Someone is kidnapping the animals of beast masters' teams. On planet after planet, telepathically gifted people are being attacked-some of them murdered-by a conspiracy to take their precious animals.
Laris, an orphan who trains exotic alien creatures for an interstellar circus, knows that somehow her employer is connected to the deadly plot. She also knows that those involved will kill her if she talks.
Beast master Hosteen Storm has heard about the plot, but when the circus comes to Arzor, he doesn't realize his mortal peril. The circus, with its many colorful acts, is danger cloaked in the swirling excitement of the show. Laris loves all animals, and is herself able to communicate with them. When she meets Hosteen and becomes friends with him and his family, she desperately wants to warn him, to save him and his animals. But as the circus nears the end of its stay on Arzor, the deadly plotters prepare to strike at those Laris cares about . . . and at her, if she interferes!
When first published, *The Beast Master* was a new kind of science fiction adventure, featuring a Native American (Navajo) protagonist, Hosteen Storm, a soldier with a unique team—animals with whom he has a telepathic mind-link.
The time is the future, when Earth has been devastated by interstellar war with the alien Xik. Storm is now on the planet Arzor. Once the home of an ancient, long-dead alien civilization, it is now inhabited by human colonists and the indigenous Norbies. Storm and the other Arzorites must fight the Xik, who are intent on to destroying all life but their own. With rousing action and Norton’s unique ability to evoke the strangeness and mystery of ancient alien civilizations, *The Beast Master, *and its sequel, *Lord of Thunder* remain fresh and enthralling, a half-century after their debut.