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David Clement-Davies s first novel was published to great acclaim, including a rave review from Watership Down author richard Adams: it is a riveting story and deserves to be widely read. it is one of the best anthropomorphic fantasies known to me. "
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About the Author

David Clement-Davies is a journalist and travel writer. He lives in London.

Reviews

Gr 6 Up-A sweeping story of prophecy and adventure set in medieval Scotland and mixed with liberal doses of the habits of red deer. The Lore of the Herla foretells the coming of one deer that will restore the traditional ways of life to the herd. Rannoch, born on the night of his father's murder and the overthrowing of the Outrider stags, seems destined to fulfill this prophecy. To protect him, his mother gives him to another hind to raise and engineers the escape of a group of hinds and fawns to travel with him. Rannoch finds he is different from his friends-he has a unique birthmark, prophetic dreams, healing powers, and the ability to communicate with other species. As he grows, so does the danger to the home herd, with first Drail and then Sgorr introducing progressively militaristic measures to the deer. As Rannoch matures, the violence in the world grows as does the violence within him. For a while, he turns his back on his friends, but in the final climactic battle with Sgorr, he takes his place as Lord of the Herd and restores the balance of the forest. While the Herla talk and have a mythology, they are deer through and through-they search for food, the stags fight for their harems, and protection of the young is one of the highest priorities. Even Rannoch, a pacifist, eventually realizes the Herla's only hope is to continue behaving like deer, not to follow Sgorr's idea of becoming more like humans. Give Fire Bringer to fans of Brian Jacques's "Redwall" books (Philomel) and Richard Adams's Watership Down (Macmillan, 1974).-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Clement-Davies's suspenseful debut novel centers on a cast of deer, who, like the rabbits in Watership Down, often use their own special vocabulary (deer, for instance, are "Herla"; an insult to a Herla would be to call him a "brailah," or hedgehog). Soon after the novel opens, the deer are fleeing from the power-hungry Lord of the Herd, Sgorr, a buck with a mysterious past who is slowly building a militaristic following. An ancient prophecy states that a fawn with an oak leaf-shaped mark on his forehead is destined to free his kind from the "lord of lies." When Rannoch is born with such a mark, the elders know to protect him from Sgorr and arrange his escape with a pack of friends. Rannoch discovers as they travel that he can talk toÄand even healÄother animals. Meanwhile, Sgorr conquers herd after herd and uses other wildlife as fodder for his militia's training. Rannoch doesn't want to fight, but when an assassin murders the hind who raised him, he knows he must confront SgorrÄand fulfill the rest of the prophecy. The struggle between good and evil builds right up to the final face-off. Some chapters drag a bit, and the narration occasionally breaks out of the deer's point of view to fill in scientific facts about mating or herd behavior, but for the most part the adventures are likely to captivate readers. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

...the writing is rich, lucid, and sure to win loyal readers. (VOYA)

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