Daw, August 2004, 24.95, 480 pp.
The World of Darkover enhances psychic (laran) powers and wars are fought over long distances using special laran weapons created for that purpose. At the end of the age of the Hundred Kingdoms, King Carolin Hastur and keeper Varzil Ridenow pressure the various realms to sign the Compact that would ban long distance weapons of mass destruction.
King Carolin doesn't know it but he has a very powerful enemy who wants him dead as his former friend Edwin Deslucido is under a compulsion spell laid upon him by his father to kill the entire Hastur Clan. The spell controls Edwin forcing him to turn one kingdom against another in the hopes that Varzil will die so he can finally destroy Hastur. The keep under attack houses Varzil's sister, a woman who Edwin once loved and realizes he still loves. Is his love stronger than his father's hate spell because Edwin feels compelled to save her yet is also obsessed with his sire's mission.
Mindful of Hamlet, Edwin is one of the most tragic figures ever to grace the pages of a fantasy novel. He is not an evil man but a person driven to the point of madness because of a spell put upon him by his malevolent father. A FLAME IN HALI takes the reader into the mind of Edwin, a man who can't control his actions yet in the end, good can come out of the tragedy if the Compact Carolin and Varzil forge is signed by the kingdoms to prevent what happened in Hali from ever happening again. Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross have written a brilliant finale to an exciting mini-series
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner