The Keeper's Price

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It is a great honor to be a Keeper of Arilinn and lead a circle of magic-workers, but the price can be higher than you ever dreamed.
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The Keeper's Price

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Overview

It is a great honor to be a Keeper of Arilinn and lead a circle of magic-workers, but the price can be higher than you ever dreamed.
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com - A.J. Chodan
Take your favorite Darkover novel, compress it into a few pages but leave all the emotional impact in place--that's "The Keeper's Price."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780886772369
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/1980
  • Series: Darkover Anthology Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marion Zimmer Bradley
Elisabeth Waters sold her first short story in 1980 to Marion Zimmer Bradley for THE KEEPER'S PRICE, the first of the Darkover anthologies. She then went on to sell short stories to a variety of anthologies. Her first novel, a fantasy called CHANGING FATE, was awarded the 1989 Gryphon Award. She is now working on a sequel to it, in addition to her short story writing and anthology editing. She currently edits the SWORD AND SORCERESS anthologies. She has also worked as a supernumerary with the San Francisco Opera, where she appeared in La Gioconda, Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, Khovanschina, Das Rheingold, Werther, and Idomeneo.

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

Read an Excerpt

The pain had started.

Hilary was aware of it even in her sleep, but, knowing that her body needed at least another two hours' rest, she tried to ignore it. But the gnawing discomfort deep in her body would not be ignored; after an hour she gave up the futile attempt and threw on a robe, slipping silently down the stairs to the still-room to make herself a cup of golden-flower tea. She knew from experience that it would numb the cramping pain, at least a little. It might also, she thought, settling back into her bed, make her sleepy. At least that was what the other women said. Somehow it never seemed to work that way with Hilary. It only made her arms numb and her head feel fuzzy, and the room seemed unbearably warm as things swam in and out of focus. The effects of the tea wore off all too quickly, and the heavy cramping pains, contractions, Leonie called them, became worse and worse, moving up from her abdomen to her stomach to her heart, so that she felt constricted and aching, struggling for breath.

She had only to call, she knew, and someone would come. But in a Tower filled with telepaths, help would be there when she absolutely needed it ... and she didn't want to disturb anybody unless she had to.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I Liked It

    VAI DOM: Marion Zimmer Bradley writes that this short story "comes first in this collection [...] because it is, chronologically, the earliest in recorded Darkovan history, coming only a few generations after Darkover Landfall." A combination of drunkenness, powerful laran, and fighting the native Darkover bird-like creatures, the Ya-men, causes a blood debt between the childhood friends Darriel di Asturien and Robard Macrae. THE KEEPER'S PRICE: Tells the heart aching story of Callista Lanart making her decision to be Keeper of Arilinn, and not fully understanding the price she will have to pay to avoid the increasingly deadly crisis that Hilary endures for the sake of the Tower. THE HAWKMASTER'S SON: (2 of 4 of the Dyan Ardais Short Story Series) Another great story with Rafael Hastur and Rafe Syrtis, when they were cadets in the Thendara City Guard. However, Dyan Gabriel, the Regent of Ardais, will not stand for a commoner such as Rafe raising his status through a marriage that goes against the Comyn's authority. BLOOD WILL TELL: The second chapter of book one (pages 39 to 57) of 'Sharra's Exile' was previously published in a slightly different form as a short story: 'Blood Will Tell' in 'The Keeper's Price'. This is a sequel to 'The Heritage of Hastur'. This novel is a complete rewrite of 'The Sword of Aldones'. This short story takes place after 'Destined for the Tower' in 'Towers of Darkover'. It's a fantastic tale, (and one of my favorites), of how the damaged Lewis Alton met up with Dio Ridenow of Serrais on the pleasure planet Vainwal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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