marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Storm Over Warlock

Storm Over Warlock by Andre Norton

A far future SF story, though they still remember that humans are Terrans.

Shann Lantee watches from a ledge as a Throg attack kills every human in the Survey camp.  He, a casual laborer, had escaped only because a malicious young Survey cadet had freed the team's wolverines (mutated and trained for work), and Shann had tried to find them before he lost his job over it.  He found them, meaning he's alone on the planet with few supplies and next to no equipment, and with only the wolverines to help.

They had been trying to protect Warlock from the Throgs, an insectile race, impossible to communicate with, that appears to have no home planet and that lives off its raids on human planets, after massacre.  Habitable planets are so rare that even the first scout's reports of having suffered nightmarish dreams on it did not keep them from planning settlement -- but now it looks too late.

As he starts to trek southward, a human ship is flying by, fighting with a Throg one, resulting in a crash, which does not, it turns out, kill a human around the ship.  After Ragnar Thorvald helps Shann against a surviving Throg, he joins him on the way to the sea, though he draws Shann into some plans of his own, such as feigning to be a native species, and he has more knowledge of the planet's secrets.  Including something clearly an artifact of some sapient species, found on the shore.

The Throgs need someone to operate the camp call beam, so that the transport arrives and can be silenced.  So, hunted by the Throgs, haunted by strange dreams of their own, and carrying an artifact that proves to have abilities of its own, they wend their way onward.  And make discoveries.  It involves a long ago pet of Shann's, a boat made from a shell, a mountain shaped like a skull, the necessity of making one's way out of dreams, a cave with crystals, two waterfalls, and a Throg wandering in a cave.
Tags: andre norton, fiction reviews: sf

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