- Series: Thorndike Speculative Fiction
- Hardcover: 233 pages
- Publisher: G. K. Hall & Company (September 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 078389063X
- ISBN-13: 978-0783890630
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,570,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star of Danger (Thorndike Speculative Fiction) Hardcover – Large Print, September, 2000
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About the Author
She was a science fiction/fantasy fan from her middle teens, and made her first sale as an adjunct to an amateur fiction contest in Fantastic/Amazing Stories in 1949. She had written as long as she could remember, but wrote only for school magazines and fanzines until 1952, when she sold her first professional short story to Vortex Science Fiction. She wrote everything from science fiction to Gothics, but is probably best known for her Darkover novels.
In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, which she started in 1988. She also edited an annual anthology called Sword and Sorceress for DAW Books.
Over the years she turned more to fantasy; The House Between the Worlds, although a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club, was "fantasy undiluted". She wrote a novel of the women in the Arthurian legends -- Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, and others -- entitled Mists of Avalon, which made the NY Times best seller list both in hardcover and trade paperback, and she also wrote The Firebrand, a novel about the women of the Trojan War. Her historical fantasy novels, The Forest House, Lady of Avalon, Mists of Avalon are prequels to Priestess of Avalon
She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack. She was survived by her brother, Leslie Zimmer; her sons, David Bradley and Patrick Breen; her daughter, Moira Stern; and her grandchildren.
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Top Customer Reviews
Larry Montray is a Terran youth who arrives on Darkover for the first time with his father Wade. For years, Larry has dreamt of traveling to distant planets and experiencing alien cultures, but when on Darkover he is not permitted to travel outside the Terran Zone. It is only through disobeying that he is able to maintain a friendship with a young Darkovan native named Kennard Alton. Kennard is a son of the powerful Alton clan on Darkover, a clan which holds much authority on the planet. Even though Larry is forbidden to leave the Terran Zone, he is invited by the Altons to spend several months with the family at their countryside estate. This is a huge opportunity for Terran Intelligence as the ruling class of Darkover is very restrictive regarding who is permitted to roam freely outside the Terran Zone. This is nearly unprecedented access. But to Larry, it is simply the fulfillment of a dream and a chance to spend time with a friend. It is also the beginning of an adventure that risks the lives of both Larry and Kennard, as well as the still tenuous relationship between Darkover and Terra.
Bradley uses this novel, as she does with most of the Darkover series, to explore a culture clash. In this case, it is Larry Montray who is out of his element. Larry is thrust into a situation where everything that he knows is alien to the life he is living on Darkover and he tries to fit in as best that he can. But, the difference of culture also causes conflict in his friendship with Kennard.
"Star of Danger" is a relatively short novel, coming in at just over 200 pages, but it is packed with action and adventure. So much so that one might thing this was geared towards a slightly younger reader, but the storytelling is such that any reader of fantasy can enjoy this book.
My only complaint about "Star of Danger" has to do with continuity, but because this book was written so many years before the rest of the series and Bradley has always been willing to sacrifice continuity if it would help telling a particular story. The continuity issue that I am referring to in this book has to do with Larry's father, Wade Montray. Wade is a minor character, and he did admit to having been on Darkover before, but the text suggests that Wade does not know nearly as much about Darkover as we see in the "Renunciate Trilogy". It is also surprising that Larry does not know about this, because I would have expected that he would have learned about his father and grandfather's role on Darkover. In particular, I would expect Larry to have known about his grandfather, who had a prominent role in the Terran government on Darkover. Again, since this was written years before the bulk of the series, and with Bradley's willingness to sacrifice continuity for the good of the story, this does not trouble me as much as it otherwise would, but since I am reading the series in chronological order it was a small distraction.
Overall, "Star of Danger" was a short, enjoyable reading experience. I have long been a fan of the Darkover series, which doesn't seem to get nearly as much attention as it should merit. This is good, but not great fantasy (and overlaps with science fiction at times). Most of the Darkover novels can stand alone, and this one certainly does, so it may be a good entrance point into the world of Darkover.
Young Terran Larry Montray is thrilled at the prospect of leaving Earth and moving to the exotic planet Darkover with his father, for he has long dreamed of experiencing space flight and embarking on adventures in alien lands. He is so excited that he studies the peculiar Darkovan language and learns how to read and communicate with the insular inhabitants of his planet-to-be. When he arrives on the planet, however, he is met with great disappointment; not allowed to explore the local area, he finds life in the Trade Cities no different from his life back on earth. Gradually, he talks his father into giving him more freedom, and he is surprised and gratified to discover that many of the local inhabitants mistake him for one of their own thanks to his red hair and knowledge of their language. The "backwards" Darkovans do not trust the Terrans, afraid of the type of change Earthmen will bring to their traditional, highly structured society, but Larry soon makes friends with a young Darkovan aristocrat named Kennard Alton.
Larry is given the unprecedented opportunity of spending several months with the Altons in the countryside, but this great adventure soon becomes a life-threatening one. If Larry and Kennard are going to survive the series of ordeals thrown at them in these pages (which include ambushes, deadly forest fires, capture, physical ordeals, and the threat of deadly Banshees), their bond of friendship must hold steady, and they must both learn from and defer to one another's very different strengths. Culture clashes are inevitable, but a spirit of understanding and friendship can not only lead them to safety, it may also serve as the beginning of a bridge between their two different, yet related, peoples.
Star of Danger is not a very long novel, and its action-packed plot is just the type of thing needed to get a youngster excited about the joys of reading; a few lessons on sharing and mutual understanding and respect also might pay dividends. This is not technically a juvenile novel, but it very well could be. Exciting yet meaningful, Star of Danger is a fast-paced science fiction adventure for all ages.
Larry, a Terran ... Kennard, a Darkover native ... They meet when Larry gets into a fight and soon become friends. Larry's father does not exactly approve of their friendship but when Kennard invites Larry to go with him to his estates Larry's father is forced to agree, not wanting to insult them. But more is in for Kennard and Larry when they are forced to work together ... to survive. An enemy has been attacking villages on Darkover and the two of them are separated from those they know. While the tension to prove who's best between them builds soon they have to put that all aside and work together, combining ideas and their own technology together so they can get back to their families ... alive.
A great book for anyone who loves reading about adventure and defeating the bad guys!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To be honest, it reads less like her later works, and more like a novel written for...Read more