The World Wreckers used to be considered the “last” of the Darkover novels. Written in 1971, it details the time period after Sharra’s Exile when outside interests hire a covert company to destroy the ecosystem of Darkover. They hope that if enough damage is caused, both ecological and societal, the planet will appeal to the Terran Empire for help and thus become and open, unprotected world whose resources can be taken advantage of.
This is a time of great personal distress for Regis Hastur, one of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s most intriguing characters. He faces challenges in his personal life, his political future and the future of his very world. Yet, amid it all, he finds a way to work with a select group of telepathic misfits and unite most of the Laran-gifted people on his world in a Telepathic Council.
What makes The World Wreckers so moving is not the obvious exploration of gender relations and the attachments we form with each other. Rather it is the character of Andrea Closson, the mastermind behind the World Wreckers, who captures the reader’s fancy as we grow to understand that she has the deepest secret of all to hide. Andrea becomes a pivotal point in the destruction or salvation of the planet… one that gives this book a truly beautiful, creative and masterfully written ending that never fails to make me tear up.
Reading The World Wreckers again in linear context added more poignancy, even though I read Hastur Lord so much earlier in the year. It was that review in fact that set off this huge rereading of all the Darkover novels. I find myself wondering what will capture my fancy once the books finally run their course.
Paperback format, 215 pages, published in 1971 by ACE Books.