The Children of Kings
Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah Ross
Daw, Mar 5 2013, $24.95
Mentored by his renowned grandmother Linea Storn-Hastur, the Keeper of Comyn Tower, Prince Gareth Elhalyn fears he will never live up to the accomplishments of his teacher or his famous grandfather Regis Hastur. However, his biggest worry comes from his concern that his inheritance is the legendary Elhalyn insanity.
Dreaming of freedom, he talks with his grandmother who encourages him to travel as a trader. Gareth heads to the feral Dry Towns where few will recognize a powerful Comyn lord. As a trader in Cathon, Gareth hears rumors of Dry Towners beyond Shainsa armed with Compact forbidden deadly Terran blasters. Gareth knows this is plausible even though the Terran Federation withdrew from their planet after a bloody interstellar war (see THE ALTON GIFT); as the outsiders considers the lost colony part of their empire and will arm enemies of the ruling party. He also concludes his mission is to verify this at a risk to his life as he heads to the most dangerous area of the most outlawed sector on Darkover; Dry Towners never pledged adherence to the Compact or the laran Comyn Lords.
The Children of Kings is a fresh Darkover tale due to the protagonist’s venture into a rarely mentioned location (see The Shattered Chain by the late Marion Zimmer Bradley) as the Dry Towns and their residents want nothing to do with the Comyn lords. Gareth is a terrific though somewhat typical Darkover hero as he struggles with his fears going insane while trying to learn the truth and if substantiated to find a way to prevent a deadly disaster. Darkover fans will relish Deborah Ross’ strong saga into a lawless lethal land.