An agent of Terran Intelligence on the planet Wolf is being transferred to Vainwal when he's dragged off the starship and sent out on a mission which proves to be a series of complicated traps, set by multiple enemies--some of whom have mistaken him for someone else entirely.
Note: This is Marion Zimmer Bradley's first published novel, a precursor to the Darkover series. Foreword by Elisabeth Waters.
|Publisher:||Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust|
|File size:||281 KB|
About the Author
Marion Zimmer was born in Albany, New York, on June 3, 1930, and married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949. Mrs. Bradley received her B.A. in 1964 from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, then did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-1967.
She wrote everything from science fiction to Gothics, but is probably best known for her Darkover novels and her Arthurian fantasy novel THE MISTS OF AVALON. In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine, which she started in 1988. She also edited an annual anthology called SWORD AND SORCERESS.
She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack.
Date of Birth:June 30, 1930
Date of Death:September 25, 1999
Place of Birth:Albany, New York
Place of Death:Berkeley, California
Education:B.A., Hardin-Simmons College, 1964; additional study at University of California, Berkeley, 1965-1967
Read an Excerpt
The Secret Service office was full of grayish-pink morning and yellow lights left on from the night before. Magnusson, at his desk, looked as if he'd slept in his rumpled uniform. He was a big bull of a man, and his littered desk looked, as always, like the track of a typhoon in the salt flats.
The clutter was weighted down, here and there, with solidopic cubes of the five Magnusson youngsters, and as usual, Magnusson was fiddling with one of the cubes. He said, not looking up, "Sorry to pull this at the last minute, Race. There was just time to put out a pull order and get you off the ship, but no time to explain."
I glared at him. "Seems I can't even get off the planet without trouble! You raised hell all the time I was here, but when I try to leave--what is this, anyhow? I'm sick of being shoved around!"
Magnusson made a conciliating gesture. "Wait until you hear--" he began, and broke off, looking at someone who was sitting in the chair in front of his desk, somebody whose back was turned to me. Then the person twisted and I stopped cold, blinking and wondering if this were a hallucination and I'd wake up in the starship's skyhook, far out in space.
Then the woman cried, "Race, Race! Don't you know me?"
I took one dazed step and another. Then she flew across the space between us, her thin arms tangling around my neck, and I caught her up, still disbelieving.
"Oh, Race, I thought I'd die when Mack told me you were leaving tonight. It's been the only thing that's kept me alive, knowing--knowing I'd see you." She sobbed and laughed, her face buried in my shoulder.
I let her cry for a minute, then held my sister at arm'slength. For a moment I had forgotten the six years that lay between us. Now I saw them, all of them, printed plain on her face. Juli had been a pretty girl. Six years had fined her face into beauty, but there was tension in the set of her shoulders, and her gray eyes had looked on horrors.
She looked tiny and thin and unbearably frail under the scanty folds of her fur robe, a Dry-town woman's robe. Her wrists were manacled, the jeweled tight bracelets fastened together by the links of a long fine chain of silvered gilt that clashed a little, thinly, as her hands fell to her sides.
"What's wrong, Juli? Where's Rakhal?"
She shivered and now I could see that she was in a state of shock.
"Gone. He's gone, that's all I know. And--oh, Race, Race he took Rindy with him!"
From the tone of her voice I had thought she was sobbing. Now I realized that her eyes were dry; she was long past tears. Gently I unclasped her clenched fingers and put her back in the chair. She sat like a doll, her hands falling to her sides with a thin clash of chains. When I picked them up and laid them in her lap she let them lie there motionless. I stood over her and demanded, "Who's Rindy?"
She didn't move.
"My daughter, Race. Our little girl."
Magnusson broke in, his voice harsh. "Well, Cargill, should I have let you leave?"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a hard book to review - and in some ways that's my fault. This is one of MZB's very early books (it was first published 4 years before I was born), but I'm reading a reprint from after she died.The story is, of itself, perfectly competently told and engaging. A Terran intelligence agent on a distant planet on which he has an awkward past having spent 10 years undercover gets called off the ship transporting him to another planet for one last mission - to rescue his niece his from the father he has a blood feud with. The story skips along with that path, on a suitably alien planet with some suitably alien attitudes and adds some extra twists and turns along the way. All in all, it should be very satisfying.But then the planet is called Wolf, but it has a red sun, a ghost wind, cat-people and ya-men, a red-headed psychic child, Dry Towns where they chain their women and suddenly it feels like a Darkover novel. There are differences, but they're small and fussy and they make it hard to take in - this book set in a totally new alien culture would have been much better I think, but a bit like speaking to an American who misuses English a bit, it's more jarring than speaking English to a French person where the missteps are much more common and so you accept them and go with them much more smoothly.If I didn't know the Darkover books, or if the differences between Wolf and Darkover were bigger, or it was set on Darkover without the disguise, I'd be giving it more stars I think - if you want something quick and accessible in the series it's a decent enough place to start.I also want to know if there was ever a series planned of the old empire... that spread the cat people, the ya-men and the like across planets with suns now gone red... but I guess we'll never know.
OK story but for me not enough hard sci-fi
Ii It was fun to read an old fashend space story, it has benee a lone time,
Never heard of Elisabeth Waters, the editor, but she's listed first, which means the book won't alphabetize properly. I've bought three other books with the same problem lately. Come on, BN, this is not rocket science. The author is the author. Not the editor, not the translator, and certainly not someone who wrote a foreword.