Synopses & Reviews
It is a different world. It's North America, but very little of what you know is the same. The sun still shines and the grass still grows, but there are no people. There are -- or perhaps there aren't -- twelve Curials: kit fox, dolphin, raven, lioness and the rest, who intervene in the lives of the inhabitants. There are the inhabitants, a myriad of animals: mice, otters, meerkats, buffalo to name a few. They live in their towns and cities, pursuing their various occupations, having occasional celebrations ... and now and then they live in fear. In fear of the Blood Jaguar, the thirteenth Curial, who returns from time to time and visits a horrible plague on the world, nearly killing it entirely. At such times, a fisher, a skink, and a bobcat are somehow impelled to go on a quest to stop her. They always fail. There is no reason to think that this time, of all times, Bobcat will somehow not fail.
"To call The Blood Jaguar
a talking animal fable for adults would be both true and misleading, like calling Moby Dick
a whaling adventure novel. These talking animals are variously hip, intellectually subtle, cynical, mystical, and portrayed with real characteroloigcal depth. Bobcat, the main catnip-head protagonist, may be superficially reminiscent of Fritz the cat, but emerges as a true hero in the archetypal sense. The novel has plenty of humorous moments, but these water run deep. The Blood Jaguar
is the sort of thing for which the word 'sui generis' was invented. Believe me, I have never read anything like it before, and neither have you."--Norman Spinrad