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Traitor's Sun


First publication:
Daw in 1998

Foreign editions:
  • No foreign edition!


Darkover time Back Last novel
The Shadow Matrix Last novel
Publication time Back Last novel
The Shadow Matrix Last novel

This novel is the in the Darkover time. It is the in the publication time.


This Novel was written with Adrienne Martine-Barnes.

Reading guide

Darkover history period:
Against the Terrans-The Second Age (After the Comyn)
What to read before and after:
This novel is a sequel of The Shadow Matrix. It is quite difficult to understand everything if you don't read The Shadow Matrix (and its prequel Exile's Song) before.
A rather good, the best of the recent Margaret Alton's subcycle.


I won't give here the short presentation text included in the cover of the book, because I think it seems to give to much details about the story.

"Traitor's Sun" takes place 15 years after op. cit.. During these years, the Terran Federation has become increasingly totalitarian and tension is increasing between it and Darkover.

"Traitor's Sun" tells the story of Lyle Belfontaine, Station Chief at Federation Headquarters in Thendara, and of his plans to take the power on Darkover. The novel focuses on The Shadow Matrix heroes, Marguerida Alton and Mikhail Lanart-Hastur.

My personal opinion

Traitor's Sun is a much better novel than Exile's Song, which was rather disappointing. I would say it is also better than The Shadow Matrix. It might be the beginning of a rather new way of writing Darkover novel (I guess this is the influence of Adrienne Martine-Barnes).

The story itself is not very original: once again, we have a fight between Terra and Darkover, and someone who doesn't-know-anything-about-Darkover, comes to the planet and fills at home! If you manage to overcome this déjà-vu feeling, you will enjoy the story-telling. What is quite unusual is that the novel does not focus on one or two characters, but on the contrary tries to give life to many ones: Herm Aldaran and his wife Katherine, Gisela Aldaran, Mikhail Hastur, Margaret Alton, Lew Alton and Domenic Hastur. Traitor's Sun is really successful in this part.

Laran fans will be pleased by the mention of a potentially new gift that gives a direct path to a sequel. Another good point is that the old MZB's scheme (teenagers and adults cannot understand each other) is at last abandoned.

To conclude, I would say that Traitor's Sun can save the Margaret Alton series. Exile's Song was definitely a not so good novel, The Shadow Matrix was ok but not great. Fortunately, Traitor's Sun is a pleasure to read. My only wish is that Adrienne Martine-Barnes keeps improving her talent!

More about the novel

  • a summary of the novel (this summary contains the complete story !)

copyright 96-99 Fabrice Rossi (

source file (Last modification: Wed Apr 21 17:21:45 1999)