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Salome's Daughters: An Epic Cat Fantasy (The House of Bast Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I had to read 13% of the book before I reached the actual story. Once into this I found, despite not being a mad cat woman, that I cared what happened to the cats. If the book had started with the story and interspersed the narrative with explanations as and when they were necessary, the story would still have romped along.
I like fantasy but was not sure about this as an interesting subject. I surprised myself, finding I was thinking about the cats and their fates at odd moments in my day.
Jane Tatam has a splendid ear for dialogue and obviously knows a lot about cats, which she uses in her descriptions to set scenes very well. Once past the explanations she hooked me into the story very well.
This is not an easy read but it is very rewarding for those who persist.
Well, now I did. And for me it's a 4 stars, because I don't like to make "absolute" reviews.
The style of writing is good, the pace is not rushed and there are plenty of unique and interesting ideas (starting from the general setting and the "mix" of realism (and a touch of sci-fi implied) with fantasy). If one should try to compare it with other feline POV's books, Salome's daughters it's quite unique for the amount of animal-behavior especially when it's about conflict between factions, intrigues, assassinations, etc.
There is less "human" behavior compared to famous series like Warriors, and in a pair of small but interesting points the characters behave a bit differently from what a reader used to Warriors or other animal series could expect. Another very good point for me it's the realism in showing love/attraction/relationships: I think very few authors inserted feline realism especially toward mating habits. I don't want make spoilers, but after years of animal literature portraying characters "In love" and establishing "couples and becoming mates", Salome's daughters it's a fresh welcome: yes, there are characters clearly in love or interested in a particular mate, but this a bit disconnected with mating by duty or breeding.
I gave four stars rather than five because (being the first book of a series) there are ever things to fix or develope. One choice I disliked a bit was a too much extreme (in my opinion) villains with an ongoing theme of increasing "downfall". In a way, I would have appreciated maybe some more "gray" villains (with positive and negative elements alike), or maybe more complex situations.
I've to say however that the book ends with a preview for n°2, that give hope exactly for that kind of more developed or particular characters.
It is a marvellous story, and very thrilling too. It is beautifully written, and I could almost see all the different cats - they really came alive. A lot of beautiful places was well described. This is a "must read book"; not only for all cat lovers but for everyone who loves a good story.
I'm longing for the next book!
There are so many varieties of cats and they are more than ruthless in their quest to be Queen. Female cats rule and Toms must do as commanded and that includes mating on demand. Jane has painted a wonderful picture of a World with so many strong characters, including a strain of cats that could destroy the Cat World.
The places they inhabit are real, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Tarr Steps, Buckingham Palace, Corfe Castle. The battles are exciting and well orchestrated. Character interaction is superb; you will begin to love heroes such as Ka and want to follow her exploits in a very dangerous World.
This is a most unusual and very readable book and the first of a series.
It's almost like going back to medieval times when Dukes and Earls fought each other for power and position.
Instead of King-makers; Jane's book is about Queen-makers.
An enthralling read.
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