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Author Marion Zimmer Bradley

Title The Heritage of Hastur

Reviewer stranger

Genre science fiction

Kink M/M
psychic bdsm

Grade ****-  Very good

Explicitness No detailed sex, though sexual episodes are indicated and implied, and sexual interest and tension is a strong part of several highlighted relationships.

Summary Coming-of-age novel for Regis Hastur, and also for Lew Alton. Regis Hastur resents his foreordained role in Darkovan society, and becomes even less happy when one of his few friends, Danilo, is disgraced by an accusation from Dyan Ardais.

The Darkovan aristocracy are often telepaths, and in the past laran, as psi talent is called, has powered their mining and enough technology to make the world a blend of medieval and modern. Introduction of Terran machine technology threatens to disrupt the established society in the Comyn domains. It seems, however, that one domain, Aldaran, is accepting more trade and technology from Terra than the Comyn Council likes.

Lew Alton is sent as the envoy to Aldaran Domain and there meets several young telepaths who want to work with a dangerously large matrix crystal to amplify psi for technological uses. Their matrix, however, is tainted by its former use as a weapon (or by Sharra, goddess of fire and uncontrolled fury, according to the older beliefs). They are rash enough to kidnap another telepath, Danilo, but when Danilo is discovered missing, Regis follows to rescue him. In Aldaran Domain, neither Lew nor Regis nor Danilo is in a good position to refuse to work with the Sharra matrix, although it is obvious to them that only destruction can result.

Longer summary

Quality The characters and relationships are well drawn in two parallel storylines which deepens the impact of the father-son tension, the stories of awakening love, the handling of abuse of power, that happen to them both. A complex political situation is given in terms that make sense in the plot and don't get in the way of action. Most of the conflicts have two (or more) sides which are all shown as understandable from some viewpoint, so that there are fallible humans rather than stock villains, and heroes who make mistakes. The background and some history of the Darkovan society are part of the narrative without lumpy exposition, giving the story a rich backdrop as well as strongly emotional events and action.

Sequels/prequelsThe Darkover series is a fairly loose, common-background series of books rather than a single story in many volumes. The common setting is the harsh climate of the planet Darkover with its inhabitants who have developed psi talents as one part of a society with numerous subcultures, social strata, and eras of history. The writing (and Darkovan society for the most part) always leaves room for the possibility of same-sex love and other variants on m/f monogamy, even when it's not a major point in a storyline.

Titles of the series. This may not be complete, and these are not in publication order nor in the sequence of Darkovan history. It includes several collections of stories written by fans of the series, selected and edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Bradley's own books in the series vary from SF adventure to colorful fantasy, and from verging on didactic to intensely human drama.

The Bloody Sun
City of Sorcery
Darkover Landfall: The Founding
The Darkover Saga
Domains of Darkover
Four Moons of Darkover
Free Amazons of Darkover
Exile's Song
The Forbidden Tower
Hawkmistress!: The Ages of Chaos
The Heirs of Hammerfell
The Heritage of Hastur
The Keeper's Price
Leroni of Darkover
The Planet Savers
Red Sun of Darkover
Renunciates of Darkover
The Shadow Matrix
Sharra's Exile
The Shattered Chain
Snows of Darkover
The Spell Sword
Star of Danger
The Sword of Aldones
Sword of Chaos
Thendara House
Towers of Darkover
Traitor's Sun
Two to Conquer
The Winds of Darkover
The World Wreckers

Warnings Jump to warnings (may contain spoilers)

Gay Sci-Fi:
    Gay Fantasy:
    Gay Mystery:
    Gay Humor:
    Gay Thriller:

Warnings (may contain spoilers) Heavy angst, including physical and psychological abuse during the course of the plot.

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