Review #63 The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley

 The Bloody Sun was the second Darkover novel that I ever read.  Friends of our across the street in Montreal had an enormous science-fiction fantasy collection… Ace books, the yellow spines of the DAW paperback books and other classics such as Dune, Lord Valentine’s Castle, I Robot and all the other delicious tales I discovered in my teens thanks to them.

The Bloody Sun captures the full essence of that pull between two worlds which Bradley became so famous for.  I actually own two copies of this story as listed below and keep both of them on my bookshelves.

The Bloody Sun is the story of Jeff Kerwin, born on Darkover and raised in the Terran Empire by his grandparents on Earth.  All of his longings draw him back into space, working on a series of planets until at last he requests a posting on the planet of his birth. Once he arrives,  he quickly becomes ensnared in a tangled web of deceit and mystery.  Why have his computer records been altered?  Why does no one at the Orphanage admit that he lived there as a child?  Why do some of the natives think that he is a Terran Spy destined to betray them?  What are these strange new powers awakening within him?

Bradley’s stories ooze with a truly unique blend of the deep longing to belong, the wrench between worlds and incredible characters that wrap themselves around your heart.  As the plot of this novel races on towards its conclusion, we share Jeff’s confusion as he tries to discover who and what he really is.  The narrative is so strong that a reader almost feels as if they are living this adventure along with the characters.  When you put The Bloody Sun down at the end and step  back into reality with a sigh of contentment, you know the author has done their job incredibly well.

Paperback format, 191 pages, published in 1964 by Ace Books.

Paperback format, 408 pages containing The Bloody Sun and To Keep The Oath,

published in 1982


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