Hate to say it, but I couldn't finish this book. I liked the Darkover series, and I enjoyed the Clingfire trilogy, but this book isn't good. Part of the problem, for me, is that I do not like Marguerida in this book. While she never was a favorite character, I found her tolerable and at times likable. Here, Marguerida comes across as always right and full of hubris. Take for instance, Alanna, Marguerida's foster daughter. Marguerida tells us that she loved Alanna more than Alanna's actually mother. We're told this; we never actually see it. Whenever, the two women are together, there is no tenderness towards Alanna. Granted Alanna's behavior is wrong, but she is sick so shouldn't some understanding be called for? Additionally, be her own admission, Marguerida took Alanna in to try to avoid a vision of the future, not out of love. Some other characters seem to lack depth, and the love triangle mentioned on the back cover never seems real because it is hard to believe that the characters are in love or even in lust with each other. The pacing too is bad, and the class warfare gets shut down and shunted aside too much. It feels that because of the established characters, Ross is trying to write like Bradley and not like Ross. This is a shame because it can't work, and, therefore, everything feels forced. This is a shame because Ross can write.