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Tomorrow's Sphinx
By Clare Bell
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1986
ISBN 0689504020, 9780689504020
292 pages

Bell continues to pursue unique ideas ...

... and themes, here producing one of the year's more original fantasies. Kichebo, an unusual cheetah who was raised by a foster mother, is also different because she is almost completely black. Handicapped in her hunting because of her coat and because she is continually pursued by creatures in a flying craft, she withdraws to make a home in ancient ruins which pull at her; she also unwillingly adopts a two-legged creature, who maintains a similar, atavistic hold on her. When she faces these compulsions, she is catapulted back to ancient Egypt by the mind-power of Kheknemt, a male version of herself, companion to Tutankhamen. The story of Kherknemt's part in the pharoah's tragic end gives Kichebo a clue to her true heritage, one that is confirmed by a huntress from the flying craft: she is one of a rare race who can bond with humans to create a creature unique in its strength. Now, thousands of years later, she and Menk, her two-legged friend, own that power and its destiny, to be used far from a holocaust-destroyed earth. This is not easy, but it is beautifully written and full of original ideas, evocative descriptions and well-drawn characters. Older readers with a strong appreciation for fantasy will enjoy a memorable experience. « less

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 People of the Sky (1989) ISBN 0-312-93131-X


Marooned on the planet Oneway, Kesbe Temiya can get help only by enlisting the aid of the Indians, whose culture has developed a strange bond with a species of indigenous alien flying creatures with whom the Indians coexist in a symbiotic relationship.


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People of the Sky
By Clare Bell
Published by T. Doherty Associates, 1989
ISBN 031293131X, 9780312931315
344 pages


Well-realized, medium-future, cultural ...

... science-fiction tale from the author of various YA hard-covers. Pilot Kesbe Temiya flies the storm-wracked skies of planet Oneway in an ancient, refurbished C-47 Gooney Bird in order to investigate rumors of a lost colony of Pueblo Indians. In a particularly violent storm, Kesbe crashlands in the mountains after glimpsing a young boy astride a large, flying, insect-like creature. Of Hopi ancestry herself, Kesbe soon contacts the boy's village. Slowly, she learns that the people have gone far into a symbiotic relationship with the flying creatures, called aronans, but only adults are told the full story (to the uninitiated, the details are hair-raising). The boy, Imiya, knows only that he must stop flying, give up his aronan when he becomes an adult, a step he fears and resists--it seems to involve pain and dismemberment as well as separation. Unwittingly, Kesbe assists Imiya to flee the prescribed rites, precipitating a cultural crisis involving Sahacat--the tribe's powerful, hostile shaman--that only Kesbe herself can resolve by fully joining the society and entering the symbiosis with her own aronan. Carefully detailed and often evocative, if rather unsurprising and with only mediocre characters. « less

Kirkus Reviews Copyright (c) VNU Business Media, Inc.


  • The Jaguar Princess

The Jaguar Princess


ISBN-10: 0312856733

  • ISBN-13: 978-0312856731



From Publishers Weekly
Mysticism, shape-changing, art and brutal religiosity are melded in this vivid tale of a seldom-plumbed time and place--the Aztec Empire at its height, before the arrival of European invaders. With a deep sense of time and place, Bell ( People of the Sky ) tells of the girl-child Mixcatl, stolen from her jungle village and bound into slavery in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan at the age of six, where she labors as a menial at a priests' school until her talent for art brings her the chance to apprentice as a scribe. Her destiny changes when Wise Coyote, tlatoani (Speaker King) of the client state Texcoco, learns that Mixcatl is a member of the clan called the Jaguar's Children, fabled rulers from a distant time. As Wise Coyote tries to use Mixcatl's as yet unrevealed talent as a shape-changer in his struggle against the Aztec king Ilhuicamina, whose sacrifices to the god Hummingbird on the Left grow vaster and deadlier every year, the girl attempts to control her growing powers while developing a gentle love for his son, the artist Huetzin. Drawing on unusual and powerful symbols, Bell brings a vanished civilization to life in this unusual fantasy.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist
Down, pedants who would remind us that the Aztecs didn't really suffer from internal revolutions led by half-feline slaves! We don't need to be reminded of that to enjoy this historical cum fantasy romance. It's entertainingly written and holds interest with its excellent pacing, solid characterizations, and, most important, its magic. Most of this last is worked by Mixcatl, the main character; feisty and peculiar and talented, she occasionally turns into a jaguar to right ancient wrongs. Imagine The Cat People merged with the Aztec codices and a soup{‡}con of Scarlett O'Hara, and you've got this one's drift. Entertaining. Pat Monaghan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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