Marion Zimmer Bradley

Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series. Many critics have noted a feminist perspective in her writing. Her first child, David R. Bradley, and her brother, Paul Edwin Zimmer, were also published science fiction and fantasy authors in their own right.
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The Ages of Chaos includes Stormqueen! and Hawkmistress!, two acclaimed novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley and part of the expansive, genre-bending Darkover series.
 
Set during the lawless Ages of Chaos, when the ruling families of the Seven Domains of Darkover ruthlessly inbred their psychic offspring to gain powerful and fearsome talents, two young women are born with "wild" psychic gifts. These stories—Stormqueen! and Hawkmistress!, one tragic and one triumphant—combine to give the reader a vivid and poignant picture of a devastating time period in the history of this fantastic world.
 
Stormqueen!
During the lawless Ages of Chaos, when the ruling families of Darkover ruthlessly inbred their laran-gifted offspring to gain powerful talents, a baby was born to the lord of Aldaran. This child, born on a dark and thunder-filled night­­­­, was possessed of a terrifying and uncontrolled talent: Dorilys, heiress to her father’s domain, could unwittingly call forth lightning, even while still a fretful child. Fearful for his daughter’s life and the safety of his domain, Lord Aldaran sent to a tower for help. But even the powers of a trained monitor and a Hastur lord might not be enough to save this painfully afflicted and deadly young woman.
 
Hawkmistress!
Romilly was an independent tomboy from a noble family, contrary to the social demands of Darkovan women. That was bad enough, but when Romilly’s father arranged her marriage to a nobleman she found repulsive, she rebelled. Disguising herself as a boy, she fled into the deep forests. Living off the land was not nearly as difficult for Romilly as for most people, for she possessed a rare and highly-treasured gift—telepathic communication with hawk and horse. But Romilly soon discovered her newfound freedom was far from complete. Pulled into the maelstrom of a civil war, could Romilly find her true role in life without sacrificing her ideals?
A follow-up to The Ages of Chaos omnibus, Thunderlord is a brand-new novel of the genre-bending Darkover universe, expanded by Marion Zimmer Bradley's collaborator Deborah J. Ross. 

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?
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