Contrarius's Reviews > The Heritage of Hastur

The Heritage of Hastur by Marion Zimmer Bradley
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Jun 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy

I just reread this book for the first time in 20 or 30 years. It's one of the books that I still remember from my high school and college days, and I wanted to see how the passage of time would change my perception of it.

This time around, I was at first struck by the...simplicity? crudeness? juvenile nature?...of the writing. It certainly seemed to have more of a Young Adult tone to it than the last time I read it...but, then again, I was more of a YA myself back then. Nonetheless, the characters and their struggles soon carried me away again just as they had the first time around. Bradley may not have had the most sophisticated of prose styling or the most innovative of plotting, but she really knew how to get bald emotion across efficiently.

I'm a sucker for emotional drama -- some might even call it melodrama, but that word is too derisive for me -- and this book certainly supplies emotion in a big way. The conflicts here range from intensely personal relationships to literally altering the fate of the entire world of Darkover. This book takes place at a pivotal moment in Darkovan history, when even the most intimate choices can have planet-wide repercussions. If you get wrapped up in the emotional lives of fictional characters, if you thrill to experience agonizing decisions and their sometimes disastrous consequences, then you won't go wrong by picking up this book. And then, of course, you'll have to read Sharra's Exile to find out what happens next. ;)

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