Bradley's Darkover yarns have been appearing in various formats since 1962 (Rediscovery, 1993, etc.). Her eponymous planet has a repressive social system ruled by an aristocratic elite possessed of psychic abilities. Now, in an era when the Terran Empire has recontacted the once-lost Darkover and both sides have settled into an uneasy accommodation, musicologist Margaret Alton returns to Darkover after an absence of 20 years. Recovering from a triple shock--the death of her beloved old mentor; the discovery that she can sometimes hear others' thoughts; and the realization that she's the heiress to a powerful Domain--Margaret hires guide and protector Rafaella and heads into the country in search of local music. But soon she falls desperately ill with threshold sickness, a malady that normally strikes adolescents--after which they either die or gain their full psychic Gift. The situation is complicated by an evil mental presence implanted in Margaret when a young girl, and her bewilderment over the fact that her father, Lew, the Senator for Darkover, told her nothing of her past. Finally, a leronis (one skilled in the use of mental powers) is summoned, and Margaret overcomes the evil presence within her. She's still beset, however, by difficulties involving her family and her psychic Gift. Bradley poses her heroine a fine set of problems and supplies satisfying answers: an engaging if rather slow and not particularly original addition to the series.