The Iron Breed

~ An Omnibus of Novels by Andre Norton

iron breed 2012


Contains ~

  • Iron Cage (1974) Published by Viking, HC, 0-670-40151-X, LCCN 74006310, $6.95, 188pg ~ cover by Bruce Waldman
  • Breed to Come (1972) Published by Viking, HC, 0-670-78894-8, LCCN 71183937, $4.95, 285pg ~ cover by Laslo Gal

Synopsis ~

From the back of tradepaper edition ~

"The Iron Cage"
Jony had never known the Outside. Snatched from his family by an alien race, subjected to experiments and mind control on a strange planet, the boy’s world had always been the cage, which held him prisoner. It is only when he comes to live with the People, a gentle tribe of intelligent animals that Jony first comes to know feelings of security, camaraderie, and love. Until the landing of a spaceship full of humans shatters their peaceful lives. But Jony uses his wits against the arrivals’ sophisticated weapons to defend his protectors - as he faces the conflict of his allegiance to the People and his attraction to his own kind. Jony finds himself in a difficult position ~ should he protect the People? Or should he join his own kind?
"Breed To Come"
When desperate measures failed to control what men had begun and could not stop, they fled their polluted planet, leaving behind an epidemic virus born of experimentation. Yet unlike men, whom the disease could destroy, the animals of the planet thrived, each generation more forceful and intelligent than the last. In the ruins of what was once a university complex a vast band of cats, more highly evolved than those on the outside, sought to master the works of man. They soon learned that the Demons – as men were called – were not legendary, but real, as was the danger of their return to the planet. Then one day a spaceship landed bearing the feared exile race.


Write-ups from fans ~

Iron Cage ~ 20 years ago, Jony and Rutee, human experimental lab animals escaped from the cages of Zhalan slavers who they call the Big Ones. They are threatened by native wildlife and saved by the People, primitive but intelligent creatures that we might call animals. Rutee gives birth to twins Geogee and Maba and they join a Clan of the People. Rutee dies 10 years later. One day Jony discovers that the Humans were colonists who had also enslaved the People and used them for experiments. Jony's relationship with the People goes sour. A little later a spaceship of humans came and catch Geogee and Maba and some of the People upon whom the start experimenting. Jony sets out to free the children and the People and stop the ship people from bringing more humans to the planet. ~ PG

Breed To Come ~ The Demons (humans) return to the world they had abandoned (i.e., space colonists return to Mother Earth), leaving it to the inferior races they had used as experimental animals.  Only the animals had grown in intelligence and courage and weren't about to meekly submit to the Demon's demands, like the dogs and cats they had descended from. ~ SL

See Also; Review of The Iron Breed by Fred Patten

Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2013) Published by BAEN, TP, 1-451-63858-2, $12.00, 612pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman
  • (2013) Published by BAEN, DM, 1-451-63858-2, $6.99, 448pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman
  • (2013) Published by BAEN, PB, 1-476-73619-7, $7.99, 442pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman



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