Flight in Yiktor by Andre Norton
Flight in Yiktor (1986) is the third novel in Andre Norton’s MOONSINGER series. It’s bundled with the fourth novel, Dare to Go A-Hunting, in an omnibus edition titled Moonsinger’s Quest which was published by Baen in 2013 and, in audio format, by Tantor Media in 2021. It’s not necessary to read the first two novels, Moon of Three Rings and Exiles of the Stars, which you can find in the Moonsinger omnibus, also published by Baen and Tantor, but it would be helpful. I’m enjoying Tantor’s audiobook edition which is excellently narrated by Chris Abernathy.
Krip and Maelen are doing exactly what they had hoped to do after they survived the trials of Moon of Three Rings and Exiles of the Stars. They are traveling around the galaxy, rescuing abused creatures from slavery. On a trip to a spaceport, they meet a hunchbacked creature called Dung who is enslaved to an abusive beast master. After negotiating with the beast master, Krip and Maelen purchase Dung’s freedom and rename him Farree.
Farree, whose perspective we get in this story, at first does not trust our human heroes, but eventually warms up to them once he realizes they are kind. Farree decides to stay with Krip and Maelen because he doesn’t remember who he is or where he came from, and he has nowhere else to go. He wonders if he might be from Yiktor because that’s where Maelen comes from and, when she shows him images of her planet, he feels a sense of nostalgia.
So off they go to Yiktor in order to arrive at the propitious time of the Three Rings so that Maelen can request that her people allow her to have a different body. They’re with a newly hired human crew on board their spaceship, plus the abused creatures they’ve gathered in their travels. Soon they learn that they still have human enemies (the thieves’ guild who they foiled in the previous book) but, fortunately, they also have some clever new animal friends. During the trials that follow, as Farree attempts to help his new companions, he will finally discover who he is.
Flight in Yiktor is a pleasant enough installment in the MOONSINGER series. The animal characters are fun, especially the spider-like smux called Toggor who has eye stalks and is both deadly and cute. (Norton is so good with animal companions.) Farree’s development throughout the story is satisfying (though pretty gross at one part). On the negative side, the foreshadowing is clumsy and those who’ve read a lot of Norton will recognize many of this story’s repetitive plot elements.
Readers who can’t get enough of Farree and Toggor will be happy to learn that their story continues in the next installment, Dare to Go A-Hunting.
I remember reading this a very long time ago. I remember liking the animals, but I don’t remember much else.
Elsa, I agree that the animals are one of the best parts of the story.