The Children of Kings

The Children of Kings

A Darkover Novel


Format
Mass Market Paperback
Price
$7.99
 
Additional Formats
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • ISBN 9780756408541
  • 464  Pages
  • DAW
  • Adult

Overview

Millennia ago, the planet Darkover, a cold world orbiting a giant red sun, was settled by a lost colony ship from the Terran Federation. Alone on a new world, survivors interbred with the native chieri, psychically Giften alien humanoids. The children of these matings were Gifted with telepathy and other psychic abilities, and their descendants, the aristocratic Comyn, forged a civilization in which the arts of the mind were cultivated and cherished.

When the Terrans rediscovered Darkover, the seven Domains of Comyn struggeld to maintain their unique culture and independence, often at a terrible price. More than once, assassins and environmental saboteurs from the Terran Empire attempted to bring Darkover to its knees and erode the native culture for the benefit of the Federation — seing Darkover as nothing more than a port of call for Terran military and trade. Eventually, a vicious interstellar war forced Federation forces to withdraw from Darkover, but Darkovans knew that it was only a matter of time before they would return.

Prince Garth Elhalyn has grown up in the shadow of his legendary grandfather, Regis Hastur, one of the greatest leaders Darkover has ever known. But he is also haunted by fear of the insanity that is prevalent in his Elhalyn family line. His world has become an unbearable counterpoint of meaningless aristocratic frivoloty and dangerous political schemes — plots in which powerful lords attmept to use him to further their own ambitions. He tries his best to better himself through the study of languages, swordplay, and training his psychic laran with his grandmother, Linnea Storn-Hastur, Keeper of Comyn Tower. But Gareth cannot stop dreaming about a future without fame or family.

In a desperate attempt to remove himself completely from the restricted life of the Comyn, Gareth confesses his desire to his powerful grandmother, and with her blessing, disguises himself as a simple trader and travels to Carthon, on the border of the barbarous, warklike Dry Towns. The Dry Towns do not live under the rule of the Comyn, and no one in this isolated part of Darkover will recognize a Comyn lord.

In Carthon, protected by his guise of anonymity, Gareth overhears rumors of deadly, illegal Terran blasters being used in the barren lands beyond Shainsa — one of the main Dry Towns. If the Federation has returned and is now arming the bellicose Dry Towners with banned technology, it will mean a disastrous conflict for the Comyn of the Domains, who have long sworn themselves to the Compact, an oath of honor that forbids the use of distance weaponry. Venturing deeper and deeper into the desert lands, Gareth stumbles upon a terrible reality no one could have suspected and he is ill-prepared to deal with.

But in fact, Gareth holds the key to protecting his world, if he can only stay alive in the deadly Dry Towns long enough to discover what it is….

The Children of Kings follows The Alton Gift and Traitor’s Sun in the Darkover timeline.

Praise

“For sheer skill in storytelling and world building, for wit, for strikingly intelligent development of the concept of telepathy, above all, for continuous concern for people, Bradley has put some more famous sagas in the shade.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“This is the best Darkover novel in a long time…. It’s a tale of culture clash, in classic Darkover style, a delightful return to a fascinating world, and a great read.”—Locus (for Exile’s Song)
 
“This new entry in Bradley’s venerable series is an almost unalloyed pleasure from beginning to end and one of the few recent Darkover novels that someone unfamiliar with the series can pick up and get into immediately.”—Booklist (for Exile’s Song)
 
“[The Alton Gift] is a must for fans of the series and reads as if Deborah has been channeling Marion’s spirit.”—Center City Weekly Press
 
“Bradley’s consummate skill at presenting complex political intrigue side-by-side with acute personal drama makes her Darkover series both involving and intricate.”—Library Journal (for Traitor’s Sun)
 
“Ms Bradley spins a mesmerizing tale with masterful craftsmanship. Filled with rousing adventure, intriguing possibilities and fascinating characters.”—Romantic Times (for The Shadow Matrix)  
 
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