Hastur Lord

( 15 )

Overview

A never-before-published fantasy novel set in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover universe.

The world of Darkover, a unique, isolated, and protected world, has long avoided becoming part of the technologically advanced Terran Empire. But things are about to change. Regis Hastur, lord of the most powerful of the seven Domains in Darkover, learns that the Empire is about to become a Federation, and is extending an invitation for all of the worlds to join. While the offer seems ...

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Overview

A never-before-published fantasy novel set in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover universe.

The world of Darkover, a unique, isolated, and protected world, has long avoided becoming part of the technologically advanced Terran Empire. But things are about to change. Regis Hastur, lord of the most powerful of the seven Domains in Darkover, learns that the Empire is about to become a Federation, and is extending an invitation for all of the worlds to join. While the offer seems tempting to his people, Regis knows that Darkover would become little more than a military base, used for its unique planetary position, and will be sapped of its resources. He must now stop at nothing to save his world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756406493
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Darkover Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 626,264
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 1.35 (d)

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.

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

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    exhilarating character driven Darkover thriller

    The Terran Empire was no more having morphed into the Federation. With that change, the philosophy of choice ends so that those worlds like Darkover that fail to join the Federation will receive a special visit from the insidious World Wreckers whose mantra is join or die.

    Darkover has had such a visit with the assassinations of the Comyn Council members. Only the Hastur of Hastur, Regent of Darkover, remains in the way of a Terran takeover that would exhaust the planet's natural resources as a military stop. The ruler however is old and dying. His grandson Regis Hastur is heir, but he prefers not to rule as that would mean giving up his beloved Danilo Syrtiss. However, on his death bed, the current ruler informs his grandson that he has an older half-brother Rinaldo hidden away in shame. Regis always wanted a sibling, but now feels he might have a way to give up being the heir at a critical time when the planet lacks strong leadership.

    This is an exhilarating character driven Darkover thriller, which apparently Deborah J. Ross completed from a manuscript written by the late great Marion Zimmer Bradley before she died over a decade ago. The story line is fast-paced as the Terrans use any means to gain control, but it is the two brothers who make the novel work as in spite of their psi powers they seem real. With a super look at power, responsibility, accountability and leadership; fans of the saga will not be able to delineate what are Ms. Ross' touches and what was Ms. Bradley as we welcome a new Darkover entry.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Addition to the Series

    Deborah J. Ross richly contributes to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, what I believe to be is another character developing chapter in the life of Regis Hastur. His position in the Comyn is challenged along with the efforts of his Telepathic Council of common people and offworlders, but also his love for his paxman Danilo is in jeopardy. As the Terran Empire makes the swift and galaxy changing political move to establish itself as a Federation, Darkover could lose its status of being a Class D Closed World. While resisting Ridenow's push for Federation membership, Regis will continue to struggle with his role as Heir to his Domain, his proposal to Linnea the Keeper, and he rush to move the burden of Hastur of Hastur onto the all too willing shoulders of his newfound cristoforo older brother. Here is where Deborah J. Ross will use her talents to interweave the political complications that Regis and Darkover are forced to face, in addition to the overwhelming inquisition like revolution that Rinaldo will make with his cristoforo religion. He means to cleanse the entire planet of sin, with the crazed and misguided influence of offworlder Tiphani, Lawton's wife. Driven by his newfound power in status, Rinaldo is not above kidnapping the young children of the Comyn or those of the Thendara Trade City either. Compromising the increasingly delicate Darkoveran and Terran relations, and dangerously close to the verge of a war, Rinaldo's actions with his believed to be prophet Luminosa, will demand that Regis not only take back his hereditary role as Hastur Lord, but he must save his marriage, family members, lover, and the planet from the manipulated mistakes of the fanatic, the brother he loves and trusts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2010

    Hastur Lord Well Worth the Read

    While I have pretty much have read everything Marion Zimmer Bradley has written, I must admit that I was somewhat skeptical of others writing/dabbling in this world. But I truly believe that Deborah J. Ross has done a magnificant job with this story and brings to life a time period between "The World Wreckers" and "Exile's Song"...

    While the Alton Gift introduced us to some new characters post "Traitor's Sun",..I believe that the Hastur Lord brings to life those who are very complex and how their lives were woven together - particularly how Regis Hastur has made choices in not only his early life but also during the time of Exile's Song and beyond.

    I truly appreciated the writing, the style, and the character development of this fantastic read. Even the subplot of men being pledged to one another brought to me a wonderful depiction of honor, loyalty, and love. The trust that builds due to one man's honor is something that I believe is so lacking in our own culture at times. Thank you Ms. Ross for having the courage to write about courage, trust, and honor in a way that defies convention and what is called "normal." Certainly - this read can provide all that you need for drama, originality, and character development. It has plugged some holes in my understanding of the Darkover world.

    Again, thank you!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Addition to the Series

    Deborah J. Ross richly contributes to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, what I believe to be is another character developing chapter in the life of Regis Hastur. His position in the Comyn is challenged along with the efforts of his Telepathic Council of common people and offworlders, but also his love for his paxman Danilo is in jeopardy. As the Terran Empire makes the swift and galaxy changing political move to establish itself as a Federation, Darkover could lose its status of being a Class D Closed World. While resisting Ridenow's push for Federation membership, Regis will continue to struggle with his role as Heir to his Domain, his proposal to Linnea the Keeper, and he rush to move the burden of Hastur of Hastur onto the all too willing shoulders of his newfound cristoforo older brother. Here is where Deborah J. Ross will use her talents to interweave the political complications that Regis and Darkover are forced to face, in addition to the overwhelming inquisition like revolution that Rinaldo will make with his cristoforo religion. He means to cleanse the entire planet of sin, with the crazed and misguided influence of offworlder Tiphani, Lawton's wife. Driven by his newfound power in status, Rinaldo is not above kidnapping the young children of the Comyn or those of the Thendara Trade City either. Compromising the increasingly delicate Darkoveran and Terran relations, and dangerously close to the verge of a war, Rinaldo's actions with his believed to be prophet Luminosa, will demand that Regis not only take back his hereditary role as Hastur Lord, but he must save his marriage, family members, lover, and the planet from the manipulated mistakes of the fanatic, the brother he loves and trusts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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