Janabai Sheppard

Synopsis of Janabai Shepherd

Janabai Shepherd continues the tale of survival and triumph begun in Azriel Dancer.   Told by the first child born after civilization-ending cataclysm destroys most of the earth, Janabai Shepherd describes the next twenty years as she grows up on New Shiva Puri Farm, a spiritual community hidden in a remote valley of north California.

Janabai and her twin sister, Mirabai, show signs that they have mutated in ways subtle and grotesque as a result of the Kali Yuga, as the cataclysm is now called. Mirabai, born without eyes, is thought to be severely disabled; Janabai, outwardly normal, learns to read at two years of age, and has an uncanny affinity with animals.  It surprises no one when she chooses shepherding as her intended occupation.

As the last vestiges of human technology disappear, life is good for the two little girls on Shiva Puri Farm. Fears of further calamity have faded, and most of the villagers, young and old, have come to doubt that “Kali” was ever real. Young Janabai’s most troublesome issue is relentless bullying by Alma Mendez, a brute of a girl on her way to becoming a sociopath of a woman.

Mirabai, the blind twin, demonstrates her own mutations as she develops a tele-empathic bond with Janabai that allows her “see” through the eyes of her sister. Mirabai is also discovered to be a musical savant capable of instantly learning and perfectly singing any song she hears. And . . . there is something even more strange about her; it becomes apparent that sightless Mirabai has”tapped in’ to another, and higher, plane of awareness.

The two young women will need all of their gifts when Kali, once again reincarnated in human form, captures Janabai and sends his outlaw army, the Riders, to besiege Shiva Puri.