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.