cover image Rediscovery


Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey. Daw Books, $18 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-88677-561-2

As established in Bradley's previous stories and novels about Darkover, the planet is the home of the descendants of the survivors of a crashed colony ship, who formed a medievally structured society that has endured for centuries. This tepid collaboration with Lackey ( Bardic Voices ) fills one important gap in the history of that world, to wit, the discovery of Darkover by the Terran Empire. The novel cuts back and forth between the Terran ship that discovers the Darkovans and the young telepath who first senses their arrival, and later contacts one of the Terran team. The authors seem more interested in constructing set pieces than building a coherent narrative. In so doing, they accomplish the dubious feat of creating interesting characters without employing them effectively: a kidnapping in the later chapters seems an extraneous event added to create conflict; that one of the major characters is killed is not made clear when it happens and is mentioned only casually several pages later. Fans of the series may want this missing link, but those unfamiliar with the world will still be in the dark. (Apr.)