Plagued by a feeling of general uselessness, I decided to re-read
MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY
" today (first published in 1978) ... which, if you ask me, is by far the most interesting (dare I say
?) of her
novels. Well, it's certainly the only one that I have read more than once. In fact, it seems that I tend to come back to it every decade or so (which, clearly, can't be a good thing…).
Anyway, if you are not familiar with the Darkover universe, then … hmm, how shall it best describe it? Well, it's essentially
epic fantasy for frustrated housewives
. At least, that's the kind of clientele that usually attends the respective conventions (or any other medieval spectaculum or LARP get-together for that matter).
I really can't remember where or when I first encountered her books (someone probably knocked me over the head with it in the local library), but when I was shuffling through my transition, I - sort of - developed a temporary (and rather pretentious) soft spot for superficial feminism, and in its wake, I suppose, I must have read all the Darkover novels that were available at the time.
My second favourite back then was "
" (yes, also with an exclamation mark, and also from the so-called 'Ages of Chaos'), which - now that I think about it - I must have read at least twice as well … - though I can hardly recall anything of its plot anymore (apart from a handful of colourful scenes and the occasional hint of homo- erotica). But back to "
… which, actually,
quite fabulous, because it really has it all: the soap-opera-esque
(slash selective breeding, including
... of course!),
(with a capital R),
(here 'clingfire'), a variety of
(and other disturbances),
sword & sorcery
with non-humans (some animal -like, others manufactured),
Lords & noblemen
Kings & Queens
… and many more fun things (even spaceships, though not in this book) … - all set in an
extra-terrestrial version of the
(Well, at least in
Oh, yes... and it has this