City of Sorcery (First Age #6)by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Haunted by mysterious images of hooded figures, Magdalen Lorne, chief Terran operative on Darkover, pursues a quest not only to the frozen ends of the physical world but also to the perilous limits of the spiritual world. And there she is tested by the evil sorcery of the Dark Sisterhood.
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After a long over-due hiatus from Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover, I return with the "City of Sorcery". For me, it was a definite improvement from its grueling predecessor "Thendara House". I actually liked it a lot, and I'm looking forward to the next omnibus series, "The Forbidden Circle". In the third installment in the Saga of the Renunciates trilogy, Jaelle and Magda are at odds, again. Magda continues to be torn from her Terran and Darkovan cultures. She also struggles with her ability of laran. To clarify, the Terrans think its bunk. That there is no laran. When a competitor in Terran Intelligence returns to HQ with an exploratory sighting of a settlement way beyond the known Darkovan world, the intimate group of Free Amazons and a few responsible HQ personnel join in their quest. Their journey over and through the frozen and deadly Wall of the World is kinda expected, but still entertaining to see how each one deals with it or does not deal with it, individually. (This is were I learned who I do and do not like in the two groups.) The book has more adventure and action, which kept my interest. The characters had surprising secrets to tell by the end of the book. They will have to overcome not only the unforgiving elements, but also an inhospitable village, and a threatening sorceress Acquilara in order to save Lexie and Rafaella from the clutches of the Dark Sisterhood!
If you are into gay and lesbian fiction, this is a good book. If you are a feminist, this is a good book. If you must have your characters leap off the page and hug you, this is a great book. I was honored to have MZB comment on my writing, in 1996, and I never made it to write for her, but I admired her work greatly, and those of her protege, Mercedes Lackey.