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Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series


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#1 Norville

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 07:14 PM

I've been meaning for years to read MZB's Darkover series, but part of my hesitation is that I really can't decide what order in which to read them. Some say that series chronological order works best; others say that the order in which she wrote them is better, so one can see how her ideas evolved.

Can anyone here advise me on the best reading order? Thanks.

Edited by Norville, 20 June 2004 - 07:15 PM.

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#2 G-man

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 07:33 PM

Ermmm ... well, I think (if you have the opportunity) try reading them in the order they were written.

The early works are fairly self-contained and quick reads, and from there you can determine whether or not you wish to continue through the series.

The problem with reading in chronological order is that, quite frankly, she tends to recycle names, and at times the internal chronology gets confused.  And some people argue that the details also get confused.

One thing that may help is to surf the net, and find the Darkover pages that go provide the details of the books and world.  I found them to be a great help.

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#3 Christopher

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 07:37 PM

Read them in one order, then re-read them in the other order. :D
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#4 parisindy

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 07:39 PM

there's way to many i lost track of any order....even if there was one

go read robin hobb instead...  :love:
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#5 Shalamar

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 07:48 PM

I read the Darkover series as she wrote each book - and I feel that it is the best order to first read the series in ...then read it in chronological order.
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#6 maryavatar

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 07:58 PM

It doesn't really matter, I read bits and pieces all over the place.  MZB's early writing is, to be honest, a bit crap.  If you start reading her early stuff first, you'll probably get frustrated and chuck the books in the bin.  She had a bad habit of tying up all the ends in a big exposionary chunk in the last couple of pages.  The only ones I think should be read together are:

The Shattered Chain, Thendarda House and City of Sorcery.

The Spell Sword and The Forbidden Tower.

The Heritage of Hastur, Sharra's Exile, The World Wreckers, Exile's Song, The Shadow Matrix and Traitor's Sun.

I really don't know what to recommend you read first, since a lot of the later, and better, books refer back to earlier events.  I suppose The Heritage of Hastur; it's not a great book, but the rest of the series is much better.

If you'd rather read them in the order she wrote them, here's the list:

The Planet Savers (1962)
The Bloody Sun (1964)
Star of Danger (1965)
World Wreckers (1971)
Darkover Landfall (1972)
The Spell Sword (1974)
The Heritage of Hastur (1975)
The Shattered Chain (1976)
The Forbidden Tower (1977)
Winds of Darkover (1977)
Stormqueen! (1978) (with Paul Edwin Zimmer)
Two to Conquer (1980)
Sharra's Exile (1981)
Hawkmistress! (1982)
Thendara House (1983)
City of Sorcery (1984)
Star of Danger (1985)
The Heirs of Hammerfell (1989)
Rediscovery (1993) (with Mercedes R Lackey)
Exile's Song (1996) (with Adrienne Martine-Barnes)
The Shadow Matrix (1997) (with Adrienne Martine-Barnes)
Traitor's Sun (1999) (with Adrienne Martine-Barnes)

And here's Darkover chronology

Darkover Landfall
Stormqueen!
Hawkmistress
Two to Conquer
The Heirs of Hammerfell
Rediscovery
The Shattered Chain (first part)
The Spell Sword
The Forbidden Tower
The Shattered Chain (second and third parts)
Thendara House
City of Sorcery
Star of Danger
The Winds of Darkover
The Bloody Sun
The Heritage of Hastur
The Planet Savers
Sharra's Exile
The World Wreckers
Exile's Song
The Shadow Matrix
Traitor's Sun
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#7 Anakam

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 10:14 PM

^
Mary, are there two editions of Star of Danger?  It's on the list twice, as a 1965 and as a 1985.  Our copy is definitely earlier--her writing style back in the sixties looked quite a bit different than what we saw in, say, the Renunciate novels.

Personally, though, Norville, I'd recommend reading them in chronological order.  I've done that a few times (although I tend to leave out Star of Danger and Winds of Darkover, as well as Planet Savers and Heirs of Hammerfell, the latter two because we didn't have a copy of those for quite a while).
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#8 parisindy

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 10:26 PM

star of danger and The Forbidden Tower are both really good
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#9 Norville

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 11:06 PM

Christopher said:

Read them in one order, then re-read them in the other order. :D

...Which would make sense if I had nothing else to read in my life, but the sheer amount of books I must read prevents me from rereading, most of the time.

Bless you, maryavatar, for making those lists. I probably should've said in my first post that I'd already researched the publication order and the Darkovan chronology order, and therefore have a list of both of those, complete with a bunch of notes I made while finding the books. ;)

Anakam said:

are there two editions of Star of Danger?

My lists don't say so, though she did write The Bloody Sun in 1965 and rewrite it to be republished in 1979.
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#10 KRAD

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 01:11 AM

I'd advise left to right, myself....

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