Tailchaser's Song By Tad Williams
I was looking forward to reading this book, because while there's some Tad Williams I don't enjoy (I struggled with the Otherland series), this is an earlier work, possibly his first. The book is told from the perspective of cats, and tells the story of Tailchaser, and his journey in search of his lost love, and in search of his own identity.
It's a lovely book. It has a great sense of mythology surrounding it, from the tales of the first cats, to the creation of Humans from cats. I really like the way the mythology makes sense; in a world of cats, of course everything starts with cats, and the creations of the godlike Firstborn are of particular note. The way the cats interact with each other feels right, too, older cats have a familiar laziness, younger cats a playfulness. The world feels right, and this to me is the makings of a good book.
I'd say that the world was not realistic, though. There's magic of sorts, which clearly makes things difficult, and all the animals can talk to each other. But this isn't a bad thing; indeed, the story could be quite boring if there was no action, and there is a good mix of action and personal discovery, in the sort of proportions I like.
It'd be easy to compare this book to the Duncton Chronicles; this wouldn't be a bad comparison, but Tailchaser's Song is much less dark and violent, and all in all a much happier story, and while bad things do happen, it's not quite so graphic as in the Duncton Chronicles. I would say this is a much more lighthearted book; there is violence, but there's a familiar lack of tragedy, and very few named characters die.
I like this book. It was a nice releif from my previous books, which I'd struggled through. It was an enjoyable story, it felt right, and it was complete; no worries about finding the sequels! I think this is a worthwhile purchase.
8/10Written by Nick Mann, March 2008.
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