HEARTLIGHT by Marion Zimmer Bradley


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Fourth of Bradley’s contemporary psychic/occult novels, this one embellishing the backdrop of the previous books (Gravelight, 1997, etc.) by focusing on the magickal Adept, fraud-buster, and soldier of the Light Colin MacLaren, whose prior appearances were brief and seemingly minor. After spending WWII in OSS covert operations battling Nazi Black magick, Colin moves to Berkeley to teach parapsychology, and helps the talented but troubled psychic Claire London gain control of the powers that were overwhelming her. But evil continues to flourish, and soon Colin must disrupt a Black Mass and deprive the self-styled Nazi magickian Toller Hasloch of his powers. In the 1960s, he becomes friends with illusionist, outcast Adept and charismatic political activist Thorne Blackburn. Blackburn is attempting to develop new, effective magick rituals, but his plans to change the world ultimately will fail (Ghostlight, 1995). Back east, New York writer Jock Cannon tracks down an active Black coven, then dies, supposedly of a heart attack, before Colin discovers Hasloch’s involvement. Later, as director of the Bidney Institute for psychical research, he tutors the young and reckless Hunter Greyson (Witchlight, 1996). Out west, meanwhile, Adept and brilliant pianist Simon Anstey is maimed in an accident but swears that he—ll play again; as he turns toward the Dark, Colin returns to oppose him. Finally, Colin tackles some nasty goings-on in New England, suffers a heart attack, clashes with Hasloch for a final time, and at last finds his successor on the Path. A slow-footed, intermittently absorbing yarn, its protagonist too saintly to be of real interest, with magickal battles that the good guys are never in danger of losing, and a narrative that frequently evokes the uncanny feeling that you’ve read it before . . . somewhere . . . .

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-86508-2
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1998


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