Jason and his magic cat Gareth travel through time to visit countries all over the world during different periods of history.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Jason is up in his room after a fight with his mother and brother, with only his cat Gareth for company. To Jason's surprise, Gareth suddenly starts speaking to him. He is, surprisingly, a magical cat who can travel through time and space -- to any nine lives in the past. He takes Jason on a trip through time, to ancient Egypt where the boy-pharaoh wants to worship him; the Roman empire, where they are recruited by a legion and then captured by Celts; ancient Ireland, where they make enemies with a court magician and friends with a very special saint; Imperial Japan, where a young Emperor is given Gareth and a bunch of kittens as a gift; Renaissance Italy, where the two bump into a talented young painter; Spanish-dominated Peru, where they befriend a scatterbrained, silver-tongued young captain; they introduce a special cat to the Isle of Man; witch-hunters in medieval Germany; and finally making friends with a kindly cat-peddler in 1775 Boston.
"Time Cat" has no central plot. Instead, it is a series of vignettes: A couple of chapters are devoted to each time period. It's like an extended daydream, displaying what are presumably the time periods that interest (or possibly frighten) Alexander himself. He also displays some educational material about cats -- how they were seen through history, things about Manx cats, and about all the roles that cats can play in a person's life.
Jason is a sympathetic kid, very quiet in nature (except for the brother-punching incident near the beginning) with some clear insights into cats and some fuzzier insights into history. Gareth is a cool, calm, wise, serene -- the ideal cat. And he talks too! There are too many supporting characters to cover adequately, but some stand out in particular, such as Diahan, the Irish princess who shows signs of Alexander's later heroine Eilonwy, and Don Diego, a scatterbrained, homesick young Spaniard who gets things wrong -- but a few things very right.
Even people who don't like time travel stories may like this one, for its lack of pretension or faked dilemmas. And for cat lovers, this is a delightful little historical treat.
This book has many strengths such as excellent cliffhangers at the end of each chapter to make you want to keep reading. The second strength is that the many different time periods they experience are based on true facts (when gareth visits Egypt, he is the sacred animal and all of the Egyptians praise him.)
Alexander is very descriptive with his writing and makes every sentence interesting and starts off with a good hook every chapter. I think this book has no weaknesses and is extremely well written. Lloyd Alexander is a great author and as written The Prydian Chronicles The Westmark Trilogy and The Vesper Holly Adventures along with many other books. The High King was a Newberry Medal winner. I would recommend this book to any type of reader and I believe anyone who stars reading will not put it down until it is finished. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone.