Synopses & Reviews
The Terran Federation may be gone, but not forgotten...
Gareth Elhalyn, scapegrace prince and grandson of Regis Hastur, disguises himself as a trader and embarks upon a lighthearted lark to Carthon, on the border of the Dry Towns. Here he overhears rumors of Terran blasters in the barren lands beyond Shainsa. If the Federation has returned and is now arming the belligerent Dry Towners with illegal weapons, it could mean a disastrous conflict for the Domains. Gareth races across the desert to discover the truth, for the Lord of Shainsa has also heard of these "sun-weapons" and seeks them for himself. Meanwhile, Linnea Hastur searches for her long-lost daughter, Kierestelli, now called Silvana of Nevarsin Tower. Silvana rejects the overture and goes into hiding with the nearly-extinct nonhuman chieri who sheltered her as a child.
Gareth discovers a smuggler ship that has been trading blasters with local villagers in exchange for a hidden base. Before he can convince the off-worlders to depart, a heavily armed mercenary police ship arrives. In the battle that follows, the mercenaries take aim at the only functioning spaceport on Darkover -- in Thendara. In desperation, Gareth reaches out telepathically to warn of the impending attack...and reaches Silvana's mind. Silvana forms a circle with the remaining chieri and, using their ancient psychic technology, disarms the mercenaries.
The danger is not over, for the Dry Towners now have possession of Terran weapons. Gareth challenges the leader and wounds him mortally, then in an act of compassion uses his laran to save his enemy. The result is the first formal peace treaty between the Domains and the Dry Towns, and the dawn of a new age for Darkover. Silvana is reconciled with her family, and Gareth abdicates in favor of a permanent Regency.
Children of Kings follows The Alton Gift and Traitor's Sun in the Darkover timeline.
In the era of The Hundred Kingdoms, a time of war and unrest, King Carolin of Hastur and his friend Keeper Varzil Ridenow work selflessly to put an end to the destruction caused by the long range weapons of the magical matrix Towers. But Eduin Deslucido-who once called Carolin brother-has been consumed with a vengeful rage, and will stop at nothing to destroy the king and his plan for peace.
This brand-new novel of Darkover--a direct sequel to "Zandru's Forge" and the final book in the Clingfire trilogy--is the result of the late Marion Zimmer Bradley's collaboration with Deborah J. Ross.
Eons ago, a great king used a magical devicethe Seven-Petaled Shieldto defeat the forces of primal chaos, but now few remember that secret knowledge. When an ambitious emperor conquers the city that safeguards the Shield, the newly-widowed young Queen, guardian of the heart-stone of the Shield, flees for her life, along with her adolescent son. As one land after another falls to the empire, they become separated and her son fears the emperor has executed his mother. Consumed with grief and vengeance, he transforms himself into the agent of chaos, a ravening destroyer who threatens all the living world. The only ones standing in the way of annihilation are the mother he thinks is dead, a dispossessed enemy prince, a demented prophet, and the nomadic horsewoman whose love alone can heal the heart of the heir to the magical Shield.
Although the Terran Federation has departed Darkover due to a nasty interstellar civil war, the planets location in the galactic arm makes it a prime hideout for smugglers, rebels, and other refugees. When smugglers start arming the warlike Dry Towners with forbidden weapons, Gareth Elhalyn, grandson of Regis Hastur and heir to the throne, takes off on a secret mission to stop them...
Shannivar is a young warrior, skilled in horsemanship and archery and raised by her uncle, the clan chieftain. When all the other young warrior-women have set aside their bows and arrows for husbands, she still dreams of glory.
Desperate to resist the imperialistic arm of the nearby growing empire, all of the clans of her nation are gathering to propose an alliance with each other and nearby, still-independent countries. As Shannivar and her fellow delegates travel to the meeting, they encounter a stranger, Zevaron, heir to the magical Seven-Petaled Shield. Zevaron also seeks to halt the empires expansion on behalf of his own fallen lost nation and joins forces with Shannivar. Shannivar has never met anyone like Zevaron, with his aura of power and quiet assurance.
Soon the clan gathering is ready, except for the mysterious absence of the clan from the far north. When the ragged band of the missing delegates finally arrive, they tell strange and ominous stories of wolves running mad, reindeer turning cannibal, and man-sized, upright lizards, called stone-drakes.
Zevaron, bestowed with the ancient central petal of the mystical Seven-Petaled Shield, feels a great emanation of danger from the north upon learning this news. Together, he and Shannivar set out on a journey to discover the source of these dangersa quest even the prophets believe will fail.
Elemental magic existed before mankind was born, and for good or ill, some of this magic seeped into the world, eventually coalescing into a monstrous entity of Fire and Ice, a threat to all humanity.
Aided by his six brothers, a legendary king found the means to stand against this incarnation of chaos, forging six magical crystals surrounding a single luminous core: the Seven-Petaled Shield. With it, they subdued the entity and imprisoned it in the far North.
But with the passing of generations, the king's line faltered and his once-great city, Meklavar, diminished until its importance was all but forgotten. Yet within its walls the remnants of the Shield still held power.
Unaware of the legendary Shield and hungry only for a mighty empire, the king of Gelon has begun a march of conquest. But what could have been merely ruthless ambition becomes potentially cataclysmic when his unstoppable army turns toward Meklavar.
As the city falls, its newly widowed queen, Tsorreh, flees with her adolescent son, Zevaron, and the heart-stone of the Shield, seeking refuge in her mother's homeland -- but there may be nowhere in her world where refuge can be found.
For with the removal of the heart-stone, the ancient power of Fire and Ice strengthens, spreading its malevolent influence across the land. And this time there is no legendary king to stop it -- merely Tsorreh and her son, caught in the chaos, desperate heirs to a shattered Shield.
About the Author
was born in Albany, NY, on June 3, 1930, and married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949. Mrs. Bradley received her B.A. in 1964 from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, then did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-67.
She was a science fiction/fantasy fan from her middle teens, and made her first sale as an adjunct to an amateur fiction contest in Fantastic/Amazing Stories in 1949. She had written as long as she could remember, but wrote only for school magazines and fanzines until 1952, when she sold her first professional short story to Vortex Science Fiction. She wrote everything from science fiction to Gothics, but is probably best known for her Darkover novels.
In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, which she started in 1988. She also edited an annual anthology called Sword and Sorceress for DAW Books.
Over the years she turned more to fantasy; The House Between the Worlds, although a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club, was "fantasy undiluted". She wrote a novel of the women in the Arthurian legends -- Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, and others -- entitled Mists of Avalon, which made the NY Times best seller list both in hardcover and trade paperback, and she also wrote The Firebrand, a novel about the women of the Trojan War. Her historical fantasy novels, The Forest House, Lady of Avalon, Mists of Avalon are prequels to Priestess of Avalon
She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack. She was survived by her brother, Leslie Zimmer; her sons, David Bradley and Patrick Breen; her daughter, Moira Stern; and her grandchildren.