The Wild Road
Gabriel King
book reviews:
· general fiction
· chick lit/romance
· sci-fi/fantasy
· graphic novels
· nonfiction
· audio books

Click here for the RSS Feed

· author interviews
· children's books @
· DVD reviews @

win books
buy online


for authors
& publishers

for reviewers

click here to learn more

Get *The Wild Road* delivered to your door! The Wild Road

Gabriel King
Del Rey
March 1998
384 pages
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

previous reviewnext review

For readers who loved Watership Down or Tailchaser's Song, The Wild Road supplies a welcome helping of epic animal fantasy. While not as complex as Richard Adams' classic novel, London author Gabriel King's tale of questing cats does feature characters as uniquely likable as the unlikely helpmeets of the Down rabbits. The innocent heroics of the kitten Tag make for an eminently readable stand-alone novel.

Curled Up With a Good BookThe silvery mixed-breed kitten Tag is liberated from the Cutting Lane pet shop by a doting couple of "dulls" who take him home, feed him gourmet meals, provide him with a beloved cloth mouse. Quintessentially curious, the young Tag is fascinated and taunted by the birds in "his" garden, creatures he can only watch with frustration from behind the glass window in his favorite upstairs haunt. When a carelessly opened back door gives Tag the chance to go out after his feathered tormentors, he uses the opportunity without hesitation. He gives chase to the magpie who plagues him and finds himself suddenly and irrevocably lost, unable to retrace his own broken scent trail back to his house, his dulls. Rain starts to fall, and the lost kitten's life can never be the same. Someone, or something, has been watching him carefully for a long time. Majicou, the ancient black one-eyed cat who speaks to Tag in his dreams, needs an apprentice, a cat who can find the King and Queen of cats, to bring them to Tintagel by the spring equinox and save them from the evil machinations of the shadowy human figure known as the Alchemist.

Domesticated beyond the ability to fend for himself, Tag finds help in the unlikeliest places. The urban fox Loves a Dustbin and the maddening magpie One for Sorrow, both agents of the Majicou, show Tag the wild roads, highways created by and for cats, paths that hold the souls of felines who once were of the more mundane world. By using these wild roads, and through determination and a lot of luck, Tag finds Pertelot and Ragnar. These escaped, in-love show cats are on the run from the Alchemist, a dangerous man centuries-old who has somehow found a way to tap the energy and corrupt some of the wild roads. Tag helps the sick and starving Pertelot and Ragnar, only to lose them again after a near-deadly encounter with the Alchemist.

Tag is joined by a motley assortment of companions as his journey progresses. There's Sealink, a world-traveling Bayou calico queen; her mate Mousebreath, a speech-impeded scruffy and scrappy tom; Cy, a schizophrenic, reckless little tabby with a "spark plug" implanted in her head by the Alchemist. There, gone and back again are the fox and the magpie, Majicou's assistants and Tag's mentors. As the roads become more treacherous, the sundered party makes its various way ever closer to the equinox and Tintagel, suffering tragic losses and becoming friends bonded by their travels on and off the Wild Road.

Gabriel King obviously loves cats deeply, and has spun for them in The Wild Road a rich and mystical otherworld beyond the ken of most humans. A fascinating, character-rich story, this novel demands to be read. The Wild Road, fully and warmly realized, doesn't beg a sequel, but readers will hope.

buy *The Wild Road* online
click here for more info
Click here to learn more about this month's sponsor!

fiction · sf/f · comic books · nonfiction · audio
newsletter · free book contest · buy books online
review index · links · · authors & publishers

site by ELBO Computing Resources, Inc.