No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

#42: Boudicat -- Robin Price

Witches often tell the future by 'reading the bones'. In fact, bones are a popular read in this island, where books are rare as a rainless summer. (p. 16)

Fourth in a series ("set in Roman times in a world ruled entirely by cats, where humans have never existed"), but there's an introduction for those who haven't read the preceding books. Spartapuss is a former slave of the emperor Clawdius, who freed him; later, he accompanies Clawdius to the Land of the Kitons and meets some Mewids.

Boudicat opens rather later, with Spartapuss taking pen to paw (just don't think about opposable thumbs) for the first time in eighteen years. The tribes are restless, especially the Micini ...

Can you guess which well-known historical figure is the basis for this story?

It's a very quick read and very funny, with plenty of sly asides for an older audience -- "Give me my bow of gold!" "I'm afraid it's burning, but I've got some arrows if you desire?" (p. 127) -- though the books are marketed for the 9-12 age group. Spartapuss is a coward, a cynic and a cantankerous old beast, but he ends up showing unexpected courage and resourcefulness.

Could do with better proof-reading, though ... ('peaked' in place of 'peeked', 'found' instead of 'fond', some sentences that just don't make sense.)

Great fun!

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