The death of Regis Hastur, Regent of Darkover, signals the beginning of an uneasy time for the planet. As his heir, Mikhail, prepares to assume the reins of power, the relationship between Darkover and the Terran Federation reaches a boiling point, drawing the major families of the planet into a crucible of intrigue and treachery. Bradley's consummate skill at presenting complex political intrigue side-by-side with acute personal drama makes her Darkover series both involving and intricate. Highly recommended for most sf collections.
This book continues the arc started with The Bloody Sun, Heritage of Hastur, The Planet Savers, Sharra's Exile, World Wreckers, Exile's Song, and The Shadow Matrix. It revisits Lew Alton and the children of many other characters from Bloody Sun, with fresh looks at these characters as they have changed over time or become more flawed. Highly recommended, battle between good and evil with various shades of grey. This book starts out with a little known character Harm Aldaran serving as ambassador for Darkover while the Federation descends into dictatorship/civil war. The book is fast paced, filled with treachery and heroism... not as heartbreakingly sad as some of the other books in this era.
I love the Darkover books! Now I have them all!