by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Dawn, by Marcus J. LaGrone. Illustrated by Minna Sundberg.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, December 2011, trade paperback $14.95 ([1 +] 192 pages), Kindle $3.95.
Edward, by Marcus LaGrone.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, January 2013, trade paperback $9.95 (314 pages), Kindle $2.99.
The Highlands of Afon series must be science-fiction since the novels are set on the planets Afon and Ramidar in the far future, when humans have spread throughout the galaxy. But they read more like adolescent funny-animal dramatic fantasies featuring Afon’s dominant felinoid “race”, the Taik. (They aren’t just on Afon; they too have spread through the galaxy. See the complex “Introduction to the races and cultures”.) There are also the Shukurae, oversimplified as huge (9’ tall) muscular warthogs, intimidating but loyal to Taik leadership, and the Gelkin, short, squat, bearlike, and militaristic; both also spacefaring peoples.
Dawn is the story, in flashback, of Dawn Winteroak. She’s the Taik teenage schoolgirl in the middle on Minna Sundberg’s cover. Besides other adolescent problems, she’s embarrassed because her fur is “boring. Black and plain, not a spot or stripe to be seen. All her sisters had wonderful coats with spots and rosettes, a fact they used to take some pride in pointing out to her.” (blurb)
Dawn has worse problems. Her story begins: “As Dawn cracked open her eyes, she realized one thing immediately: she hurt. From the tip of her pointy ears to the end of her fuzzy tail she hurt. Even her fur hurt. How does fur hurt? she wondered. Well she wasn’t sure, but it certainly did. She sat up only to find that it was possible to hurt even more! Her ears rang and her head throbbed as she straightened up her spine. Looking down she noticed her jet black fur was horribly tousled and her dress, a gift for her fourteenth birthday all of a week ago, was now in tatters. Shredded and charred, it still stank of smoke.” (p. 3)