Stand and Deliver, by Andre Norton

Here’s a topical post by Judith Tarr at Delivering the Goods in Andre Norton’s Stand and Deliver

Here is the promising beginning of the post:

This is the best thing I could have read during one of the most fraught weeks in quite a few people’s lifetimes. It’s deft, it’s fast-paced, it’s unabashedly escapist. Above all, it’s fun. I stayed up unconscionably late reading it, and I regret nothing.

So you see: topical. for those of us who would prefer Stories In Which Nothing Terrible Happens just now, this is probably another one like that. I’ve never read it — I’ve never read any historical by Andre Norton. I didn’t know she’d ever written anything but science fiction and fantasy.

It’s got everything. Highwaymen. Smugglers on the coast. Bow Street Runners and undercover agents. A wonderfully Baskervillian hound named Satan and his dastardly master. Traveling circuses—plural—including a rousing battle between two rival circuses …

There’s even an echo of the alien race in my favorite of all the Free Trader novels, Moon of Three Rings, in the traveling diorama with its unworldly artist father and his rigorously unemotional daughter. Their dark caravan with its weirdly mismatched pair of animals and its enormous and censorious black cat is like a Regency version of the Thassa of Yiktor. I kept wondering if someone would let slip a bit of actual moon magic, but Norton restrained herself in that respect.

Sounds like fun! Here’s a link to Stand and Deliver. It’s the sequel to another story called Yankee Privateer.

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