book cover of Beast Master\'s Circus
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Beast Master's Circus

(The fourth book in the Hosteen Storm series)
A novel by

The Barnes & Noble Review
Beast Master's Circus is the fourth book in a saga begun by Andre Norton almost half a century ago (The Beast Master, 1959). Coauthored by Norton and New Zealander Lyn McConchie, this newest installment pits Beast Master Hosteen Storm and his family against a space-faring circus that has been leaving a trail of dead Beast Masters and their animal teams in its wake.

Laris has been with the circus since she was a child. Orphaned by war and living in a work camp with no hope of a future, she jumps at the chance to train dangerous animals for the circus, even though it means she is basically signing herself into slavery. Although life with the circus has its advantages -- Laris has secretly and telepathically bonded with an exotic cat named Prauo -- she has been forced to help her boss, a rogue named Dedran who has been rumored to be working for the Thieves Guild, abduct (and usually kill) Beast Master animals for nefarious purposes. When the circus lands on the planet Arzor -- the home of Hosteen Storm, his family, and his animals -- Laris is told to befriend Storm and find out exactly where he keeps his highly intelligent animals, including Surra the dune-cat, Baku the African eagle, and Hing the meercat. Laris wants to save Storm and his animals, but her interference may lead to more gratuitous killing.

Fans of Norton will undoubtedly devour this fast-paced novel, which includes themes common in her other works: justice, honor, morality, and animal rights. Paul Goat Allen

Genre: Science Fiction

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