The Beasts of Barakhai (Books of the Barakhai Series #1)

The Beasts of Barakhai (Books of the Barakhai Series #1)

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by Mickey Zucker Reichert
     
 

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Here is the exciting first novel in Mickey Zucker Reichert's acclaimed shapeshifter saga—published simultaneously with the hardcover release of the second and final book. Graduate student Benton Collins enters a gateway to a world where people transform into animals daily—whether they want to or not.

Overview

Here is the exciting first novel in Mickey Zucker Reichert's acclaimed shapeshifter saga—published simultaneously with the hardcover release of the second and final book. Graduate student Benton Collins enters a gateway to a world where people transform into animals daily—whether they want to or not.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In pursuit of what he believes to be an escaped lab rat, graduate student Benton Collins stumbles into the alternate reality of Barakhai in this highly entertaining debut of a new series from fantasy maven Reichert (Flightless Falcon; the Renshai Trilogy; etc.). The white rat turns out to be Zylas, a resident of a world called Barakhai, where half of one's life must be spent in animal form. It's a lesson that Collins learns too late, after his hunger and Boy Scout training lead him to kill, butcher, cook and eat an incredibly tame rabbit. When he's immediately arrested and imprisoned, he finds out that his dinner was not just a rabbit but Joetha, a "sweet old woman." Charged with the capital crime of cannibalism, he faces hanging the next morning. But in a far from unexpected twist, he's rescued, since he's been lured to Barakhai for a reason that won't be accomplished if he's dead. Zylas the rat/man and Falima the horse/woman, among others, need his help in their struggle against Barakhai's rulers, who are the only residents of the world who don't switch form. In a meeting with a dragon/woman, Prinivere, Collins learns that this switching of forms is actually an ancient curse and only the theft of a magic stone can save them from their dual existence. Reichert, who raises livestock on her 40-acre Iowa farm, treats the reader to a credible and well-executed escape. Fans of light fantasy and animal rightists will eagerly await further volumes in the series. (Aug. 7) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
This book is one of the most interesting I've read. It's surprising to me to see how easily one can bring a modern day adult into a medieval-type world. Zylas is most memorable for me because of the slyness he possesses, like his animal form of a rat. I couldn't stop reading this book until I finished it. VOYA CODES:3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects;Broad general YA appeal;Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, DAW, 327p, $23.95. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer:Kelsey Sands, Teen Reviewer—VOYA, December 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 5)
Library Journal
Graduate student Benton Collins chases a runaway lab rat into another universe, peopled by a race of shape-shifting humans. When he runs afoul of their laws, he faces certain death until a few rebel natives rescue him and enlist his aid in overthrowing the tyrannical rulers of their world. This series opener by the author of the popular Renshai Chronicles novels features an ingenuous hero and a cast of wise-cracking, good-hearted characters in a story of high adventure and gentle humor. A good choice for most fantasy collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101165690
Publisher:
DAW
Publication date:
08/01/2002
Series:
Books of Barakhai Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
590,661
File size:
419 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Mickey Zucker Reichert is a pediatrician, parent, animal lover, and author of twenty-some novels including Renshai, Nightfall, Barakhai, and Bifrost series, one illustrated novella, and fifty-plus short stories. She can be found at mickeyzuckerreichert.com.

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Beasts of Barakhai (Books of the Barakhai Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Biology graduate student Benton Collins plans to leave his job at the lab and go to his girlfriend¿s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Just as he is about to depart, he sees a rat running loose and chases after it as it is probably part of a science experiment. He pursues the rodent into a dark and deserted storage closet but when he tries to find the missing rat, he becomes disoriented and wonders around for hours.

When he finally manages to leave the room, he finds himself in another world, more primitive than his own and one that is seemingly devoid of humans. He finds a rabbit and kills it for a meal when out of the forest come soldiers who throw him into a jail cell. The rat tells Benton his real name is Zylas and he is in the land of Barakhai where all humans not of royal blood shapeshift into animals for half the day. Benton is horrified that he actually ate a human and is terrified when he learns that the punishment for his crime is death. Zylas, who brought Benton into Barakhai for reasons of his own helps him escape and then their adventures really begins.

Unlike many books in a series, all the loose ends are tied up in the BEASTS of BARAKHAI yet this is only the first novel in what is a new series. It will be interesting to see what happens in further books and if Benton will be a part of it. There are no religious overtones in Mickey Zucker Reichert¿s latest triumph but fans of the Narnia tales will love this grand fantasy.

Harriet Klausner