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Ratha and Thistle-Chaser: The Third Book of the Named Paperback – October 18, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in England in 1952, Clare Bell moved to the US in 1957. She worked in oceanography, electrical engineering, test equipment design and mechanical engineering before she wrote her first book, Rathas Creature (Atheneum-Argo Margaret K .McElderry 1983) , the story of a prehistoric wildcat who learns to tame fire.Since then she has continued to write fantasy and science fiction for children and adults. She says, I am still fascinated by prehistoric animals and big cats, as showcased in the five Ratha series novels. I consider my two little cats, Danny and Athena, to be research assistants as well as companions and have learned a lot from them.Her stories show sociological themes as well, exploring the changes that are brought about in culture through technology, even one as crude as fire. She also enjoys creating plausible and workable prehistoric animal and alien characters. The central theme of her fiction is evolution, having been influenced early by the works of C.S. Lewis, Olaf Stapledon , and Arthur C. Clarke.
Bell has degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering, biology and chemistry and works in technical areas in addition to writing fiction. She built and designed electric vehicles and spent a year in Norway working on the Ford Think EV. She raced EVs in the Arizona Public Service Company-sponsored Solar and Electrics competitions, held from 1991 to 1998. Her electric Porsche 914, known by her racing number, #13, was a well-known top-placing competitor in these races.After moving to a remote site in Californias coastal mountains, Bell and her partner put together their own solar and wind systems and experimented with a power-generating waterwheel. A naturalized citizen of the US, she now lives with her partner-become-husband, Chuck Piper, in the hills west of Patterson, California. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Named (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Firebird (October 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142409448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142409442
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,594,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in England in 1952, I moved to the US with my family in 1957. I worked in oceanography, electrical engineering, test equipment design and mechanical engineering before I wrote my first book, Ratha's Creature (Atheneum-Argo Margaret K .McElderry 1983) , the story of a prehistoric wildcat who learns to tame fire.

Since then I have continued to write fantasy and science fiction for children and adults. I continue to be fascinated by big cats, as showcased in Tomorrow's Sphinx (cheetahs in Tutanhkmen's Eygypt) and Jaguar Princess (were-jaguars in Aztec and Olmec Mexico).

My stories tend to show sociological themes as well, exploring the changes that are brought about in culture through technology. I also enjoy creating plausible and workable alien critters ( the aronan fliers in People of the Sky). The central theme of my fiction is evolution, having been influenced early by the works of C.S. Lewis, Olaf Stapledon , and Arthur C. Clarke.

I have degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering, biology and chemistry and have continued working in technical areas in addition to writing fiction. I became involved in building and designing electric vehicles and spent a year in Norway working on a production EV. I have also participated in electric vehicle racing in the Arizona Public Service Company-sponsored Solar and Electrics competitions, held from 1991 to 1998. My electric Porsche 914, known by her racing number, 13, was a well-known competitor in these races. I was also involved with the Women's Electric Racing and Educational Team (WE'RE-IT) when we raced the Porsche and our converted race-Rabbit, #6 Hop-along.

After moving to a remote site in California's coastal mountains, I and my partner put together our own solar and wind systems and experimented with a power-generating waterwheel. A naturalized citizen of the US, I now live with my partner-become-husband, Chuck Piper, in the hills west of Patterson, California.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura Jennings on February 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
I always thought Ratha could just as easily be a villain as a hero. She is rash, uncompromising, and ruthless in her upholding of the law, and never hesitates to use the Red Tongue. However, in this book, the character of Newt is a genuine heroine. Sympathetic but not pitiable, Newt battles against her haunted past and the deformity that it left upon her. Newt is a survivor, and you love to see how she does it.
The emotional journey of the two characters is riveting. Ratha, who has always believed that the ends justify the means, is forced to see herself in a shocking new light. Newt must battle against her own half-Named heritage, overcoming obstacles of speech and the terrible fits that plague her. Worst of all, the cats of the Named must struggle with the most difficult part of sentience: forgiveness.
With rich themes of reconciliation and acceptance, this book was the one that really made Ratha come alive for me, as she becomes a leader who comes to see all of the vibrant, bitter colors of the world, instead of the black and white dichotomy of the Named and the Unnamed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gwen O' Connell on July 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just recently finished this book,and I say in all honesty that that it is AWESOME!!!The added viewpoints of Ratha's daughter Thistle-Chaser(a.k.a.Newt) and Thakur give the story more depth.I loved Thistle-Chaser!Her challenges of a crippled leg,learning speech,and seizures in which she dreams of Ratha biting her are daunting,and I was impressed with the courage she showed in facing them.Although I like Ratha a lot,she is definiteltly an ambivalent,'gray' character,who is complicated and messed up.Thistle-Chaser is messed up,too,due to the trauma she went through as a cub,but she is more of a true heroe than her mother;she is gentler,more likeable,more forgiving.Thakur,of course,was great.I have always liked his kind,open-minded nature,and I loved the way he helps Thistle-Chaser throughout the book.The ending is great,and I can't wait to read the next book!
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Format: Paperback
This is by far my favorite book of the first three in the series! Thistle's character development is so well done! Thistle-Chaser's psychological and physical wounds inspire compassion, and yet her strength of body and spirit shines through loud and clear! To me, Thistle is the true hero of the series. She confronts challenges with brave determination, and is able to gain wisdom from every success and defeat, no matter how difficult. Thistle is a deep, courageous, believable character whose story is told in a captivating way. I couldn't put this book down, and even read it while eating dinner! Well done, Ms. Bell. Very well done!!!!
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By Carly on June 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the story is pretty decent (the pacing is really weird at times, but it's certainly better than the previous novel, Clan Ground), the actual text has a few issues. There are a noticeable amount of mispellings, but since this book is over twenty years old, this may just be a transcription error. Still, quality control would have been nice. If you can get past that though, this is a good continuation of Ratha and company's story.
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By Amazon Customer on March 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved the first Ratha books and the third does not disappoint. Great seeing about her long-lost daughter and how she has survived on her own!
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