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When one looks in the box, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the cat.

Meet the Hippos From Sarah Gailey’s River of Teeth

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Meet the Hippos From Sarah Gailey’s River of Teeth

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Published on May 25, 2017

Sarah Gailey Meet the Hippos River of Teeth

Sarah Gailey’s River of Teeth features a diverse cast of memorable characters: Winslow Remington Houndstooth, leader of the gang tasked with clearing the Mississippi of feral hippos; Regina “Archie” Archaumbault, charming con artist; Hero Shackleby, the quietly deadly poisons expert brought out of retirement for one last job; and Adelia Reyes, assassin extraordinaire. (And then there’s Cal. That’s really all we need to say about Cal.)

But none of these mercenaries would be quite as bad-ass without their trusty hippo steeds.

So we want to introduce you to the hippos at the heart of Sarah’s alternate history adventure, and asked Sarah herself to provide the stats on each–from size to breed to quirky traits and middle names–to accompany these original illustrations by Gregory Manchess!

Meet Ruby, Rosa, Abigail, Betsy, Zahra, and Stasia, the hippos at the heart of the River of Teeth duology (which continues with Taste of Marrow this September)!

hippos Sarah Gailey River of Teeth

Developed by the breeding program at Houndstooth Ranch, this breed all but died out in a tragic fire. Ruby is the last specimen of the breed and an exemplar of the breed’s profile. Bred for stealth and combat, the Cambridge Black hippo moves through the water silently and strikes at enemies with minimal bluster. While many hippos in their natural habitats approach combat with a great deal of fanfare, the Cambridge Black opts for sudden, efficient movements and relies more on the element of surprise than brute strength.

 

hippos Sarah Gailey River of Teeth

An albino variation of a Houston Grey, Rosa is of a rare breed developed for loyalty and courage. Intended to be a household breed, the Houston Grey fell quickly out of popularity when it was discovered that it is impossible to fully house-train a hippopotamus.

 

Abigail is a Standard Grey. The original American Hippopotamus. Standard Greys aren’t usually much for combat, and tend to be docile, if stubborn. More intelligent than their counterparts, fiercely loyal, and easy to underestimate.

 

hippos Sarah Gailey River of Teeth

An “heirloom” breed developed more for show than for functional purposes, the Tuscan Brown is a deep, lustrous mahogany when well-cared-for. Unfortunately, in the hands of an inexperienced Hopper, a Tuscan Brown can fade to a dull mud-puddle brown. This breed scars easily when exposed to lake combat or even rough waters. Best suited to private ponds with well-tended, delicate grasses planted in shaded areas. Excellent at learning show tricks such as ‘roll-over’, ‘smile,’ and ‘dance’.

 

hippos Sarah Gailey River of Teeth

Same as Abigail, Zahra is a Standard Grey. The original American Hippopotamus. Standard Greys aren’t usually much for combat, and tend to be docile, if stubborn. More intelligent than their counterparts, fiercely loyal, and easy to underestimate.

 

hippos Sarah Gailey River of Teeth

The Arnesian Brown is a workhorse breed. Patient but ruthlessly intelligent, these hippos are excellent partners to Hoppers but should never be left to their own devices for too long, lest they grow bored and find ways to keep themselves occupied.

About the Author

About Author Mobile

Sarah Gailey

Author

Sarah Gailey is a Hugo Award Winning and Bestselling author of speculative fiction, short stories, and essays. They have been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for multiple years running. Their bestselling adult novel debut, Magic For Liars, was published by Tor Books in 2019. Their most recent novel, Just Like Home, and most recent original comic book series with BOOM! Studios, Know Your Station are available now. Their shorter works and essays have been published in Mashable, The Boston Globe, Vice, Tor.com, and The Atlantic. Their work has been translated into seven different languages and published around the world. You can find links to their work at sarahgailey.com. Photo ©Kate Dollarhyde 2023
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