The Planet Savers & The Sword of Aldones

The Planet Savers & The Sword of Aldones - Marion Zimmer Bradley [These notes were made in 1984:]. My sister left this double-bill behind her and it was my undoing, sending me on a tremendous Zimmer Bradley kick. The Planet Savers is a short and very early (in order of writing) novel which takes place in the young manhood of Regis (Danilo, alas, is nowhere to be found). Central character is Jay-Jason Allison, a Terran doctor whose repressed "other" personality is released so that he can go among the Trailmen, who brought him up, and find a cure for the disease afflicting Darkover. He eventually manages to integrate the two sides of his personality, and acknowledge his love for Kyla, the Free Amazon guide. A brief and chilling short story about a sadistic young maiden in olden times ("The Waterfall") interposes between the novels. The Sword of Aldones is a revamped version of the very first Darkover novel, and shows signs of immaturity in conception and execution. Yet, as a story, it's not half bad, revolving as it does around the struggle to wipe out the evil matrix, Sharra. Its heroes are Lew Alton, Kennard's son, and an older Regis. There is great confusion among the women, who seem to alternately possess each other's bodies without much guiding pattern, but the climax, where Regis, Callina/Dio, and Lew combine their mental forces against Sharra's champions, is a smasher in its genre, and the appearance of a child for Lew (Marja) an interesting touch, no doubt intended as basis for another novel. Both the novels, by the way, are first-person, from the viewpoints of (respectively), Jay and Lew. At the end is part of an essay by Bradley, "A Darkover Retrospective", telling about how she came to write the various novels, and it shed a lot of light on these, as well as suggesting a few more for me to buy. From the vantage-point of further experience in the later novels, I'm glad I came to this book first, so that I wasn't disappointed in the relatively undeveloped form of now familiar characters like Regis.