Bell continues to pursue unique ideas and themes, here producing one of the year's more original fantasies. Kichebo, an unusual cheetah who was raised by a foster mother, is also different because she is almost completely black. Handicapped in her hunting because of her coat and because she is continually pursued by creatures in a flying craft, she withdraws to make a home in ancient ruins which pull at her; she also unwillingly adopts a two-legged creature, who maintains a similar, atavistic hold on her. When she faces these compulsions, she is catapulted back to ancient Egypt by the mind-power of Kheknemt, a male version of herself, companion to Tutankhamen. The story of Kherknemt's part in the pharoah's tragic end gives Kichebo a clue to her true heritage, one that is confirmed by a huntress from the flying craft: she is one of a rare race who can bond with humans to create a creature unique in its strength. Now, thousands of years later, she and Menk, her two-legged friend, own that power and its destiny, to be used far from a holocaust-destroyed earth. This is not easy, but it is beautifully written and full of original ideas, evocative descriptions and well-drawn characters. Older readers with a strong appreciation for fantasy will enjoy a memorable experience.