cover image No One Noticed the Cat

No One Noticed the Cat

Anne McCaffrey. Roc, $13.95 (128pp) ISBN 978-0-451-45578-9

In an enchanting and sophisticated fairy tale for adults and intelligent children alike, a cat who may be more than a cat guides a young prince through the perils of ruling and loving. After the death of Esphania's wise regent, young Prince Jamas finds that the regent's cat, Niffy, seems to have the ability to cause him to have second thoughts when he considers actions that might lead to war or other unpleasantness. When King Egdril of nearby Mauritia appears to be casting an acquisitive eye on Esphania, Jamas, instead of waging war, invites the monarch on a hunting trip to demonstrate the martial skills of the Esphanian nobility. Egdril turns out to be quite a good fellow; it's not until Jamas falls in love with his niece, Willow, that the prince discovers the real source of evil behind the Mauritian throne. After Jamas and Willow are wed, it takes all of Niffy's cleverness to save them, Jamas's princedom and Willow's relatives. McCaffrey (the Pern chronicles; An Exchange of Gifts) weaves another lively, lightly enjoyable tale, one that's likely to sell well during the holiday season. (Oct.)