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Publisher's Summary

Based loosely on the tale of Puss in Boots, Reserved for the Cat takes place in 1910 in an alternate London. A young dancer, penniless and desperate, is sure she is going mad when a cat begins talking to her mind-to-mind. But her feline guide, actually an Elemental Earth Spirit, helps her to impersonate a famous Russian ballerina and achieve the success she's been dreaming of. Unfortunately she also attracts the attention of another Elemental Spirit - a far more threatening one - and the young dancer must once again turn to her mysteriously powerful four-legged furry friend.
©2006 Mercedes Lackey; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

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Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Bonnie
  • Sequim, WA, United States
  • 08-23-12

A good one for Lackey's "Elemental Masters" series

I love the humor to this one, and the manner in which the title is evoked from the story itself is masterly! A nice evocation of "Puss in Boots!"

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Do not like the narrator

This book is typical of the series and quite an enjoyable tale however the narrator was seriously lacking. Not meaning to be absolutely insulting to her but is English her second language? Forgive me but it certainly took away from enjoying the story when I was left wondering why certain phrases were recited in a certain way.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Erzebet
  • Kenosha, Wi, United States
  • 08-26-12

A Great Book, But Unimpressive Narration

Would you try another book from Mercedes Lackey and/or Mirabai Galashan?

I love this author, and this series in particular. You can tell she does a lot of research to create a historically accurate setting for her tales to juxtapose the magic, which she also seeks to ground in lore and fact. The narrator, however, is not my favorite. Her accents are terrible, and there is always a sense that she has not read the story in advance. She stumbles over foreign words and those she does not know (it's always easy to tell when she doesn't) and often puts the wrong emphasis on syllables in a word or words in a sentence, as if she is reading without full comprehension. She's tolerable and not the worst I've ever heard by any means, but it's hard to lose oneself in the story if the narrator isn't guiding properly.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Mirabai Galashan?

Only if she does another in this series, because the books are good enough to put up with her slightly clumsy style of narrating.

Was Reserved for the Cat worth the listening time?

Yes, despite the narrator. I love this book enough to own both a physical copy and the audiobook, and always enjoy re-reading or listening to it again.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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epic!

the Puss in Boots story done up in an awesome, entertaining manner. great series, and I am looking forward to the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good book, disappointing performance.

I love older Mercedes Lackey books, and I like the humor and wittiness in Reserved for the Cat a lot. Unfortunately, the audiobook performance is abysmal. Mirabai Galashan seems to have difficulty deciding how to read this book aloud. Her voice is too high, her intonation awkward, and most of her sentences end in a high note as if to pause instead of in a low note as if to stop. The emotions that she potrays often do not match the situation potrayed in the book, or the emotions of the characters whose lines she's reading. The pace of the reading is inconsiatent, as if Ms. Galashan is trying to rush through the book, remembers that she's supposed to be reading to an audience and slows down, then forgets and rushes through the book again. As a result, description and dialogue often blends into each other. Every now and then, Ms. Galashan will try to give a character a distinct voice, but like with all other elements in her performancr, it's not consistent. If there's a way to give the performance 0 or negative star, I would. I'm glad that I got this audiobook at a discounted price, and at the same time wish that I hadn't bought it. I am now reading the actual book just to "hear" the book performed in my head as it should have been. Hopefully one day a much better voice actor will choose to perform this book and give it justice.

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Love it!

The best yet of the Elementals series. Wonderfully performed. Funny, sweet, thoroughly entertaining. Cat lovers will be especially pleased.

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Vacation to a Magical Place

If you could sum up Reserved for the Cat in three words, what would they be?

Fun, fresh, satisfying.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This isn't serious literature, but a delightful romp for the imagination. If too much reality is leaving a bad taste in your mind, listen to this book for a sweet and light-hearted reimagining of the Puss in Boots concept. I didn't cry, but I grew quite fond of the main characters and laughed a lot.

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  • Katherine
  • St. Johns, FL, United States
  • 03-20-15

A Puss in Boots story

Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

Reserved for the Cat is the sixth stand-alone novel in Mercedes Lackey’s ELEMENTAL MASTERS series of fairytale retellings. As the title might suggest, Reserved for the Cat is a “Puss in Boots” story and it’s actually recognizable as such (unlike some of Lackey’s other retellings that go too far afield from their sources).

Ninette, our heroine, is an orphaned ballet dancer who has lots of talent but is fired from her gig with a famous Parisian ballet company after inadvertently evoking the jealousy of the company’s reigning diva. Unable to get more work in Paris, she is about to prostitute herself when a talking cat appears and promises to make her a superstar. The cat leads her to a seaside town in England where she impersonates a famous Russian dancer and joins a local troupe of entertainers. Things go well until she attracts the attention of the real Russian dancer whose body has been absorbed by a shape-shifting troll. Her new friends, including the cat, must defeat the troll.

Lackey’s best fairytale retellings are the ones that stay close to the source material. It’s fun to recognize elements from the original fairytales and admire how Lackey re-works them into a new, more modern, story. Reserved for the Cat is fun that way, but the characterization in this novel is weak. Ninette, while she is likable and easy to feel for, doesn’t exhibit much of her own agency. This is, of course, mostly due to the Puss in Boots premise, but it doesn’t make for an engaging heroine. Her personality is as small and delicate as her body. Unfortunately, the people in her supporting cast seem even paler and are nearly interchangeable.

The story includes a couple of Lackey’s over-the-top sadist villains, her usual man-hating cynical commentary about women’s roles in 19th century European societies and the deplorable state of orphanages, some sloppy plotting, and a quick and unsatisfying ending. I have no idea why all of the characters except Ninette are told who the cat actually is. And why, if the villain is such an awesome mage, is it so hard for her to kill Ninette? She’s like a James Bond villain; she keeps constructing these elaborate traps for Ninette instead of just finding and killing her. It wouldn’t be that hard — Ninette is on a public stage every day and the villain is a shapeshifter. Duh. And why are Ninette’s own powers inconsistent, random, and convenient? And why is the magic system never consistent among the ELEMENTAL MASTERS books? Oh well. I did like the cat.

The audio version of Reserved for the Cat is 11 hours long and nicely narrated by Mirabai Galashan.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • I F Jentle
  • 05-31-10

Not well read

The book is charming, but I would not purchase another book read by this narrator. She seems to me to read the words rather than the story.

  • Overall
  • artemis99
  • 01-08-10

A favourite author

Mercedes Lackey is an author I found by happy accident. Not suitable for people who like a lot of depth to their reading, but an enjoyable escape from reality. I discovered fantasy fiction after retirement, having been introduced to it by my daughter, and I must say I am enjoying this new branch of literature. It's not often you discover something so refreshingly new at my age.