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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not Bradley, but still well written.
The events in The Alton Gift take place a few years after Traitor's sun and the book is therefore partly concerned with the same characters. It's an interesting story, well written, although not exactly to the late Marion's level, but pretty close. As is usual the case, there exist many lines in this story, the most important two being the outbreak of Trailmens's fever...
Published on 4 April 2008 by Grey Lady

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like Bradley
I was really excited about getting this book as it was very long awaited.
To be honest, I'm quite disappointed. The writing style is very different. Suddenly Marguarida is being called Marja by all and sundry, which she detested in the other books. There is very little telepathy used and when it is the author seems to be compelled to add ".. she spoke to his mind" or...
Published on 17 Oct 2008 by Mrs. R. Rowe


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not Bradley, but still well written., 4 April 2008
By 
Grey Lady (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
The events in The Alton Gift take place a few years after Traitor's sun and the book is therefore partly concerned with the same characters. It's an interesting story, well written, although not exactly to the late Marion's level, but pretty close. As is usual the case, there exist many lines in this story, the most important two being the outbreak of Trailmens's fever (thought to be extinct)and the emerging of Mikhail's and Marguerida's son Dominic as a highly responsible young man. But, there is a lot more to it than just that.

Misuse of laran (the telepathic powers of certain families on Darkover)is an important theme, affecting both Lew Alton and his daughter, one through guilt, the other being accused of it in Council by a not-so-willing victim whom had already resolved the issue to his satisfaction with the other perpetrator. Furthermore, the treacherous ways a certain council member tries to get his own way, are also important as this results in Dominic temporarily having to take the regency. Which is all part of being someone taking responsibility for his own acts in any case.

Of course love also is an important theme, and the nice thing about this book is that the "rivals" for Dominic are both interesting characters, especially Alanna (the most "flawed" and mixed up of the two, and therefore more interesting to the reader).

Naturally, some characters did not or hardly return, and it must be said that the handling of the dying Jevanne Hastur is not the best characterisation in the novel. Readers of the Marguerida books will not be convinced. True, people do become milder with age, and take turns for the worse unexpectedly, but that this all would be caused by the World Wreckers (one of the very early books) is a bit too easy an explanation! At least the premature aging in Regis in Traitor's Sun was caused by his having to handle the Sword of Aldones and becoming a kind of living matrix (see the beautifully written Sharra's Exile). Much better than referring to the World Wreckers episode!

On the other hand some interesting en likeable new characters were introduced as well, while certain more well-known charaters found new roles to play, making them interesting in their own right (like Danilo Syrtis or Lady Linnea), even if their parts in the book were not that big.

On the whole, the book is well written, interesting, and I am looking forward to parts 2 and 3 of this new cycle of adventures on Darkover!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like Bradley, 17 Oct 2008
By 
Mrs. R. Rowe (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alton Gift (Darkover) (Mass Market Paperback)
I was really excited about getting this book as it was very long awaited.
To be honest, I'm quite disappointed. The writing style is very different. Suddenly Marguarida is being called Marja by all and sundry, which she detested in the other books. There is very little telepathy used and when it is the author seems to be compelled to add ".. she spoke to his mind" or "she realised she'd overheard his thoughts" or words to the same effect, in EVERY instance! It's infuriating. The book is a carry on from the Maguarida trilogy ending with Traitors Sun, so why the author need to continually point out things that MZB fans already know, I have no idea!
I normally devour books, but have found Alton Gift incredibly hard going, and have read many other books just to clear my mind in between.
I think that though the continuation of the story is something to follow, don't be surprised if it doesn't quite meet your expectations.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Consequences and Reconciliations, 18 May 2009
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alton Gift (Darkover) (Mass Market Paperback)
I was captured by the world of Darkover a long time ago. Bradley built her world very carefully, with a fully imagined (and very long) history, a culture that was unique and appropriately defined by the unique characteristics of the Comyn, and conflicts that grew integrally from that culture and her individual characters. Ross, with this latest work, has done a good job of continuing the story, showing the changes that happen to this world from its contact with Terran technology, and how it manages to restructure itself after the Terrans leave.

This is story of Domenic, child of Marguerida and Mikhael (for Marguerida's story, read Traitor's Sun, and I recommend you do so before reading this, as it will provide a lot of background needed to fully appreciate this book), as he tries to find his place in the world and what he should do with his talents. It is also a story of ethics and morality, honor versus practicality, what true leadership is, just what harm the Alton gift of forced rapport can do and when its use can be justified, as personified by the mental anguish of Lew Alton, all given robust treatment and not subjected to quick, slick answers. Each of these characters is well delineated, and Ross makes you feel their problems and shows how each character arrives at their own solutions to these questions.

I was a little disappointed in the abrupt end to the challenge to Mikhael's leadership, when so much had led up to the challenge, and there are inconsistencies between this book and prior ones both in terms of genealogies and the character traits of some the people. In some ways the book is a little too long; there probably could have been some judicious pruning done to keep the story flowing. But these problems are fairly minor, and won't interfere with your enjoyment while reading this, but mainly show up with a mild feeling of confusion after you've finished it. But even Bradley ended up with inconsistencies between various works - part and parcel of having such a large tapestry upon which to write.

A strong entry into the Darkover saga, and with the promise of more to come, a nice thing for those who have been captured by this very real imaginary world.

---Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: Alton Gift (Darkover) (Mass Market Paperback)
love all MZB books
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4.0 out of 5 stars Like the books by Marion Zimmer Bradley, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Alton Gift (Darkover) (Mass Market Paperback)
I have not found the time to read it yet, but am looking forward to read it. I read most of the books in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Darkover another great book, 31 Aug 2014
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Yet another great book I truly hope not the last. This rebirth is very sympathetic with BZBs original works more please.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Darkover treat. Falter's occasionally, but hey! ..., 29 Sep 2014
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Another Darkover treat.
Falter's occasionally, but hey! we're all human.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 4 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Alton Gift (Darkover) (Mass Market Paperback)
Enjoyable continuation of the Darkover themes
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete rubbish, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: Alton Gift (Darkover) (Mass Market Paperback)
If you liked Traitor's Sun ... you will hate this.

The executors of the Bradley estate obviously found the ghost-writer of Traitor's Sun too expensive, or something like that. So they got this Deborah Ross in to do the job. Except she can't. The writing is poor, the characterisation is poor, and the whole thing drags.

I gave up after a short while and binned the book.
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Alton Gift (Darkover)
Alton Gift (Darkover) by Deborah J. Ross (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Jun 2008)
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