Review -- Exile's Song by Marion Zimmer Bradley

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Exile's Song coverExile's Song by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Published by Daw Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

Exile's Song is billed as "the long-awaited sequel to The Heritage of Hastur and Sharra's Exile. However it has a totally different feel from either of those books. While those two were written in a double POV, alternating chapters from Lew Alton's journal and chapters of third-person narrative from Regis Hastur's POV, this book is entirely from the POV of Lew's daughter Margaret.

After having grown up in a decidedly dysfunctional family (Lew and Dio did not live happily ever after), she went to University over her father's objections and became an Imperial Scholar, specializing in musicology. When her field work brings her to Darkover, she only intended to be there a few weeks and then go back to the comfortable scholarly environment of University.

However events drag her into the world of her birth far more firmly than she'd ever intended, and her father's keeping her deliberately in ignorance makes matters even worse. By the time she realizes that she has to face the reality of her heritage, she is at the center of a complex network of perils.

However I feel that MZB wound everything up just a little too tidily at the end with Lew coming back home to Darkover and Margaret marrying the youngest son of one of the rival claimants of the Alton Domain. Yet at the same time she left other threads dangling.

For instance she never did resolve what happened to the boy Domenic after he was taken to Arilinn Tower for healing -- was the Tower Circle able to regenerate his damaged spinal cord, or will he have a brief existance as a quadripelegic and then die? Also MZB seems to be opening the possibility for future continuations of the series with Margaret's prophecy about Ariel Alar's unborn daughter.

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Review posted May 19, 1999

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