When first published, The Beast Master was a new kind of science fiction adventure, featuring a Native American (Navajo) protagonist, Hosteen Storm, a soldier with a unique team—animals with whom he has a telepathic mind-link.
The time is the future, when Earth has been devastated by interstellar war with the alien Xik. Storm is now on the planet Arzor. Once the home of an ancient, long-dead alien civilization, it is now inhabited by human colonists and the indigenous Norbies. Storm and the other Arzorites must fight the Xik, who are intent on to destroying all life but their own. With rousing action and Norton’s unique ability to evoke the strangeness and mystery of ancient alien civilizations, The Beast Master, and its sequel, Lord of Thunder remain fresh and enthralling, a half-century after their debut.