A big thanks to Penguin Canada who provided me with a re-introduction to the fine writing of Marion Zimmer Bradley through a collaboration with Deborah J. Ross.
A number of years ago, I had read a couple of novels in Bradley's Mists of Avalon series and enjoyed them. Hastur Lord was a pleasant reminder of the writing I have missed since I had moved on to other authors. As a side note, I was somewhat shocked with the discovery that Bradley passed away back in 1999! Ross had worked with Bradley on other projects, and this book is the completed works from notes that Bradley had left behind.
Hastur Lord is a book that spans the science fiction/fantasy genres. The setting is Darkover, an independent planet fighting to maintain that status as a newly constituted Federation stretches its wings!
The writing is lyrical and very moving at times. The Hastur Lord, Regis Hastur is a very open minded leader and liberated man who looks for the best in people and provides them with the benefit of the doubt when at all possible (possibly to a fault?). His limits will be stressed when it is revealed to Regis that he has a brother he didn't even know existed. The level of interplanetary politics, and personal relationships made this a rather intriguing read. The interplanetary stage is really a macrocosm for issues that can be found right in our own backyards!
With passages such as : "At this, he turned to face her. Tears filled her eyes with liquid light. One spilled over, leaving a glistening trail down her cheek. He brushed it away, lifted her chin. Bent to brush her lips with his...."
Such expressive writing definitely draws the reader into a beautifully written novel. At times I wondered where the book was taking me, but overall it was a very enjoyable read. The world of Darkover is a compelling one, and leaves me wanting to follow-up with other Darkover novels! Darkover appears to have many beautiful mysteries, waiting to be unearthed.