The Alton Gift (Children of Kings #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

After generations of struggle to protect the unique native culture of Darkover from the ambitions of the ruthless Terran Federation, the Terrans have finally been forced to abandon Darkover due to interstellar civil war. As Lew Alton wrestles with the dark shadows from his past, his daughter Marguerida's psychic Gifts warn of her of impending danger. But danger to whom? Her husband Mikhail as powerful head of the Hastur Domain is her most obvious worry, for many would stand to gain from his demise. Her son ...
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The Alton Gift (Children of Kings #1)

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Overview

After generations of struggle to protect the unique native culture of Darkover from the ambitions of the ruthless Terran Federation, the Terrans have finally been forced to abandon Darkover due to interstellar civil war. As Lew Alton wrestles with the dark shadows from his past, his daughter Marguerida's psychic Gifts warn of her of impending danger. But danger to whom? Her husband Mikhail as powerful head of the Hastur Domain is her most obvious worry, for many would stand to gain from his demise. Her son Domenic searches for his place in a world of shifting loyalties, torn by his love for two very different women and troubled by his destiny as the heir to Hastur.



But while Darkover's powerful rulers face their personal demons, desperate refugees flood the streets of Thendara, Darkover's capital city, for in the mountains and ancient menace is once again on the rise—a power against which neither sword nor the psychic sorcery of Darkover can prevail.


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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

After the death of Regis Hastur, who labored to save his planet from exploitation by the Terran Federation, political tension heats up as Domenic Alton-Hastur, heir to the Hastur rule, faces opposition from longtime rival Francisco Ridenow, while unknown to all but a few, an ancient threat rears its head, wreaking havoc among Darkoverians of all ages and classes. Approved by the late Bradley to continue her Darkover novels, Ross remains faithful to Bradley's vision in this sequel to Traitor's Sun, creating a story filled with memorable characters, agonizing decisions, and powerfully subtle psychic forces. Suitable for all libraries, but particularly appropriate where the series has a following.


—Jackie Cassada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101218655
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/5/2007
  • Series: Darkover Series
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 95,475
  • File size: 569 KB

Meet the Author

Marion Zimmer Bradley
Marion Zimmer 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.

Marion Zimmer 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.

Biography

Marion Zimmer Bradley was writing before she could write. As a young girl, before she learned to take pen in hand, she was dictating stories to her mother. She started her own magazine -- devoted to science fiction and fantasy, of course -- as a teenager, and she wrote her first novel when she was in high school.

Given this history of productivity, it is perhaps no surprise that Bradley was working right up until her death in 1999. Though declining health interfered with her output, she was working on manuscripts and editing magazines, including another sci-fi/fantasy publication of her own making.

Her longest-running contribution to the genre was her Darkover series, which began in 1958 with the publication of The Planet Savers. The series, which is not chronological, covers several centuries and is set on a distant planet that has been colonized by humans, who have interbred with a native species on the planet. Critics lauded her efforts to address culture clashes -- including references to gays and lesbians -- in the series.

"It is not just an exercise in planet-building," wrote Susan Shwartz in the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers. "A Darkover book is commonly understood to deal with issues of cultural clash, between Darkover and its parent Terran culture, between warring groups on Darkover, or in familial terms."

Diana Pharoah Francis, writing in Contemporary Popular Writers, noted the series' attention on its female characters, and the consequences of the painful choices they must make: "Struggles are not decided easily, but through pain and suffering. Her point seems to be that what is important costs, and the price is to be paid out of the soul rather than out of the pocketbook. Her characters are never black and white but are all shades of gray, making them more compelling and humanized."

Bradley's most notable single work would have to be The Mists of Avalon. Released in 1983, its 800-plus pages address the King Arthur story from the point of view of the women in his life -- including his wife, his mother and his half sister. Again, Bradley received attention and critics for her female focus, though many insist that she cannot be categorized strictly as a "feminist" writer, because her real focus is always character rather than politics.

"In drawing on all of the female experiences that make of the tapestry of the legend, Bradley is able to delve into the complexity of their intertwined lives against the tapestry of the undeclared war being waged between the Christians and the Druids," Francis wrote in her Contemporary Popular Writers essay. "Typical of Bradley is her focus on this battle, which is also a battle between masculine (Christian) and feminine (Druid) values."

And Maureen Quilligan, in her New York Times review in 1983, said: "What she has done here is reinvent the underlying mythology of the Arthurian legends. It is an impressive achievement. Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Celtic and Orphic stories are all swirled into a massive narrative that is rich in events placed in landscapes no less real for often being magical."

Avalon flummoxed Hollywood for nearly 20 years before finally making it to cable television as a TNT movie in 2001, starring Joan Allen, Anjelica Huston, and Julianna Margulies.

Two years before she died, Bradley's photograph was included in The Faces of Science Fiction, a collection of prominent science fiction writers, such names as Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. Under it, she gave her own take on the importance of the genre:

"Science fiction encourages us to explore... all the futures, good and bad, that the human mind can envision."

Good To Know

Aside from her science fiction and fantasy writing, Bradley also contributed to the gay and lesbian genre, publishing lesbian fiction under pseudonyms, bibliographies of gay and lesbian literature, and a gay mainstream novel.

Bradley rewrote some editions of her Darkover series to accommodate real advances in technology.

Her first stories were published in pulp science fiction magazines in the 1950s.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Lee Chapman, Morgan Ives, Miriam Gardner, John Dexter
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 30, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      Albany, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      September 25, 1999
    2. Place of Death:
      Berkeley, California

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic

    The Terran Federation left Darkover to fight in an interstellar war not realizing just how powerful the people with laran (psychic powers are) or that they can be a weapon against an enemy. Now the old ways no longer work. There are less laran users and towers have been abandoned because there have not been enough people to fill them.---------------------- - Trailmen¿s Fever which was thought to have been wiped out by Terran science makes a pandemic return. The knowledge of how to cure it is locked in an encrypted file in the bioweapon files so those who know how to use a computer can¿t access it. However, there is one Terran soldier Jeram who chose to stay on Darkover. His mind was entered without his consent to erase a few of his memories so that the off-world military won¿t discover what laran can actually is. As the plague threatens the world, he is the Darkover¿s last hope.------------------------- Taking place after the federation forces have left, The Regent Mikhail and his wife Marguerida try to hold society together but the poor, caught in a cycle of devastation have no lords to help them. Their son is torn between love and honor and finds the strength to rule when his father takes ill. These characters make THE ALTON GIFT very special because they care about their people and the audience will hope they survive and their son Domenic finds love. The authors have written a complex tale with interwoven storylines that are entertaining and exciting. They create a world with its own culture that seems believable. This adds to the Darkover mythos.----------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Such a great book

    I miss Marion Zimmer Bradley, but Deborah J. Ross has captured her style completely. This is a great book and I am anxiously awaiting the second one in this series. A dear friend of mine turned me onto these books back in the early 80's and I have almost all of Marion's books except for some of the anthologies. I hope and pray that Deborah keeps writing them to keep Darkover alive! I could recommend reading all of Marion's novels but here are a few!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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