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The Beast Master

(Beast Master / Hosteen Storm #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,082 ratings  ·  75 reviews

Left homeless by the war that reduced Terra to a radioactive cinder, Hosteen Storm Navaho commando and master of beasts is drawn to the planet Arzor, to kill a man he has never met.

On that dangerous frontier world, aliens and human colonists share the land in an uneasy truce. But something is upsetting the balance, and Storm is caught in the middle. He had thought the war

Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1984 by Del Rey (first published 1959)
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 ·  2,082 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Originally reviewed in 2011. Updated in 2018.

Before I start this review I know something I'm going to say will offend some. Please read what I said and not what you "think" I said. Okay?

Andre Norton was a good writer and a lot of her work is what I think of as "youth" reads or (in it's day) "teen reads". I ran across her when I was in Jr high school. I realize "Jr high school is a term that isn't used anymore but it referred to 7th and 8th grades.

This book tells a pretty good story opens just a
Anne Hamilton
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a kid, this was my favourite book. I borrowed it and re-borrowed it and re-re-borrowed it from the town library.

Then one day a new librarian came to town. She took one look at the title and one look at me and said sternly, 'You shouldn't be taking out books like this. It's for adults.'

'No, it isn't,' I told her. 'I've read it at least a dozen times. I'll show you exactly where it comes from in the children's section.' My plea was to no avail. I asked her to check the catalogue. She did but m
Marla Shin
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
The only book of hers ever made into a movie, but they changed EVERYTHING but the title and the fact there were animals. She even had her name taken off the movie, and never again sold movie rights. If you've seen the movie, forget it. The protagonist in this book is a space-traveling Native American, rather thoughtful and cerebral. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: completed
Andre Norton is a name that has been around in Science Fiction for many years. For some reason I have never picked up a copy of one of Norton's books, but when I saw this title at a recent library sale, I picked it up. I was pleasantly surprised.

First I was shocked that this novel was so completely different from the movie title by the same name that was obviously a rip off of this concept, if not a license that strayed far from the actual story. This was NOT a fantasy world, but really a hard-c
Bill Burris
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was reading Andre Norton about 45 years ago, so I may have read this one before, but nothing was very familiar. The one somewhat familiar aspect was alien ruins and some alien technology which is still functioning after being abandoned for centuries. My memory of this idea may be from some of her other novels and not this one.

This book reads somewhat like a western, but I enjoyed it anyway.
H. P.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vintage-sf
I had a heckuva time finding this book. Like any kid from the tail end of Generation X, I had seen the Beastmaster movie countless times on cable as a kid. And I picked up at some point that the movie was (loosely) based on a book by Andre Norton. Andre Norton being one of the writers I wanted to highlight with Throwback SF Thursday, I knew I had to cover The Beast Master. There was just one problem. Every used bookstore I set foot into had roughly a shelfful of Norton. The sequel, Lord of Thund ...more
Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
classic Norton science fiction with Hosteen Storm, an American Indian veteran of Terran special forces, where he used his special talents of telepathy to communicate with animals to infiltrate enemy installations, emigrates to Arzor after a galactic war with the Xik ends with the destruction of Terra (Earth).

On Arzor, Storm is on the hunt again. First against Quade, a rancher that Storm's grandfather was against. Storm however discovers a kinship with the alien Norbies who live on Arzor and begi
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books by Andre Norton. it is the far future, there was an interglatic war, we won but the enemy distroyed earth. one on the survivores is a Beast master, a commando that lead a team of animals by training and telpathic mind touch,
Hosteen Storm, a Navaho his team, Surra a dune cat mutated to the size of a puma, Baku the african Black eagle and Ho and Hing, meercats, diggers and saboteurs. The war is over but Storm hunts a man he belives resonsible for his fathers death
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amy! by: Gina & Jim
Really enjoyable. It's a pretty quick read, and once the action gets started, it really sucked me in.
Hank Hoeft
The last book I finished before starting Andre Norton's The Beast Master was a collection of Louis L'Amour short stories, and when I started Norton's novel, I expected a science fiction Western. After all, the protagonist was a full-blood Navajo, and the setting was a frontier world sparsely populated by pioneer human ranchers and a native race with a culture very much like native Americans from the Southwest. The story did indeed have all those features, but I was surprised by the number of plo ...more
Lyndon J Nobles
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was originally drawn to this book by the title. The Beast Master movie was one of my favorite movie as a child and I was eager to find out what kind of book inspired such a unique movie. However, the title is where the similarities end. The film makers apparently took the title, the concept of a man using animals as his personal army, and ran in a totally opposite direction that what Andre Norton went.

This book has almost nothing to do with the movie. Where the movie was a sword and sorcery r
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing

The Beast Master (Beast Master / Hosteen Storm, #1)
Norton, Andre

the beginning of the story explaining the role of beast master in a post war universe, a good book to read, especially when going to the grand canyon area, because of the main characters heritage... Has great detail and two great stories.

how he was connecting to the world of his future a good story about finding home is not what you thought, or feared, and that love does not always have to come from those who are like you.

xiks are
Fantasy Literature
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I first found Andre Norton on the shelves of my elementary school library in fourth grade. I have no idea which of her novels was the first one I read. I just know whichever one it was, it was far from the last. One after the other, bound only by whatever limit our library put on me, I read all I could find on the shelves. And then I read them again. And then again. By the time I left that school in sixth grade, if you picked up one of her books and looked at the sign-out card (yes kids
Brian Layman
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010
What an EXCELLENT BOOK! The person who took this novel and turned it into a movie should be drawn and quartered. This is science fiction space travel story of the intersect of cultures, in the aftermath of an Earth shattering war (literally) compared to the movie which was about the palest, thinnest, white-bread barbarian you've ever seen set in a sword and sorcery age. The movie was not about a Navajo descendant veteran leaving behind a devastated Earth to travel on a personal mission to anothe ...more
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This has been one of my all time favorite books. The combination of space and Indian culture is fascinating. The mental bonds between men and animals also holds a certain appeal. Andre Norton was my first "read everything you can find by her" authors. I was sad when she died. Now I find books by her that I didn't know about. ( I love Amazon.) I'm now reading the 3 last Beast Master books ahe wrote with a helper. A giant BOO HISS to the movie and TV versions. No relation to the books AT ALL! Do n ...more
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of those books I search for in every used books store I wander into. EVERY used books store. I picked up the copy I have 20+ years ago in a teen "ohah" moment after having seen the cult classic movie version. Wasn't I surprised that the movie was only loosely based on the almost only the title. And what a book! Wonderful. A human story on SO many levels. NOTHING like the movie or the TV series that was on a few years ago. I highly recommend the original to anyone who come ...more
S.A. Bolich
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved this book from the time I first read it in high school. The pathos of the plot, with a character attempting to adjust to the loss of his entire planet, made me stop and appreciate even more how much I love the one I stand on. As always, Andre Norton handles the tale of the outsider finding acceptance very very well. This is her most common theme, and somehow she makes it work every single time.

I for one cannot believe what a hash Hollywood made of the movie supposedly based on this book.
3.5 stars
I very much enjoyed this, my first Andre Norton. In fact I'm not sure that I can pinpoint why I didn't round up to four stars. I think there were a few grating points - I can't figure out how the sign language between Norbie and settler developed for instance. Also, as much as the fact that Storm is Navajo attracted me to the book in the first instance, perhaps the "noble savage" tone irritated me a bit at times. There are some happy coincidences as well and fight scenes are not the aut
Aug 10, 2014 added it
I was reminded of this book this evening, and how much I enjoyed it. It has no relation to the 80s movie of the same name, not even the animals are the same. The movie should be avoided, but the book is a gem.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: omgosh-books
This book is old, but really good. So many things happen at the end, like woah.
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I came to this via a recommendation after I had read some more contemporary Native American science fiction. It is a hard one to judge, because of the need for the appropriate context. It was written in 1959. Science fiction back then was a teenage boy thing, so having no female characters (despite the author being a woman who took a man's name as her pen name and hid her gender in order to succeed in the business) and being written as part of an intergalactic war, complete with cool weapons--pa ...more
Kenya Starflight
I don't know why it took me this long to finally read a novel by Andre Norton, one of the most notable names among fantasy and sci-fi writers. Perhaps I was simply intimidated by the size of her bibliography (yes, Andre was female despite the traditionally-masculine pen name), or perhaps I was simply too into my favorite authors to give another name a chance. Thanks in part to a reading challenge I ended up picking up "The Beast Master" at my library, a very old and well-worn paperback copy... a ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it

Long long ago, I think even when I was in primary school (so, more than forty years ago), I read The Beast Master, and it stuck with me. Not quite so long ago, I got it and its sequel, Lord of Thunder, in a single volume, Beast Master’s Planet. Both concern a future galaxy where Earth has been destroyed in the final act of a war with the alien Xik, and our protagonist, Hosteen Storm, is (as far as he knows) the only survivor of the Navajo. He is an ex-s
Fraser Sherman
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
A space western, but a good space western. The Earth/Xik interplanetary war is over but Earth got wiped out in the process. Navajo Hosteen Storm starts over on a new world where he has to deal with some PTSD, an old vendetta, a possible war with the natives and the discovery of a lost Xik outpost.
Oh, and Hosteen's a Beastmaster, a trained fighter with the power to bind a team of animals for his commando work (this doesn't play as large a role in the story as I remember).
This is an immensely ent
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite movies as a middle-schooler was THE BEAST MASTER, which was a crazy fantasy with Marc Singer as a Conan-like fantasy hero who could communicate with animals and fought against creepy demons to save the population of an innocent village against some horrible villain for reasons I can't quite recall. (Okay, the details are sketchy -- it's been a long time.)

This is the novel that movie was based on, although it's virtually impossible to tell. Other than the fact that the hero can
Daphne Moore
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The novel starts with the protagonist being processed out of a war, and the reader find out Terra has been destroyed and many of the soldiers from there suffer from mental illness as a result. Hosteen Storm has avoided that, because he has a mission: revenge for his father's death, given to him by his grandfather.
The main action is set on a planet much like the US Southwest, complete with a native people who have a fraught relationships with settlers. Science fiction details abound as Ms. Norton
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this book. It's sort of like Avatar with alien natives vs human settlers. But it also is more serious about a person's reaction to how you are raised as a child and to psychology of war. The main part though is native American culture and the genetically engineered animals that Hosteen (the main character) is bonded too. The sequel is even more interesting as the characters discover an underground high tech alien installation long abandoned.
Kay Hawkins
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Much better than the movie or TV Series. I don't mean that in the way of 'oh the book was better' no the movie is is only lightly based on this book and considering they bought the rights to the book to make the movie they could have used a little more of the source material. The differences are not compatible. If you can find a copy read it.
P.S. Winn
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
In a strange world where aliens and human colonists share the land, something is disturbing the balance. Storm is caught in the middle. Interesting book and one that is a bit of a cult classic among a lot of readers I know,
Wilson E. Stevens Sr.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I have read this several times over the years. This was the first SF book to introduce man and animals working together as a war team. It was so popular and such a best seller that she wrote a whole series of books about man and animals working and communicating together.
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. She also used the names Andrew North and Allen ...more

Other books in the series

Beast Master / Hosteen Storm (7 books)
  • Lord Of Thunder (Beast Master / Hosteen Storm, #2)
  • Beast Master's Ark
  • Beast Master's Circus (Beast Master / Hosteen Storm, #4)
  • Beast Master's Quest
  • Beast Master's Planet: Omnibus of Beast Master and Lord of Thunder
  • Beast Master Team: Omnibus of Beast Master's Ark & Circus

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