No Night Without Stars

~ A Novel by Andre Norton


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No Night Without Stars

 

 

Synopsis ~

From an old Amazon.com posting ~

Three centuries after the cataclysm that caused the Dark Time. Many animals and countless men perished, with only a handful of survivors here and there and, after the skies cleared once again, there were changes. Sander left his people to search for the secret of working the strange metals found among the ruins. Fanyi seeks weapons to pay back the blood debt due to the slavers who have killed or captured her people. Together with their mutated animals - Rhin, Kai and Kayi - they follow her pendant toward the Great Place of the Before People. The few people who had survived earth’s devastation. If they reached them, they could learn the legendary skills that would set them apart, make them powerful. Together they met unimagined terrors and strange perils. And suddenly they discovered themselves in deadly combat with an unexpected evil that threatened their sanity – as well as their lives.

 

Write-up from the front flap of 1975 HC ~

When Sander's father died, the nomadic herdsman of the Mob to which Sander belonged considered him too young to take his father's place as master metalsmith. Embittered, he set forth to seek some of the legendary skills and knowledge of the ancient metal workers of the Before Time, to prove that he was in truth a full-fledged smith. The Rememberers of the Mob told of that time, long ago, when the earth had danced and mountains of fire had belched forth flames and molten rock. The sea had rolled inward, hammering the land into nothingness. Only a handful of men and animals, here and there, had survived. It was knowledge of the Before People that Sander sought.
His path through the reckless desolation crossed that of Fanyi, a young woman who searched for a secret stronghold of the Before People for her own very different reasons. Together, meeting unimagined terrors and strange perils, they slowly approach the ancient stronghold, enter it, and - in a powerful struggle against unexpected evil that assails their minds as well as their bodies - nearly lose their lives.
This boldly-imagined story in which the world we know has been rent asunder by some cataclysmic natural disaster, told by a leading writer of science fiction and fantasy, makes totally compelling reading. 

 

Write-up from the back of the Fawcett paperback edition ~

They Possessed the Knowledge He Sought….
But first Sander had to find them. The Before People. The few who had survived earth’s devastation. If he reached them, he could learn the legendary skills that would set him apart, make him powerful.
On his search through the desolate land Sander met Fanyi. She, too, was searching for the secret stronghold of the Before People. For her own, very different reasons.
Together they met unimaginable terrors and strange perils. And suddenly they discovered themselves in deadly combat with an unexpected evil that threatened their sanity – as well as their lives…. 

 

Write-up from the front flap of 1976 UK HC ~

Long ago, according to the Remembererers of the Mob, the earth danced and mountains of fire belched forth flames and molten rock. The rolled inward, hammering the land into nothingness. Only pockets of men and animals survived, and knowledge of the Before Time was lost.
The Mob is one of the nomadic groups which has survived the Dark Time. In order to take his father's place as master metalsmith to these people, Sander has to embark alone on a search for the legendary skills of the ancient metalworkers. On his journey through desolate lands, he meets Fanyi, a girl who is seeking the ancient stronghold of the Before People for her own reasons. Together they face unimaginable obstacles and dangers, until they finally reach the secret stronghold. But when they enter, they are attacked in mind and body by evil forces which come close to destroying them.
This compelling story, in which the world we know has been devastated by some natural disaster, is told with extraordinary skill by a leading writer of science fiction and fantasy.

 

Write-up from the back of the Ballantine Del Rey paperback edition ~

Wastes Odyssey
Sander should have succeeded his father as master metalsmith, but the men of his Mob felt he was too young. Determined to prove himself, Sander set out to rediscover the legendary metal forging skills of the Before People.
Along the way he met Fanyi, who had her own reasons for seeking the ancient ruins. Intent on avenging the destruction of her village, she pinned her hopes on the weapons of the Before People.
But to reach their goal, they had to make their way across a ravaged land, past rotting ruins where mutant monsters lurked. And then they would have to face a terrible evil that craved their minds – to take over the world. 

 

Write-ups from fans ~

A young blacksmith cheated out of his position in the clan goes out to hunt up the secrets of the old ones. He joins up with a young female who is seeking knowledge to help her avenge the deaths of her tribe. After getting tangled up with an insane computer, they realize it would be best to start over with their own knowledge. ~ SL

 

Post- Holocaust World. Remaining population scattered into tribes, some settled into villages, most seem to be "mobs" of nomadic herders and travelling clans of traders. Mixed in with raiders and marauders and mutated animals. Sander, a smith by training leaves his "Mob" after his Father dies and his uncle takes his position. He is searching the wastelands looking for knowledge that will help him pursue his craft. He travels with a mutant Coyote large enough to ride on. He finds a destroyed village and meets its only remaining survivor Fanyi, a shaman who was on a spiritual retreat when the sea rovers came. She travels with a pair of cats almost as large as the coyote. She is looking for weapons of the "before people" so that she can get revenge upon her peoples' killers. They agree to travel together and in the end get a dangerous dose of more than they ever bargained for. Together they will face an ancient foe that wants to finish the destruction began in the "Dark Times" A thriller to the end. ~ PG

 

KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1975
Another account of simple people coping in a world with only Rememberers to relate sketchy details of the Before Time (before tidal waves and other natural catastrophes destroyed civilization as it once was); in this case it's Sander, a fledgling metalsmith, and Fanyi, a shaman, along with their companions, his a horse-sized coyote and hers two giant otters ("fishers"). Marauders and mutants must be eluded as the two search for a citadel of Before Time Knowledge, each for a personal purpose; when they find it, of course, it's not the fount of wisdom they sought but rather one more evil to overcome before discounting the past and looking forward to a future forged by their own hands. Deja vu. 

 

Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles about Andre

1975 Kirkus Reviews, October 01
1975 in Booklist, September 15
1975 by R. Robinson in Horn Book, October
1975 by W. McPherson in Science Fiction Review Monthly #8 (fnz), October
1975 in Publishers Weekly, October 06
1975 by Frederick Patten in Delap's F & SF Review (fnz), November
1975 by M. Brady in School Library Journal, December
1976 by Charles N. Brown in Locus #185 (fnz), February 29
1976 by Peter Hunt in Times Literary Supplement, October 01
1977 by M. Esmonde in Luna Monthly #67 (fnz), Spring
2011 by Patrick T. Reardon - Nov. 19

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1975) Published by Atheneum, HC, 0-689-50033-5, LCCN 75006948, $6.95, 246pg ~ cover by Jack Gaughan {Tan Cloth Boards and End Papers}
  • (1975) Published by MacMillan, HC, $7.95, 246pg ~ Canadian printing ~ cover by Jack Gaughan
  • (1975) Published by Fawcett, PB, 0-449-23264-6, $1.75, 223pg ~ cover by M. Kane
  • (1976) Published by Gollancz, HC, 0-575-02192-6, £5.95, 256pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Gillian Were {Orange Paper Boards, ISBN on Rear Flap}
  • (1985) Published by Ballantine Del Rey, PB, 0-345-32520-6, $2.95, 223pg ~ cover by Laurence Schwinger

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (1977) Published in Stuttgart, Germany; by Boje-Verlag, 34-141-1099-5, 205pg ~ translation by Ulrike Killer ~ German title Herrscher über den Abgrund
  • (1996) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 83-861-3829-7, 239pg ~ translation by Maja Kmieciak ~ cover by Agentur Luserke ~ Polish title Gwiażdzista Odyseja [Starry Odyssey]
  • (2001) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Amber, 83-724-5741-7, 158pg ~ translation by Konrad Brzozowski ~ cover by Joe Burleson ~ Polish title Nie ma nocy bez gwiazd [There is no noght without stars]
  • (1993) Combined with "Merlin's Mirror" ~ Published in Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya books and Angarsk, by Amber, 5-863-14014-3, HC, 352pg ~ translation Dmitry Arseniev ~ Russian title Нет ночи без звезд [No Night Without Stars]
  • (2004) Combined with "Wheel of Stars" ~ Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-699-05935-0, HC, 384pg ~ translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ Russian title Звёздное колесо [Wheel of Stars]

 

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