The Prince Who Fell from the Sky
In the world of John Claude Bemis’ THE PRINCE WHO FELL FROM THE SKY, humans are no more. These “Skinless Ones,” as the animals call them, once ruled over the vast forests and, indeed, the whole world, but have since vanished. Now, the wolves and the bears reign over the arboreal expanse, but something might be coming to disturb their harmony...
"In the tradition of novels like Richard Adams’ WATERSHIP DOWN and David Clement-Davies’ FIRE-BRINGER, THE PRINCE WHO FELL FROM THE SKY is a riveting tale of love, parenthood and interspecies relationships."
Casseomae would be a “lone wolf” --- if she wasn’t already a bear. This solitary mama-type has always wanted cubs of her own, but despite her best efforts, has never been able to have a family. She did nurse an orphaned cub to health years ago, only to have that baby bear, Alioth, grow up to rule the bear clan that lives in her forest. Casseomae spends her days hunting, lazing about in the meadows and scaring off any rogue animals that get too close to her den.
All that changes when one particularly adventurous pack of coyotes chases a wily rat into her clearing. Casseomae defends the four-footed creature, named Dumpster, who is accused of having served the Skinless Ones by living off their refuse in cities. Dumpster is the chief bard, or “Memory,” of his rat clan, or “mischief.” He remembers all the old stories and tales from generations of rodents past.
One thing Dumpster definitely remembers is the smell of Skinless Ones. Thus, when a flaming object comes hurtling down out of the sky and crash-lands in the forest, he recognizes an all-too-familiar smell: the scent of Skinless Ones. He goes inside the broken vehicle and recognizes bodies, all dead except one, a Skinless cub. The coyotes chasing him turn their attention to the baby, about to devour him, when Casseomae intervenes.
Never a mother herself, she longs to defend the poor, innocent child. Even if his people enacted atrocities, the baby himself has done nothing. Determined, Casseomae battles the coyotes and brings the baby into her den.When her foster son and the bears’ chief, Alioth, finds out what she’s done, he’s not too pleased. The Skinless Ones are evil --- why would Casseomae keep one of them alive? And there is just where the trouble begins...
In the tradition of novels like Richard Adams’ WATERSHIP DOWN and David Clement-Davies’ FIRE-BRINGER, THE PRINCE WHO FELL FROM THE SKY is a riveting tale of love, parenthood and interspecies relationships. The author asks what it means to find true affection, even if it’s at the expense of your entire world. Will Casseomae defy all of the animals to nurture this boy, or will she give in to cultural pressure? You have to read for yourself to find out.
Reviewed by Carly Silver on May 28, 2013