Erf. I've started re-reading this series, because I remember how much I loved it when I was a teenager... but damn, I didn't remember this one was so bad. (Or is it because I sometimes used to like shite as a teenager, and that was part of it?)
The story in itself is not uninteresting, all the more since it's THE origins book in the Darkover series, but the relationships... especially the way women are viewed and treated... Wow. That was one special level of bad.
I have no idea if anyone considers this book as a 'feminist' work, but if you do, please stop. This is not feminist, it's patriarchy at its worst: insidious.
[To be fair, I didn't remember this book as being the best in the series either, nor my favourite at all, so I'm still going to try rereading 2-3 others.]