Ok so I'm desperately trying to find the author/title of a fantasy book or perhaps a short story I read maybe a decade ago.

It focused on a female character who was "other" compared to normal people but she wasn't that rare- they were like a higher evolved human/somewhat magical perhaps. They seemed to be mainly noble/wealthy/of higher birth.

Their major feature that defined them from others was a 6th finger on each hand; the females had them amputated very early in life, and they were not allowed to partner/mate with males of the same ilk. They were encouraged to have other female companions - can't remember if they were allowed to marry non "other" makes.

The story focused on this one female who had not had her 6th fingers removed. She meets a male of her kind who she has a very strong reaction too; they exchange blood which activates immense power in them both. Turns out the females are the most powerful and especially when stimulated by blood exchange/sexual contact with a male?

I can't seem to remember anything else and I can't for the life of me find it anywhere!!

Anyone have any ideas???


1 Answer 1


Could this be (one of) the Darkover novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley?

A key race featured in the books are the Chieri who (normally) have six fingers.

Chieri are a non-human race native to Darkover. At time of Darkover Landfall they are a dying race, that traveled the stars and settled back to Darkover.

They are tall and willowy, with pale skin, silvery grey or golden eyes and long silky golden or white hair. They possess six fingers on their hands and are humanoid enough to reproduce with humans. They usually appear androgynous or sexless but are actually hermaphrodites, they change orientation depending on the need. When in their natural state it is known as emmasca, usually when they find a mate one must be male or female and this will cause a shifting of the other to be the opposite so mating and procreation can occur.

Darkover Wiki: Chieri

  • Just saw this. I don't think so. Some of the Comyn (I think especially Aillard) have six fingers, and they are human, not chieri. But they do not have them removed; it is just accepted. But both men and women had six fingers. And people with six fingers married like anyone else. And nothing about the blood exchange activating power.
    – Basya
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 7:19

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