The beautiful cover of this fantasy/science fiction novel is intriguing and embodies the story perfectly. A samurai-like character, with long blonde hair and a lion’s face, holds a shining katana. The book is a surprising and seamless blend of magic and science.
Dickson merges Asian (Japan, India, and China) cultures and histories together to form a compelling and fascinating new society based on the superiority of cats. (Being a cat lover myself, I can totally buy into this.) Even though the reader will recognize the roots of the feline culture, Dickson incorporates these traditions in a unique and believable way into the rich and fascinating world. The descriptions of clothing, traditions, and beliefs are richly peppered throughout the story giving just the right seasoning.
Much of the book is an enigma. Is this an alternate universe or our earth? Where did these animal hybrid species come from? There are lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Who can be trusted in this odd collection of travelers? Are their goals the same or is someone out to sabotage everything? What or who is killing the members of the Council of Seven? Who is Solomon? Will they ever find him and should they kill him when they do? Is he good or evil and will he bring about the great change predicted by the year of the Tiger?
Personally, I hate spoilers. This book has such delicious twists and turns that I don’t want to say too much about the plot. It has drama and humor, fight scenes, intrigue, magic, and even forbidden romance. The plot is clever and believable without being predictable.
Be aware that this is a cliffhanger novel. You will definitely have to read the second book in the series (which I review Wednesday) to have your questions answered. However, it is well worth it. It’s so delicious, you won’t want it to end.
Also, come back Friday for an interview with the author.