deer -- fiction
Marco the fox watches as the antlered ship arrives in the harbor. This makes him wonder about the world out there. "Why don't trees ever talk?" he thinks. "How deep does the sun go when it sinks into the sea?"
But when Marco proposes these questions to his fellow foxes, they do not know how to answer him. "What does that have to do with chicken stew?" they ask.
So begins the tale of The Antlered Ship. Soon after the arrival of the massive vessel, Marco greets the ragtag travelers on the gangplank. "We hope to hire a seaworthy crew," explains the captain, a deer named Sylvia. "I'm afraid we aren't very good sailors."
In 1972, Richard Adams’ classic fantasy novel Watership Down was first published. This exciting adventure follows the travels of a group of rabbits seeking a new home after the destruction of their warren. Evocatively written and imaginatively plotted, this novel excelled in portraying the world we humans perceive as mundane as a place filled with danger and mystery, and also excelled in its depiction of the primitive religion and folklore the rabbits created to explain the natural environment. After I finished reading Watership Down a couple of months ago, I searched for a similar fantasy told from the perspective of animals, but finding a novel of its caliber proved difficult. Many of the other animal-centered fantasy stories I found were either too deliberately whimsical or too childish to live up to Adams’ novel. Eventually I found David Clement-Davies’ Fire Bringer and decided to give it a try based on the recommendation by Adams on the back cover. Filled with adventure, suspense, and gripping depictions of the natural world, this novel lived up to my lofty expectations.