Written by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane
Translated by Anna Holmwood
Publication Date April 22, 2013
Award-winning author Gerelchimeg Blackcrane has written a compelling novel, set in Tibet, Mongolia and China, about the adventures of a fiercely powerful yet lovable Tibetan mastiff that is sure to join the ranks of other much-read classic dog stories.
Kelsang, a Tibetan mastiff, is just a tiny puppy when his mother dies after a vicious fight with a snow leopard. Soon he comes to fill his mother’s role as sheepdog for the master, Tenzin, his instincts telling him how to herd the flock on the northern Tibetan grasslands. But one day when visitors see this huge, beautiful purebred, they ply Tenzin with drink and convince him to sell his dog. In no time Kelsang finds himself chained up in the back of a jeep traveling far from everything he knows.
A series of adventures take Kelsang from the streets of Lhasa, where he fights with local street dogs, to brief refuge with an elderly painter, until he is once again cruelly held in captivity. But Kelsang escapes and meets Han Ma, a master who inspires his love and loyalty. Further adventures include protecting endangered antelope from poachers, warning of a devastating landslide, becoming a guard dog, bonding with a beautiful German shepherd and befriending blind children. But through it all Kelsang longs for the freedom of the grasslands, and so he is overjoyed when his master takes him to live in Inner Mongolia. And here Kelsang once again proves his heroic bravery and intelligence when he saves four children from perishing in a terrible snowstorm.
Gerelchimeg Blackcrane, winner of two Chinese National Children's Literature awards, grew up on the grasslands of northern Mongolia with two ivory-white wolf dogs. He has written several novels that feature animals and reflect the lives of the nomadic people of Tibet and Mongolia and the beauty of the natural world. He now lives in Heilongjiang Province, China, and enjoys going on long adventures with his two sheepdogs every year.
Anna Holmwood is a translator and academic specializing in the study of classical and modern Chinese literature. She lives in England.
"A heartfelt story for dog lovers in a setting rarely seen in the West." Kirkus Reviews
"Black Flame provides an exciting, compelling story with a deeply satisfying resolution." CM Magazine