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Book was late 70's early 80's science fiction/fantasy.

What I can remember was the main characters (four) were a brother and sister (who were either Human or almost-human) with a pair of telepathic (and very intelligent) Panther-like copilots.

Their spaceship crash lands on Earth in medieval times Europe. (sometime in the early 1000's)

At least one of the kids (I think the girl, but not sure) gets separated from the others and is taken by the local lord. The lord quickly realizes the kid has smarts and uses him or her to help defeat his enemies. I know this isn't much to go on, but can't remember a lot else about the plot.

I'm sure it was written by one of the major writers of the age (Andre Norton, Piers Anthony, et al), but haven't been able to locate it.

The cover of the book I had showed the two panthers kind of surrounding the 'window' looking out to the kid or kids and a castle.

Books it isn't: The Barque Cats, Pet Cemetery, Pride of Chanur, Timecat, Cats of Ulthar, any of the Honorverse (Go Nimitz!), Tail Chaser or Master Ren.

Also, this was a singular novel, not part of an anthology or series. At least I don't think there was ever a sequel written.

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  • Just nitpicking: the medieval time started at 476 AD with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and lasted till 1453. So early 1000s are somewhere in the middle of the Middle Ages :)
    – Yasskier
    Jun 16, 2020 at 22:03
  • OK, I seem to recall it (the story) being like right at 1000 ad.
    – CGCampbell
    Jun 16, 2020 at 22:06
  • @ Yasskier or the Middle Ages began at AD 500 and ended at AD 1500. Or according to some sources they g began and ended in other years. Jun 17, 2020 at 15:31
  • @CGCampbell AD 1000 would be during the reigns of Emperor Otto III "The Wonder of the World" in the west and Emperor Basil II "The Bulgar Slayer" in the east, and Caliph Hisham II in Spain, though I rather doubt whether any historical characters are mentioned in the book. Jun 17, 2020 at 15:35

1 Answer 1

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Possibly Fanglith 1985 by John Dalmas Though the animal is a telepathic wolf, not a cat - The following blurb is from the Baen website -

When a pair of political refugees is stranded on the galaxy's most barbaric planet, their son and daughter must save them—both from their Thought—Police pursuers and the terrible warriors of nth-century Earth. Aided only by their ship's computer and a telepathic wolf, their first task is to rescue their mother from a nunnery.

The planet is primitive and incredibly violent. They don't know the language, customs, or taboos. The Thought Police are hot on their trail. But they are smart and resourceful-and they do have an espwolf with them...

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  • That's the story, for sure, thanks. Not the cover I was thinking of, so I'll have to keep looking for THAT story too.
    – CGCampbell
    Jun 16, 2020 at 22:54

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