The Cat Master is not the kind of book I would have normally picked up, despite the mesmerizing cover. It’s written for ages 10 and up. It’s a fantasy along the lines of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series, which is not something that appeals to me all that much. The book was sent to me along with a number of promotional items from Sticky Paws®, which Bonnie Pemberton invented. I kept moving the book to the bottom of my very large pile of books to be read, but finally, a couple of weekends ago, I decided  to give it a try. And I’m very glad I did.

From the publisher:

Tension is growing between the Ferals and Indoors, and the old Cat Master, spiritual leader of all felines, is dying. Time is running out, and he must choose a successor that will rule wisely and keep peace among their kind. Of all his descendents there are only two brother that are qualified: Jett, the powerful, ambitious Feral who has survived the perils of the alley, and quiet, complacent Buddy, who was rescued by a human and now lives the pampered life of an Indoor. With his last breath, the old cat decides. He alerts Buddy through mind-talk. “Rise from the alley, my son,” he commands. “Of all my blood, you are The Chosen.” But his message is intercepted telepathically, and Darkness suddenly reigns in the cat world. Driven by jealousy and desperation, brother is pitted against brother in the fight to rule their species . . . a struggle that will confront Buddy’s deepest fears and threaten the lives of those he loves most. Against a backdrop of dangerous alleyways and a scorching Texas summer, Buddy discovers the power of friendship, the lure of evil, ant the knowledge that no peace can come without sacrifice.

This epic tale is told through the eyes of five cats, two dogs, a lizard, a possum, and a mockingbird. Pemberton gives unique voices to each of the animal characters, from the chosen successor Buddy to the evil Jett to Ozzie the lizard with attitude. The animals’ characters are completely believable. I found Pemberton’s depiction of the Indoors vs. the Ferals fascinating. I don’t think I’ll ever look at feral cats in quite the same way again.

I got swept up in the story, and much to my surprise, found it almost impossible to put the book down. Even though some of the battle scenes between the animals were a bit too graphic for my taste, I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful and imaginative tale.

Bonnie Pemberton spent thirty years as a singer, actress, writer and voice-over talent in Dallas and Los Angeles. An avid animal lover, she invented Sticky Paws®, an anti-scratching product for cats. Bonnie lives in Texas with her husband and their five cats and two dogs. For more information about Bonnie, please visit her website.

This book was sent to me by the author’s company.

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