The Alton Gift (Children of Kings, #1)
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The Alton Gift

by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Deborah J. Ross
Release date: 2007
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

After the tragic, untimely death of Regis Hastur, a ruler who struggled lifelong to save the beloved world of his birth from the ambitions of the ruthless Terran Federation, the Terrans have finally abandoned Darkover to pursue interstellar civil war.

As Lew Alton – returned home to the world of his birth after decades spent in exile as the Darkovan representative to the Terran Senate – wrestles with the dark shadows from his past, his daughter Marguerida's psychic Gifts warn her of impending danger. But danger to whom? For though her precognitive senses fill her with a feeling of imminent doom, she can see nothing specific in her visions of the ever-changing, uncertain future. Her husband Mikhail, as powerful head of the Hastur Domain, is her most obvious concern – for he's a likely target for assassination. Far too many would stand to gain from his demise.

Meanwhile, unknown to Marguerida, her son, Domenic, searches for his place in a world of shifting loyalties – torn between love for two very different women – and struggles to come to terms with his destiny as the heir to Hastur.

But while Francisco Ridenow, longtime adversary of the Hastur clan, plots to bring down Mikhail and Marguerida, and the rulers of Darkover think only of their own political issues, a far greater threat is facing their world.

Even as increasingly desperate refugees flood the streets of Thendara, Darkover's capital city, in the wilds of the far-distant Hellers an ancient menace rises once again – a power against which neither swords nor the psychic sorcery of Darkover can prevail. Only an outlaw Terran, fleeing from a past he cannot remember, may hold the key to Darkover's survival.

(updated 2017-01-18)

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Reviews (1)

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As a rule I am not a fan of another author stepping into a world created by a legend just to continue a series. Often the novels fall short and it is obvious that the book is a mercenary attempt by the publisher for more revenue. Deborah J. Ross's Darkover novels are a pleasant exception. It is obvious she has done her homework and while she stays true to Bradley's world she brings a style and viewpoint that is different enough to make the series her own without disappointing long time Darkover fans. - Ron Restorff
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