Swarm: Metamorphosis

Swarm: Metamorphosis is an adventure spanning time, cultures, and species. It will appeal to anyone who loves historical fantasy, complex heroines and heroes, and the animals whose courage and intelligence fascinate us.

Returning home to settle her mother’s estate, Astrid Lund inherits five cats her mother had nicknamed “The Swarm” for their habit of converging on each new mischief as if of a single mind. Astrid soon discovers that the emotional bond shared by these otherwise ordinary animals reflects an extraordinary physical ability: when threatened, the cats join their bodies and minds to become a single animal with a tiger’s size, strength, and predatory instincts—a great cat Astrid comes to call Swarm.

Click to read an excerpt from Swarm

Soon after Astrid discovers the cats’ dual nature, a stranger with equally unnatural abilities invades her home and steals one of the animals. Drawn by the littermates’ mysterious bond, the remaining cats pursue the thief, but not before merging with each other—and with a startled Astrid. When she returns to her human form—and recovers from the terrifying experience of sharing Swarm’s turbulent, wordless psyche—she finds herself and her cats in the time and place of Swarm’s origins: The Homeric Bronze Age.

Stranded in the middle of the Trojan War, Astrid is befriended by Nestor, Homer’s great horseman; by Hecamede, a woman who was taken as a spoil of war but has achieved a position of influence through courage and intelligence; and by Myia, an adolescent girl who has escaped slavery through a desperate, violent act. Soon, Astrid learns that Swarm is at the center of an ancient struggle between Circe, the enchantress, and an insane demigod who plans to use the cats’ abilities for his own dark purposes—a struggle she must end if she is to return home safely.

Astrid stopped in shock. Instead of the familiar path that wound through the piñon, mesquite, and dry grass to the neighbor’s house, she found herself . . . looking down a long, grassy slope. Two rivers crossed the plain, flowing to a beach where an impossibly blue ocean sparkled with refracted sunlight, polyhedral flashes dancing on the dark waves. Hundreds of wooden ships lined the beach, black with brightly painted decorations. Tents and makeshift huts sprawled chaotically across the shore as if dropped by a storm’s violent landfall. To her right, where the foothills of the Sandia mountains should have been, the plain rose to a fortified city, stone walls catching the sunlight like dull bronze.

“No,” she said aloud. She repeated the words like an incantation against madness. “No. No. No.”

Astrid stared across the plains of Troy, descending from King Priam’s tragic city to the camp of the invading Greeks: Homer’s fearsome Achaeans. 

Astrid discovering she has been transported to the Bronze Age

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