Literature / Dread Companion
is a SF/Fantasy novel by Andre Norton
Rather than be shoved into a slot by bureaucracy, Kilda takes a job taking care of two children. One, Bartare, is a Creepy Child
, with a companion that her brother Oomart calls "She" and the "Green Lady" and fears. They, with the children's mother, arrive on a planet to find that the children's father has died, and Kilda takes over for the children while the mother collapses.
When they go on a sight-seeing trip, Bartare lures her brother off and insists on doing something with stones. Kilda, following, is trapped with them in another world, where to eat its food is to be transformed into one of its beings..
- A Friend in Need: Kilda throws food to the creature dogging them.
- After-Action Patch-Up: Kilda to Kosgro, when they hide in the notus grove.
- The Ageless: the inhabitants.
- Anti-Magic: The notus blossom. Unfortunately for Jorth it affects him as well as the enchantments on him.
- Baleful Polymorph: the effect of the fruit that the land grows
- Blood Magic: Kilda needs to bleed to get a guide.
- Changeling Tale: Bartare claims this.
- Commonality Connection: how she acquired her mentor at the creche
- Cool Gate: How they get there
- Creepy Child: Bartare
- Dispel Magic: The notus blooms revert Kilda's Baleful Polymorph to a certain extent.
- Evil Smells Bad: The Dark Ones. They don't realize it, which helps when they hunt you
- Exact Words: They do not want a gate, but their own ones.
- The Fair Folk: Made explicit in the frame story
- Food Chains: Kilda's supplies are the only thing that ensures their freedom
- Healing Herb: The notus helps treat Kosgro's wounds.
- Home Sweet Home: Kosgro insists that they return to their own place.
- I Know Your True Name: They must answer to their true names; it is the law.
- Immortality: The beings of this world can be killed, but are otherwise immortal.
- Ingesting Knowledge: The fruit also tells them things
- In Harm's Way: If Kilda had been male, she would have loved being a scout and explorer.
- Mandatory Motherhood: At the end, Kilda is told she must decide and so settle down to a husband and children.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Kilda can't leave Bartare even if she wants to stay.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: She
- Parental Abandonment: For both Kilda, at birth, and the children, during the novel.
- Ritual Magic: Bartare's
- Royal Brat: The children's mother is a rather languid version.
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: Things change while they are gone.
- Walking Wasteland: Bartare makes Kilda's hand wither a flower
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: What we are told in the opening line is that she has aged only a year though it's been decades.
- You Can't Go Home Again: The problem with going through the gate.