Darkover Landfall (Darkover)

Darkover Landfall - Marion Zimmer Bradley I'm a fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley, but my affection for her rests not on the Avalon books, which I didn't care for, but her Darkover series. Darkover is a "lost colony" of Earth that falls back into a medieval society. Ruled by a psychically gifted aristocracy, after centuries it's rediscovered by a star-spanning high-tech human federation, giving the series a feel of both science fiction and fantasy. The Darkover series as a whole features strong female characters, but it has enough swashbuckling adventure to draw the male of the species, and indeed this series was recommended to me by a guy (when we were in high school!) Although some books are loosely connected, having characters in common, they were written to be read independently and were written out of sequence. This makes it difficult without a guide to know what story to start with. Darkover Landfall comes first chronologically in terms of the timeline of the events of the series, but it isn't where I'd recommend you start. First, it comes relatively early in MZB's career, when she was just coming into her own as a writer, and there are much stronger books in the series. Second, I think you get more pleasure out of this origins book if you first enjoy other books in the series, so as to get the most enjoyment out of seeing how it all started. I'd suggest the (1979 version) of The Bloody Sun or The Spell Sword and its sequel The Forbidden Tower or The Shattered Chain (my own introduction) or Heritage of Hastur as better starting places and books that should be read first before tackling this one.