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The Shadow Matrix (Darkover #25)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,866 ratings  ·  18 reviews
After spending her youth in the Terran Empire, Margaret Alton returns to Darkover, the planet of her birth. There she discovers she has the Alton Gift--forced rapport and compulsion--one of the strongest and most dangerous of the inherited Laran gifts of the telepathic Comyn--the ruling families of Darkover. And even as she struggles to control her newfound powers, Margare ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by DAW (first published 1997)
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Like I said in my review of Exile's Song, the Shadow Matrix was one of my favourite books in high school. I must have read it a dozen times. The plot is haunting and gripping.

I need to read this book again soon.
I haven't read much of Darkover in the last couple of decades, but since I inherited a box of them, expect some updates

This was a solid add to the Darkover mythos, once again blending a Terran raised Marguirda into the planets male dominated, rigid culture. She brings a classical music education to Darkover, upsets the locals with a surprise elopement, (to her and her intended,) saves the world of the past and upsets quite a few apple carts along the way.

Lew Alton, her father, plays a minor role
I began to suspect a missing episode in this series right from the beginning. I find that I was right--I really need to get hold of a volume called Exile's Song, to get a fuller development of things people keep referring to in the recent past.

There's enough exposition that I can get a moderate idea of what happened--but I still want to see the previous volume.

Especially, I want to get an idea of Margaret Alton's career at University, which I gather is an entire University planet.

There are man
The Shadow Matrix is the sequel to Exile's Song, and has two very distinct parts. In the first half, which has a pervading feel of a mystery story, the focus is on Mikhail Lanart-Hastur, Marguerida's cousin and love interest. (Yeeeeah, there's a lot of incest of this nature on Darkover.) Mikhail is sent to the house of the Elhalyns, the Darkovan line of kingship, in order to designate an heir to the throne of the planet. While there, he must try to take care of the five children and the grounds, ...more
This book follows Exile's Song. It is co-written with Friend of Darkover Adrienne Barnes. There is nothing to say about that. But there is something to say about the fact that it is a collection of two novellas, the first of which being unrelated to the ongoing arc -the story of Margaret Alton, aka the new main character of the Darkover series, after several books focusing on Regis Hastur.
The first part of the book ('Book 1') follows Mikhail, Regis's nephew and Margaret's fiancé, drawn into a 20
Norman Howe
Excellent addition to the Darkover mythology. Great insight into the Ages of Chaos"," Ashara's origin"," and the madness of the Elhalyn line.
This book is of as high quality as any other book in the Darkover canon; Margaret has moved to a Tower to try and learn to control her laran, her latent psychic power. In the tower, she has been largely immune to the political machinations that haunt her because of the birth she is unsaware of. She is heir of one of the most powerful kingdoms on the planet, and she is in love with a man who could conceivably inherit the throne. All this is complicated by the fact that the powers she has develope ...more
After Exile's Song I was hoping for more about those characters and got it in this one (and, in fact, the next, and final, installment in the Darkover series is about them, too). I did really like this one, but I had been hoping for more of what Exile's Song was, a study in character. This one had more high adventure. I found that part of the book slightly uneven, but there was enough character study for me to overlook that and really enjoy the advancement of the main character's stories. In the ...more
Karel Musil
While Exile's song was mostly about Margaret Alton, The Shadow Matrix switches between her and her lover who is sent to deal with the remaining members of Hasturs of Elhalyn. This family was always a bit mentally unstable, but what Mikhail has to face in the haunted house was expected by nobody. The grand finale what follows takes our almost star-crossed lovers into distant past, more exactly into the darkest period of Ages of Chaos. What can you expect from situation where even Varzil the Good, ...more
I wanted to like this more....I really did....but, well, the plot is just too danged silly. Forget Deus Ex Machina -- here we have Ring Ex Machina, Lake Ex Machina, Hand Ex Machina, Crow Ex Machina, Voice Ex Machina, you name the Machina and we've got it. Convenient-Plot-Devices-R-Us. ;)

I still like the characters, for the most part, and I like Darkover as a setting. But the plotting in both the first and second halves of the book (which really should have been published as two separate novellas
Marcello Tarot
Privo di coinvolgimento

Dopo l’ingresso trionfale di Marguerida nel mondo di Darkover (in “La sfida degli Alton”, alla cui recensione rimando), le aspettative per il seguito delle sue vicissitudini sono alte. Ma vengono immancabilmente disattese da un libro privo di mordente, che non coinvolge e che a un certo punto ti fa perfino disinteressare di quello che succede alla protagonista e al suo uomo.
Recensione originariamente pubblicata su nell’estate del 2010.
Marguerida, Lew Alton's daughter, returns to Darkover and a series of events that has been literally paused in time for years begins to snowball--that's what happenned in Exile's Song. This is what came NEXT

She's still a whiny hero-ine, but what's more annoying is how absoutely perfect Mikhail is... oh well.

At least Romas provided a lovely cover.
Now this is MZB on form! The first Darkover book I ever read was Sharra's Exile so I really enjoy reading about the exploits of Lew Alton's daughter Margaret - and very glad to see that Lew is still around. In this one, Margaret and her husband to be, Mikhail, are drawn into the far past to receive special powers from the legendary Varzil the Good.

Another effusively long drawn-out story continuing Margaret Alton's adventures in Darkover, but I persevered because the story-line is rather good.

Still not sure about collaborations.
This was the first Darkover book I read, after which I searched every library and bookstore to get my hands on more. Great book and wonderful series.
Bad Tim
i generally find time-travel to be an unimaginative plot device, but this was an exciting read despite that lame old sci-fi crutch.
Brittney Bower
i really di not know whats was going on but it was a very good story.
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Other Books in the Series

Darkover (1 - 10 of 29 books)
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  • Stormqueen! (Darkover, #2)
  • The Fall of Neskaya (Darkover, #3; Clingfire, #1)
  • Zandru's Forge (Darkover, #4; Clingfire, #2)
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  • Two to Conquer (Darkover, #7)
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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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