After generations of struggle to protect the unique native culture of Darkover from the ambitions of the ruthless Terran Federation, the Terrans have finally been forced to abandon Darkover due to interstellar civil war.
As Lew Alton—returned home to the world of his birth after decades spent in exile as the Darkovan representative to the Terran Senate—wrestles with the dark shadows from his past, his daughter Marguerida’s psychic Gifts warn her of impending danger. But danger to whom? Her husband Mikhail, as powerful head of the Hastur Doman is her most obvious worry, for many would stand to gain from his demise.
Meanwhile, unknown to Marguerida, her son, Domenic, searches for his place in a world of shifting loyalties, torn by love for two very different women, and troubled by his destiny as the heir to Hastur.
But while Darkover’s powerful rulers face their personal demons, desperate refugees flood the streets of Thendara, Darkover’s capital city, for in the mountains an ancient menace is once again on the rise—a power against which neither sword nor the psychic sorcery of Darkover can prevail.
Far in Darkover's past, the Ages of Chaos were a time of constant warfare, when immensely powerful psychic weapons ravaged the land and slaughtered entire armies. Perhaps none was more dangerous and unpredictable than the mental Gift to sense--and control--thunderstorms. When the realm of Aldaran and their Scathfell cousins came to blows, that Gift turned the tide of battle, and Aldaran prevailed.
A generation later, the heir to Scathfell, Gwynn, has grown up in the shadow of that conflict, his life shaped by the loss of his entire family. Now he plots his revenge for his family’s humiliating defeat by seeking to marry a woman who carries the storm control Gift, so that his sons will be able to wield the terrible power of storms against Aldaran.
Since childhood, Kyria has been able to sense approaching storms. She had never expected to marry a rich man; independent and athletic, she defied tradition by donning her brother’s castoff clothing and trapping small game to keep her family from starvation. When Gwynn’s emissary arrives with a marriage proposal that will secure her family’s financial future, she agrees. Along with her younger sister as her companion, she sets out for Scathfell, where she will be formally wed.
During their passage through rugged mountains, a blizzard drives them to seek shelter in a traveler’s hut, where they meet Edric, the young heir to Aldaran.
Edric has inherited the storm control, but he has never dared to use it. His whole life, he has been warned against the consequences, not just to his enemies but to everyone he loves. Now, disguised as an ordinary traveler, he journeys home after years of study, disciplining himself to control his powers.
When he meets Kyria, he senses the presence of the same storm power, but unschooled and dormant. They know each other only as Edric and Kyria--for under shelter truth, all identities are concealed--and are drawn to one another.
Thus begins the saga of two kingdoms, divided by bitter history and present-day suspicions, one armed with devastating power and the other determined to overcome it, no matter what the price. Can their love and resourcefulness overcome even the overwhelming power of a Thunderlord?
In a Britain struggling to survive Roman invasion, Eilan is the daughter of a Druidic warleader, gifted with visions and marked by fate to become a priestess of the Forest House.
But fate also led Eilan to Gaius, a soldier of mixed blood, son of the Romans sent to subdue the native British. For Gaius, Eilan felt forbidden love, and her terrible secret will haunt her even as she is anointed as the new High Priestess. With mighty enemies poised to destroy the magic the Forest House shelters, Eilan must trust in the power of the great Goddess to lead her through the treacherous labyrinth of her destiny.
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Court life for Prince Gareth Elhalyn, grandson of the legendary Regis Hastur, has become unbearable. In a desperate attempt to escape, Gareth appeals to his powerful grandmother, Linnea, and with her blessing, disguises himself and travels to the barbarous, warlike Dry Towns where no one will recognize a prince. In the Dry Towns, Gareth overhears rumors of deadly, illegal Terran blasters and stumbles upon a terrible reality no one could have suspected.
Meanwhile, Linnea has never ceased to search for her lost daughter, Kierestelli, whom she and Regis were forced to send into hiding with the native chieri. Almost by chance, Linnea reconnects along the telepathic relays with Kierestelli, now called Silvana of Nevarsin Tower. Silvana, convinced that her parents abandoned her, rejects her mother’s overture and returns to her hidden home among the chieri. But the chieri once roamed the stars themselves, and they have no forgotten the terror of warfare in space—lessons that they pass on to Silvana.
Unknown to the ruling Comyn, danger now fills the skies above Darkover, and Silvana holds half the key to protecting their world. Gareth holds the other half, if he can only stay alive long enough to discover where that key is....