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Another installment in the Darkover series, the sequel to Exile's Song continues the story of Margaret Alton's return to Darkover, where she tries to understand the pattern behind her unique powers and wield them for good.
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Marion Zimmer was born in Albany, NY, on June 3, 1930, and married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949. Mrs. Bradley received her B.A. in 1964 from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, then did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-67.
She was a science fiction/fantasy fan from her middle teens, and made her first sale as an adjunct to an amateur fiction contest in Fantastic/Amazing Stories in 1949. She had written as long as she could remember, but wrote only for school magazines and fanzines until 1952, when she sold her first professional short story to Vortex Science Fiction. She wrote everything from science fiction to Gothics, but is probably best known for her Darkover novels.
In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, which she started in 1988. She also edited an annual anthology called Sword and Sorceress for DAW Books.
Over the years she turned more to fantasy; The House Between the Worlds, although a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club, was "fantasy undiluted". She wrote a novel of the women in the Arthurian legends -- Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, and others -- entitled Mists of Avalon, which made the NY Times best seller list both in hardcover and trade paperback, and she also wrote The Firebrand, a novel about the women of the Trojan War. Her historical fantasy novels, The Forest House, Lady of Avalon, Mists of Avalon are prequels to Priestess of Avalon
She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack. She was survived by her brother, Leslie Zimmer; her sons, David Bradley and Patrick Breen; her daughter, Moira Stern; and her grandchildren.From Booklist:
This direct successor to Exile's Song really ought to be read in conjunction with that book, but in any event, it is a high-class addition to Bradley's Darkover saga. Margaret Alton is trying to master her gifts and the Shadow Matrix; Mikhail Lanart-Hastur, her lover, is on a wild-goose chase, courtesy of his uncle, Lord Regis Hastur; Mikhail's mother is fussing; and the lovers are trying to overcome political and family objections to their marriage. Just as they are up to their hindquarters in alligators, they are flung back to the Age of Chaos, in which Varzil the Good acts as a sort of deus ex machina to tie up several loose ends and generate others. The whole plot has a certain melodramatic, even operatic, quality, but the pacing is brisk, the setting is well handled, and the book succeeds at the most basic level of keeping the reader--particularly the hard-core Darkover reader--turning the pages. The characters sometimes indulge in illogical angst, and the Terran Empire, showing its invincible stupidity in handling Darkover, remains something of a straw villain. Bradley's saga is clearly showing some signs of age, but Darkover remains a monumental achievement, one that seems likely to spur more than a few additional good tales from its creator. Roland Green
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