Cover image for Lord of the Kill
Lord of the Kill
Taylor, Theodore, 1921-2006.
Publication Information:
New York : Blue Sky Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
ix, 246 pages ; 22 cm
With his parents in India, sixteen-year-old Ben Jepson is in charge of Los Coyotes Preserve, a refuge for big cats near Los Angeles, when two powerful groups try to shut it down by intimidation, murder, and kidnapping the largest tiger in captivity.
Reading Level:
700 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.0 6.0 68447.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.1 11 Quiz: 31676 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In bestselling author Theodore Taylor's new novel, a 16 year-old boy must take care of his family's wildlife preserve, while handling the kidnapping of one of the most dangerous tigers known to man.

When a half-eaten body is found in a locked jaguar cage, Ben Jepson knows it's no prank--someone is trying to make trouble for the Los Coyotes big cat preserve and its manager, Dr. Peter Jepson, Ben's father. An outspoken conservationist, Dr. Jepson has made some powerful enemies. But which one is it? And why are they acting now, when Ben's parents are on a tiger conservation mission, deep in the jungle beyond telephones? Now Ben is the only one who can keep Los Coyotes running, which he does with help from the preserve's animal handlers and trusted advisers. But when Ben's beloved tiger Dmitri, nicknamed "Lord of the Kill" for his dangerous reputation, is kidnapped, Ben must decide whether to wait for the authories to handle the case or to strike out on his own.

Author Notes

Author Theodore Taylor was born in Statesville, North Carolina on June 23, 1921. At the age of seventeen, he became a copyboy at the Washington, D. C. Daily News and was writing radio network sports for NBC in New York two years later. During World War II, he joined the merchant marines and earned a commission as an ensign in the U. S. Navy. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. In 1955, he became a press agent for Paramount Pictures and later became a story editor and an associate producer.

He has written over fifty fiction and non-fiction books for young adults and adults. He has received numerous awards for his works including the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for The Cay, the 1992 Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Young Adult Mystery for The Weirdo, and the 1996 Scott O'Dell Award for historical fiction for The Bomb. He died on October 26, 2006.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-10. In this exciting sequel to Sniper (1989), 16-year-old Ben Jepsen is back, continuing as the surrogate manager of Los Coyotes Preserve in California while his animal-rights activist parents tour the world. Once again, the presence of the preserve's big cats inflames several groups, including a nearby retirement community, the owner of a "canned hunt" operation that slaughters exotic zoo animals for sport, and a worldwide organized crime ring that poaches endangered species. All these organizations are suspects, at least in Ben's mind, when the body of a young Asian woman is found mauled in the jaguar compound. Taylor masterfully creates an exciting, accessible mystery while weaving together fascinating information about big cats and their care in captivity and issues of environmental and animal activism. Ben's story will especially touch reluctant readers who feel they have found their life's work at an early age and consider school irrelevant. While the first two books stand alone, the unresolved disappearance of Ben's parents offers hope for more to come, a possibility that will thrill Taylor's fans. --Frances Bradburn

Publisher's Weekly Review

Theodore Taylor (The Cay) continues the story of Ben, begun with Sniper, in Lord of the Kill. Here, Ben, now 16, is once again left to cope while his animal rights-activist parents do research in India for an article on the dwindling tiger population. When Ben discovers a human body in a jaguar cage during his morning rounds at Los Coyotes Preserve, he decides to follow up on a lead of his own, and the safety of his beloved 800-pound Siberian tiger, Lord of the Kill, becomes imperiled. Readers will have to tune in for the next installment to find out who committed the murder. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-In an adventure-packed novel similar to Sniper (Avon, 1991), 16-year-old Ben Jepson once again finds himself in charge of the family wild cat sanctuary, Los Coyotes Preserve, while his parents are in a remote part of India. Ben discovers a body in the jaguars' cage. Who put her there? Was the young woman dead before the cats mauled her? Then his favorite cat, an 800-pound Siberian tiger nicknamed Lord of the Kill, is kidnapped and held for ransom. Ben's father has made many enemies in his various crusades to free caged Chinese moon bears, whose stomach bile is harvested to sell as medicine; to stop the killing of tigers whose body parts are used in ancient "tiger medicine"; and to eliminate canned hunts in which zoos sell surplus exotic animals that end up at ranches where hunters kill them at close range for sport. Any of these enemies could be responsible for the woman's death and the tiger's disappearance. Taylor's story is securely grounded in Orange County, CA, and could be right out of the headlines with its exposure of Chinese Triad gangs and the United Sportsmen organization. Although the foreshadowing is heavy-handed, and readers get to know more about the wild cats and their behavior than they do about the human characters, teens will nevertheless find themselves absorbed in the author's animal-rights agenda and will be rooting for Ben as he struggles with fears for his parents' safety and his own.-Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.