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Sharra's Exile by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Published by Del Ray Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
Sharra's Exile, the sequel to The Heritage of Hastur, is in many ways a rewrite of The Sword of Aldones, one of her earliest Darkover books ever. For years MZB had been dissatisfied with that earlier effort, and she finally took the opportunity to rewrite it to a more mature standard.
This is the story of Lew Alton's return to Darkover after his exile following the Sharra Uprising. His father had taken him offworld in hope that Terran science could provide healing for his terrible wounds. However, all attempts failed, each one more horribly.
Then Lew's father dies, and Lew must return to Darkover to take his place among the leaders of the Comyn, the ancient caste of telepaths who head Darkover's feudal culture. Doing so means bringing the terrible Sharra Matrix back with him, back in proximity with the activated focal points from which it can call a terrible power.
Various factions see the Sharra Matrix as a potential weapon to restore Darkover's lost greatness and drive the Terrans off Darkover forever. Many are willing to use it, heedless of the potential destruction it may well wreak.
However Lew is not alone in his struggle, for young Regis Hastur, the Heir to Hastur, has the ability to weild another ancient weapon, only this one for good. But an ancient and powerful sorceress, the Keeper Ashara, has other plans.
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Review posted July 20, 1999
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