A very enjoyable, pleasurable, yet philosophical read that you will want to put down from time to time to take it all in. A great amount of description nudges, catlike, the narrative along,with spectacular lyrical writing and many active verbs. It surprised me to see one of my co-reviewers describe the style as a passive/preponderance of wases. Sentences like "A shaggy-coated pony stood, one leg bent, in a muddy corner, looking boredly over a gray wooden gate." (p 254) or "Clouds roared past the moon." (p 301) hauntingly insinuate themselves as turning points in the story, as if the wild roads themselves embody a heretofore undiscovered sense of cat story-stelling. The hero beings, mostly furry feline, one just furry, one a bird, each have a distinct personality and a complicated and enlightened (enlightening!) sense of self. Humans, rarely present, don't come off so well. Tag, the naive lead hero, is a fun, optimistic, energetic and playful APPRENTICE of the mysterious master cat guardian of the wild roads, Majicou. My one reservation would be that having finished the book and enjoyed it tremendously (in spite of some of the graphic gore which was necessary to the story) it will be a long while before I attempt the sequel or anything of the same subgenre like Tailchaser's song or Watership Down. I especially want to read Golden Cat and Watership Down, but this is so saturated with senses of 'furry beast, 'spiritual enlightenment and honesty,' and 'the grim tortures of reality,' that I will need to take quite a break from this sort of thing. And this is my first one. And naturally if this is derivative, I wouldn't know it because I haven't read those others, but I certainly doubt it. It's a very rich, satisfying and sweet read, but I'm full.