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The Book of Night with Moon

(Feline Wizards #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,077 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Rhiow seems a perfectly ordinary New York City cat. Or so her humans think -- but she is much more than she appears. With her partners Saash and Urruah, she collaborates with human wizards to protect the earth from dark forces and maintain the network of magical gateways that connect to different realities. But amid this amazing secret animal world lies a danger that threa ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 1999 by Warner Books Inc (first published 1997)
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A. Probably at least 12+. There are threats of bodily harm from one cat to another, discussion of sex, some mortal peril, discussion of said mortal peril…moreProbably at least 12+. There are threats of bodily harm from one cat to another, discussion of sex, some mortal peril, discussion of said mortal peril, and some really science-y stuff that might be hard to understand or read for younger readers.(less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,077 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Jul 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, womans-work
Wizard cats that can see the forces of physics... I want to sit in a coffee shop just so someone will ask me what my book is about.
Jul 28, 2011 added it
I love Duane's "Young Wizards", but had only heard of this companion book once. But regardless, knowing how successful Duane is in writing I had to snag this book when I saw it for sale at a used book store. Seriously, $3.50 is a steal. The entire cat culture described in this book is phenomenal; so detailed and yet also not entirely fiction. Yes, this is a fantasy novel, but everything is so plausible. If cat wizards did exist, they would behave exactly like this. And the word crafting! Duane h ...more
This is a difficult one to rate, because on the one hand there's uneven pacing, randomly dropped plot threads (view spoiler), and enough technobabble to fill a season of sci-fi TV.

And then on the other hand there are feline wizards, who are the best representation of what's going on inside a cat's head I've ever met in fiction and who I just want to
I read l'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time at a similar time that I read Duane's So You Want to Be a Wizard, and they kinda blurred together in my memory. Having now watched the new movie last night, and read this book today, I begin to see why. Both books/series have a very similar focus: on the necessity of responding to hatred and fear with love, with mercy, with refusing to be ground down by despair, not because it is easy, but because it is the only thing that keeps life worth living. And both book ...more
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened-to-ab
Being owned by cats, it's always a reassuring pleasure to know that you aren't alone in this feline-run world. Diane Duane writes about felines from such an informed perspective - the book is told from the lead feline's POV - it's clear that she loves cats and is loved by cats in her home life. Only a cat "owner" would know to say, "Y'know the tuna wasn't all that bad" in a feline's attempt at an apology and be able to wring tears from her audience. Being read to via Audible was also a pleasure ...more
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi
Anyone who has cats will love this book. It is obvious the author has lived with and observed cats for a long time. She captures their attitude and social structure while weaving a story of magic and myth that is captivating. Even the small nuances of cat behavior become a part of their language. Her technical descriptions of the cats work add depth the story and I love how her characters interact with each other and with other species. I also found her references to mythology to be a refreshing ...more
Robin Smith
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an odd book, in an interesting way. The author elevates cats as a species to a position of power in the universe, although they operate outside the awareness of most humans. Add in the concept of wizards and magic, plus a few (million) dinosaurs, and the story gets complicated.
Kevin Veale
I realise that this makes me very late to the table, but I hadn't read this book until just a few days ago. I enjoyed the Young Wizards books when I was a teenager, but somehow never ran into this one - though I had heard of it.

A friend heard about this grievous error and gave us a second-hand copy for Christmas, which was excellent.

I thought it was very cool. A tale of wizards, who happen to be cats, saving the world from the forces of entropy.

I think The Book of Night With Moon is aimed at mor
Nov 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2007, fantasy
This book has been standing on my shelf for 8 years before I got around to reading it...! I love the idea of the book - cats as wizards, working together with human wizards, trying to save humankind, from heat disaster but more urgently from about a billion dinosaurs trying to enter this world and eat us all! My favourite part in the book is when Pavarotti gets eaten by a dinosaur - how many other book does that happen in???
I liked the whole parallel universe ideas, where wizards are able to tra
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Throughout the Young Wizards books we hear about cat wizards. They are the only ones with the correct sort of vision to work the world gates at Grand Central Station. They have their own culture and their own ideas about wizardry and humanity. Obviously a book about that culture is enticing, but in execution, I found it hard to immerse myself in the story. Too much of this book is about explaining that culture. Words are repeated in the cat language. Puns in the cat language are explained after ...more
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic, fantasy
This is an amusing book, but it also has more depth to it than you'd expect from a book about cat wizards. It discusses silly things like how cats can seem to appear out of thin air, but also more serious things like entropy and choice and why even fights that seem hopeless are worth fighting.

That is actually what I like the most about this whole greater world... the Young Wizards series as well as the Feline Wizards series. It is a set of fun stories that tell deeper truths; YA novels that cont
I've never been the sort to believe that any vertebrate acts on 'instinct'. Frankly, I've had doubts about quite a few INvertebrates, as well. The characters of the cats in this book are well developed; subtle and complex.

I liked the scenes in the NYPL, which don't get mentioned much in reviews. I also liked the descriptions of cat politics/games. I liked the descriptions of the worldgates, which are often rather sketchily defined in other books in this series. And, since I hate opera, I have to
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had forgotten how affecting this series can be! The long chapters made this one kind of a slog. I liked the cats' view of New York and its inhabitants. The dinosaurs were an unexpected bonus! ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
just re-read this after finding it in B's room...amazing what books rotate into his room and off the main bookshelves...I was looking for a Terry Pratchett book and that is always a good place to find them. After reading this book again I recognize how I miss having cats in the house - yes, this book is better if you have lived with cats. And you'll never look at them the same way again. Not my favorite Diane Duane, but still a good read - and a continuation of the Young Wizards trilogy although ...more
Lia Marcoux
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was...a lot of book. Really, so much book. The same extremely devout religious themes appear in this book as in the "So You Want to Be a Wizard" series I read growing up; but at a grander scale, because this was nearly 400 pages of culty superscience cats fighting dinosaurs, delivered completely sincerely. And also the dinosaurs are in a cult, too, and some of them are...magic clones?...and some of those are wizards, and cats are wizards, and people are pets, and it's weird. And weirdest of ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Cat wizards! Physics magic! Traversing NYC on invisible stairs high above the streets! Hidden populations of dinosaurs, gates to other worlds, epic battles between ancient powers... Wonderful premise and world-building; from now on I'm utterly convinced that many cats, with their inexplicable behaviors, are secretly wizards.

The book unfortunately had trouble keeping momentum at any point. About 60% of the way through it got exciting and then the climax was heart-stopping wonderful, but there wer
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you thought DD didn't pull her punches for YA, this will definitely be a bit of a shock. The worldbuilding is exquisite, and Rhiow is a great introduction to cat wizardry. (And the puns.)
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is the SHIT. I don't even LIKE cats and this book is, still, the SHIT. ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting view of the other wizard species and how they interact with the Powers. Also, as a side note, a very interesting discussion of gender and performative gender.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an interesting addition to the universe of my beloved childhood read So You Want to Be a Wizard. This time, the wizards in question are cats, which draws me to the book all the more, being the cat fanatic I am.

I thought that the cat culture was fairly well-designed in the book, and I could tell the author had done her research. It's true that, linguistically, cats only really meow when they're trying to communicate with humans and that they usually speak in body language and softer tri
Helen Drake
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bedrooped Bookworms
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To her humans, Rhiow is like any other cat.  But to the world of wizards, she has an important role keeping the world gates in Grand Central Station running.  Her and her partners get dropped a new kitten to take care of/guide through his ordeal in the midst of crisis after crisis with the gates.  Can they solve the problems and keep their new kitten - and themselves - from losing another life?

First of all, if you haven't read the Young Wizards series, you have to.  If you like YA sci fi/fantasy
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh my. I am way out of my league here in this fantasy realm of cat wizards who rule the human world, well, the universe actually. Unseen and unacknowledged by any but a handful of human wizards they calmly go about the business of keeping the universe afloat and fighting evil. Grand Central Station in NYC and an inside out city in the Downside beneath it is the main setting for this one. Quantum Mechanics, magic, entropy, catenary gate matrices, millions of cannibalistic dinosaurs, and some fant ...more
Catherine Thompson
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Every species in the universes has its wizards. Human, alien, cetaceans... felines.

Rhiow is a wizard. She and her team, Saash and Urruah, help keep the worldgates (magical portals) in Grand Central station in New York City in working order. They work alongside human wizards to keep things humming along.

But something has started to interfere with the gates... something, or someone. Rhiow and her team, joined by Arhu, a youngster on Ordeal, must go Downside in order to get at the root of the probl
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another re-read. This is related to the Young Wizards series, but concerns the cats who maintain the world gates at Grand Central Station. When a major problem arises, the team of four must go "downside" to where the root of the gates is located. However, that area is filled with dinosaurs who are inimical to all other life - the Lone Power again, of course. The human wizards from the Young Wizards series make brief appearances, but the main characters are the four cats - three of whom have been ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad, but not my favorite of Duane's works.

This book follows Duane's typical style, and it ties in well with the rest of her Young Wizards world. The downside is that there is a lot of the cat's language (mostly vowels), which can make it really hard to get through. Trying to remember the differences between auuh (stray), auw (energy), houff (dog), and Rhiow (the main character) is enough to give any ehhif a headache. It was enough that I actually put this book aside for a couple of weeks to
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-authors
This book was so weird and I don't regret reading it at all, but parts of it were a slog and other parts were amazing. It is super uneven.

It goes full-on Watership Down with its own world of cat culture and language. And then adds magic on top of that. And dinosaurs. And cat mythology??

There is just so much going on with this book. There are things that I thought were foreshadowing, that are never brought up again. There is a lot of cat culture explained just for the heck of it. There are star
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, while set in the Young Wizards universe, and using the same principles, mythological structure, and type of magic generally, though all adapted for cat use... manages to come off entirely differently in execution and tone. I mean this in the fondest and most excellent of ways, because following different characters of a different species even, it should feel different. Duane manages to ground it in familiarity, while also introducing a wide swath of variation that makes this book feel ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Memorable and unexpected. Way deeper than one might expect from the main characters being cats. Literally Epic. And the language involved in the mythology and related devotions *feels* right. Be warned, this is not a quick read - if you are a skimmer-for-plot like I am, you will need to slow down and pay attention, like with Pratchett.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this intricate story about a team of cat wizards. Sometimes I felt that some details of the magic were beyond my comprehension but I appreciated the complexity of the magic in this world. Diane Duane does a great job of writing the feline wizards and I look forward to reading more of their adventures.
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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than forty years.

Besides the 1980's creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star Trek TM universe, and many scripts for live-action and an

Other books in the series

Feline Wizards (3 books)
  • To Visit the Queen (Cats of Grand Central, #2)
  • The Big Meow (Feline Wizards #3)

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