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Robert A. Sloan
5.0 out of 5 starsI dislike the reviewing system's change
Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2016
I dislike the reviewing system's change, the yes-no to violence or sexual content. This book is about cats. It's not very explicit on either level but the challenges and combats in it are meaningful. They are powerful and emotionally engaging. The characters are cats! Sex for cats isn't the same as for humans and while a few human characters are tangential they're not the main focus. There's emotional conflict, there's very intense conflict, grief and loss and rage come into it, the book's layered and so well written that rereads show nuances and give it richness. I honestly couldn't remember for a moment if it had violence or sexual elements because however explicit or not, the intensity of those emotional connections and conflicts was completely immersive. I think it falls on the high side of all censors and sits as a spinoff of a youth series, however, a good book can be more powerful without being explicit than if it was - or be explicit but you don't notice because it is so meaningful.
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2012
When I give five stars I usually have to explain that there aren't enough different ratings available and that the book in question is not _Kim_ or _The Lord of the Rings_ or _Huckleberry Finn_ or _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ Maybe I will include this book in some of those future explanations. It is that good. I read it years ago and never forgot it, although my copy of the book got borrowed once too often. I _expected_ to give it five stars after re-reading it in Kindle form and I was not disappointed. The protagonists in this book are cats. They are wizards who cooperate with human and other wizards in protecting life from entropy, the threat of the end of all things. And the source of entropy is an individual. He is greeted as "Eldest, Fairest and Fallen, greetings and defiance." The team that goes on quest to deliver this defiance consists of three veteran cat-wizards and one youngster, in the first flush of his power and, of course, full of confusion and resentment. The quest is often grim and there are tragedies along the way. And the triumph is probably not final. But there is great beauty on the voyage. "My paw raised is Their paw on the neck of the serpent, now and always" part of Rhiow's oath
5.0 out of 5 starsif not better praise than the original series
Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2016
I started reading the Young Wizards Series when I was in the 6th grade. I've been hooked ever since. This is the first expanded universe book I've read and it deserves the same, if not better praise than the original series.
It is more adult themed than the core series is but there's nothing wrong it's that. If you are going to get this for your kids I wouldn't recommend for under 15 or so to to some subject material, mostly the very dark revalation that comes about our fresh young wizard's kittenhood. Rarely has a book been able to bring more than coursery tears to my eyes, but this had me bawling. Of course that just shows the power of the story.
4.0 out of 5 starsA little slow but still a lot of fun
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2017
This is a fun addition to and exploration of the Young Wizards universe. It's Duane's writing at her wordiest, and feels slow at times, but she holds the reader's attention with evocative characters, humorous examinations of the one-sided conversations between cats and their humans, and a climactic conflict that fits perfectly with the ones featured in the main Young Wizards series.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe feline wizards are delightfully complex characters who deal with ...
Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2015
The feline wizards are delightfully complex characters who deal with the human world adroitly, each according to their natures. Rhiow, leader of the Gating Complex in New York, and her co-workers encounter a young wizard on Ordeal, who really isn't sure what he has gotten himself into yet. Diane Duane brings New York alive, from the perspective of ten inches off the ground, a rooftop ledge twenty stories high, or below the streets in the smoky tunnels of the subway system. This is a book I re-read, enjoying it again each time.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2014
I enjoyed the book and was tempted to give it four stars, but it was just a bit too slow at times. I think the main reason it was a 3 and not 4 is that I didn't feel the need to rush out and buy the next book in the series.
Still, I did enjoy it. The characters were interesting, and the world very well thought out and unique. I like cats, so this was right up my alley. I would recommend it for people who like world building - those looking for quick action books will probably be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 starsA wonderfully creative book that blends fantasy and sci-fi seamlessly
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 20, 2017
A wonderfully creative book that blends fantasy and sci-fi seamlessly. The worldbuilding is wonderful, and the feline culture and language is well thought out and familiar to any cat lover. I picked it up as it seemed like the kind of book I would have loved as a child and found it just as good as an adult.
I love cats. I love stories about magic and fantasy. So why didn't this grab me? I've only read a couple of chapters and I found them a bit of a chore. I think it is the slow pace and unnecessary detail. Disappointing.
4.0 out of 5 starsCats and magic - what more could you want?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 26, 2014
I would have given this 9/10 rather than 4/5 if the option was available.
You don't have to be a cat-lover to like this book, although it probably helps since some of the behavioural quirks are written into the characters reactions.
The story is well-paced as you'd expect from Duane. Along with the rest of her Young Wizards series it's perfectly suited to an older children/young adult audience, although as an allegedly proper grown up I loved it too.