Tophero Son of Smilodon
“I felt a sense of familiarity with this creature in my racing heart. Suddenly, I felt myself a stranger in a foreign land: Why did I, the most feared cat of the jungle, look not so much like his brothers but like this outlandish two-legged creature with a bewildering fair golden mane? And those haunting emerald green eyes--why do they reflect the romantic mystery of a bottomless lake? Who am I?” More
“I felt a sense of familiarity with this creature in my racing heart. Suddenly, I felt myself a stranger in a foreign land, overtaken by troublesome thoughts: Why did I, the most fearsome cat of the jungle, look not so much like his brothers but like this outlandish two-legged creature with a bewildering fair golden mane? And those haunting emerald green eyes--why do they reflect the romantic mystery of a bottomless lake?
Who am I?”
Tutored by his sabertooth siblings, young Gora learns to master the prehistoric world of Opalon, with its smoldering volcanoes, dueling dinosaurs, and treacherous tar pits. But the discovery of a computer in a hidden cave changes Gora’s world: he is able to teach himself English. Gradually, he internalizes the moral lessons to be found in the greatest literature and poetry of the planet Earth. He masters military strategy and trains himself in the martial arts. Upon realizing that he is a human being, he vows to uphold the highest values of humankind. He names himself Tophero (To’-Pha-raoh). His magnificent physique and sterling intelligence do not help to stave off loneliness; Tophero longs to meet others of his kind. But when they come, they bring love as well as destruction, and Tophero must use the primitive ways of the jungle to battle high-tech invaders. At stake: the survival of his home planet . . . the love of his life, an Earthling . . . and his very identity.
The interstellar romance and Tophero's quest for his roots play out against Powlo-Varkiss, the Opalonian master sorcerer of prehistoric beasts, the evil agenda of billionaire Derek Cole, also aboard the expedition in search of Opalon's fabled diamond mines; the machinations of the enemies of Tophero's human parents; and the unexpected discovery of the besieged Opalonian kingdom of Xandria, whose beautiful ruler, Princess Nya, desires Tophero for her own…
Tophero is an action-packed science fiction adventure that is a 21st century amalgam of Tarzan, Jurassic Park, and King Solomon’s Mines—the first volume of a trilogy of the Opalonian saga. Tophero: Son of Smilodon is a story of triumph over tragedy, one that celebrates the power of lexis and the ability of love and brotherhood to conquer and thrive in an exotic, uncharted world.
The book showcases the masterful talent of Lloyd’s fantasy art. Stunning, evocative, and meticulous, Lloyd’s images and W.W. Ni’s words combine the visual power of a fantastic graphic novel with the opulence of classical literature. Herein, Opalon and its denizens come alive.
A heady blend of Conan the Barbarian, science-fiction archetypes, monstrous prehistoric beasts, and intrigues among fictional billionaires (who live in Montecito!), Tophero, Son of Smilodon: Jungle Lord of the New Millennium might just be the most action-packed entertainment you will find outside a movie theater. --The Independent
The author tapped into an ancient yearning for the wild part of ourselves to find expression and release... W.W. Ni has imagined this world so thoroughly, his powers of description are formidable, and his research is outstanding. When I wasnt reading the book, I found myself daydreaming about the characters, and felt a constant tickle of curiosity about what would happen next. This is a fascinating story, and I congratulate this talented writer. --Lois Gilbert is the author of River of Summer (Penguin-Putnam, 1999), Without Mercy (NAL Dutton, 2000,) and Returning to Taos (Five Star, 2006). Her work has been translated into German, Russian and Italian.
...A terrific idea. Part Tarzan, part space odyssey, part medieval epic, part crime novel, and part love story, it has something for everyone. Again, you have a very fruitful concept in Tophero--a yarn that mixes the prehistoric past, the present, and a space-age future--and you deliver it with obvious excitement and energy. --Peter Gelfan, Editor, Editorial Department, Inc., New York