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S'dia shaya, visitor. This site is probably not your typical fansite, but rather a collection of links and infos about Marion Zimmer Bradley's world of Darkover I'm most interested about, and a list to reading order of the books and anthologies according to what makes most sense to me. Everything here is very much a work in progress and at this point neither exhaustive nor in any way complete. ;o)

Darkover was one of the first fantasy worlds I came across as a child, not long after I've been first to Middle-earth in the footsteps of Bilbo Baggins and his company. While in recent years Middle-earth has become the focus of my fannish endeavours, Darkover had been the first fantasy world that really captured my imagination and drew me in in the way I today connect to fannish subculture, in short: fangirling. Of course, back then, in the early 80's in Germany, there wasn't really anyhting accessible to me - I considered myself lucky to find all published volumes in German to read. Only much later I found Darkover also online or came across the five small printed volumes in German about MZB's world, and met two other fans through other fannish contact. My contact to Darkover is two-fold as a consequence: reading most books and some of the anthologies starting age 12 with Hawkmistress!, and starting a re-read of the complete work late in 2016, but this time in English and with the consultation of websites, maps, and other available means. But even so I haven't actively visited Darkover in about 30 years, I realised that my imagination and my ideas of fantasy and scifi worlds and ideas were very much influenced by MZB's narrative and imagination. Darkover is still one of my favourite virutal places, and I'm currently spending a happy time with the re-reading.

Chronological reading order, as given in Heritage and Exile, complemented by me

Edited by me, taking into consideration all volumes published by May 2017 accessible to me at the moment. For my own convenience, I'm also listing the books as they appear in combined works and collections, and am adding the main protagonists or those who interest me the most. ;o).
black = the works and enumeration as given in 'Heritage and Exile'
blue = additions by me
*currently re-read

The Founding
At the early stages of Terran colonisation of space, one of the ships, later considered a lost one, gets stranded on Cottman IV, later known as Darkover.

Darkover Landfall*

The Ages Of Chaos
About thousand years after the landfall and first settlement, all knowledge of their origins and Terran technology has been lost and forgotten, and Darkovans live in a feudal society. The unique-to-Darkover matrix technology using psi powers is running free and often out of control, creating terrible weapons and causing horrible social and cultural consequences. The caste possessing these powers is immersed in a dangerous breeding program.
[quelltext: ... matrix technology, psi powers and terrible psi weapons. The populace lives under the domination of the Towers and a tyrannical breeding program to staff the Towers with unnaturally powerful, inbred gifts of laran. ]

Stormqueen! (Dorilys Aldaran)*
Hawkmistress! (Romilly MacAran, Orain Castamir, Carolin Hastur)*
The Fall of Neskaya, Deborah J. Ross, 2001 (Taniquel Hastur-Carcosa, Coryn Leynier, Rumail Deslucido)*
Zandru's Forge, Deborah J. Ross, 2003 *
A Flame in Hali, Deborah J. Ross, 2006 * (taking place at the same time as Hawkmistress! and interweaving with this)

The Hundred Kingdoms
[quelltext: An age of war and strife retaining many of the decimating and disastrous effects of the Ages of Chaos. The lands which are later to become the Seven Domains are divided by continuous border conflicts into a multitude of small, belligerent kingdoms, named for convenience "The Hundred Kingdoms."¯ The close of this era is heralded by the adoption of the Compact, instituted by Varzil the Good. A landmark and turning point in the history of Darkover, the Compact bans all distance weapons, making it a matter of honor that one who seeks to kill must himself face equal risk of death. ]

Two To Conquer*
The Heirs Of Hammerfell*

The Renunciates
[quelltext: During the Ages of Chaos and the time of the Hundred Kingdoms, there were two orders of women who set themselves apart from the patriarchal nature of Darkovan feudal society: the priestesses of Avarra, and the warriors of the Sisterhood of the Sword. Eventually these two independent groups merged to form the powerful and legally chartered Order of Renunciates or Free Amazons, a guild of women bound only by oath as a sisterhood of mutual responsibility. Their primary allegiance is to each other rather than to family, clan, caste or any man save a temporary employer. Alone among Darkovan women, they are exempt from the usual legal restrictions and protections. Their reason for existence is to provide the women of Darkover an alternative to their socially restricted lives. ]

The Shattered Chain*
Thendara House
City of Sorcery (Magda Lorne, Jaelle n'ha Melora, Camilla... )*

Against The Terrans - The First Age (Recontact)
[quelltext: After the Hastur Wars, the Hundred Kingdoms are consolidated into the Seven Domains, and ruled by a hereditary aristocracy of seven families, called the Comyn, allegedly descended from the legendary Hastur, Lord of Light. It is during this era that the Terran Empire, really a form of confederacy, rediscovers Darkover, which they know as the fourth planet of the Cottman star system. The fact that Darkover is a lost colony of the Empire is not easily or readily acknowledged by Darkovans and their Comyn overlords]

Rediscovery (with Mercedes Lackey)*
The Spell Sword (Andrew Carr, Damon Ridenow, Callista & Ellemir )*
The Forbidden Tower (Andrew Carr, Damon Ridenow, Callista & Ellemir )*
Star of Danger (Larry Monray, Kennard Alton)*
The Winds of Darkover (Larry Montray)*

Against the Terrans - The Second Age (After the Comyn)
[quelltext: With the initial shock of recontact beginning to wear off, and the Terran spaceport a permanent establishment on the outskirts of the city of Thendara, the younger and less traditional elements of Darkovan society begin the first real exchange of knowledge with the Terrans"”learning Terran science and technology and teaching Darkovan matrix technology in turn. Eventually Regis Hastur, the young Comyn lord most active in these exchanges, becomes Regent in a provisional government allied to the Terrans. Darkover is once again reunited with its founding Empire.  ]

The Bloody Sun (Jeff Kerwin, Elorie of Arilinn/Elorie Ardais, Kennard Alton)*
The Planet Savers (Jayson Allison, Regis Hastur)*
Heritage of Hastur (Regis Hastur, Lew Alton, Danilo Syrtis, Kennard Alton, Marjorie Scott) [First part of Heritage and Exile: Darkover Omnibus #1]*
Sharra's Exile {Replacement for Sword of Aldones} (Lew Alton, Kennard Alton, Regis Hastur)
[second part of Heritage and Exile: Darkover Omnibus #1]*
World Wreckers (Lew Alton, Regis Hastur)
[reading order by me, differing from the reading order given in Heritage and Exile, but making more sense to me this way as indicated by the book's content.]
Hastur Lord, Deborah J. Ross, 2010

The Marguerida-Alton Cycle

Exile's Song (Regis Hastur)
The Shadow Matrix (Lew Alton, Regis Hastur)
Traitor's Sun (Regis Hastur)
The Alton Gift, Deborah J. Ross, 2007

The Darkover Anthologies
[quelltext: These volumes of stories edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley strive to "fill in the blanks"¯ of Darkovan history, and elaborate on the eras, tales and characters which have captured readers"™ imaginations ]

The Keeper's Price
Sword of Chaos
Free Amazons of Darkover
The Other Side of the Mirror
Red Sun of Darkover
Four Moons of Darkover
Domains of Darkover
Renunciates of Darkover
Leroni of Darkover
Towers of Darkover
Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover
Snows of Darkover

various links:

A brief analysis of casta and cahuenga by Torsten Renk

Mapping Darkover by Torsten Renk

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