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Exile's Song (Darkover - Chronological Order #24)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,394 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
She was Margaret Alton, the daughter of Lew Alton, the Darkovan representative to the Terran Imperial Senate, but she remembered almost nothing about the planet of her birth, or her early and tumultuous childhood. What fleeting memories disturbed her sleep were fragments of terror - a strange silver man and a screaming woman with hair that circled her head like a ring of f ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by DAW (first published 1996)
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Avis Black
Feb 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
Margaret Alton is not Marion Zimmer Bradley’s character. Bradley herself has admitted that. Alton is, and has always been, the creation of Adrienne Martine-Barnes, and Barnes was the one who persuaded Bradley to include her in the Darkover canon back when Bradley was still active. Unfortunately, the full fruits of this have appeared now that Barnes is writing Darkover books. In this novel, Alton is a long-lost heiress, gets sent through space solely to study primitive folk-songs (yeah right, tha ...more
Morgan Dhu
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm not sure whether it's this edition or the other nearly identical edition which I own. I have the 1996 edition, which I believe is the 1st edition.

I wanted to review this as part of a trilogy, because the comments I have for now refer to the whole trilogy (to varying degrees). The other titles in what might be called the omega trilogy (if there were other books mooted, they don't appear on the shelves where I shop, so probably they weren't written) are The Shadow Matrix and Traitor's Sun.

Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
This may be the point where the lack of consistency in Darkover's portrayal across the books finally gets to me.

The plot of Exile's Song is the classic "outsider comes to isolated culture and suffers misunderstandings" setup, except Margaret "Marguerida" Alton was born on Darkover, is the daughter of Lew Alton and Thyra Kadarin after the events of The Heritage of Hastur, but has been living in the Terran Empire"Federation" for most of her life. She ignored her father and went to University (capi
I should have read this before I read Shadow Matrix. I knew a lot of what was coming, because Shadow Matrix recaps a lot of the stuff in this book.

I understand that someone who falls prey to threshold sickness would have to take a break from career work. I even understand that she has to get properly trained as a telepath, particularly if she's inherited such fearful gifts as the Command Voice. But if she was so devoted to her mentor (who died before he could finish his last expedition, why woul
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Exile's Song was the first Darkover novel I ever read after my dad bought it for me in middle school. He himself had read some of the books when he was younger and was a fan. The book is about Margaret Alton, daughter of Lew Alton, himself a Darkovan representative on the Terran Senate. Margaret is a University scholar who studies folk music, and she is sent to Darkover to collect samples of the planet's songs. Lew had taken Margaret off the planet when she was five or six so he could serve on t ...more
Lianne Simon
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
If you've never read Marion Zimmer Bradley, try
The Mists of Avalon (The Mists of Avalon, #1) by Marion Zimmer Bradley instead of this book.
If you're never read any of the Darkover series, you might want to read
The Heritage of Hastur (Darkover Series) by Marion Zimmer Bradley instead of this book.
If you loved The Heritage of Hastur and
Sharra's Exile (Darkover Series) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
then you might like this book as well. Worth a try.

This was one of those books that I ended up skimming. After just finishing three books by C.J. Cherryh, who prose tends to be trimmed to the bone, I found this novel full of fat.

Margaret's interaction with the Renunciate Rafaella, and the bit of
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Die-Hard Darkover Fans
This is...Okay. And I say that as a fan of the Darkover series. Indeed, it's Darkover, and not Mists of Avalon, that made me a fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley. But what you have to know about the Darkover series is that they're very uneven in quality--and written out of sequence. What tends to tip off the quality of the book is when it was published. MZB in my opinion really didn't hit her stride and hone her craft until the mid-seventies. There's a nod to this in her feeling a need to rewrite earl ...more
Nov 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
One day I'm just going to write the plots of all the Darkover books on post-its, to show that the other million words are just flat-out unnecessary. This is yet another book filled with thrilling bits of TOTAL INACTION.

I love how Darkover characters show no curiosity about a thing until exactly the moment the author wanted to kick off a long bout of mulling. It's insane - a character's seen something weird multiple times without batting an eyelash, then suddenly it's "Oh! What is that?! For I re
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, favorites
I've seen several reviews complaining about either the lack of action in this novel, or the character (development?) of Margaret Alton, or both, ending with a judgment of one or two stars. I don't agree with those reviews. Regarding the "lack of action" complaint, no real person lives a life of constant action, so why should a character? And this is a story more like a coming-of-age tale, a story about finding oneself, so naturally it deals more with Margaret's inner struggles. As far as the cha ...more
Jack Vasen
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, romance
This is one of my favorite of the Darkover series. I love stories of people first finding out that there is something special about them, that they have "powers". This story shows that it is not always a wonderful experience.

I saw a complaint that Marguirda whines about having "super-powers". To me, that comment misses much of what Bradley was trying to convey, Maybe that doesn't come out as strongly until later in the series, but I certainly think it is dealt with in this story. The Alton gift,
Jeanne Johnston
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Odd to read in order of the story when the books are written so out of order. This clearly came late, but it's as though nothing from the prior book (Hastur Lord) ever happened. Countless references to the Sharra Rebellion, not a peep about Rinaldo and that whole mess. Regis even has two sons now, but not a word was said about Stelli, presumably still off cavorting with the Chieri. It's odd and disjointed... but I was so glad to be back into familiar territory that I didn't care.

So glad Lew is
Feb 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Margaret Alton, the estranged daughter of Lew Alton has become a Terran University scholar, the assistant of ethno-musicologist Ivor Davidson. When they travel to Darkover to research folk music, she expects it to be like any other trip. What she finds instead, is long-buried memories of her traumatic childhood, relatives she didn’t know existed, and an the inheritance to a Domain she doesn’t want. What follows is a fascinating psychological journey and growth of an amazing character. Margaret, ...more
Aug 31, 2009 rated it liked it
I wrote a long review of this which was lost via 'net problems. Let me just say that I think this, along with The Shadow Matrix and Traitor's Sun, wind up being nearly as good as her best work, which I beleive is the Rununciates trilogy.

Margaret Alton, a music scholar born on Darkover, returns to study folk music on the planet. While on the planet, she discovers her own latent psi power, and winds up discovering that she has inherited lands and is in the middle of political strife she knows noth
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ah, now I see why I found the third book in this trilogy - Traitor's Sun - somewhat unsatisfactory. It doesn't really get on with the "exciting changes in Darkover society" which are foretold in the first book! There are some advantages in reading a trilogy in reverse order, you tend to spot details which are meaningful but which you might not notice if reading the books in sequence!

This is the best of the three I think. I loved having so much detail about home life on Darkover, and Margaret Alt
Karel Musil
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Say whatever you want about late books that were written "in colaboration" with MZB, but I'm very fond of Exile's song and it's sequel. Margaret Alton is an amazing character, headstrong and determined. Despite nothing much actually happens here, it's well-written "nothing" and I don't hesitate to call this book a page-turner. Margaret's clashes with similarly head-strong, but traditional relatives are so juicy and I'm looking forward to read it again.
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think I've read this at least 20 times. It was one of my favourite books when I was in high school. This book and Shadow Matrix were my favourites.

This book does start a little slowly. I rarely read the first 100 pages or so when I pick it up again. But the world is so complete in its development it is like I can walk the streets and see what the characters are seeing and feel what they feel. I haven't read it for years, I might pick it up again to relive good times and better reading.
Marcello Tarot
L’introduzione di Marguerida

Un personaggio di una grinta ammirevole, una felicissima introduzione di una terrestre nel mondo darkovano a lei alieno. Peccato che in seguito (negli altri due libri che la riguardano) perda parte della sua grinta e del suo smalto, e divenga pure mielosa. Ma in questo libro è ancora tosta, e alcune sue battute sono memorabili!
Recensione originariamente pubblicata su nell’estate del 2010.
Emer Mccarthy
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
As much as I love MZB, this is utter tripe. Adrienne Barnes is a lousy writer, I know she needed a collaborator after her stroke, but to be cruel it would have been more fruitful to let her bang her head off her typewriter. The characters were excruciating. I am a massive MZB fan, love darkover, will buy anything with her name attached, But this and The Shadow Matrix are awful. They were my introduction to Darkover but I still love the majority of the series, despite this car crash of a book.
Bad Tim
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
i fell in love with mikail and marguerida when i read traitor's sun. this books tells of marguerida's arrival on darkover and subsequent efforts to adjust to its strange ways. tho i haven't read bradley in a long time, i don't remember her being so wordy. i do remember her skill with prose and character development tho, and i find myself compelled to finish her books despite the long, dry passages with little or no action.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, favorites
This has to be my favorite of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series. Actually, it's up there with one of my favorite books ever since it can be such a stand-alone book. I've read it many many times, and I'm on my second copy now. This is the continuation of Sharra's Exile, Margaret Alton returns to Darkover. She is a strong female character and easy to relate to.
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
On a Darkover roll now....

Another collaboration I never read when published :)

Great story about Margaret Alton (a University musician) going to Darkover to do research into local songs/music and discovering her (unknown) heritage.
A bit long-winded in places, sometimes too drawn out to be really efective in others, but a very good story-line.
Jun 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Margaret Alton is a Mary Sue in any universe, but I admit I still enjoyed this book. Maybe not enough to pick up another book in this series (I didn't realize it was in a series, so I will say that this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone), but enough to give it a generally positive review.

To be read if you like fantasy novels heavy on the heroine.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this story better than I thought I would, although had some trouble adjusting to some of the differences. Thankfully I'm not the first to wonder when the Terran Empire became a Federation!

Marguerida is quite a "Mary Sue" character which got a little annoying from time to time, however the descriptions of daily life on Darkover made up for that.
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Slow to get going, but once it did it was a page turner. This may be the first four star review I've given to one of the Darkover novels, but I really liked it. Good new characters, good returning characters, and a gripping story.
Nicole Diamond
Nov 08, 2011 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
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bradley has many books set in the world of Darkover. This is one of many and I liked them all. Well written characters and interwovern stories. The books can be read in any order or if you want there is a suggested order in the front of several of her books.
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Darkover series. This book is my favorite so far. Wow, what a great story, I did not want to put it down and was a little sad when the story came to an end. I hope I see more of the characters and what the future of Darkover hold.
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another brilliant Darkover novel!
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
don't get me wrong, i love regis hastur, but margaret alton is a protagonist i can really sink my teeth into
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count isbn 8878183563 5 15 Oct 19, 2016 11:06PM  
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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 32 books)
  • Darkover Landfall (Darkover, #1)
  • 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)
  • Rediscovery  (Darkover - Chronological Order #11)