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Black Flame

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Award-winning author Gerelchimeg Blackcrane has written a compelling novel, set in Tibet, Mongolia and China, about the adventures of a fiercely powerful yet lovable Tibetan mastiff that is sure to join the ranks of other much-read classic dog stories.

Kelsang, a Tibetan mastiff, is just a tiny puppy when his mother dies after a vicious fight with a snow leopard. Soon he co
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Groundwood Books (first published April 30th 2013)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  29 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Tibby (she/her)
I want my review of this book to just be go read this book. Everyone needs to read it, so go read it. I’m not even a dog person and I loved it and now I want a dog. Seriously. But of course not everyone will like this book and sometimes I feel like I am not nearly discerning enough when it comes to reading and I generally like everything. I think what was really different about this book was how I liked it as a reader and not as a librarian reading it. I’m a sucker for animal books (and I think ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought this book offered a unique and sophisticated view of a dog's perspective on freedom, companionship, domestication vs. wild nature, city life vs. life in the open air, finding a purpose, and the human-animal relationship. Unlike many books I've seen with dog as protagonist, this one takes place in various places throughout Mongolia, Tibet, and China. Though I would recommend it to advanced readers, upper grades, or adults, I thought it was beautifully written/translated. It didn't end h ...more
Ian Tymms
Reminds me of Jack London's novels I that it's from the perspective of a dog with a similar complexity to its narrative voice. The novel manages to be engaging and convincing without overly romanticizing the dog's life. A special novel in that the writer is from the Mongolian grasslands where the plot is partly set and he brings this world alive.
Edward Sullivan
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The exciting adventures of a black Tibetan mastiff. A wonderful dog story set in an exotic location.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I spent the entire time I was reading this book worried about its subject, an extraordinarily large and beautiful Tibetan mastiff and what his fate might be. Things start out tough for the puppy as Kelsang's mother dies while fighting a snow leopard. Kelsang moves quickly into his role as a herding dog for his master's sheep, but then ends up being sold, gambled or traded--it's not quite clear--by his master to two men who know how valuable the dog must be and have plans to make their fortune wi ...more
Ms. Yingling
Nov 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Kelsang is an enormous Tibetan mastiff puppy who is born to a shepherding family. His mother is killed early on, and his master is tricked into selling him to an unscrupulous buyer, He gets taken to Lhasa, where he escapes and runs wild in the city. An elderly artist lets him stay in his courtyard and brings the dog food when he comes home, but the two mainly ignore each other. Since mastiffs arevery valuable, other men take him and keep him locked up, which is horrible, since mastiffs like to r ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: gslis, animals
"Black Flame" is the tale of Tibetan Mastiff Kelsang, who soon after losing his mother is given the role of Sheepdog of the Tibetan grasslands. One day, his master sells him and he is chained to the back of a jeep, travelling far away from all he has ever known. Throughout his adventure he fights with Lhasa street dogs, is captured by cruel humans, and ultimately meets Han Ma – the only master who has ever inspired love and loyalty from Kelsang. It is now up to Kelsang to do all he can to remain ...more
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating story about a lesser known dog breed. The author does an amazing portrayal of thoughts, motivations, and life through the eyes of a Tibetan mastiff.
Anoush Pain
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: animal-fiction
Recommended by WASHYARG: White Fang from perspective of Tibetan Mastif, good for dog lovers, geared toward younger teens
ISLN (Int'l School Library Network) Singapore
A story about a special dog -- an enormous Tibetan mastiff ruled by love and loyalty -- who has both good and bad masters. (China)
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