This is the novel of the Hastur tradition and of the showdown between those who would bargain away their world for the glories of star-borne science and those who would preserve the special "matrix" power that was at once the prize and the burden of ruddy-sunned Darkover.
Bradley's Darkover series is a combination of science fiction and fantasy, magic and technology. It has a male-dominated society and one of the most famous group of liberated women in science fiction - The Free Amazons. Most of the books are engaging reading, and this is no exception.
Described as "Bradley's best novel" by Locus, THE HERITAGE OF HASTUR, longest and most intricate of the Darkover books, is a brilliant epic of the pivotal event in the strange love-hate relationship between the Terran worlds and the semi-alien offspring of forgotten peoples.
Description of book from Slash Novel Review Site:
Coming-of-age novel for Regis Hastur, and also for Lew Alton. Regis Hastur resents his foreordained role in Darkovan society, and becomes even less happy when one of his few friends, Danilo, is disgraced by an accusation from Dyan Ardais.
The Darkovan aristocracy are often telepaths, and in the past laran, as psi talent is called, has powered their mining and enough technology to make the world a blend of medieval and modern. Introduction of Terran machine technology threatens to disrupt the established society in the Comyn domains. It seems, however, that one domain, Aldaran, is accepting more trade and technology from Terra than the Comyn Council likes.
Lew Alton is sent as the envoy to Aldaran Domain and there meets several young telepaths who want to work with a dangerously large matrix crystal to amplify psi for technological uses. Their matrix, however, is tainted by its former use as a weapon (or by Sharra, goddess of fire and uncontrolled fury, according to the older beliefs). They are rash enough to kidnap another telepath, Danilo, but when Danilo is discovered missing, Regis follows to rescue him. In Aldaran Domain, neither Lew nor Regis nor Danilo is in a good position to refuse to work with the Sharra matrix, although it is obvious to them that only destruction can result.