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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to be back on Darkover again...
I have been waiting for quite some time for this book to be published. Any fan of Marion Bradley's world of Darkover will have known that it was expected any time, and the book certainly does not disappoint. Congratulations to Deborah Ross for reworking Marion's notes and manuscript in such a way that this intriguing world comes back to life once more, and - very...
Published on 14 Jan 2010 by Grey Lady

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Darkover novel
I've always been a Darkover fan. Some great, some a bit too romantic for my taste, especially the recent ones. This one is a disappointment - characters are weak and the narrative repetitive. How many times must one go through Danilo's and Regis' "issues"? I felt like a tenerezu reading their boring limited preoccupations.

Best to skip this and re-read the...
Published on 8 Jun 2010 by R'man


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to be back on Darkover again..., 14 Jan 2010
By 
Grey Lady (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hastur Lord: A Novel of Darkover (Hardcover)
I have been waiting for quite some time for this book to be published. Any fan of Marion Bradley's world of Darkover will have known that it was expected any time, and the book certainly does not disappoint. Congratulations to Deborah Ross for reworking Marion's notes and manuscript in such a way that this intriguing world comes back to life once more, and - very important - in the way I believe Marion herself would have intended it to be. And the best part is that the book really adds something to what already exists. We finally get to understand how Regis turns from the somewhat insecure and naive (yes, he still was that at the end of Sharra's exile even though it was mostly by his intervention that the Sharra matrix was destroyed, and he was the one able to help Danilo who was even less certain of himself at the time)to the wily and sharp leader we encounter in Exile's Song and The Shadow Matrix. Excellent! Furthermore, it is highly interesting to find out how the threesome relationship between Regis, Danilo and Linnea comes about. After all, so far we only had a small glimpse of this in "World Wreckers" which only took Linnea into account, we knew about the way Regis and Danilo felt about each other from The Heritage of Hastur and Sharra's exile, and finally we see this relationship an established fact in Exile's song (again). For the fans it is also useful to know why Lew Alton had become such a morose character during his stay in the Senate, while he left Darkover with such optimism - being newly restored to his wife and daughter. Using the Alton Gift is never a recipe for becoming friendly and well-natured.

And then the plot itself...and I will not spoil it all, there must of course remain something to read for any new buyer of this book! Suffice it to say that, as has been stated often enough in a number of Marion's books: be careful what you ask for, you might just get it! And finding a brother out of the blue, may not be as welcome as you think. Also interesting are some new facets of the Christoforo brothers and their religion, and admittedly the approach does call to mind the way Christianity originally spread, once certain important people embraced it. Absolutely wonderful. So, here we have a book with an interesting plotline, great characterisation of the main participants, and an intriguing twist to the history of Darkover.

There is only one "but", and that is that both the personages of Rinaldo and Tiphany in my view were not well enough fleshed out. Of course, we read about what Rinaldo does, we see his actions, and his oral explanation for them. But, we never get to really understand him. We are not invited into his head (so to speak). This could have been intentional, as Regis also concludes this at the end of the book but I would have liked to know more about this. And Tiphany really is a caricature of a person, and it sure would have been interesting to know a bit more about this woman than that she was a religious fanatic and quite mad. Whatever made the nice Dan Lawson marry the woman? There must have been something! However, on the whole it was a great re-introduction to Darkover, one I'll probably return to once in a while. Good job, and I am looking forward to the next (there is still another one "in the wings").
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and a good addition to the Darkover series, 22 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Hastur Lord: A Novel of Darkover (Hardcover)
I am a great fan of Darkover and being red headed that isn`t surprising but still this is a good book and fills in some blanks about the characters of Regis and Danilo and others.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Darkover novel, 8 Jun 2010
This review is from: Hastur Lord: A Novel of Darkover (Hardcover)
I've always been a Darkover fan. Some great, some a bit too romantic for my taste, especially the recent ones. This one is a disappointment - characters are weak and the narrative repetitive. How many times must one go through Danilo's and Regis' "issues"? I felt like a tenerezu reading their boring limited preoccupations.

Best to skip this and re-read the oldies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
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love all MZB books
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5.0 out of 5 stars very nice fantasy!, 29 Feb 2012
By 
Yuri Nuijten (netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hastur Lord: A Novel of Darkover (Hardcover)
A good book in the darkover series, I heard it will be the last that is a shame, a must-read if you like the series!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hastur Lord, 21 Sep 2011
Once again a Darkover novel that holds you spellbound from start to finish, Marion Zimmer Bradley has to up there among the greats of Fantasy writers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's not the Darkover I know, 8 Aug 2011
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I have been a fan of Darkover for many many years and always buy any new novel. I was very sad when M.Z.B. died but felt that Deborah Ross did very well with the Varzil the Good trilogy so was happy to have this one.
What a disappointment. For me it just doesn't work. Perhaps because Regis Hastur was very much Marian's 'hero'. To suddenly find he had a brother is like something out of Star Trek, and I do love Star Trek. Sorry Deborah but this one is not Darkover. But don't let it stop you writing others. Varzil was excellent and gets read again and again.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading, 21 Nov 2011
By 
J. Turner (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This is a very interesting book, which basically does what it says on the tin, as it were. It deals with the life histories of ethnic minority women, and their experiences set against the dichotomy of religion and culture, both as residents in their own land and migrants within the UK. It focuses on FGM, known now as genital cutting, but also on the issues surrounding dowry, honour killing, suicide and divorce, and oppositely how the rise of the 'white rights' movement has also adversely affected minority women. It is also very careful not to portray the women caught up in these issues as victims, but explores, for instance, why women who have endured FGM have gone on to allow it to be performed on their daughters in turn. In short, it's a wonderfully researched book which allows normally silent women to speak out. There were a few issues I felt were not addressed - the position of the disabled in such ethnic minorities, women and children in particular. And, while certain women were able to tell their stories, they obviously had the 'freedom' to be able to do so, perhaps because of their higher caste, relatively affluent families ot their own educational background. This is not a criticism of these women, or indeed the book - I just wondered about those who didn't come forward, so their stories remain unheard. I understand that the book is just a representative sample but it would be great if a second volume was forthcoming. I shall be haunting the Zed books website in hope! So, this book isinteresting, informative, sometimes horrifying but always essential reading, whether for study or just because you want something to read that makes you think!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into other cultures, 30 Dec 2011
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a collection of articles written by researchers who themselves often have personal experience of the issues covered. It is edited by Tamsin Bradley who provides an introduction and conclusion as well as information about how the stories were gathered. There is a list of references at the end of the book which provides further reading about the subjects covered and there is an index.

The problems covered affect women from black minority ethnic (BME) groups in the UK and include the problems of dowries and caste, female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic violence, divorce, gender based violence and premarital relationships. Each chapter is written by a different researcher and tells the stories of many individuals living in the UK but who are also part of their own ethic communities.

I found it a very moving book to read and it helped to correct the misapprehensions I held about these major problems which many BME women face in UK society. Some of the things I almost take for granted are things which many women have to fight to obtain such as the right to train for a career and then to keep their job once they are married and have children. FGM is clearly still happening in the UK even though it is forbidden by law and many of the women affected by it are against the practice.

It will take more than a law to eradicate FGM because it is deeply embedded in the culture of many BME communities. As well as being part of particular cultures it may well be reinforced by the women concerned even though they suffer from the severe mental and physical problems that the practice produces. It is clear from this book that these women are not just downtrodden victims who are doing as they are instructed, they are people who believe it is part of their culture which should be continued.

Domestic violence is something which can affect women from all groups in UK society but for BME women there is the additional hurdle of persuading the elders and religious leaders in their community to believe what they are saying and to accept that they need to escape from their oppressive and violent domestic situations. Honour killings are the ultimate in domestic violence and may be the result of what, to Western eyes, would seem to be trivial infringements of rules and customs.

In many cases women are told they need to put their marriage above their personal sufferings though it is clear from the stories told here that things are changing and women can expect help from their community in at least some cases. If you do not speak English very well then it is often not possible to access help available to those whose English is fluent.

Divorce is something which is accepted in the increasingly secular society in the UK but it may not always be accepted within BME communities and can bring shame and ostracism on the women involved and on their children. Many such communities regard it as the woman's fault in every case where a marriage disintegrates.

The conclusion sounds a note of warning about the increasing trend of seeing religious leaders as having influence in BME communities. Religion, because it has been created predominantly by men, reinforces the patriarchal view of the world and in many cases helps to keep women in subservient positions both in the home and in society.

All the problems covered by this book are created by a closely knit web of culture, society and religion which structure the world according to what is best for men in many ways. Women, even with access to sources of help, may well feel they are going against everything they have been taught to believe in by just talking about their problems outside their immediate family or community even if they are convinced the actions they are taking are best for them. I would urge anyone who is at all interested in the position of women in society today to read this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Society?, 4 Dec 2011
By 
Bobby Smith (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a moving, emotive and thought provoking book; full of tragic stories of black and Asian women suffering at the hands of men. Neatly arranged into eight easy to read chapters, the book tackles a range of subjects, ranging from domestic violence in the Zimbabwean community, female genital mutilation amongst Somalis, Hindu dowry practises and accounts of Bangladeshi divorce. The common theme that runs throughout is that all these abuses are happening in the UK, often under the noses of the authorities who remain blissfully unaware of the problems women are having to experience. Be warned, however, for this is not an easy read, as the incidences described are in turn horrific, disturbing and illuminating - especially for people who socialise with only the same ethnic group as themselves.
What struck me most whilst reading the book is that many of these issues are largely hidden from the majority population of the UK, with the result that both victims and perpetrators come over as alien, separate beings from the rest of us, which of course they are not. The Somali women, based in England, who talk about the pain of 'genital cutting' to give it its PC name - really read as women from a different planet - with their culture based around concepts of family 'honour' and of pleasing men. How they can talk about inflicting mutilation on their own offspring, whilst recollecting the pain of their own 'cutting' defies belief and shows how deep-seated this part of their culture is. In many ways this book makes one think that the 'West' is far advanced when it comes to such things, although I am sure this was not the writer's intention. Most of the women interviewed are at pains to stress their pride at their Zimbabwean, Hindu or Somalian roots and wish to confront the stereotypes we often have of them - of being oppressed women being dominated by the male species. Unfortunately the book, in many ways, reinforces such stereotypes as each chapter highlights shocking levels of abuse suffered by black and Asian women in England. What the book ably demonstrates is that culture has been hijacked into a kind of cultural bondage, with tradition used as a chain to keep women in 'their place', leaving them more exposed than ever to levels of violence and suppression of their femininity.
In conclusion the writer shows how multiculturalism has ultimately failed, as the authorities are unable to recognise that women are being exploited by our obsession with faith base dialogue and of sticking to these communities status quo. Our fears of keeping out of other peoples' business are leading to women suffering domestic servitude, slavery and death. A sobering thought indeed and an essential read for any who think social cohesion and integration can be achieved by giving more power to conservative men.
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Hastur Lord: A Novel of Darkover
Hastur Lord: A Novel of Darkover by Deborah J. Ross (Hardcover - 5 Jan 2010)
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