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Two to Conquer (Darkover #7)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,912 ratings  ·  31 reviews
What forces would operate if there were two objects that were absolutely identical in form and substance? This problem has occupied both workers in magic and the scientists of physics and psychology. It is the pivot of Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel of Darkover during the final flaming days of the Ages of Chaos.

This is the story of the era when the planet of the Bloody Sun
Mass Market Paperback, 335 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by DAW (first published June 1st 1980)
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Community Reviews

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Implausible technology. Unsympathetic characters. Unhealthy relationships.

Bradley takes an original twist on the doppelganger concept -- in her universe there really are two identical versions of every individual (don't ask me how people on Darkover know this when their planet is isolated and low-tech). And what could be more useful to a ruthless conqueror than another him to direct his forces and, in this case, help kidnap the unfortunate maiden he is obsessed with?

Realistically, Bradley is ri

Two to Conquer is a relatively good Darkover book, but it's also glaringly flawed. Marion Zimmer Bradley makes an interesting choice in that our protagonist, Bard, is a truly awful human being. Not just a little awful, but rage-prone, murderous, serial rapist awful. This is our protagonist? That's right.

Bard is a warrior in a small kingdom caught in up the shifting alliances among many other small kingdoms. War is all he knows, and it is what he excels at. He's a strong and capable man. But he's

Continuing my Bradley kick.

This is a much superior novel to the first two I reviewed. It's set prior to the Winds of Darkover and the Planet Wreckers. It's pretty early chronologically in Darkover's "history," although a more recent in terms of when it was written. It's well before "recontact," when humans rediscover Darkover after thousands of years, and well before the period when the Hasturs set up the "comyn," which are an attempt to establish rules of warfare and telepathy use to prevent wh
This is one of my favorite Darkover novels because Bradley is taking a risk. The two male leads are not "good men" in the beginning of the book. The book is about how society makes us, but also about how we can redeem ourselves. It is also one of the few books that has a "beauty and the beast" role reversal.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Kenji
I'm a fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley, but my affection for her rests not on the Avalon books, which I didn't care for, but her Darkover series. Darkover is a "lost colony" of Earth that falls back into a medieval society. Ruled by a psychically gifted aristocracy, after centuries it's rediscovered by a star-spanning high-tech human federation, giving the series a feel of both science fiction and fantasy. Most books focus on the clash between the two cultures. This is no exception, even though set ...more
A Darkover novel set in the Ages of Chaos. Bard and his father are determined to conquer as much as they can grasp, but even the military genius of Bard can't handle a war with as many fronts as they anticipate. Using forgotten magic they pull in from the Federated Worlds an exact duplicate of Bard to lead part of their war. Are Paul and Bard so alike that they must kill each other in the end?

TWO TO CONQUER is about personal evolution. Bard is so spoiled by his mastery and hatred of women that h
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christopher Sutch
After a string of truly groundbreaking, excellent novels in the _Darkover_ series throughout the 1970s, Bradley seems to have stumbled a bit with this novel. Unlike _Stormqueen!_, Bradley's previous novel set in the "Ages of Chaos," there is little enlightening about the Darkover mythos in this book; further the plot and, especially, the characterization are both distinctly subpar. To me, it seems like Bradley may have had an idea for a much shorter work (essentially, the third book as printed i ...more
The flat 'good girls'/'bad boys' characters did spoil part of my reading pleasure. With all due respect to MZB who invented this fascinating world , and the time frame some of the darkover books were written in. Although this part is from the early eighties ...
Amy Nelson
Another Darkover book. Objectively, they are really not very good books, but I can't help but devour them whenever I find them in secondhand bookstores. I love getting lost in the implausible, imaginary world.
Didn't really care for this one. It's basically about a serial rapist. I'm not sure I thought he got his in the end, though Bradley was clearly trying for redemption. Ugh.
I remember reading both books in this set Years ago. Maybe close to when they were first published. Darkover Landfall was written after a lot of the other Darkover books were written and you can see, a little, how Bradley worked in the origins of some of the things she'd already written into the world she invented. I had more trouble reading Two to Conquer. Partly because the main character was so unpleasant. Realistic, but not much fun to be around. It took way too long for him to reform, in my ...more
Nov 13, 2011 Grace added it

It was like a clarion call in my head. I was about 15 pages into this book, having absorbed the fact that at least one of the main characters was going to be a raping, murdering convict, and it was like someone just came up behind me and said "You don't have to read it anymore, you know."

"Really?" I said. "I have all the books right here on the table, after all, and surely there's a reason they're so popular..."

"No," said the voice. "Sometimes an author just strikes it lucky for no good r
The concept of a Cheryllis double is an interesting one, and would repay thoughtful examination. This ain't it. The assumption seems to be that identity in physical characteristics (down to birthmarks) would result in identity in character, no matter what the circumstances of rearing and adult life. This is not only provably false (cf Stephen Jay Gould's discussion of the singular personalities of Chang and Eng Bunker, the original 'Siamese Twins'), it's implausible on the face of it. And the ch ...more
周婉蓮 차우 크리스티나 Cass
I read the first book in this omnibus, Darkover Landfall in 2008. I'm now continuing with Two to Conquer. I am following my own reading order for the Darkover novels as described on my blog - - except that I read Darkover Landfall earlier and am reading Two to Conquer now after Hawkmistress! instead of after City of Sorcery.

The 5 star rating on here is for Darkover Landfall. I'll adjust the rating, if necessary, after I read Two to Conquer (and maybe writ
Ariana Deralte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marcello Tarot
Ingiustamente sottovalutato

Si legge spesso che “Il sapiente di Darkover” (“Two to Conquer”) sia – insieme a “Gli eredi di Hammerfell” – uno dei romanzi più deboli della saga. Avendolo appena riletto al momento di questo scritto, mi sento di dissentire e continuo piuttosto a trovare ben più deboli i romanzi della saga incentrati sulle Libere Amazzoni, che si riescono a leggere solo grazie allo stile felice di Marion Zimmer Bradley (in caso contrario, sarebbero un mattone!).
Per di più, “Il sapien
[These notes were made in 1984:]. This is a novel about rape, with a secondary interest in the doppelganger. It's set in early days before the unification (or rather during the beginning of unification) of Darkover. Bard (the Wolf) is an illegitimate warrior son of a king. He gets involved with several women, raping two of them, being obsessed with a couple of them. His Terran double is no better - a condemned criminal - but Paul (that's his name) learns a little consideration for women, while B ...more
Ciò che mi infastidisce dei libri di Marion Zimmer Breadley è il continuo femminismo di cui sono farciti. Nei tre libri su Darkover letti finora le donne, quando non sono eroine perennemente incomprese, risultano sempre e solo vittime di un mondo maschile violento e bestiale. Questa tematica sicuramente rispecchia alcune realtà e ci può anche stare in un romanzo fantasy perché no, peccato che sia una costante: nel primo libro non si nota, nel secondo ci si comincia a far caso, nel terzo ci si di ...more
Stuart Lutzenhiser
After the intial popularity of the Darkover series, somewhat helped by a rich backstory, MZB spent a considerable amount of time filling in stories set in the backstory. This is one such novel - one which would have worked better as a short story. Set in the time of the Hundred Kingdoms - a time of proto-feudalism - it also combines with a cautionary anti-nuke parable set around the establishing a non-laran compact of Varzil - to not use laran in war. Too many messages muddle the story. From non ...more
I still remember discovering MZB in our public library when I was in high school. Loved her then, still do 40+ years later.
Definitely a cold war book! I also saw themes from other pieces she has done: Mists of Avalon being VERY prevalent. (land of women healers, on an island in a lake, that none shall get to unless the women wish it.) I don't remember if EVERY darkover book has a terran in it, but so far.
Also, history line is muddled. In Forbidden Tower, Varzil is met, and told that he was a great man, but the character knew that things would not last. And in this, Neskaya tower has already burned. Did it burn twice
There is a lot of rape in this book, plus a really unlikable, misogynistic main character (who unbelievably still has women falling for him), which makes this book a rather unpleasant read. I also thought the doppelganger idea rang false and unrealistic - the beauty of being human is that we are all unique.

If I hadn't been reading this on vacation, with few other books available to me, I would have stopped short. I did, however, like how it ended.
Defeldre Anne-catherine
Les deux premières parties (2/3 du bouquin) ne sont pas très intéressantes ni très passionnante, mais permettent probablement de profiter pleinement de la troisième partie, plus originale que beaucoup de fois :-)
Karel Musil
Two to Conquer is a mixed bag - pages and pages that are boring even for the avid fan like me switch with rare gems of awesomeness, especially when Paul is present. The final part is also the best.
Hero is a rapist. I do not care about his personal growth.
This would be the one in the duology I didn't like.
Transferred from my spreadsheet to Goodreads
Sandra Rosa
Jan 24, 2011 Sandra Rosa marked it as to-read
Shelves: m
as part of the omnibus with Darkover Landfall
Mar 12, 2011 John marked it as to-read
Book D2.8, D2E.
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Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, often with a feminist outlook.

Bradley's first published novel-length work was Falcons of Narabedla, first published in the May 1957 issue of Other Worlds. When she was a child, Bradley stated that she enjoyed reading adventure fantasy authors such as Henry Kuttner, Edmond Ham
More about Marion Zimmer Bradley...

Other Books in the Series

Darkover (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • Darkover Landfall (Darkover, #1)
  • Stormqueen! (Darkover, #2)
  • The Fall of Neskaya (Darkover, #3; Clingfire, #1)
  • Zandru's Forge (Darkover, #4; Clingfire, #2)
  • A Flame in Hali (Darkover, #5) (Clingfire, #3)
  • Hawkmistress! (Darkover, #6)
  • The Heirs of Hammerfell (Darkover, #8)
  • Rediscovery (Darkover, #9)
  • The Shattered Chain (Darkover, #10)
  • The Spell Sword (Darkover, #11)
The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1) The Forest House (Avalon, #2) Priestess of Avalon (Avalon, #4) Lady of Avalon (Avalon, #3) The Firebrand

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