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First published in 1965, Star of Danger is a work that stands as a foundation for the bestselling Darkover series, introducing many loyal fans to this wonderful, ...
First published in 1965, Star of Danger is a work that stands as a foundation for the bestselling Darkover series, introducing many loyal fans to this wonderful, mysterious world. Two natives of Darkover are forced to combine Darkover matrix magic with Terran technology to stand against a shared enemy. Reissue.
Posted June 15, 2010
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It is so refreshing to finally read a Darkover story where the main character is a man and not a woman. Even though the female characters that Marion Zimmer Bradley writes are strong, they can at times be overbearing and whiny.
Larry was a bit of a weak character at first, but when he and Kennard began their adventure and friendship together, Larry proves to be a strong and interesting character.
Sixteen year old Larry is eager for adventure and discovery. He gets his wish when his father tells him that he has been reassigned and they will be traveling to the planet Darkover.
Larry is confronted will all kinds of cultural barriers when they land. He soon finds himself in a fight against the local young men, brutes of the trade city, on his first day on Darkover.
Larry and Kennard quickly become friends after the fight in the trade city. Kennard observes that Larry is not like other Terrans. To his benefit, Larry made the effort to learn the Darkovan language. Also, he solves his own problems himself. He doesn't call out for help from elsewhere or from someone on the outside. He is invited to the house of the ruling Altons. He is surprised to discover that they have the ability to read his mind, but that doesn't seem to disturb him any. The real trouble starts when his father forbids him from leaving the safety of their dormitory at the Terran space port, because of the fear that Larry will unknowingly cause irresolvable conflict between the two aliens leading to a war. Torn between obeying his father and keeping his word to Kennard, Larry decides that the right thing for him to do is to stay true to his word, and deliver on his promise to the Altons.
When the Legate, Commander Reade gets wind of Larry's friendship with the powerful Comyn family, he asks him to continue the friendship and deliver any helpful information regarding the Darkovans or even the Altons back to the Terran Empire. He wants him to spy on his friend who can read his mind!
Faced with fighting the disastrous and deadly fires racing across the hills, brutal and murderous bandits, and a deep prejudice between the two aliens, Larry wants to earn the right to be recognized as a man.
When he is kidnapped under the wrong assumption that he is Kennard Alton because of his copper hair, Larry learns about psi powers, matrix jewels, and their potential dangers.
Because Larry is under the protection of the Altons when he signed the Legate's proposal, Kennard is forced to deliver Larry back to his father alive and healthy, in order to avoid a possible war that will make the gap between the Terrans and Darkover impossible to bridge, and to keep his and his family's honor. In Kennard's rescue attempt, the two young men will battle the frightening Cyrillon des Trailles's matrix jewel and banshees, get captured by the trailmen, and travel across the harsh, snowed in mountain pass in order to reach the safety of Hastur's castle.
Their journey will eventually end with a chieri-folk, who will tell them of their planet Earth roots and heritage. This information will lead to the first step in the reunion of the Terrans and Darkovans, to share in one another's technology and knowledge. For some members of the Terran Empire, they don't realize that Darkover was where they were born, and that is why the primitive planet is so familiar. It was once their home.
Posted April 3, 2007
Sixteen-year-old Larry Montray is thrilled when his father accepts an assignment in the Terran trade enclave on a far away world called Darkover. Settled by human castaways so long ago that it now has a culture drastically unlike that of Terra, Darkover fascinates Larry. Despite restrictions on contact between the Terran visitors and Darkover's natives, he manages to form a friendship with Kennard Alton, a Darkovan of his own age who's reckoned a grown man instead of a boy. When the noble Alton family invites Larry for an extended visit at their remote estate, his father's superiors are delighted at the opportunity to learn more about these people and their fiercely individualistic society. Larry's father, although far from delighted, allows the visit. He, too, sees its value and he has another reason that neither we nor Larry will learn until the book's very end. This old-fashioned science fiction adventure stands the test of time (original publication date: 1965) very well indeed. Its theme - how coming of age requires societies, as well as individuals, to temper freedom with self-control - is one that will have meaning as long as humans remain, well, HUMAN. I didn't think until after I'd finished the book about its almost complete absence of female characters, and then - since I'm familiar with Bradley's ability to write fully realized women, from her later works- I guessed that she chose not to bother depicting them in the stereotyped fashion that was usual in 60s SF. What's really interesting is that I didn't pick up on their absence at all while the story had me in its grip.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2010
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