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The Blood Jaguar (Tor fantasy) Mass Market Paperback – September, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Tor fantasy
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812566750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812566758
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,019,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bobcat just wants to hang out and have fun rolling in catnip, loving his rabbit girlfriend, playing pranks, and betting on otter polo matches. Then his friend Skink loses his luck, an omen of terrible destruction, and Bobcat himself is visited by a horrific vision of a burning jaguar that inflicts real wounds. They consult the shaman, Fisher, and the omens are confirmed. The Blood Jaguar, the thirteen Curial, or god, is returning to inflict a plague that will kill almost everyone in the world. And when the Blood Jaguar returns, a bobcat, a skink, and a fisher must go on a quest to stop her and prevent the plague. The quest has always failed. Why should this one succeed?

The Blood Jaguar will doubtless be likened to classic talking-animal novels like Watership Down and the Redwall series, but those are not entirely valid comparisons. The Blood Jaguar investigates the nature of magic, of reality, and of divinity, penetrating levels of meaning and truth. Appropriately, the nature of the novel changes until it can be read with equal validity as fantasy, alternate history, or science fiction. This is a fine book for both adults and youngsters, both animal fantasy fans and science fiction fans, both action/adventure readers and philosophical seekers. Michael H. Payne's first novel is multilayered and remarkable. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Somewhere near a blissful river in an alternative North America where wild animals run their own idyllic society, a tiny band of unlikely questors sets out to save their world from a deadly plague. Lizardly little Skink, head cook and tart-tongued shaman Fisher and brash young Bobcat all have heard ancestral stories about the deadly Blood Jaguar, a supernatural "Curial" who for endless cycles of beastly history has brought decimating disease upon the land. Each time the Jaguar returned, a skink, a fisher and a bobcat tried vainly to stop her, and now it's smart-mouthed Bobcat's coming-of-age turn, hung over though he is from wild catnip, to take her on. Payne's anthropomorphized animals, for all his creaky attempts to build quirky personalities and idiosyncratic dialects, are as limp as this tired old plot. Predictable obstacles, friendly but dissolving Curials and vapid villains clog Payne's muzzy message.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Besides writing, I have three other part-time jobs: clerking at the local library; singing and playing guitar at the local Catholic church; and hosting a radio program every Sunday afternoon at the local university.

If you'd like to read some of my free stuff first, copy-n-paste the following:

http://hyniof.livejournal.com/95025.html is "Familiars," the first story about Cluny the sorceress squirrel from vol. 19 of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress anthology. Sequels have appeared in every volume since 2008.

http://hyniof.livejournal.com/115821.html contains the science-fiction tall-tale "Why They Call Me Mr. Goddamn Happy," first published in the Winter 2007 edition of the HelixSF webzine.

http://hyniof.livejournal.com/116171.html has the "The Super Secret Origin of She-Man," also published on the HelixSF website in Fall of 2008.

http://www.fimfiction.net/user/AugieDog holds a selection of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfiction that I've put together under the name AugieDog.

And http://pandora.xepher.net is the Pandora Family Comics hub site from which you can expose yourself to my two webcomics: Daily Grind, updated Monday through Friday, and Terebinth, updated every Monday.

Customer Reviews

Payne has very good writing style.
Joseph McCauley
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story, furry fan or not.
Tabbyclaw
I eagerly await Mr. Payne's next work.
Kay Carter (PastrKay@aol.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
We have all read the same story before (over and over again) -- small band of plucky heroes must travel long distances to overcome powerful bad guy. It's been done best in the "Lord of the Rings" series and countless times since. You can describe the plot in your sleep. I always enjoy books that take this approach and set it on it's ear (and I'm not talking about a "Bored of the Rings", I mean a real reworking of the plot). "Villains by Necessity" is a wonderful example of what I'm talking about, and so is "The Blood Jaguar". The principles of the story (Skink, Fisher and Bobcat) have only the vaguest clue what's going on, and Bobcat not even that. They aren't guided by any prophecy (at least overtly), they aren't "pure", they're just muddling along trying to save the world. Add to this a really nifty world set up (talking self-aware animals, reminds me of the "Spellsinger" series) and characters that you really care about (no large ensemble casts to confuse you) and you've got a funny, clever book that is very easy to read. I hope Mr. Payne will write more about this universe.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steve Gattuso (doodles@primenet.com) on January 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Every so often you find a rare surprise. That first novel that captures the imagination and holds it from cover to cover. Michael H. Payne's _The Blood Jaguar_ is just such a book. He's created a rich world of possibilities, a North America on an Earth where man never arose and the other animals did, with their lives guided by the twelve Curials. The trio of heroes, Bobcat, Skink and Fisher, are all fully realized characters whom you really feel for as they take a remarkable journey to stop the thirteeth Curial, the Blood Jaguar, from unleasing her Plague Year. Here's hoping Payne takes us back to their world for further stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever looked at an animal and known what it was thinking? Then a moment later you shrug and laugh at yourself for anthropomorphizing? Suppose you're not. Suppose your cat really is an irreverant catnip junky snoozing through his potential.
In Michael Payne's debut novel "The Blood Jaguar", Bobcat is exactly that. Bobcat's cohorts are equally real and equally flawed in their own ways. And, just like your house cat, Bobcat and his companions are precious and dear.
I found Mr. Payne's book to be involving, his world to be clever and original, but what I liked best about this book is the characters. They are willing to do what they must if only they knew just what that was. They shine...pretty impressive for fuzzy animals.
I can strongly recommend The Blood Jaguar. It is a gem. I hope to see a lot more of Michael Payne's work in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cara on January 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I bought "The Blood Jaguar" I was not sure what to expect (paperback ed.) The cover was enough to hook my interest, and as soon as I opened the book I couldn't put it down. The moral, psychological, theological and fantastical situations that Bobcat, Skink, and Fisher find themselves in are thought-provoking. The 'gods' in the story have many burdens which have been layed out before them, especially the Blood Jaguar. Bobcat's confrontation with her is poignant and ironic. I hope that you'll find the ending satisfying, and I relate to another reviewer in saying that the book ended too quickly. I want more! Thanks, Michael H. Payne.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kay Carter (PastrKay@aol.com) on April 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful telling of the classic mythic quest. Like all great journeys, it is as much about self-discovery as acheivement of the ultimate goal. The Blood Jaguar is a book that appeals to a wide range of people, from parents to kids. The characterizations are fantastic; the Bobcat and Skink and friends were more "real" to me than many human-type characters I've encountered elsewhere. I eagerly await Mr. Payne's next work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph McCauley on October 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best books I've read this year - I'll be disappointed if this book goes out of print too soon. As other reviewers here have said, it is the characters that make this book - they are flawed, quirky, and mismatched, yet so likeable and such a joy to read about. Anyone old enough to read the Redwall books or The Chronicles of Narnia should be able to enjoy "The Blood Jaguar", but there is plenty here that adult readers will appreciate. For example, while not overtly comedic, there are some humorous twists on a few cliches from the fantasy genre.
Payne has very good writing style. Some books pile on the colorful, descriptive phraesology until it's like trying to eat a dessert so rich it's hard to finish, but "The Blood Jaguar" provides just the right amount (or perhaps the right type) to enhance the reading experience.
My biggest complaint about the book is that it was too short. Maybe the author has more stories forthcoming to address that situation. I hope so!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Doolittle on December 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The plot has a lot of Tolkien-esque flavor to it...A small group of folkare thrown together to go on a quest to meet an uncertain fate at the end of their journey. It's a very standard form of fantasy adventure. What really makes The Blood Jaguar stand out is the characterization put into it. Bobcat is semi-recovered catnip addict and often self-proclaimed idiot, who's thrust quite unwillingly into the whole adventure. Fisher is a know-it-all, sarcastic shaman whose opinion of Bobcat is low indeed. And Skink is a follower of the Curial Lord Eft, and is given to long, academic discourses about the folklore of the Curial Lords. The interaction between this unlikely group is a joy to read.
Payne's world itself if often quite interesting, and sometimes perplexing. It's quite clear that we're dealing with non-morphic animals; animals that still walk on four legs, but still manipulate objects and build cities and a simple civilization. Fisher displays an awfully current awareness of star formation at a rather amusing time. Yet, they don't have any mechanical power; a neat demonstration of this is the otter-powered caravan the travellers encounter.
I enjoyed this book a great deal. Hopefully, this isn't the last we'll see of Michael Payne.
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