"Enthralling Martian science fiction"
Many thousands of years into the future a terraformed Mars
is populated by sentient felines that walk on two legs and
contain retractable claws and opposable thumbs amongst
other innate skills. Humans are extinct on the planet and
thought to be creatures of mythology. Princess Haydn's
father dissolved the monarchy and established a republic in
its place, but he was assassinated soon afterward. Haydn
married someone she did not love in order to unite the
clans and keep the F'ror clan in check.
The plan failed and Frane of the F'ror declared herself
queen. Haydn fled while the F'ror occupied the planet. The
princess in exile spends the next year on the run hiding
from her enemies while making new allies who hone her into
a warrior worthy of the crown. She leads an army against
the mighty F'ror knowing many will die, but that in the end
it will be her against Frane.
The key characters seem humanoid so that for long stretches
readers will forget they are intelligent cats. Haydn is a
sympathetic figure who Frane hates because the princess
married the tomcat she loved. She had him killed because
she did not want her rival to have him any longer. Just one
more bill for Haydn who pays quite a price to become a
worthy monarch. Al Sarrantonio writes an enthralling
Martian science fiction tale that leaves fans purring in
delight as two more cat tales will follow.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted December 30, 2004
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 18, 2007