My memory is vague on this, but here's what I 'think' I know:

  • I do not believe it is part of the Shannara series, though I could be wrong.
  • It is possibly a one-off, rather than part of a series of books.
  • Female author (maybe/maybe not)?
  • Post-apocalyptic / post-technology?
  • There is a threat of robots and something about them burning the ground/turning the grass black when they walk on it (radioactive? black shiny metal men type of thing?)
  • The main character is a girl
  • There may be a witch who is the big bad - magic possibly, or science disguised as magic.
  • There is a rocket/space shuttle that the girl uses at the end to leave planet, along with the big bad (effectively trapping them off-world forever) and possibly also a parrot - weird I remember this?
  • The girl I believe, then dies, for reasons I did not understand at the time - this intrigued me then, and is one of the things I want to explore further now. I'd never before read a story that had a bittersweet ending like this i.e. the hero dies but save the world at the same time.
  • The hero's 'death' may have been suicide - I do not know if this was explicit or implicit, but I recall a description of blood droplets floating in zero-g, which was when it dawned on me that she had died and that particular experience has stayed with me.
  • I read it in the 90's when I was a teenager - it was one of the first books I read in a sci-fi/fantasy setting.
  • I was young enough to read it, understand it and enjoy it, but feel that reading it now, I would understand it more.

1 Answer 1


A Plague of Angels by Sheri S. Tepper. 1993.

Abasio, a farmboy who is being pursued by vengeful gang members, meets Orphan, who is herself being pursued by the minions of Witch. Witch is convinced that in accordance with a delphic prophecy, Orphan can provide the "guidance system" for her space shuttle and thus allow her to settle the moon. Abasio, Orphan and their few allies are called to fulfill their destiny and defend the battered Earth from Witch's mad scheme for world domination.

The bird-thing isn't a parrot- it's called her "guardian-angel", and it has a long, sharp beak. That's the source of her death in space.

...place the walkers had stood and peered at the earth, beckoning with one hand toward Abasio. ... At first, Abasio didn't see what it was, but then he noticed the dry black fragments all over Golly's bare toes, the grasses where the two things had been standing, dead and burned right down to their roots.

  • 1
    Awesome - thank you!
    – JP1977
    Jul 6, 2017 at 9:47
  • You're welcome!
    – Frock
    Jul 6, 2017 at 18:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.