I remember reading a review of a novel probably in Asimov's or Analog, during the 1980s or 1990s.

I only remember that the review included a scene from the novel. In that scene a 19th century group of the royal navy of the UK, like fish out of water, was travelling in high mountains, probably the Andes, on a road with high cliffs on one side and an abyss on the other.

A little girl, possibly the protagonist, was important in some way and escorted by a boy midshipman her age.

Flying creatures were attacking the group, knocking people into the chasm and/or flying away with them.

As we all know, flocks of flying creatures in the real world are not known for attacking groups of humans, and I don't seem to remember the flying creatures being described as any species known to zoology.

So does anyone remember what novel had that scene?

  • Can you offer some more clues? Like, did the story take place in modern time, or in the 19th century or whatever? What were the fantastic elements? Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 9:17
  • @Klaus AE Mogensen - Oops! I specified the date and specified that the attack by flying creatures was a fantastic element. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 17:39
  • I doubt this is the answer. There are some parallels but also some things that don't quite match up based off what was provided. Does any of the series in the provided link sound familiar? Rowan of Rin series wiki It's got a similar setting as described and flying creatures.
    – Wintermute
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


I think it could be Jules Verne's In Search of the Castaways (French: Les Enfants du capitaine Grant, lit. The Children of Captain Grant). I vaguely recalled the party being attacks by a large condor as they cross the Andes, and the Gutenberg Project bears me out (from Chapter XIV):

Paganel was not mistaken, it was assuredly a condor. This magnificent bird is the king of the Southern Andes, and was formerly worshiped by the Incas. It attains an extraordinary development in those regions. Its strength is prodigious. It has frequently driven oxen over the edge of precipices down into the depths of abysses. It seizes sheep, and kids, and young calves, browsing on the plains, and carries them off to inaccessible heights. It hovers in the air far beyond the utmost limits of human sight, and its powers of vision are so great that it can discern the smallest objects on the earth beneath.

[...] The condor had dropped out of sight behind the crags. Only a second passed, a second that seemed an age, and the enormous bird reappeared, carrying a heavy load and flying at a slow rate. A cry of horror rose on all sides. It was a human body the condor had in his claws, dangling in the air, and apparently lifeless—it was Robert Grant. The bird had seized him by his clothes, and had him hanging already at least one hundred and fifty feet in the air. He had caught sight of the travelers, and was flapping his wings violently, endeavoring to escape with his heavy prey.

  • I doubt it. I thought the review was of a contemporary story. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 18:20

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