Set during the lawless Ages of Chaos, when the ruling families of the Seven Domains of Darkover ruthlessly inbred their psychic offspring to gain powerful and fearsome talents, two young women are born with "wild" psychic gifts. These stories—Stormqueen! and Hawkmistress!, one tragic and one triumphant—combine to give the reader a vivid and poignant picture of a devastating time period in the history of this fantastic world.
During the lawless Ages of Chaos, when the ruling families of Darkover ruthlessly inbred their laran-gifted offspring to gain powerful talents, a baby was born to the lord of Aldaran. This child, born on a dark and thunder-filled night, was possessed of a terrifying and uncontrolled talent: Dorilys, heiress to her father’s domain, could unwittingly call forth lightning, even while still a fretful child. Fearful for his daughter’s life and the safety of his domain, Lord Aldaran sent to a tower for help. But even the powers of a trained monitor and a Hastur lord might not be enough to save this painfully afflicted and deadly young woman.
Romilly was an independent tomboy from a noble family, contrary to the social demands of Darkovan women. That was bad enough, but when Romilly’s father arranged her marriage to a nobleman she found repulsive, she rebelled. Disguising herself as a boy, she fled into the deep forests. Living off the land was not nearly as difficult for Romilly as for most people, for she possessed a rare and highly-treasured gift—telepathic communication with hawk and horse. But Romilly soon discovered her newfound freedom was far from complete. Pulled into the maelstrom of a civil war, could Romilly find her true role in life without sacrificing her ideals?
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About the Author
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, and 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.
Date of Birth:June 30, 1930
Date of Death:September 25, 1999
Place of Birth:Albany, New York
Place of Death:Berkeley, California
Education:B.A., Hardin-Simmons College, 1964; additional study at University of California, Berkeley, 1965-1967
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Excerpted from "The Ages of Chaos"
Copyright © 2002 Marion Zimmer Bradley.
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