By Tooth and Claw: Clan of the Claw, Edited by Bill Fawcett – Book Review By Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

By Tooth and ClawBy Tooth and Claw: Clan of the Claw, Book 2 [edited by Bill Fawcett].
Riverdale, NY, Baen Books, April 2015, trade paperback $15.00 (309 pages), Kindle $8.99.

Book 1, Exiled: Clan of the Claw, was published in August 2011. I had begun to think that Book 2 would never come out.

Bill Fawcett has been editing, or packaging, books about the anthropomorphic feline Mrem fighting the anthropomorphic reptilian Liskash/Lizcanth for over twenty-five years. In 1989/90 he got four paperback novels by different authors published in Bantam Spectra’s Guardians of the Three series. Only one was any good, but that one, Keeper of the City by Peter Morwood & Diane Duane, is one of the finest anthropomorphic adventures ever written, well worth seeking out today. Fawcett’s second series, the 1999 three Shattered Light paperbacks for Pocket Books, was notable for only Catseye by William R. Forschen & Jaki Demarest, a cheerful ripoff of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers with a human teenage swordsman trying to join three Mrem King’s musketeers fighting a Lizcanth Cardinal’s Guard.

The Clan of the Claw series for Baen Books supposes that the giant meteor that crashed into the Earth 65.5 million years ago, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs (according to many paleontologists), never occurred. (This is the same premise as Pixar’s forthcoming The Good Dinosaur.) The dinosaurs continued to evolve and became the reptilian manlike Liskash. The new mammals also evolved and gave rise to the manlike felinoid Mrem. The two are deadly enemies. Both are about of Bronze Age technology, and possess “magic” that may really be psionic powers. The series takes place about 5.3 million years ago, when the Atlantic Ocean has just broken into and drowned the dry Mediterranean basin. The Clan of the Claw outline postulates that several clans of Mrem were living in the Mediterranean valley at the time. Most of those who did not drown scrambled up to the north to join the other Mrem clans in what is Europe today. One clan, the Clan of the Claw, went south and found itself in what is today North Africa, surrounded by hostile Liskash clans. The Mrem must battle their way around the new Mediterranean Sea to reach the other Mrem in Europe, endlessly defeating one Liskash clan after another. Read the rest of this entry »