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Renunciates Free Amazons Thendara House [Mass Market Paperback]

Marion Zimmer Bradley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1 1988 Darkover: The Renunciates, Free Amazons (Book 2)
The cross-currents of two cultures, one male-dominated, one egalitarian, combined with the human problems of two who switched allegiances, brings into focus all the deepest questions of love and marriage, justice and injustice. THENDARA HOUSE is a novel of speculation which has become a classic masterwork on the role of women on any world, past, present, or future.

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About the Author

Marion Zimmer Bradley was born in Albany, NY and lived for many years in Berkeley, CA. Best known as a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romantic occult fiction, Bradley was also the editor of "Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine" and many anthologies. Her most famous works include the "Darkover" series of science fiction novels and the "New York Times" bestselling "The Mists of Avalon," Bradley's romantic, magical, contemporary novels for Tor include T"he Inheritor, Heartlight, Ghostlight, "and" Witch Hill," Marion Zimmer Bradley died in 1999.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Thendara House" is a sequel, of sorts, to the previous Darkover novel "The Shattered Chain." The reason I say "of sorts" is that Bradley has always intended for each Darkover novel to work as standalone novel. The events of "Thendara House" just happen to be set after those in "The Shattered Chain" and continue the story introduced in that novel. This is a novel of the Renunciates, an order of women who have rejected society's role for them and exist as a societal alternative for women.
This novel switches between the viewpoints of two characters: Magda Lorne and Jaelle n'ha Melora. Magda, or Margali as she is called by the Darkovan natives, is of Terran heritage (and is an employee of the Terran Empire), but she was raised on Darkover since she was a child. During the events of "The Shattered Chain", Magda took the Oath of the Renunciates under duress when she was trying to rescue her former husband, Peter Haldane. By the end of that novel, she decided to honor that Oath and came to believe in it. Thendara House is the chapterhouse of the Order of the Renunciates and Magda is to spend the next six months in training at Thendara learning the ways of the Renunciates. Jaelle is the Renunciate who took Magda's oath (this is a special relationship). In order for Magda to be able to fulfill her obligations, Jaelle agreed to work at the Terran spaceport for the 6 months that Magda is at Thendara. Magda is also now married to Peter Haldane, Magda's ex-husband. Peter, like Magda, is a Terran citizen who was raised on Darkover and works for the Empire.
Neither woman truly belongs where she is. Jaelle feels alienation because she is a Darkovan working at the Spaceport and everything she is experiencing is new and different and strange to her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two different worlds ... Aug. 25 2000
By "valai"
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Two different worlds have conflicting problems. One of the major ones is that the two worlds are trapped on one, together.
Two cultures, one is male-dominated and another is ruled by technology. The cultures continue to fight for dominance and in the middle of it two women from different cultures find themselves working together ...
Jaelle, now married to the Terran Peter Haldane, is trying to fit into the life of a Terran. Her life has changed drastically. She has to eat the same things that Terrans do, dress and talk like them and also get used to their lifestyle (which is nothing like her own). Two of her major problems are; one, she can't understand how the medics, who are men, can be so impersonal about women. The major issue for her though is ... her husband is supposed to stand up for her, fight for her, and think for her. What's with that?!?!?!
Magda is living with some Renunicates now, widening the way her mind think and making new friends. She finds that she can think and speak for herself. She also finds that some people, men and women alike don't support the Renunicates and their way of thinking, while others agree with Renunicate ways.
After a time the two women have to put together the information they learned as well as their differences, combining them and using them together may be the only way that they will survive ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dare to question conventional thinking... April 23 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The second in the series of stories depicting Magdalen Lorne, the Terran struggling to belong to a world in which her people are extremly distrusted, and Jaelle n'ha Melora, the native struggling against her expected duty and place in feminine society. Thrown together in the first novel, Magda and Jaelle become fast friends, the only two who do not belong anywhere and find comfort only in each other. Thendara House is the story of these women, one a native trying to work and leave peacefully with the alien Terrans, and one a Terran trying to pass successfully as a native, who discover that one cannot be what she is not, and one cannot escape that which is destined to be. Struggling to control their untrained laran (ESP), they find peace only in the crux of disaster, and finally learn that they cannot always rely on their own stregnth to survive. A must read for the Darkover fan, and ignorant "Terran" alike
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4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Oct. 13 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Thendara House' follows 'Shattered Chains' in the Darkover series, and continues to focus on the Guild of Renunciates, particularly Magda and Jaelle, as they grow into stronger, more self-aware characters. Both are experiencing growing Psi-powers, and their destinies seem intertwined as they navigate the Terran/Darkover political world, explore the conflicts and pressures of their Oaths, and struggle to figure out exactly who they are, what they stand for, and where they belong.
I really enjoyed 'Shattered Chains' and 'Thendara House' gripped me from the very first pages. I read through this novel--longer than 'Chains'--over a weekend, during which I hardly put it down, and never left it behind! I just started 'The City of Sorcery' the next in the Renunciates grouping, and am already totally into it--thank goodness it's friday!
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you haven't yet read _The Shattered Chain_, I suggest you do so first. Although all of the Darkover books are theoretically standalone, this one is definitely improved by having some background.
That said, I love this book. The only minor quibble I have about it is that I get a slightly stronger sense of Magda's character than of Jaelle's, even though the book is supposed to focus equally on both women.
One of the best things about this book, to me, is that even the antagonistic characters are not portrayed as evil. Bradley makes excellent use of the shades of gray in every character throughout the book.
(Also, it's so nice to have a major character refusing to define herself exclusively as heterosexual or lesbian! Definite yay!)
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