The Winds of Darkover

The Winds of Darkover - Marion Zimmer Bradley [These notes were made in 1984:]. This one fits chronologically into the Kennard Alton cycle, at the time between Kennard's youth (Star of Danger) and his maturity (Bloody Sun, etc.). Kennard himself does not appear, being on earth, but Larry (Lerrys), his Terran friend, does. As usual, culture clash is the chief source of amusement, followed closely by various forms of telepathy. A Terran mapper and explorer, Barron, goes out into the wilds and his mind is taken over by a non-Comyn telepath, Storn, who is lying blind and besieged in his castle. Meanwhile, his sister Melitta manages to steal out of the castle, has a nice little epic journey through some gooky caves, and eventually meets up with Barron (really Storn) in the barbaric Dry-Towns, where women are chained. The forge-goddess - another woman in chains - is eventually invoked by a very young Desideria to drive out the bandits, and it emerges, incidentally almost, that this power - this forge-goddess - is called Sharra - the same force that causes all the problems in many other books. I thought it was a pretty good entry in the field - a straightforward adventure, with no bedroom psychology, which can get pretty cloying after a while.