Thursday, March 25, 2010

Traitor's Sun - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Traitor's Sun
Marion Zimmer Bradley
DAW Books
Copyright: 1998
9780886778118

The jacket blurb:
The power of laran
It has been fifteen years since Marguerida Alton returned to Darkover, discovered the terrifying powers of her special laran, and fell in love with Mikhail Lanart-Hastur, heir designate to the regency of Darkover. With the proper instruction, Marguerida has has, over time, learned to control her telepathic Gift, and can even work with her unique shadow matrix.

Now Marguerida's life is more settled - though no less hectic. As the second-in-command to the aging Regent, Regis Hastur, life in Comyn Castle for Marguerida and Mikhail is far from serene.

But the current tensions on Darkover have more to do with the Terran Federation than with anything internal to Darkover. For nearly ten years, Lyle Belfontaine, the corrupt and ambitious Station Chief at Federation Headquarters in Thendara, has been pressuring Comyn Council to relinquish Darkover's Protected status and join the Federation as a full member planet. Yet this is something Comyn Council will never agree to do, for it would mean the death of their culture and the rape of their planetary resources.

But when a military coup rocks the Federation, cutting off all communication with local envoys, Belfontaine sees an opportunity to wrest by force what he has been unable to gain thorugh diplomacy and plans a violent takeover on Darkover.

Can Mikhail and Marguerida face the might of Terrann weapons with only their combined telepathic laran powers?
The sequel to The Shadow Matrix and Exile's Song, Traitor's Sun is both connected to the previous books and a stand-alone in a sense. I'm almost more inclined to view it as a stand-alone in the world of Darkover: the book is set fifteen years after The Shadow Matrix and the main viewpoint characters are all new: Herm Aldaran and his wife, Katherine, and Dominic, the son of Marguerida and Mikhail. Even the plot lines are all new ones.

This book is signaling the end of an era in more ways than one: The changing characters, for example, and also the way the Terran Federation is falling apart, although there have been hints of that beginning in the previous books. Things are never going to be the same again, even on Darkover.

Definitely a needed book in the world of Darkover, it matches up nicely with Rediscovery in some ways - that being the introduction of the Terran Empire/Federation to Darkover, and this one being about the last days. Who knows what's going to happen next now?

Traitor's Sun winds things up very nicely, and yet at the same time leaves them open for some future date. Overall, I really liked reading this book.
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