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The Book[]

What makes this novel unique[]

The Fall of Neskaya takes place during the Age of The Hundred Kingdoms, before Darkover was ruled by the Seven Domains, and there was much fighting between each kingdom.

Major Characters[]

Minor Characters[]

  • Beltran Leynier
  • Rafael Hastur II



  • Verdanta Castle
  • High Kinnally Castle
  • Ambervale Castle
  • Tramontana Tower
  • Neskaya Tower
  • Acosta Castle


Book I[]

Coryn Leynier is the youngest son of Lord Beltran Leynier of Verdanta Castle.  He is laran tested by Rumail Deslucido of Neskaya Tower, Rumail secretly uses his laran to tamper with Coryn's mind to use him as a possible pawn later. He recommends Coryn go to Tramontana Tower for training. Rumail is plotting, with his brother Damian Deslucido, to gain power over many surrounding territories of their home at Castle Ambervale. Their eventual goal is for Damian to unify all of Darkover under his rule. Verdanta in particular is valuable because it will grant them access to Acosta, after which is Hastur land.

We learn that Rumail has the Deslucido gift, the ability to make it so others can lie under truthspell. Damian and his son Belisar Deslucido do not have the Deslucido gift. Belisar is handfasted to Coryn's beloved youngest sister, Kristlin, so the Deslucidos can gain access to Verdanta.

At Tramontana Tower, Coryn learns to control his laran and befriends Liane Storn and Aran MacAran. He starts to put afreeside his differences with the Storn whom his family had a long feud with.  The Keeper at Tramontana, Kieran Aillard, believes the Towers should be neutral and not supply laran weapons to any lords.

In Coryn's fifth year at Tramontana Tower, Rumail is dismissed from Neskaya Tower for some reason. Rumors say Rumail had made an unmonitored trap-matrix which would freeze a man and stop his heart. Later Coryn finds out that Kristlin and his father have died of lungrot along with many in Verdanta. Lungrot is a disease that is laran-made, but despite trying Coryn and those at Tramontana can't finucidod out where it came from. After Verdanta is weakened by the lungrot, the Deslucidos attack and take Verdanta. Eddard, Coryn's oldest brother and ruler of Verdanta, was made a prisoner in his own castle. Coryn feels certain his other sibilings (Petro, Margarida, and Tessa) are still alive.

After taking Verdanta, the Deslucido forces attack Kinnally Castle, the seat of the Liane Storn's family. After High Kinnally is taken, Liane agrees to leave Tramontana tower and return home as a hostage. Her actions mean her brother continues to rule over High Kinnally and protect the tower's neutrality for a while longer. It is decided that Coryn will leave Tramontana for Neskaya Tower to be trained as an under-Keeper. This also protects Tremontana Tower's neutrality and to protects Coryn, by removing him from the disputed areas to Hastur lands.

Book II[]

Taniquel Hastur-Acosta, called "Tani", is Queen of Acosta. She is niece of King Rafael Hastur, second of his name, and is married to Padrik Acosta who is Lord Acosta. She is also pregnant with the Acosta heir.

Acosta is attacked by Ambervale (the Deslucidos). Padrik is killed and Acosta is taken. The Ambervale forces use Laran and tower-made weapons in the fight. Tani is not allowed to sit vigil or visit her husband's body, which becomes important later. Tani is supposed to marry Belisar and continue as Queen of Acosta, but she refuses and then flees.

In her desperate flight, Tani is without shelter, nearly frozen and out of food. She calls out in her mind for help. While traveling to Neskaya, Coryn hears Tani and rescues her. He only knows her as "Tani" and does not know who she is. He nurses her back to health and falls in love with her. Tani also develops feelings for Coryn. She dreams of him wreathed in blue flames and hears him say, "Through water you have come to me. Through fire I will come to you."

Tani makes it to Thendara, where her uncle, King Hastur, is ruler. She is very headstrong and driven to retake Acosta for her son. Her desire is not taken seriously and her family tries to get her to marry Darren-Mikhail Elhalyn but she refuses. Tani resolves to lay low for a bit and press her case later, when the timing is better. She has her son and names him Juilan.

Meanwhile, Rumail tries to start his own circle with himself as Keeper. He has two teenagers who are barely trained and Ginevera, a monitor who was dismissed from Arilinn. In his first attempt as Keeper, he discovers that Ginevera is a sadist. She badly injures one of the teenagers, Darna, and is aroused by the pain. Ginevera reminds Rumail that as Keeper, what happens in the circle is his responsibility. Darna dies and Ginevera leaves.

Tani, King Hastur, and Lady Caitlin (Leronis to the Hasturs and Keeper of Hali Tower) attend the Comyn Council in the Hidden City near Arilinn. Tani and Damian Deslucido give testimony about what happened in Acosta. Damian says that Tani was treated kindly, agreed to the marriage, and then fled. The council is misogynist and decides for Damian. Tani realizes that Damian has lied under truthspell because he said she was allowed to sit vigil for her husband when she was not.

King Hastur and Lady Caitlin believe Tani but Lady Caitlin also probes her using Laran to prove beyond a doubt. The next day, Rafael Hastur tells the council that he will defy them and declares Acosta a Hastur protectorate with Julian its ruler and Tani as regent. He says the council has been unjust but doesn't explain why.

Book III[]

Tremontana Tower is forced to enter the conflict on the side of Ambervale and Neskaya Tower enters the conflict on the side of the Hasturs. Coryn's friend Aran is still at Tremontana and Coryn wants to maintain neutrality. He goes to King Hastur to plead with him that Neskaya Tower be left out of the conflict. While there Coryn sees Tani and finds out who she is. They have an private moment in the garden and Coryn sees her vision of him in blue flames with the words "Through water you have come to me. Through fire I must come to you." They exchange tokens. Tani gives Coryn a hairpin and he gives her his mother's handkerchief which he always carries with him.

Belisar leads Ambervale forces in attacking a small piece of Hastur land. The Ambervale forces are tricked and defeated. Belisar is supposed to surrender himself as a hostage but Rumail plots to help Belisar to get away. When their plan fails, Belisar is sent running and Rumail halts the chase by deploying bonewater dust. In a turn of events, the bonewater dust is blown back on the Ambervale forces and many are killed. In addition, Rumail himself is trapped in the bonewater dust using all his power to protect himself.

Book IV[]

Inconsistencies & Other Odd Bits[]