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The Forbidden Tower (Darkover - Chronological Order #14)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  2,557 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
This is the novel of four who defied the powers of the matrix guardians - fanatics who protected those powers so that the planet of the ruddy sun might never fall beneath the influence of materialistic Terrans.

The four who found themselves fused into a terrifying unity in that defiance were two men and two women.

The men were Damon Ridenow, a Comyn of the ruling caste, and

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Severn House Publishers (first published 1977)
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May 03, 2016 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
And so I give up on the universe of Marion Zimmer Bradley forever. I don't do this triumphantly, mind you, but with a heavy heart. I must confess, I didn't even finish this book, only got about 2/3 of the way through, but it was no good, had never been good, and this is something I needed to face. Five minutes ago, I took a grudging walk over to my bookshelf to slide this thing in under "B", and lo! - I realized, surprised, that this was the sixth - the sixth! - Darkover book I had read. Scannin ...more
One of the brilliant aspects of good fantasy is how it takes real world issues and re-examines them in a different milieu The Forbidden Tower examines themes of duty, desire, masculine and feminine, tradition versus modernity, the past versus the future, family ties, what it means to be from a different culture plunked into one completely alien, and of course sexuality. Oh and the use/abuse of psychic talents.

With such themes, a writer could be easily bogged down and the characters suffer. The l
Stephen Theaker
Andrew Carr of Earth and Damon Ridenow of Darkover fall in love with two twins of noble birth, Ellemir and Callista, but the world's against them!

I started this about twelve years ago and got a couple of hundred pages in. This month I've been trying to read one book at a time and to finish ones I've already started, so I picked up from where I'd left off. I was determined to finish this book, if only to rescue the bookmark that it had held captive all those years.

My initial impression was that i
May 07, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be the best Darkover book ever written, even trumping Heritage of Hastur. Instead of battles, MZB treats the reader to an almost claustrophobic story of the twins Callista and Ellemir Lanart and their joint marriage to Damon Ridenow and Andrew Carr (a terran).

Callista has handed back her Keeper's oath of chastity, not realising that Leonie Hastur had essentially stopped her sexual development pre-puberty and put in place a mechanism where she would kill anyone who got near her in a
Dec 03, 2016 Mareli rated it it was amazing
I had a strange memory about this book. It seemed to me that it ended in tragedy and instead it has a sort of happy ending. The story is a bit confused, mostly based on overworld and Keepers. In origin, Keepers could be men or women, when Varzil the Good was Keeper, the role was destined to men but he changed everything and, at the time of the story, Keepers are women, pledged to chastity (better virginity) and for this purpose they are teached hard lessons. Callista, istructed as a keeper, foun ...more
Adam Ghory
Jul 02, 2012 Adam Ghory rated it liked it
Why did my Dad recommend this book to me? It's basically about 4 telepathic wizards having an orgy to defeat the forces of conservatism. Clearly science fiction books written in the seventies went through some strange phases..
Against the Terrans - The First Age (Recontact)
30 years before Star of Danger
THE FORBIDDEN TOWER: (view spoiler)
This edition has the same cover picture as the copy I have: but I'm still not sure it's the edition I have. The copy I have may be a first edition.

The dedication is important, as with many books written in collegial genres: "For DIANA PAXSON, who asked the question which directly touched off this book; and for THEODORE STURGEON, who first explored the questions which, directly or indirectly, underlie almost everything I have written."

Rereading the entire series in anything like (internal) chrono
Jun 10, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
One of the most popular kinds of story, at least in the West, is the one where people defy established social conditions in order to forge their own path in life. It's often because of love, but it doesn't have to be, and here it's partially for love and partially out of a conviction that something is wrong in the way things are done. The Forbidden Tower has a bit of both, but since I'm a world-building fanatic it's the latter part that most interested me.

For centuries--or millennia or who know
Sep 27, 2009 Chuck rated it did not like it
This was, to me, the most disappointing of the Darkover novels I have read.

I may be being unfair; many of the other novels refer to the events in The Forbidden Tower, so much so that they assume the quality of myth in the Darkover canon. The characters are quite prominent in other novels as well—all of this may have combined to make my expectations higher than they should be.

The novel tells the story of four friends, Damon, Andrew Carr (a Terran), and twin sisters Elli and Calista. They begin t
Christopher Sutch
Jul 22, 2013 Christopher Sutch rated it really liked it
As I am re-reading Bradley's _Darkover_ series for the first time in about 25-30 years, I have been looking forward to reading the novels she wrote between @1975-1984, because I remember how strongly those works affected me as a teen and a young adult (as well as the tremendous amount of critical regard for some of these novels). In my memory, this novel of Bradley's was the strongest of the series; I'm glad to say upon re-reading it that, if anything, my regard for it has grown with maturity (w ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing
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 in the series examine this culture clash and this book is no exception. This is a s ...more
You don't have to read The Spell Sword to read this book. In fact, I didn't dig up The Spell Sword until well after I'd read this one--and that's saying something, because I'm usually meticulous about reading prequels first, if I can.

The courtesies and culture shock of telepathic households are explored in domestic detail. Nudity taboos, how bread is made, what's done in a still room (I'd always wondered, since it was obvious that they were not simply used for alcoholic distillations), midwifery
Morgan Dhu
Mar 09, 2014 Morgan Dhu rated it really liked it
The Forbidden Tower (pub. 1977) is the story of the creation of the "heretical" circle of telepaths who, choosing to work outside of the Towers of Darkover, challenge the two most strongly held beliefs that underlie the Tower system - that a Keeper must be essentially asexual, and that only the members of the ruling Comyn caste have enough laran to work in the Towers.

The novel begins where The Spell Sword left off - with the clearing of the catmen and the planned union of Damon Ridenow to Ellemi
Apr 28, 2010 Surreysmum rated it liked it
Shelves: 1984, fantasy-fiction
[These notes were made in 1984:]. A direct sequel to The Spell Sword, but on a more complex level emotionally, and focused far more on the bedroom. Damon, Andrew, Callista, Ellemir are the four ingredients of the tower which is formed illegally to use telepathic ("matrix") power. The central problem is Callista's virgin-conditioning, which unfortunately does not disappear when she marries Andrew and leaves her Tower. So it becomes a straightforward parable of sexual awakening, with the added tit ...more
Marcello Tarot
Jun 02, 2013 Marcello Tarot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: artù-darkover
Importante, ma... lentissimo!!
L’ho riletto di recente, dopo tanti anni, ed è stato un po’ una delusione: la storia è lentissima e ripetitiva, e Callista (una dei quattro protagonisti), che viene ripetuto quanto dovrebbe essere ganza, passa gran parte del suo tempo a piangere o a fare poco o niente. Sì, ha il suo exploit verso la fine quando sputa in faccia al suo fratellastro al Consiglio dei Comyn, ma non basta questo a renderla “ganza”, almeno secondo i miei canoni; al contrario, la sua gemell
Jun 28, 2011 dogpossum rated it really liked it
Shelves: sfant
The second in this little series of Darkover books (following The Spell Sword), my cover has a gloriously inappropriate picture of a naked woman. In the snow.

This series is interesting for the way it links to the Renunciates mini-series (Shattered Chain and Thendara House), and for the way it mirrors the Renunciates' exploration of femininity in its discussion of masculinity. The Forbidden Tower is less an adventure than Spell Sword, written later, and spending more time with the interior lives
Jul 15, 2010 Blanche rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Marion Zimmer Bradley is one of the few fantasy authors of the old school that I truly enjoy. I must have read The Fall of Atlantis dozens of times. I love the way she creates relationships between her characters: at their worst, characterized by horrific co-dependency and, at times, abuse, at their best, filling personal needs and creating communities of mutual love and respect. She was also writing early enough in the 20th century to make some of her topics fairly racy for the times (a book in ...more
Jeanne Johnston
May 15, 2015 Jeanne Johnston rated it it was amazing
I forgive the last book for leaving me with so many questions because this one resolved so many and solved so much of what was wrong with Darkover before. Still a horribly sexist place but groundwork laid for big changes.

Even the sex stuff was explained better (i.e. the sharing of mates like it's no big deal). It was kind of like Heinlein without the weird culty vibe.

Best of all is we finally got books that meshed together and let us follow characters instead of sending us lurching generations
Feb 09, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
Definitely enjoyed this book a lot, perhaps more than most of the other books in the Darkover series that I've read so far.

Reading about how one experiences love in a telepathic society was very interesting. The differences and similarities between the two sisters, their growing bond and the changes each sister goes through would have made a good story on their own. Add in the growing bond between the sisters' husbands and The Forbidden Tower becomes a wonderfully written story to enjoy and lea
Aug 21, 2008 Marianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Relationship readers
Shelves: mine, fantasy, get-more
A story of four psi-wizards finding their relationship together, and struggling against establishment along the way. Though one of the four main characters is a Terran and thus an alien to Darkover, nevertheless the story as told could just have easily been all native, and thus feels more like fantasy than a Sci-Fi/fantasy hybrid.

Though one in a series, it stands alone well, both as an introduction to the world and apart from others coming after.
Sep 26, 2015 Mariana rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
It was a easy Reading with a good and quite different characters. You really need to be open minded to read stories about Darkover. A great work but as I was reading this book unfortannely I found out about the scandal. I still don't know what to think but Bradleys is no longer my favorite writter. I will separate the art from the artist since she is already dead and will not profit from her work but never again I'm going to admire her as an human being.
S. G.
ISBN: 0-87997-323-4 [978-0-87997-323-0]
Publisher: DAW Books
Pub. Series: DAW Collectors
Pub. Series #: 256
Price: $1.95
Pages: 364
Binding: pb
Cover: Richard Hescox
"First Printing, September 1977".
First printing by number line 123456789
"Cover art by Richard Hescox" on copyright page, cover is also signed.
Interior art piece is not credited, has Hescox's signature
DAW Books No. 256; DAW catalog #UJ1323
Feb 21, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
This was a reread, though I hadn't read the original since high school. I will say that the story was perhaps less compelling to me than it was then (OOh, sex and rebellion!) but the characters and details are still so richly drawn that it's a good read. I don't think Bradley gets enough credit for the Darkover novels -- it's such a complexly imagined world, and she details it so completely from the history down to the making of bread.
Nicole Diamond
Nov 08, 2011 Nicole Diamond rated it did not like it
If it has one star I liked it a lot
If it has two stars I liked it a lot and would recommend it
If it has three stars I really really liked it a lot
If it has four stars I insist you read it
If it has five stars it was life changing
Mar 26, 2012 Gala rated it it was amazing
This book was a turning point for me. I don't know how to explain it, but the raw emotions it made me feel and the complexity of what happens between the main characters changed me.

It's a powerful story and a very good read.
Oct 18, 2009 Frances rated it it was ok
This was the first Darkover book I read in college, and I loved it. I read it again recently -- yeesh! I wonder if all of the Darkover books would fare as poorly if I read them again. The second time around, I would rate this about a 2 (at best).
Alex Bergonzini
Oct 12, 2013 Alex Bergonzini rated it did not like it
Sin leer la primera parte de este libro, me ha parecido muuuuy aburrido, tal vez lea su primera parte y le encuentre un sentido.
Aug 14, 2007 DeAnna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
Forbidden Tower is the book that started me devouring MZB's Darkover series. The quality of the books varies widely, but this one holds up to rereading.
Jul 04, 2015 Marie rated it it was amazing
Liked this one. I think I like the older books better than the newer ones. Will probably get there, but am missing some of the history. Will keep reading my collection!
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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 - Chronological Order (1 - 10 of 33 books)
  • Darkover Landfall (Darkover, #1)
  • L'alba di Darkover  (Darkover - Chronological Order #2)
  • Stormqueen!  (Darkover - Chronological Order #3)
  • Thunderlord  (Darkover - Chronological Order #4)
  • The Fall of Neskaya (Darkover, #3; Clingfire, #1)
  • Zandru's Forge (Darkover, #4; Clingfire, #2)
  • Hawkmistress! (Darkover, #6)
  • A Flame in Hali (Darkover: Chronological, #8; Publication, #37; Clingfire, #3)
  • Two to Conquer (Darkover, #7)
  • The Heirs of Hammerfell (Darkover, #8)

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