A novel in three parts – the story of a culture clash between American immigrants to an un-named planet and the culture of the few remaining inhabitants – The Crowlings.
When an unlikely marriage takes place between an immigrant and a native, all manner of differences and difficulties are encountered which ripple down through three generations and culminate in the granddaughter of the marriage, one Linni Crowling, leading the massed clans back to safety.
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Gamma Centuri Five is an earth colony world, a planet of ruined cities and indigenous tribal people. A native youth becomes a man and takes the name Ben Crowling, only to return home and find his clan massacred. Ben helps to lead the remaining children to safety, but two generations later his grandson, Mikklau, rejects the ways of the clan and seeks his fortune with the Earthers. It is Mikklau's granddaughter who must lead the people full circle as the earth civilisation collapses.
Louise Lawrence is the author of many previous young adult novels, including the Carnegie Medal shortlisted The Power of Stars. With the three part structure of The Crowlings she pays skilful homage to Walter M. Miller's SF classic A Canticle for Leibowitz, while the theme of crow-like creatures rising against humanity offers tribute to Frank Baker's seminal 1936 novel The Birds, and to a lesser extent the more famous Daphne Du Maurier tale found in The Birds and Other Stories.
It is not really convincing as SF because the colonial society on an alien world is so very much like contemporary America, yet this similarity does makes the book work as a powerful moral fable concerned for the plight of the dispossessed and downtrodden. Fortunately, Lawrence's characters are drawn strongly enough to compensate for what may be a deliberate lack of expected technology, and she brings this thoughtful novel to an exciting and tension filled resolution. --Gary S. DalkinFrom the Back Cover:
He saw smoke from the camp, and flames where no flames should be. A tiny sound came from the fallen twigs at his feet. Small and black, a single crowling fed on the rotting matter beneath the trees, reminding him of who he really was: no warrior, no hunter, no defender of his people. A scratcher in the dirt for other people's leavings. Crowling.
When young Ben Crowling unexpectedly finds himself leader of his clan, his one thought is to build a new life on the land granted to him by the star-people. But as the time goes on, some are not happy with the traditional ways: Mikklau, his grandson, dreams only of the bright lights and easy money in the big cities, and Linni Crowling, in her turn, prefers the comfortable life he can provide. But the wheel is completing the circle: no longer can their planet provide for its people, and its enemies grow invisibly in number – until it is almost too late. Only then does Linni realise what she must do to save her people, and their land, and the way of life she has always rejected.
Louise Lawrence is the author of the acclaimed 'Children of the Dust'. "Don't miss it."
Her other novels include 'Andria', 'Moonwind', and 'Warriors of Twan'
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Book Description COLLINS, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006754643