The Wild Road Hardcover – Nov 12 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
When a runaway kitten named Tag meets a mysterious black cat named Majicou in his dreams, he learns he is destined for bigger things. Called by Majicou, Tag enters the Wild Road, a magical highway known only to the animals, and learns that he is needed to find the King and Queen of cats and bring them safely to Tintagel. When Tag accepts the quest, he has no idea of the long and dangerous road he's begun. Prophecy says this Queen of cats, latest in a long line of feline royalty bred by a dastardly human scientist called the Alchemist, will give birth to the Golden Cat, the key to riches and power. As if the threat of capture by the Alchemist weren't enough, Tag has his paws full just finding the Queen and protecting her from the dangers of the outside world. Fortunately, he has the help of allies like the Maine Coon cat Seaklink and scarred old veteran Mousebreath, as well as a fox named Loves A Dustbin and a crafty magpie called One For Sorrow. King's parade of animal characters is presented with a keen eye for the details of animal behavior. The cast may prove a bit too precious for general fantasy readers, but cat lovers and fans of anthropomorphic fantasies such as Tailchaser's Song are guaranteed to enjoy this London-based author's enchanting debut.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
YA?This book promises readers a fine fantasy, but delivers much more?an epic and emotionally powerful story of animals, humans, and the ethics of their coexistence. A frame tale relates the spiritual traditions of cats and the history of their relationship with humans. The Wild Road of the title is a dimension containing the memories of all animals that have gone before. An evil sorcerer has tortured cats for many lifetimes in a quest to harness the power of the Wild Road and now, as a modern scientist, he is on the verge of succeeding. With a masterful use of language and plotting, King gradually reveals the true identity of the sorcerer and the great humor, love, and resilience of the small creatures destined to oppose him. Descriptions of felines suffering in human hands are graphic and horrible, but true to life; this is a war. Yet readers will find comfort in the wisdom the characters gain and the joy they find in life despite the evil they must fight. Like J. R. R. Tolkien, King creates humble and ordinary beings who undergo great trials, find extraordinary courage, and fight the good fight against impossible odds. Like Richard Adams, King breathes life into a rich and varied cast of creatures who talk, yet remain true to their animal natures. For teens who have appreciated other books that evoke a greater universe than that described by consensual reality, The Wild Road should be equally well loved and remembered.?Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Second: you'll never look at your cats quite the same way again. While I have not been tempted to reread THE WILD ROAD yet, and it's been a year, it's extraordinary how many of Tag's observations and impressions occur to me on a regular basis.
Result? Nobody who loves cats should miss this book.
Warning: some of the book is a little hard to take-- one of the things Tag is called upon to do, by the magic cat Majicou, is rescue cats who are being captured for experimentation, and there are some pitiful animals who've been through some of it already. Also, it's very hard to resist constantly "translating" the myth into human terms. (minor spoiler: it turns out there IS a rather famous alchemist/scientist who is the villain-- with a touch of real tragedy much of his animal-abuse stems from his fascination with his pet and desire to follow the "wild road" that only cats traveln on-- but, even when this scientist acquires his famous name-- hint-- gravity-- it doesn't really illuminate very much).
Resist the urge to translate, if you can. Situating the events with times and places is interesting, but not as interesting as all that.
There are lots of in-jokes for cat lovers and breeders.Read more ›
However, I must say that the concepts raised are disturbing, and the symbolism of the "green fire" mentioned in various parts is vague. The book is often very sad, with the images of animal experimentation, and it would be nice to balance the story by having some decent humans in it. The Magicou has selected Tag, and although Magicou is impatient with the young cat not "catching on" to what he is teaching him, I can relate to Tag's bewilderment because the teaching's aren't at all well-presented. Cy is a great character, as well as Mousebreath, and Sealink definitely comes into her own in the second volume. Good, strong characters and dialogue carry the story in spite of the obtuse plot of what the Alchemist hopes to achieve.
Most recent customer reviews
This book does have some good parts, and it has quite an interesting concept, but it is NOT the best cat fiction ever (as some reviewers have claimed! Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2004 by JBerry
The Wild Road tells the story of two ancient souls and their encounters throughout time. One is the Majicou, and the other is the Alchemist. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2003 by books4me
I read Tailchaser's Song years ago and found it unentertaining. I recently read The Blood Jaguar as well and found it plodding. Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2002 by Logan Daugherty
First off, go hit the library if you want to read this book. Don't bother wasting the [$] the used book store will charge you. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2002 by Martha Bechtel
Not a bad book, by any means, but not a very captivating one either. Had to make myself sit down and read it just to get finished. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2002 by Martha Bechtel
This definitely belongs in the hall of fame of animal tales, alongside Watership Down and Tailchaser's Song. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2002 by Elaine Carter
This book was pure torture. I kept thinking it HAD to get better. Boy was I mistaken. I thought it would never end.
The ending was just as lame as the rest of the story.
I think that some people like fantasy novels just for the sake of reading fantasy novels - regardless of the talent of the author. This author clearly has no talent. Read morePublished on March 23 2002 by Robert Reardon