The Bloody Sun

The Bloody Sun - Marion Zimmer Bradley [These notes were made in 1984:]. This is one of the slightly earlier ones in (chronological) sequence, and was also one of the earliest written, though I read it in the 1979 revised edition. Bradley, it seems to me, has done a skilful job of hiding the seams of her revision, and I found this novel to have all the merits of her series in general: a lucid style, clear plot development, and a knack for developing a sympathetic set of characters. This novel takes place mostly in one of the "Towers," where telepaths (now a dying breed) learn to control and harness their "laran." The story is, specifically, that of Jeff Kerwin, who is (or at least believes himself to be) half-Terran. He returns to Darkover to search out what happened to his parents, and stumbles eventually onto a story that is more than he bargained for - the story of the renegade leronis Cleindori, brutally murdered in Jeff's infancy. She was his mother (was she, in turn daughter of Jaelle? See end of Thendara House - I'm not sure), and Damon was his father. There's a certain amount of bedroom farce in this one, as Jeff moves into the slightly different mores of a telepathic circle, falling first for Taniquel and then for Elorie, but the metaphysical (and physical) problem of how Elorie can be both a Keeper and sexually active is more important, and also links the current-generation story with that of Cleindori, who was persecuted for precisely the same reason. The volume concludes with a short story called "To Keep the Oath," which details the [pre-Thendara House:] story of Camilla's entrance into the Free Amazons.