Margaret Alton struggles to come to terms with not only her own telepathy but also the strange shadow matrix etched into her hand. As is traditional in Darkover, she is sent to a Tower to begin her training. While she is in training, her beloved, Mikhail Lanart-Hastur, is sent as Regent to the Elhalyn domain to test the children and judge if any of the boys is fit to be the next king. Margaret fights to learn how to control her powers, and to have her voice and wishes heard in the matter of her marriage. For as heir to the Alton Domain, Margaret alone could shift the balance of power in the Comyn Council. Mikhail has his own battles to fight as he finds the Elhalyn children neglected and their mother caught in the power of a strange spell waiting for an unknown Guardian to carry her and her children away to eternal life. But these are minor problems compared to what awaits them at Hali Tower on Midwinter night, as they journey back in time to meet Varzil the Good and defeat the evil of Ashara Alton. To understand this book readers must have read Exile's Song (DAW, 1996/VOYA December 1996) first. And it would help even more if they were familiar with other Darkover novels. In no way does this sequel stand alone. The novel is very complex as it details much of the society, politics, and culture of Darkover. Recommended for purchase only in libraries with large science fiction collections or Exile's Song on the shelf; there are too many characters and references to events in earlier books to make this an introduction to the rich and exciting world of Darkover. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).