One of the earliest novels to appear in Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover" universe was "Sword of Aldones"; this novel was written before Bradley truly learned her craft. Later, she wrote the prequel to it, "Heritage of Hasteur". Eventually, she came back to the original story concept, and completely reworked it. This book is the result of that reworking, which she refused to call a "rewriting" because the changes were more extensive than that. Here is what she had to say on the subject in an introductory note:
"Like all previous Darkover novels, this story is complete in itself and does not depend on knowledge of any other. More than any other Darkover novel, however, this one was written by popular demand.
One result of writing novels as they occurred to me, instead of following strict chronological order, was that I began with an attempt to solve the final problems of the society; each novel thus suggested one laid in an earlier time, in an attempt to explain how the society had reached that point. Unfortunately, that meant that relatively mature novels, early in the chronology of Darkover, were followed by books written when I was much younger and relatively less skilled at storytelling; and of all these, the least satisfactory was "The Sword of Aldones", perhaps because this book was, in essence, dreamed up at the age of fifteen.
In 1975 I made a landmark decision; that in writing "The Heritage of Hasteur", I would not be locked into the basically immature concepts set forth in "Sword", even at the sacrifice of consistency in the series. After "Heritage" appeared in print, "Sword of Aldones" seemed even less satisfactory -- for years, it seemed that everyone I met asked me when I was going to rewrite it. For years I replied "Never," or "I don't want to go back to it." But I finally decided that I had, in "Sword of Aldones", developed a basically good idea, without the skill or maturity to handle it as well as it deserved; and that the characters deserved serious treatment by a matured writer. I decided not to rewrite, but to write an entirely new book based on events in the same time frame as "Sword". The present book is the result."
This book is, in fact, one of Bradley's many fine Darkover novels. I highly recommend it. I do NOT recommend reading "Sword of Aldones", unless it is as a curiosity after having read this one, to see what the differences are, and to see for yourself how much of a difference twenty years of writing experience (give or take) will make to a writer.