Page name: RR.The Cats Of Seroster [Logged in view]
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The Cats Of Seroster combines two of Robert Westall's favourite writing subjects - war and cats. While he has previously written books that include both, (a la Blitzcat) this is the first placed in a medieval setting rather than the World War Two European combat theatre. The story revolves around Cam, a young man who has left England for the continental mainland to seek his fortune and the Miw, ancient feline occupants of a city that remains nameless throughout the book (from it's description I have some ideas as to where it's based on, but I'll hold my tongue and allow you the same pleasure I had in thinking about where the book is set... I'm almost certain that was Westall's intention anyway). The Miw are considered to be good luck charms, guardians of the city and protectors of it's Dukes. They are about twice the size of a normal cat, and possess special powers akin to telekenesis. If the Miw ever desert the city it is viewed by it's inhabitants as a grave omen... so it's rather unfortunate for them that the story begins with a coup against the Duke led by a man who has an innate of fear of them and does everything in his power to drive them from the city! I recommend this book because I think anyone regardless of whether they like cats or not (I'm a dog person myself) will enjoy Westall's method of writing from their perspective, and the way he describes situations within the story from the cats' points of view. The battles are thrilling and tense, leaving the reader in part concerned for Cam's welfare while mostly causing them to eagerly await the next. Throughout the book Westall's character building makes Cam become increasingly appealing, although he initially appears selfish most readers will eventually be able to relate to his predicament and begin to sympathise with his situation... I could elaborate on that but it would spoil one of the main points to the plot of the story, so all I'll say to finish is this book (indeed, most of Westall's writing) is brilliant and if you can find a copy I hope you thoroughly enjoy it.
PJR 11th June 2009
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