Dark Companion

~ An Omnibus of Novels by Andre Norton


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Contains ~

  • Dark Piper (1968) Published by Harcourt Brace, HC, LCCN 68025193, 249pg ~ cover by Richard Powers
  • Dread Companion (1970) Published by Harcourt Brace, HC, 0-152-24201-5, LCCN 72115758, 1970, 234pg ~ cover by Richard Powers

 

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Synopsis ~

Write-up from an old Amazon.com posting ~

In a future where humanity has scattered itself across the stars and Earth itself is now a dimly-remembered place of legend, two worlds of near-supernatural strangeness challenge two naive but courageous hero’s. Two complete novels of two very different heroes battling alien and unknown evil, and fighting to protect the helpless in worlds that are wondrous, terrifying, and utterly alien.


Write-up from the back of paperback edition ~

Lost On A Shattered Planet... Trapped in an Alternate Reality
"Dark Piper"
Vere Collis and hid friends were exploring caves on the planet Beltane when they were trapped by powerful explosions on the surface. They wandered underground for days, then found a way to the surface and emerged to find that only strange and deadly mutant creatures now roamed the surface. Were they the only humans left alive on the planet?
"Dread Companion"
Hired as a teacher and governess to two young children on the planet Dylan, Kilda found that her charges had an invisible companion. She soon learned that the companion was not imaginary at all when it led the children into an other-dimensional world. Though the other world has danger on every hand, Kilda follows the children across the spatial barrier, knowing that she is their only hope.
Two unforgettable adventures of two very different heroes battling unknown evil and fighting to protect the helpless in worlds that are wondrous, terrifying, and utterly alien.

 

Write-up from a fan ~

Dark Piper ~ Darkness abounds. Ten years of interplanetary was have ended and Griss Lugard goes home to Beltane. Ironically, this planet named after a Gaelic fertility and protection festival has been used as an experimental mutation laboratory for the past 100 years. The planet has beeb drained of manpower by the war and Lugard contacts the ruling council, warning them about piratical refugees who will stop at nothing to take what they want. The council lets one ship land and two more are on the way. Griss leads a small group of eight "Rovers" (similar to a co-ed scout troop ranging in age from 6-20). Into some secret passages to escape what he fears is going to happen. Just before they reach the hidden base, Griss, the tiiular "piper" of the story is killed in a rock slide. They stay underground a while and emerge to find all of the people either dead or dying from a deadly virus. On top of this they have to face many mutated animals with human-level intelligence. Can a colony of Eight humans survive in this hostile environment? ~ PG

Dread Companion ~ This one surprised me. All these years, I've sort of ignored this one as a dark depressing novel, but it turned out to be more exciting than I remembered. It starts with Kilda, a creche-reared orphan who gets a job tutoring a young boy, Oomark and his pre-teen sister Bartare. Oomark is fairly normal, but Bartare is strange, knowing things she shouldn't know and showing occult powers and controlling people. On a field trip, the children disappear and she tracks them and is transported to another world, one with magic, danger, and evil as well and some supposedly good "folk" who had lured Bartare to join them, saying that she was really a "changeling". Here, Andre uses her extensive lore collection about the Fey and fairyland/other world. Kilda has to figure out how to lure a reluctant Bartare from the "folk" and find a gate back to their own world. Luckily, Kilda meets another captive of this world who helps her get around and avoid the dangers. After many adventures, they get to the end of the book only to find a twist that is very familiar to readers of Fairylore. "Spoilers!" Please Read it yourself! ~ PG

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2004) Published by BAEN, DM, 0-743-49898-4, $6.99, 416pg ~ cover by Bob Eggleton
  • (2005) Published by BAEN, HC, 0-743-49898-4, $26.00, 419pg ~ cover by Bob Eggleton
  • (2006) Published by BAEN, PB, 1-416-52119-4, $7.99, 544pg ~ cover by Bob Eggleton

 

 

View the 1999 BAEN contract

 

 

 

 

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