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Rediscovery (1993)

Rediscovery (1993)

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3.8 of 5 Votes: 3
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0886775612 (ISBN13: 9780886775612)
daw hardcover

About book Rediscovery (1993)

That's it? I first read Rediscovery years ago, and all I remembered before I reread it this time was that the Terrans set a whole forest on fire, that was it. I didn't remember any of the characters or anything else that happens, and now that I've reread it, it turns out that's because nothing that was actually memorable happened. It starts out promising enough, with the Terrans dropping out of FTL near the Cottman system, setting up a base on one of the moons, and doing weather surveys of the planet to check for intelligent life. Meanwhile, Leonie Hastur, one of most laran-gifted children of her generation, starts having premonitions of danger coming from the moons, which is obviously ludicrous, but she does have strong laran...Then the story gets bogged down in construction reports, inconsistent characterization, wheel-spinning, and eventually stops without a real ending. Sometimes the Terrans react appropriately to the idea that there are aliens on Darkover that are cross-fertile with humans, sometimes they just take it totally in stride even though it's like a human having children with a thermophilic bacterium. The Prime Directive is really important, but when they break it by crashing on the planet they just throw the rest of it out. The cause of Ysaye's pregnancy isn't even investigated by the Terrans. Leonie Hastur is able to break her Keeper training isolation repeatedly even though she's a novice telepath in Arilinn Tower, which has the strongest matrix technicians on Darkover and a special matrix screen to keep out outside thoughts.In Sharra's Exile, Regis wonders about what exactly the Hastur Gift is and whether he has it. In Rediscovery, Leonie knows she has the Hastur Gift and the phrase "living matrix" is used repeatedly, so apparently they totally lost knowledge of it in the last century? Kadarin and Kermiac are both characters here, and while Kadarin is three-quarters chieri and a long lifespan is believable, that would make Kermiac something like 140 years old in The Heritage of Hastur. I did learn the answers to a question I had after reading Sharra's Exile. The Comyn get their Imperial money from rents paid by the Empire to the Comyn Council for the privilege of operating a spaceport, and apparently it's a large sum if it lets Comyn lordlings live like kings on pleasure planets for years at a time. The ending is Stephensonian in its suddenness. After the Terrans roar in and set an entire wood on fire, it skips over the aftermath, skips over any investigation into Ysaye's death and how the skeptics among the Terrans would react to "cause of death: a psychic involuntarily spontaneously combusted her," and just has Lorill Hastur telling the Council, "Yep, the Terrans are dangerous." No meeting of the Captain with the Comyn? No dealing with the aftermath of the Terrans breaking the Compact and demonstrating that they routinely use distance weapons? Nothing? Oh. Okay then.I'm putting this here because it's not a complaint so much as a weird stylistic anachronism, but the starships and spacemen element of the Terran Empire comes out pretty strongly, with it being mentioned that women were prohibited from joining Spaceforce within the captain's memory. I know that social progress isn't a straight line, but that seems bizarrely quaint. It's also a missed opportunity, because there's nothing interesting done with Darkovan attitudes toward women vs. Terran attitudes because the only comparison drawn is that Terran women sometimes wear pants and Darkovans aren't used to having women in positions of authority. As clumsy as issues of gender are in the Darkover books, at least they're usually mentioned. Here, there's "they wear pants!" from the Darkovans and "Oh, how provincial" from the Terrans and that's the extent of it."Missed opportunity" sums up all of Rediscovery, really. This could have been a great explanation of how the Darkovan/Terran relationship ended up the way that it did, but it's mostly just a mass of contradictions and ends with a whimper. Unless you're a huge fan of the Darkover books, there's no reason to read this one.

When "Rediscovery" came out, I was delighted. At last, I thought, we can see what happened when the Terrans first came to Darkover! How exciting!Then I read the book.This book doesn't quite contradict everything written before, but that's not for lack of trying. A few inconsistencies are the ages of the characters, the timing of events and the events themselves. For example:* Kermiac Aldaran was described in "The Heritage of Hastur" as being in his mid-fifties. Unless he had a father or grandfather with the same name, he'd be over 100. Kadarin and Thyra, villains from Heritage, may be part chieri and ageless, but Kermiac is not. Same goes for Felicia Darriel.* In "The Forbidden Tower," Leonie Hastur remarks to Damon Ridenow that she has seen Terran ships in Thendara and knows that her brother, Lorill, has had dealings with the Terrans, she seems horrified at the idea of giving her student, Callista Lanart, to an alien and finds it hard to believe that he has laran (psi abilities). This is directly contradicted in "Rediscovery," where Leonie not only has direct mental contact with someone on the ship (Ysaye), but knows that she became pregnant with her brother's child!There are a number of inconsistencies, indeed, too many to name, but they are jarring; especially to someone who has read the other books.Yes, yes, I know: Ms. Bradley did not consider the books to be a "series," save for books considered to be direct sequels (ie, "The a Spell Sword" and "The Forbidden Tower"). She was often impatient with readers who complained of the inconsistencies between other books. Still, the inconsistencies of this book as compared to the others was jarring enough to impair my enjoyment of the story.Speaking of "story," this book suffers from another flaw that seemed to be frequent with Ms. Bradley. It often seemed to me that she would get to a certain place in the story, get tired (or bored) with writing it, and decide to rush to the end, even though there seemed to be more of the various plot points to cover. I am often left wondering what happened with so-and-so or what happened with a particular thread of the story.Many of the main characters do not seem to be fully fleshed out. The characters who appear in the other books seem to "walk-ons" or cameos and little else. A shame, because their stories are closely connected to the Hastur twins? Why do the Lornes decide to stay on Darkover?However, please do not get the impression that I dislike Ms. Bradley's writing. I think that she was an excellent writer with many, many stories that were left untold when she passed away. Indeed, it is because she was so good that I find any technical flaws to be so disconcerting. I know she was capable of so much more.So, in a nutshell, "Rediscovery" more or less readable, but if you are looking for something consistent with the other Darkover books, this isn't it.

Do You like book Rediscovery (1993)?

I love my forays onto Darkover -- you know I do! -- and though I'm not much of a Mercedes Lackey person, I didn't mind having her along for the ride. There's something about the timeline here that strikes me as, well, off. Spoilers below.(view spoiler)[It is not unreasonable to suspect that Elizabeth Lorne becomes pregnant with Magda/Margali in this book... when Leonie of Arilinn is fifteen. Unfortunately, everything I can piece together about the sequence to come would make Leonie a crone by Thendara House. To wit: -- Camilla/Elorie stands in awe of Leonie, the Keeper who made her emmasca between the ages of twelve and fifteen. Camilla is, conservatively, forty-five during Thendara House and is repeatedly described as old. Some thirty years would have needed to pass between Rediscovery and Thendara House. Unfortunately...-- Magdalen Lorne/Margali n'ha Ysabet isn't yet thirty. I think she owns to something close -- twenty-eight? So at a very maximum, it's been thirty years since Magda was conceived. The only way to suspend disbelief in this case is to assume that, like many newcomers to Darkover, poor Elizabeth Lorne had issues around her fertility, that the child she carried did not survive, and that Magda was born at least ten years down the line. It rather makes one wonder why give Elizabeth Lorne a pregnancy at all. To draw parallels between Elizabeth and Ysaye? And I have no clue why Ysaye's path went the way it did. Heroic deaths are well and good, but today I wince because of course they killed off the black woman. Of course. And I still haven't made it to the end of my reread of City of Sorcery, most of which I forgot (you could say blocked out). I thus don't know how the only other black person on Darkover, Cholayna Ares, fares. And don't tell me. (hide spoiler)]
—Lana Del Slay

Over 30 years ago, bestselling author Bradley first wrote about Darkover--a frigid world where would-be colonists crashlanded centuries ago. Now, with almost 20 Darkover novels in print, Bradley has combined forces with bestselling author Lackey to write of the rediscovery of Darkover by a ship from the mother planet, Earth. Darkover fans will be thrilled with this return to their favorite fantasy worldBradley's Darkover is such a wonder-filled world that is so rich in culture and history. This book reveals what happens when the old Terran (Earth) culture clashes with the established Darkovian. This is definitely one for the fans.

"Rediscovery" fills the gap of how the Terrans recontacted their long lost colony of Darkover. It also is infamous for distorting the timeline of pre-existing novels in the series. It is one of the first co-authored novels in the series and features more than Bradley outlining the story for the co-author, Mercedes Lackey. Lackey was a protege of Bradley and began her career in fandom and was a regular contributor in Bradley's anthologies of writers utilizing her various universes. The story moves along as an adventure with well-developed characters and includes the standard exploration of psionics as a science. In this joint work, Lackey delivers on the standards of Bradley's works: culture clashes, women's roles in society, and sexual predators. Unfortunately, we now know that these subjects go to the heart of the nature of Marion Zimmer Bradley. She understands the behavior of sexual predation because she was one and a facilitator for her convicted pedophile husband. Fortunately for Lackey, the predator in "Rediscovery" is targeting adults but there is also a co-participant drug-induced sexual encounter between a male fifteen-year-old and an adult virginal female. The reader must in retrospect wonder what Lackey was thinking as she cooperated in the penning of these events in the novel. And to date, I have not found any statements from Lackey on the revelations concerning Bradley. However, the work is a good read and firmly maintains the legacy of the Darkovan universe.
—Gregg Wingo

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