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Ages Of Chaos Hawkmistress [Mass Market Paperback]

Marion Bradley
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars another excellent Darkover novel Oct. 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is set in one of the earlier time periods of Darkover: The Ages of Chaos. The heroine of this novel is a girl named Romilly. Romilly MacAran is the daughter of an important family. She has her family's gift of laran: the ability to intuitively feel what animals are feeling, thus making it easier to work with them. In particular, this laran is used with hawks and horses (her family is known for the MacAran gift with hawks). Because of the strained family dynamic, more pressure is put in Romilly than otherwise might have been. The eldest son left home to train his laran in a Tower, and this enraged Mikhail MacAran (so much so that mention of laran or the eldest son's name was forbidden). The heir was a disappointment to Mikhail and he wished that Romilly was a man. Mikhail tried to push Romilly into a marriage with someone that she found disgusting and unacceptable. Instead of accepting the marriage, she ran away from home.
Romilly disguises herself as a man. This era of Darkover is extremely patriarchal and women have few rights in society. Romilly meets up with Dom Carlo and his exile band who are joining the army of the exiled King Carolin. Though her travels she is learning who she is and who she wants to be. Romilly also gets to experience some of the prejudice Darkover society presents women. For a brief while, she also joins the Sisterhood of the Sword, a female/warrior society. Even while we learn about Romilly we also see more of Darkover and what the society is like.
This is a feminist novel in the characterization of Romilly and how she reacts to the men (and world) of Darkover. It is also a very good novel. It goes in a different direction from Stormqueen (another novel set in the Ages of Chaos), but is just as rich and just as good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Full of imagination!!! Aug. 8 2000
By "valai"
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved reading this book!!! The heroine doesn't like being a "lady". She loves working with the animals and helping with outside things rather than being inside. Her "gift" is a rare kind of laran, to feel the emotions of animals and what they are thinking.
She travels in the disguise of a boy and everyone believes that's just what she is. A boy with a very special talent. Helping a group of men with some birds, a kind of bird where if you link your mind with it you can see through it's eyes, she learns that a war is starting to take effect. Adventure is teeming everywhere and she enters places that no other girl, or woman could enter. But her gift isn't always good. Sometimes she feels too much and sometimes she could almost loose control on what's human ... and what's animal.
This is one of my favorite books in the MZB series and it's a wonderful read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but Stormqueen! was better. July 31 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hawkmistress! is valuable to Darkover fans as part of the history of the Swordswomen/Renunciates and as a tale of one of the more unusual forms of laran to be mentioned.
However, since I had just finished reading Stormqueen! (IMHO, the best of the series), almost anything would have disappointed me at that point. And I just couldn't warm up to Romily the way I did to Renata Leynier or Magda Lorne (my two favorite Darkover heroines). My original impulse was to post a three-star review, but the book did improve on re-reading, so four stars it is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Darkover novels Aug. 9 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have recently gotten reaquainted with the Darokover novels and found myself very taken with this book. It has a lot of elements that make it a good read: a heroine who has a great power and is able to work with what she has and in various situations; the idea of working within an animal's mind and being one with it; the fact that using weapons which hurt innocents is immoral; trying to stay neutral in a war but how you may need to choose sides eventually. With a lot of adventure in between, to me, this book is great for Darkover fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book! Aug. 3 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This darkover novel is my personal favourite in the entire darkover series, it involves a daughter of the MacArran clan, who has the laran of the MacArran clan as a help or hindrance on her adventure. Her father refuses to send her to a tower to have her laran trained, and then tries to marry her against her will. Read the book to find out more! It's a good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy with a Point May 22 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hawkmistress is one of Bradley's Darkover series and one of the best. This is the story of a woman's liberation from a male dominated society intent on marrying her to an undesirable match. Escaping from her family she roams Darkover enroute to battling usurpers and earning fame as a swordwoman.
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