The climactic conclusion of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross's Clingfire trilogy is set on Bradley's much-storied planet of Darkover in the war-filled era of the Hundred Kingdoms and chronicles a celebrated friendship that changed forever the bloody destiny of the planet.
Arguably an allegorical tale about modern-day warfare, the Clingfire trilogy (The Fall of Neskaya, Zandru's Forge) takes place during the lawless years leading up to the Compact, a historical treaty that forbade the use of all weapons that could kill from a distance; the honor-based principle being that anyone wishing to kill someone else must put their own life at equal risk. King Carolin of Hastur and his best friend, Keeper Varzil Ridenow, have dreamed about a world without war for years and, after much campaigning, the idea of the Compact is slowly being embraced by a growing number of kingdoms.
But there are factions that are against the Compact and will do anything to stop Carolin and Varzil from unifying Darkover. Eduin Deslucido -- tormented by a compulsion spell that his dead, vengeance-obsessed father planted in his mind -- is compelled to kill the king and his keeper. Can he break free from the powerful spell or is he doomed to carry out his father's murderous retribution? The conclusion of this trilogy is both exciting and melancholy. Bradley, who began the Darkover saga with the publication of Planet Savers in 1962, passed away in 1999 during the writing of these novels. Paul Goat Allen