A Gift of Love [Darkover Series]
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by Diana L. Paxson
Category: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Description: The proposal seemed simple to Darriel. Lionora, his wife, would bear no more children. So Robard's daughter would now live with them in order to bear him a laran-gifted child. Darriel's and Robard's men thought it a good plan. Why should Lionora mind?
eBook Publisher: Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, 1982 Sword of Chaos
eBookwise Release Date: September 2007
39 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [30 KB]
Reading time: 16-23 min.
I cannot bear it, thought Lionora. What kind of woman would bear such a thing? She reached out to the rough stones of the hearth that dominated the great hall of El Haleine as if seeking their support. My own hearth! Am I to stand by smiling while Darriel brings another woman to be mistress here?
Lionora pulled her shawl across her full breasts, shivering though she stood by the fire. The Darkovan winter was loosing its grip at last, but the cold was still bitter once the red sun slipped behind the hills. She did not need to go outside to visualize the tracery of treetops on the western horizon and the gap where the road to Macrae's pierced the hills. She had watched that road only too often, waiting for her husband to return from hunting with Robard Macrae, or from more dangerous expeditions against the human wanderers who were replacing the dwindling Ya-men as the chief danger in the land.
In the four generations since the crash of their starship had forced humans to begin a new civilization on the world they were now calling Darkover, men had settled widely. But now the worsening climate made farming difficult, and too many found it easier to live by attacking their neighbors than by learning to adjust to the cold. And the landowners, reacting to this danger, had begun to band themselves around powerful men like Darriel Di Asturien, who with the help of Robard Macrae had become lord of the Valeron in fact if not in name.
And I was so proud of him, thought Lionora. I have applauded every innovation, and encouraged him even when others were afraid. Until now....
This time, the party from Macrae's would come slowly, torches glittering on puddles as the stag-ponies trod away the last of the snow, escorting the litter that bore Robard's daughter to be Darriel's new bride.