What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The Warriors of Taan (Lions Teen Tracks)
This topic is about The Warriors of Taan
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SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. sci fi about blonde, yellow eyed alien race from nun's POV [s]

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message 1: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin Bonilla | 3 comments I read this when I was a kid (mid to late 2000s) and it seemed like a pretty old paperback, maybe from 1970-90s? It was set on an alien world that had a strict gender divide; women belonged to a feminist religious order ruled by an old 'Mother' abbess-figure, and the main character was a sort of nun. The men were more militant and mostly looked to the war-mongering King for leadership.
Humans, known as 'Outworlders', have invaded their world for resources/a new home (Earth's apparently inhospitable now) and the native aliens aren't happy about it. The King wants to go to war, the Mother wants to make peace/convert the humans. This creates conflict among the aliens as the women/nuns mount increasing anti-war protests while the military become more hostile. The story revolves around a young Nun being dragged into all this and the Prince, who eventually fall in love and try to work together to bring peace to their world.

OTHER DETAILS:
- The entire story takes place on-planet. While humans are said to have/live on space ships, they are only mentioned or seen from afar.
- The Prince is kind of a jerk in the beginning, though this improves with time.
- These aliens looked just like humans, only they were all blonde and yellowed eyed (the book actually begins in a flashback, when the Mother abbess comes across a human kid who happens to have these traits too, and decides to convert him and his family and use him as a secret agent. He had travelled across a desert just to ride one of their 'yarracks', their equivalent of a horse/ox. He ends up becoming an important character when he grows up, becoming the best friend of the Prince. He is the only human character in the book).
- Yarracks are important animals to their culture. They are often ridden like horses and their meat is prized (and so is mostly taken/eaten by humans) and at one point the Prince gifts the Nun with a comb made from yarrack ivory. To call someone a ‘yarrack’ is also an insult. The females where called ‘bulla’, I think.
- The biggest protest the nuns attempt is when they link arms and block the army's path during a parade. The soldiers (and the Prince being forced along with them) end up mowing them down, killing many and injuring others. The POV nun is okay but her best friend is horribly scarred, and never gets over it.
- They also considered globally withdrawing all the women and children on the planet to a citadel and refusing to come out until the men changed their ways. This was a big deal as they had apparently done this ages ago, and while it had worked it had gone down in myth as a last resort.
- There’s one other ‘native species’ on this planet; there were these ancient, immortal humanoid creatures with bird heads (either owls or falcons, can’t remember) that wore robes. They mostly kept to themselves and avoided everyone else, and lived in these mountains/canyons? The other, blonde aliens find them mysterious and, for some reason, frightening (when the Nun meets one for the first time she screams, which he finds very rude, especially as he only approached her to see if she was okay because she was crying).
- The Mother abbess has an 'ugly' ring filled with the soil of their planet.
- The book was fairly short, and the cover I read had a picture of the blonde/yellowed eyed nun and sort of swampy looking scenery in the background. I think I saw another cover that had the yarrack lined up.
- I think I remember reading that there was a move adaptation? Or there was one in the works?

THE SPOILERS:
- The bird people are more technologically advanced than both the aliens and the humans, which is a big part of why they keep to themselves. They have little whistles that can drill holes in things with sound waves. This is how they win against humans in the end. They only agree to get involved in the war when the humans nuke one of their colonies, killing hundreds (this was a HUGE issue because the bird-people can’t recover their population numbers. They’re ‘immortals’ who survive in cycles, the old ones going into pools to become babies again and coming out to grow up, etc. So if one is killed, there’s no way to procreate to replace them).
- When the Prince eventually starts siding with the women the King threatens to replace him with his soon-to-be-born little step-brother. The King threatens to have him quietly assassinated after the birth, so his friends have to sneak him out of the palace in drag. The King's plan falls through anyway because the baby turns out to be a girl, so he has no choice but to keep the Prince as his heir.
- The book ends with the aliens winning against the humans and converting them to live peacefully on their world, to mutual benefit. The human society becomes more peaceful and ordered and the native aliens get better technology. The Nun chooses to become the next Mother abbess instead of marrying the Prince. The final scene is her telling her human agent she plans to invade and convert other planets too.
I know this is really long, but if anyone can remember the title or author of this book I’d really appreciate it!


message 3: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin Bonilla | 3 comments Rosa wrote: "The Warriors of Taan, maybe?"

That's it! That's the book! Thank you so much!


message 4: by Rosa (new) - added it

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 4974 comments Wonderful! You're very welcome.
I looked up "Outworlders" on archive.org using the "search text contents" function, and it was the fifth result.


message 5: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin Bonilla | 3 comments Rosa wrote: "Wonderful! You're very welcome.
I looked up "Outworlders" on archive.org using the "search text contents" function, and it was the fifth result."


...it didn't even occur to me to check archive.org. That's genius. I spent hours on Google, Google Library, Amazon, Abebooks, Library Thing and every other book site I could think of but got nowhere without the title or author (variations of 'outworlder' and 'alien nun and prince fight human invaders' just got me either other typical sci-fi stories or alien erotica).
Next time I'll definitely try archive.org first!


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