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Dread Companion

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  363 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A young governess accompanies her two charges to a frontier planet and finds the children are involved with an evil power.
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published April 12th 1984 by Fawcett (first published January 1st 1970)
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3.66  · 
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 ·  363 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Simon Mcleish
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in January 2000.

In this novel, aimed at a slightly older audience than most of her writing, Norton uses several themes from folklore and child psychology to create a disturbing story. Accepting a post as governess to get away from a world which has little to offer a woman of intelligence, Kilda soon comes to realise that there is something strange about her charges. Like Miles and Flora in A Turn of the Screw, Bartare and Oomark have an invisible companion wh
Aug 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, space
Abandoned child of a space-faring union, Kilda grows up with the other parentless children on the creche at Lattmah for abandoned children of the Service (the Futurama fan in me thought of it resolutely as the Orphanarium). Seeking a life off-planet, she gets her opportunity when she becomes au pair for a, well, pair of children, the offspring of a dilettante space woman. Though Kilda initially sees the job as a stepping stone to other things, she quickly comes to realize that there's something ...more
Jason Reeser
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story, full of imagination along the lines of C.S. Lewis. Her stories remind me of old Twilight Zones, and original Star Trek episodes. I can't resist this type of thing.
There’s absolutely no point to this book. Andre Norton’s Dread Companion, a pseudo sci-fi novel, has nothing to say. Nothing happens in it that changes anything and the main character is pretty much the same person at the end of the novel that she is at the beginning. No truths were explored, there’s no symbolism, just lots of wandering around and magic trees. Gah. This is the last Andre Norton book I own and will (probably) ever read. I am not sad about this.

Kilda c’Rhyn does not want to follow
Wendy Bousfield
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Catelli
The clearest example I've ever found of a work that is both SF and fantasy.

Kilda is recounting the strange story that leads to her being about fifty years younger than she ought to be, given her birth and the year. She was raised in a creche, and the official assignments did not get her a place out of it until she was nearly aged out. Her mentor suggests an unofficial route, and she ends up taking service, and charge of two children Bartare and Oomart, as their mother and they ship out to the pl
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-1
This little paperback book changed my perception of the world when I was 12 and was the beginning of a life long love and obsession for sci fi/fantasy
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Labeled as a myth-fable-scifi tale - with a Rip VanWinkle twist - I also found a good dose of "Turn of the Screw" feel going on here. Solid Norton work and wording. I love the book by way of tropes moves - especially the constant possibility of "Taking a Third Option". Worth a read, not heavy or deep, but worthy.
Kilda has always wanted to travel in space, but was unsure what career she could pursue; for the time being she has settled on governess, travelling with a fairly wealthy family to take care of the children. The two children are polite enough charges, but there’s something odd about the oldest, Bartare…
When Bartare opens a doorway into another world, to follow and protect her charges Kilda will have to survive an inhuman world of old legend and law, clinging to her true nature as she searches f
Jeff Greason
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed Andre Norton in the past, though it has been years since I read a book from her for the first time. I am oddly conflicted about Dread Companion. I loved the characters, I love the determination with which the protagonist overcomes her obstacles. There is something both affirming and very human in her determination to see not only herself but those she feels responsible for make it through.

Perhaps my biggest dislike was the trappings of science fiction in the framing of the story.
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a future with space travel, a young woman becomes governess to two children as they fly to the colony world Dylan. These children are odd, seeming to communicate with the dread companion they refer to as She. On Dylan the woman and her charges are transported to a land of faerie, and she fights to survive as well as return to her world.

Enjoyed reading her exploration of this strange world, and her meeting a man-creature who had similarly become trapped there.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While there are some trappings of science fiction wrapped around this story, it is primarily a fantasy at its heart. It's based closely on European myths of the fairy realms. The writing style felt a bit archaic for my tastes but I suppose that fits with the feeling that the setting is meant to evoke.
An explicit homage to the tales of the People of The Hills, set in the far future on a distant planet. Cf Norton's Dare to Go A'Hunting, written years later, but actually set earlier, I'd say.

My copy is a cheap one, and it shows--as with many others, the glue in the spine is perishing, and pages fall out.
Jacquie Vonhunnius
Fairies in space? For serious? Oh my gawd. I should have been warned off by the "like Arthur C Clarke meets JRR Tolkien" splash on the lurid 70s cover, but I was desperate for a quick read. Unfortunately the bile really slowed me down.
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Revisiting an author I loved in my youth. And she stands the test of time.
Max Reeser
Oct 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dread companion was amazing, it had a great plot line and was descibed very well, just great.
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
Early Andre Norton, Strange plot about space and the realm of the fairies.
S.A. Parham
Aug 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A nice little tale, with as much fantasy as sci-fi elements (which is one of Norton's strong points, I think).
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fic-sf-myst-etc
Really fun fantasy of another dimension and a creature who turns out to be a human who was changed. Really enjoyable.
Jewel Hefner
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Sep 25, 2013
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Sep 21, 2017
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Jun 09, 2016
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May 16, 2012
Michael Kucharski
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Jun 03, 2008
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Mar 27, 2017
Jane Nickerson
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Jul 20, 2013
Nathan Duby
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Oct 15, 2012
Bryan Caddy
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Nov 11, 2015
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Dec 04, 2012
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Feb 20, 2015
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Hoyt's Huns: Dread Companion -- May 2016 -- spoilers allowed 4 8 May 29, 2016 09:19PM  
Hoyt's Huns: Dread Companion -- May 2016 -- spoiler free 4 10 May 16, 2016 05:46PM  

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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