I want to share a favourite series with you today, called the Gandalara Cycle. The three books that make up this series were written in the 1980s, and you find it a little difficult to source copies of the books, but it is worth the hunt, if you like a good fantasy read. You will probably end up with a second-hand set of books though. The series was written by a husband and wife team, and was originally published as seven books, but now is condensed into three novels.
Here’s a teaser …
Sixty-year-old Ricardo Carillo, a terminally ill professor of Romance languages, is hit by a falling meteor while on a cruise in the Mediterranean. He wakes up in the desert on an unfamiliar world, where he has taken over the body of the Swordsman Markassat. He finds that he shares a telepathic link with Markassat’s mount Keeshah, a Sha’um, or giant cat similar to a sabertooth tiger. He also learns that he is a suspect in the theft of the Ra’ira, an immensely valuable gem linked to the history of his new home. Renamed Rikardon, he sets out on a quest to recover the jewel, which will eventually carry him across Gandalara. Along the way he aids Tarani, the true heir to the throne of Eddarta, and ultimately learns his new land’s strange secret. … [irosf]
What I loved about the book was the relationship between the characters and their cats … so much fun to watch their relationships develop. And of course, the mystery that slowly pervades the story thread was fascinating, and I didn’t see the resolution of it coming. I grab these books off my shelves every couple of years and re-read them … great fantasy adventure, and I recommend it.