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The Shattered Chain by Marion Zimmer Bradley
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Re-read, first time in a decade or more.

The writing is not great but the story is strong. It's hard for me to tell if the story is good because I've internalized it through constant re-reading throughout my late adolescence, or if the story actually does transcend the pedestrian writing. Either way, I enjoyed re-visiting the place. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
This blend of fantasy and science fiction was recommended to me by a friend in 10th grade. A male friend I might add. Marion Zimmer Bradley had strong female characters, but in Darkover she also had a swashbuckling appeal that crossed genders. He recommended I start with this Darkover novel, despite that it's not the first chronologically for a couple of reasons. First, MZB always wrote the Darkover novels as standalones. They all have the same backdrop, on the planet of Darkover, but although some novels are more closely connected, you can start anywhere. Second, he thought this was a crackling good tale to begin with and I'd agree. This is still a good entry into Darkover which was written from 1958 to 1989. (There were some collaborations afterwards, but I don't think they're her best.) Moreover, in her early written Darkover novels she was still learning her craft, and I think it shows. So there's a sweet spot between 1974 and 1984 where I believe the best of her series was written, and this is right in the middle. And I do love her "Renunciates" aka "Free Amazons." Especially for a young girl pre-Buffy with few kick-ass heroines this really was wonderful to read. Indeed, I far prefer MZB's Darkover novels to any of the Avalon books. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Oct 21, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marion Zimmer Bradleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barr,GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, MelvynCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hescox, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
for Tracy
in return for
Telling me the joke about
the spaceman, the leronis and
the three Dry-Towners.
First words
From this day forth, I renounce the right to marry save as a freemate. (The Oath of the Free Amazons)
Night was lowering across the Dry Towns, hesitating as if, at this season, the great red sun were reluctant to set.
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Book description
While only women can command the role power of the matrix and the secret sciences which keep Darkover from Terran hands, in most respects they are still chattel - indeed in some barbaric parts even kept enchained.
Yet there are the bands of pledged women known as the Free Amazons, equal to men and outside the laws that keep the rest of their sex subservient. 
It is the free Amazons who provide the key to the Terran-Darkover dilemma.
    ----------------------------

Her sister had been kidnapped by the Dry-towners 14 years ago.
Now she learns that the daughter born to her sister and her Dry Town lord is about to be chained as all women of the Dry Towns are.
So Lady Ardais enlists the aid of the Free Amazons to take her into the Dry Towns and free her niece before that can happen.
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Long out of print, these three Darkover books tell the tale of two Free Amazon women whose lives are irrevocably entwined.

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