I have the Kindle version of this, which means there’s a few OCR glitches scattered about. However, unlike most such I’ve seen, they don’t become more prevalent the further through the book you go. Overall, the electronic version is in good shape, with a spate of notable glitches in the middle.

It also means it has the fifteenth anniversary edition’s introduction (from 2000) about Tad Williams’ early writing career. As a dog-person who was suddenly having to deal with a number of cats, this book is partly his exploration of what cats are like, and he does a good job at it. This is an all-animal cast (there are a few M’an present, but they don’t get much past the status of mobile object… which is about right), and is well drawn, without getting in the way of the action, or letting you forget that these are all cats.

Past that, this is a fairly typical epic fantasy plot, with an old evil returning to threaten the current world. This shouldn’t be a surprise, since fantasy has been his preferred genre over the course of his career. He’s also a big fan of extensive world-building, which also shows up everywhere else. Here, it feels a bit more shallow, though it is certainly omnipresent in the book, and some it is also the mainspring of the main plot.

There’s also a secondary plot, as what Tailchaser initially sets off to do isn’t really related to that main plot, and wrapping that up turns into a slightly extended denouement which is also well done.

Overall, it is a bit predictable in many places, and similarly feels like it doesn’t quite live up to its promise. But… there is a lot to like here. Williams’ writing would grow from here, but he had already put in the time and effort to tell a good story with its own world.