Daw, June 2003, 24.95, 528 pp.
On the world of Darkover during the age of THE HUNDRED KINGDOMS, petty kings make the Towers (places where people with strong psychic powers gather) build laran (psychic) weapons that can be used without the combatants ever coming face the face. In the tower of Arilinn two young men strike up a friendship that will last them all their lives and change their world for the better.
Carolin Hastur, destined to become king, is sent to Arillinn tower to learn how to use and control his laran powers. Varzil Ridenow, whose family was former enemies of Hastur and now become wary allies, goes against his father's wishes to enter the Tower because he feels Darkover needs his powers as they are the strongest in the land. They share a dream of making The Towers independent of Kings and banning all distance weapons. That goal has a chance of being fulfilled if Aerlin and Carolin elude the evil sorcery of Eduin, whose father is the outlawed ex-keeper Rumail Deslucido. Carolin must also wrest the kingdom away from his cousin Rokhal who seized it when the old king died.
ZANDRU'S FORGE is a powerful sword and sorcery tale starring two heroes who share a dream and fight to make it a reality. Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross have written a novel so fulfilling and satisfying that it is impossible to put down. There is plenty of action and the characters are fully developed, even the villains, making it easy to understand what motivates them. Fans of Darkover will not want to miss out on this work that adds more detail to the age of The Hundred Kingdoms.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner