enjoyed the explorations of how telepathy would affect sex myself -- some of which got pretty darn strange; BUT it's not the sort of thing that my pre-pubescent child, who is already pretty confused about sex roles as it is, should be reading. ... Read more

10. The sword of Aldones (The Gregg Press science fiction series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Unknown Binding: 164 Pages (1977)
-- used & new: US$125.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0839823673
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars What MZB thought of Sword of Aldones
Yes, I knew Marion.After helping me sell my first novel, House of Zeor, she became my writing mentor for many years, and I can safely say she taught me maybe 80% of what I know and today teach about writing -- maybe more -- in workshops such as the one at Westercon.

Sword of Aldones was my absolute all time favorite Darkover novel, and that's still true today -- which was a disappointment to MZB.

You see SoA was her first actual forray into attempting to take the embarrassingly juvenile "Sevener" series she wrote for personal amusement (as we today write Star Trek and Buffy stories)and turn it into a professional product.

It's sale was a milestone in her life and professional career -- but she always knew and felt that it had technical and structural flaws.She felt the characters did a lot of running around, and people, issues and things popped out of nowhere, and the whole thing lacked a central motivational backbone.

But you see - that is what I love about it.

I just made up all the missing parts and never missed them.

Thus while the rewrite of this part of Darkovan history is now the actual basis of the series, and SoA is ignored -- I found the rewrite less enjoyable because it told me the answers to all the unanswerable questions posed in SoA (which I had so much fun answering for myself).

Because MZB and I are so very - VERY - different people, of course what I made up to explain the inexplicable is very different from what she eventually supplied.

However, if you are as much of a Darkover fan as I am (I found Darkover when I was a Freshman at the U. of Calif at Berkeley - which is when I also discovered Theodore Bikel -- these two having literally changed my life) -- then you need to read and compare these two books and decide for yourself which is the actual foundation of the Darkover series.

At the same time you will discover one of the foundations of my own Sime Gen Universe, now available on amazon.com.Sime Gen: The Unity Trilogy is much more like Sword of Aldones than it is like Sharra's Exile.

Live Long and Prosper,
Jacqueline Lichtenberg

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than Sharra's Exile?
I can't believe I'm the first to review this book.Where are all you loyal "freinds of darkover" hiding.Anyway I never read "Sharra's Exile" but I am well aware that this is the originalstory of Lew Alton and his dealings with the Sharra Matrix. Which is why Inever bothered with Sharra's Exile, shoot read The heratige of hastur andthis one and your all caught up. I like this one because it doesn't go tofar into the characters, cause they always have the same problems no matterwhat family they come from, which actually makes me read more to actuallyfind out what is going on.The ending is anti-climactic but who cares,Sharra's dead right?NOT! ... Read more

11. Mizora: A prophecy (The Gregg Press science fiction series)
by Mary E. Bradley Lane
 Hardcover: 147 Pages (1975)

Isbn: 0839823061
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Women/ Fiction; Utopias/ Fiction; Utopias; Feminism; Science fiction; Women; Utopian fiction; Feminist fiction; Fiction / Science Fiction / General; Fiction / Literary; Fiction / Science Fiction / Short Stories; Juvenile Fiction / Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magic; Fiction / General; Fiction / Fantasy / General; Fiction / Science Fiction / General; Fiction / Science Fiction / Short Stories; Social Science / Feminism ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing read
While you are reading this book, keep in mind it was written in 1880!

The author reveals a lot about herself and women of that time. She is imaginative, idealistic, writes well and you might want to keep a list of things that have come true now, from thefar future world she depicts. Along with air travel, high speed trains, shopping malls, television, she even imagines a form of the internet and Skype. Oh yes, she even describes roads paved with a special kind of glass. Guess what? There is a current proposal out there, to do that very thing!

I enjoyed this immensely!

PS She was probably lesbian, or at the very least had issues with men or a husband or father.! ... Read more

12. The Shattered Chain (The Gregg Press Science Fiction Series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Hardcover: 287 Pages (1979-06)
list price: US$12.50 -- used & new: US$124.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0839825021
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
While only women can command the power of the matrix and the secret sciences which keep Darkover from Terran hands, in most respects they are still chattels. But the Free Amazons are considered equal to men, and it is they who provide the key to the Terran-Darkover dilemma. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Flawed but interesting Darkover novel.
A Darkover novel, and at least at the first time that I read it, a fan favorite. The Free Amazons of Darkover were always one of the most interesting aspects of Darkover, in part because of how Bradley worked to turn the idea of Amazons on their head. The Shattered Chain brings together the Free Amazons, Terrans, Dry Town women, and the Comyn into a series entry which does a fine job of examining the life of Darkover women from many angles.

It may be that the interest Bradley has in the lives of women here comes to some degree at the expense of a broader plot. While it was decent, and kept me reading, it was also a little bit disjointed in time and character. The pacing also had its odd moments.

Flawed but still interesting Darkover book. Darkover is still by far my favorite body of work by MZB.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of Darkover's best
Each Darkover novel can stand on its own as a complete story, but taken together, they weave a rich tapestry about a world different from our own."The Shattered Chain" is set after the rediscovery period when the Terran Empire discovered the planet of Darkover and that the inhabitants are descendants of colonists on a "lost ship" from thousands of years ago.This story is about the Order of Free Amazons.Darkover society is very restrictive towards women and women have few rights; and in some cases no rights to speak of.The Free Amazons reject that attitude and by law, any member of the Free Amazons does not have to submit to the rule of men.Rather, they are held accountable by the Charter of the Free Amazons for their actions and to the Guild to which they belong.They represent another option for women who feel the oppression of Darkovan society (some do not feel the oppression).

The novel is broken out into three sections, each focusing on a different character, though the same cast of characters moves in and out of the stories being told in each section.The first section focuses on the lady Rohana Ardais.Before the novel begins, Lady Rohana is given information that a kinswoman who had been kidnapped more than a decade ago is still alive and that she wants to be rescued for the sake of her children.Rohana defies convention, hires out a team of Free Amazons, and sets out to rescue Melora from the Dry Towns.This rescue results in Melora's daughter, Jaelle, being fostered by the Free Amazons.There is a twelve year interval between section one and section two.

Section two focuses on a Terran named Magda Lorne, and again, there is someone who needs rescuing.This time it is her former husband, also a Terran.Both are Terran agents working out of the spaceport at Thendara.Since they were raised in a Darkovan city, they are able to work undercover, learning the languages and the changes in language and style and culture to better assist the Terrans to interact with the natives of Darkover.Magda's ex-husband, Peter, seems to look identical to a relative of Rohana's, and with Rohana's suggestion, Magda disguises herself as a Free Amazon to negotiate the release of Peter.

Section three features a grown Jaelle.Jaelle met up with Magda during section two, and is a leader of a small band of Free Amazons.But she is still young, and has not yet known love and does have the experience to know if she will regret her decision to become a Free Amazon.This becomes the central conflict of the third section, after the action of section two.

Ultimately, this is a novel that looks at the gender roles in Darkovan society and how there is one segment of society that works outside the typical roles of women.The Free Amazons will also be a very important society in the relations between Darkover and the Terran Empire.

This is one of the better Darkover novels.With the three section structure, Bradley was able to pack the detail and story and emotion into a tighter form, and the novel is stronger because of that.Each of the three women (Rohana, Magda, and Jaelle) are characters that I want to know more about, they are well written and interesting, and this is an excellent chapter in the world of Darkover.

4-0 out of 5 stars Get chained to reading it!
The Darkover series is an excellent blend of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Plus, Bradley describes action scenes with a flair that even men could appreciate, while never sacrificing the sensitivity and feeling that marks female writing. You get a good buy with this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating world where contradictions abound
This is the first Darkover novel I read, and it made me hungry for more. Darkover and the Terran Empire in their diplomatic maneuverings.FreeAmazons--a guild of women who renounce men's domination over women, theComyn--the noble caste with psi powers, an intricate society with traces ofthe supernatural and feudal systems in place.

The novel starts with adaring rescue of a kidnapped, enchained, and very pregnant Comyn Lady fromthe barbaric Dry Towns chief who has kept her his prisoner/wife for over adecade.We meet the Free Amazons, the women who are hired as mercenariesto handle the rescue, as well as the Comyn Lady who hired them to rescueher imprisoned cousin and her young daughter.

The story returns to theFree Amazons and the Comyn Lady years later when a Terran woman needs theirhelp to save one of her own.Their stories are linked in a series ofadventures that establish Darkover as an irresistable world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Introducing Free Amazons from Darkover
This book tells us about a society guided by women who do not accept the social rules in Darkover. This is the story about Jaelle and how she leave the dry town (where womwn are property of theirs husband and use chainsaround her arms)and became a renunciant. It's also the story of MagdalenLorne and how, pretending been a renunciant she has became one in fact -Margali 'n Ysabeth. This two women cross each other life and after thattheirs lives would be different forever. This book introduce us to thesetwo caracthers that would re-appeared in Thendara House and City ofSorcery. ... Read more

13. The sword of Aldones (The Gregg Press science fiction series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Hardcover: 164 Pages (1977)

Asin: B0006CT1UW
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14. Stormqueen! (The Gregg Press science fiction series)
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Hardcover: 364 Pages (1979)

Asin: B0006DWMNO
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The great epic of Darkover did not begin with the Terrans' arrival. For in those years, the power of the matrix was first learned--and misused in a power struggle that could have made Darkover a duplicate of Terra. Reissue. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent service
I received the book I ordered in 10 days and although it was listed as "good condition" it looked more like brand new! I am very pleased with my purchase!!

5-0 out of 5 stars a deep, rich novel of Darkover's early days
This Darkover novel is set in Darkover's Age of Chaos.It is set several hundred years after Darkover Landfall.The ruling powers in Darkover ruled in what feels like a feudal system.I would compare this period in Darkover's history to the European Dark Ages.At the beginning of the novel we are introduced to Donal, an 8 year old boy.Donal is the son of a woman who was the mistress of Mikhail Aldaran, lord of the Aldaran.Mikhail raises Donal like his own son, despite Donal being the child of another man.Donal's mother dies giving birth to Dorilys, the only living child of Mikhail.

The first section of the novel serves to introduce us to some of the major players of the novel and also works as a perfect setup to describe the world and background of the characters that will act throughout the novel.The ESP type abilities hinted at in Darkover Landfall exist in a wild, but powerful form.These abilities are called Laran, and the ruling classes are participating in a breeding program to both harness and control these laran.This breeding program has a huge flaw and drawback, few children actually live past childhood.When they start to become in full possession of their laran, death is by far the most common result.Another common result is emotional instability because of the laran.This is the world and heritage that Dorilys was born into.After she was born the novel skips ahead 11 years.Donal is now a man and beloved by Mikhail.Dorilys is a spoiled child with a wildly powerful laran.

This novel deals with the personal implications of the laran breeding plan as well as how the feudalistic society plays out in Darkover.Dorilys has been handfasted (or, betrothed) but since she has no control over her laran, when she gets frightened she lashes out with her power and unintentionally kills with it.Donal wants to marry Renata, but the circumstances with Aldaran force him into a different alliance.Renata was sent by the nearby Tower (where those with Laran work with their power) to help train Dorilys to control her laran.We are also introduced to Allart, a former monk but potential heir to the throne at Thendara.He has been hiding away trying to control his laran (he has the ability to see all possible futures resulting from every action and potential action), but is involved in this story, too.

While Darkover Landfall was little more than an introduction to the world of Darkover and how it was founded, Stormqueen! was a much richer novel.In this novel, Bradley gives us a sense of the world and strong, well written characters.It was easy to get wrapped up in the story, and it was intense at times.Reading Stormqueen only confirmed my desire to keep reading the Darkover series.Excellent fantasy novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Cautionary Tale
"Man is the only animal that thinks not to improve his race...Should we not seek to better ourselves as well our world and our surroundings?"

This is a quote from Stormqueen, but it won't be long before someone raises this question in the real world, or before we have the scientific capacity to create such a future. Marian Zimmer Bradley's prescient tale, written in the '70's, explores the very real consequences, the temptations and dangers, of such genetic manipulation.

For those not familiar with Darkover, think of it as the Middle Ages with psychic powers. It is warlike, patriarchal and pre-industrial. The lack of machines is made up for by crystals, or matrixes, which greatly amplify naturally occuring psychic powers, or laran. These have been developed to take the place of mechanical technology, for both peaceful or warlike means. (There is a striking and again, prescient, parallel between the "relay screens" and the internet.)

Like any talent, skills vary from person to person. These psychic gifts being the very foundation of Darkover civilization, people have been bred over generations for specific gifts, much like an animal breeding program. For the resulting children, death is common, as is mental/emotional instability.

All of the characters in Stormqueen have lives maimed by the breeding program. Mikhail of Aldaran has seen all of his children die; Allart has been cursed with a gift that shows him all possible consequences of each act; Renata has worked desperately to have a life beyond a childbearing pawn; Donal is forced into an intolerable situation due to his stepfather's desire for an heir.

And of course there is Dorilys, the young Stormqueen, a child with a gift far beyond her ability to handle it.A lesser writer would have made Dorilys a one-dimensional spoiled brat or "witch girl." The typical male SF writer would probably have turned her into an evil sex nymph. (See lurid cover art, which is the original from the '70's.)

In Bradley's hands, Dorilys is a fully human young girl, sometimes arrogant and spoiled, but also courageous and loving. These two aspects of her character pull her either way; until the end, it's never certain which will prevail.

The story does have its rough spots and slow places. I could have done with a little less about Allart and Cassandra's marriage, for example. You won't miss much if you skim those chapters. Since it was in there, I would have preferred a little more about how Cassandra grows from a highly dependent, girlish character into a tried and true woman.

As another reviewer noted, this is a tragedy in the classic Greek sense. At each turning or crossroads, there seems only one option, yet inevitably it leads to a tragic conclusion. The flaws of more than one character bring about the tragedy, but still it's hard to see how it could have been avoided.

This book is powerful sci-fi/fantasy with underlying serious issues. If you are concerned about some of the questions the world is facing, Stormqueen will speak to you.

I also recommend MZB's other early Darkover novels: Hawkmistress, Heritage of Hastur, Thendara House, even The Forbidden Tower (though it's not a favorite). They all feature intelligent characters dealing with complex ethical or emotional questions, with plenty of action thrown in.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down
"Stormqueen!" was the second Darkover book I read.It shows that good writing is when you read a book, and no matter how awful things are going on in the story, no matter how much you want to put it down for sheer exhaustion (emotionally and physically!), you just can't, you have to see it through.The characters are some of the best MZB ever created; compelling, well-drawn, and so familiar to the way people feel and act, be it noble or obscene.No one does anything by halves in this book; you've got all the ingredients for a titillating mix.Love found, and lost; unrelenting hatred; jealousy; incest; coldly manipulating authority figures; exotic locales; action and adventure!It sounds like the usual fare for your daytime soap, but in "Stormqueen!" it works.You'll fall in love with Allart and Donal, and have mixed feelings about the Stormqueen herself.A great enjoyable read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Way too wild!
This was the first Darkover book I ever read, when I was about eleven. I found it fascinating but confusing. I didn't really appreciate it until after I had read The Forbidden Tower and The Bloody Sun. Even those thesenovels are set hundreds or even thousands of years after the Ages of Chaosin which Stormqueen is set, they give you the background necessary tounderstand what was going on in this novel. The bewildering references toterrifying mental weapons, the complex and hubristic (and eventuallylethal) laran breeding program, the leroni, the bits of casta (e.g.barragana, nedestro etc) that are scattered through this novel are clear asday when you've read a couple of the others. Nevertheless this is one ofthe very best novels of Darkover, and the terrifying laran propertiesmanifested by the characters in this novel make the laran of later daysseem paltry by comparison. Some of the best characters in the series arepresent in this novel; Donal, Renata, Dorilys and Allart really areterrific. It's funny, but if anyone has ever read Jennifer Roberson'sChronicles of the Cheysuli I swear her Donal (Alix's son) was modelled onDonal Delleray. Similarly, Allart actually reminds me of Lew Alton - Ithink it must be the torment in him from his gift, a torment that MZBrepeatedly illustrates convincingly. Although the adult characters in thisnovel have more control over events and show more character development,Dorilys, the Stormqueen of the Hellers, is a character who will linger longin the reader's mind. She is a powerful force, almost as elemental as theenvironment she controls. Her shadow looms over the whole series subsequentto this novel, with frequent references made to her legend, numerous womennamed after her and even her preserved body enterred in perpetuity at holyHali. My sincerest dissapointment in the Darkover series is that the twocharacters who seemed most likely to rival Dorilys for sheer fire (as wellas laran potential), Clendori and Alanna Alar, were never given their ownbook. ... Read more

15. Dissecting The Purchase Agreement in Utah
by Tyson Cichos, Carolyn Cox, Bradley R. Jacobsen, Gregg Savage, Christopher Scharman, Thomas R. Taylor
Spiral-bound: 246 Pages (2006)

Asin: B000NI2Y8U
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The renewed appetite for mergers and acquisitions makes this manual an excellent time to learn more about acquisition transactions - whether structured as asset or stock acquisitions. As acquisition activity continues to heat up, you cannot afford to miss this manual. This manual will provide a detailed examination of a typical acquisition agreement, with particular focus on those provisions that are often highly negotiated. Discussions will highlight the competing perspective of the buyer and the seller with respect to those issues, and how their respective positions are often reflected in the language of the acquisition agreement. ... Read more

16. Collected Writings on Succulent Plants
by Richard Bradley
Hardcover: 220 Pages (1964-01-01)

Isbn: 0576294047
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17. The Shattered Chain
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Hardcover: Pages (1977)

Asin: B000HK5666
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18. 8 Volume Set
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Hardcover: Pages (1979-01-01)

Asin: B003M052CG
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19. Complete Darkover Series
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 Textbook Binding: Pages (1979-06)
list price: US$110.00
Isbn: 0686742400
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20. Collected writings on succulent plants
by Richard Bradley
 Unknown Binding: 199 Pages (1964)

Asin: B0000CMAMM
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