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Tailchaser's Song

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  10,687 ratings  ·  526 reviews
Meet Fritti Tailchaser, a ginger tom cat of rare courage and curiosity, a born survivor in a world of heroes and villains, of powerful feline gods and whiskery legends about those strange furless, erect creatures called M’an.

“The hour of Unfolding Dark had begun, and the rooftop where Tailchaser lay was smothered in shadow. He was deep in a dream of leaping and flying when
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Paperback, 364 pages
Published December 2000 by DAW Books Inc. (first published 1985)
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Elysia Willis I was in fifth or sixth grade, too. Apparently there's a secret club here.
Steven Lebeau It does get dark, but in no way would I call it a depressing read. Quite the opposite: I just finished this and I miss the characters already. I hope…moreIt does get dark, but in no way would I call it a depressing read. Quite the opposite: I just finished this and I miss the characters already. I hope to re-read this again soon!

As a side note: don't let an aversion to heartbreaking literature turn you away from heartbreaking literature (and I say that as someone with a sensitive constitution). Fiction is a great place for us to face our fears and come out stronger on the other end :)(less)

Community Reviews

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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,687 ratings  ·  526 reviews


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karen
i am a book thief.

this is not to say that i steal books from bookstores or libraries (although i considered performing a superheist at the morgan to get all their byron books with his notes in the margins)

but when i was twelve, i borrowed this book from someone. and i never gave it back. shocking, right?? even more shocking is that i do not regret it. "my" copy is fat, with sprouted, swollen pages soft to the touch, and has been read at least twenty times. the copies they sell nowadays have some
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
I have a rule with books. If I can’t get into it I put it down. I will then try a few weeks later. If I fail again I will try in a few months. I broke my rule with this. I tried this book no less than six times over the last year.

I mean it’s a fantasy novel about cats. I should love it, but I can’t seem to get past those first few chapters. The writing is quirky in places, even entertaining though it just doesn’t grip me. I don’t want to carry on reading. The plot provides no inciting incident
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The Crimson Fucker
I’m trying to find a way to say how much I loved this book and look manly at the same thing… but fuck it! there is no way in hell I can pull that one off! Well maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger can… so with that in mind do me a favor and while you read this review imagine Schwarzenegger is the one reading it… please? Remember my manly reputation is in stake here!!!!


Omg is so cute!!! It got it all:
Cute cats [X]
More cute cats [X]
Cat fights [X]
Evil cats [X]
Crazy cats [X]
Some kick ass cat fight scenes [X]
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Mariel
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: pussies (no pun intended)
Recommended to Mariel by: architects are better than engineers. Fact!
There is a scene in a (I could be wrong) little known film from the early '90s called Sweet Nothing. Michael Imperioli (you probably know him from The Sopranos) is addicted to the drugs he's peddling. You know, dealing drugs on the side of his little league Wall Street job wasn't as fun and easy as it first seemed. His not really his friend boss (played by Paul Calderon) looks at him with abject disgust and proclaims: "You crackhead motherfucker." It's not that good of a film but I always liked ...more
Juushika
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Fritti Tailchaser is a young ginger tomcat in a world where cats have their own language, culture, and mythology. When his friend and prospective mate Hushpad goes missing, Tailchaser sets out on a quest to discover what distant evil threatens the lives of the Folk. Tailchaser's Song is a generic fantasy questing novel with larger-than-life gods and a feline wrapping--but, unfortunately, Williams knows nothing about cats. Gross inaccuracies and general misconceptions strip away the feline aspect ...more
Eh?Eh!
Another long ago read that I can't quite remember. I did own it but lent it out and never saw it again. I have mental images of a cat with red claws, evil cats with chilling graveyard breath, and a climactic showdown involved a Jabba-the-Hut-sized evil cat god. I think I cried, too, but I can't remember why or for what...need to read this again.
David Sarkies
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Cat's Life
12 February 2017

I remember seeing this book at my friend's house years ago and borrowing it for a bit of a read. Mind you my friend is a bit of a booknerd like me, though these days our tastes in books have taken a bit (or a lot) of a divergence. The thing is that while he went on to study social work I went on to study an arts degree. The other thing is that I had an English teacher that would rile against what he considered to be airport trash, and books like those by Stephen King
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Mykle
May 06, 2011 added it
A lot of people -- several dozen of them, all excellent fine people -- are waiting for me to read their books. There's an unwieldily stack of these books, depressing in its height, even now crouching on a shelf behind me like some kind of mess-monster, mocking me and making me feel bad. I intend to read every one of these books. I promised I would. Slowly, I am reading them all.

How slowly? Well, in 1985 I received a hardback of Tailchaser's Song from Tad Williams himself. I finally got around t
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Nikki
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Oh, I loved this. I've been wanting to read Tailchaser's Song for a long time, while not being quite sure whether I'd really like it. I tend to like Tad Williams' work, though if he layered on the worldbuilding and description any thicker in some of his work, you could eat it. Fortunately, he didn't do too much of that here: you're left to play catch-up a bit, at times, which I honestly prefer.

The cats are sweet, but they're also not just sweet. They felt like cats. They fight and they yowl and
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Carrie
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, animals
"Tailchaser's Song" has an interesting story, and the author did a good job of giving the animals different cultures. But I felt nothing for the characters. You meet Hushpad once, and she becomes Tailchaser's best friend somehow. Suddenly she's gone and you're obviously supposed to feel pathos for her, but I couldn't. Taiilchaser himself didn't have much of a personaliity either. The only characters with personality were the squirrels (who have a cool way of talking), Eatbugs (for whom I lost my ...more
Wendy
Jun 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
You can tell it was a debut. It really could have stood a rewrite - most of it dragged, yet the ending was rushed. The main character was about as interesting as a wet potato, and with as much agency and ambition. I also have to wonder if his interactions with cats ever led him to actually research them at all.

I don’t know, in theory I suppose it was a worthy idea, but the execution left me cold. I won't totally write this author off, though, since first novels aren't always spectacular, and I h
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🌹Rose☮️
Feb 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
My friend is gonna kill me. I don't think I'm cut out for talking animal books. I seriously tried.😞
Heather
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
This book was quite a fun book to read! I remember reading it several years ago, but I honestly could not remember the story very well. What I did retain from the first time I read it was some of the vernacular. I find myself calling squirrels, "Rikchikchik's" all the time. And as I was riding my bike today, I was noticing all of the fla'fa'az! LOL!
What starts out as a happy little cat story, definitely takes a dark turn a little less than half way through. I think it is best described as a cat
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Emily G
Aug 18, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cat lovers
I read this book years ago and loved it to bits, so when I saw it in a bookshop recently I just had to buy it. Now it is always very different reading a book years on, especially when you have such high expectations, but overall this didn't disappoint.

This book is essentially about cats, or the folk, as they like to call themselves and one kitten in particular, Fritti Tailchaser, who goes on a desperate quest to discover what has happened to his beloved Hushpad, who has disappeared along with m
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Christina
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It has been a while since I have read this book. . .probably 7 or more years. . .yet I still find myself comparing other books to it.

I believe some people are being overcritical of certain aspects of the book and are actually overlooking the fact that its supposed to be from a cat's point of view, not a human's. Not one of us can say that we know what cats think or know, so there's no point in getting upset with a book because it is speculating on such things. You will lose sight of the true me
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Brett
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Brett by: Sword & Laser
Basically Lord of the Rings, but with cats. Features a great plot, but is let down by tedious pacing, predictable story beats, and a reliance on exposition over action. Helps if you like cats.

Setting:
Our world, but from the perspective of cats, who see themselves as the dominant race. There is an impressive amount of feline creation myth, oral storytelling, and invented feline language on display, which makes their society feel like something that could actually exist.

There are fantastical elem
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Mom
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always on the hunt for a good cat story. I was really looking forward to reading this one. It is acclaimed and loved by many, many people. It is well written and very well imagined. The author does a good job capturing kitty antics. I very much enjoyed reading about the relationships between the cats and the relationships between the cats and the other animals. It's a very interesting story that happens to be out of my genre so I guess that is why I found difficulty following the plot. I sti ...more
maricar
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Growing up surrounded by cats of every size, color, and temperament, it was definitely interesting to read Williams' take on the ways these creatures live. Like any who'd care to notice, Williams was quite right in saying that while dogs are boundlessly eager to please, cats display a languorous disdain towards their keepers. I remember remarking once that they treat our home more like a motel--they stop by when it's time to be fed, putter around for a short nap, and then set out again without s ...more
Holly
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I will definitely re-read this novel many times. My only problem with the book was the underlying theme of "cats are meant to be wild/strays", which is the kind of thought pattern that has contributed to the terrible overpopulation and mass amount of stray cats which exist in the world. It does seem obvious to me that Tad Williams does not actually know very much about cats. That being said, viewing this book as fantasy (ie. not real life), I loved the story. Tad Williams crea ...more
Michelle (Crazy Cat Lady)
>Originally read in late 2011.
>Reread January, 2014

I love this book so much I named my cat, then a kitten, Fritti (Tailchaser's heart name, used among loved ones).

I wish the ending could have been a bit more clear. I believe Hearteater's goal was to (view spoiler). It's kind of hinted at throughout the book, but no one states that was his plan outright. I'm not usually a person who needs things spelled out fo
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Nihal Vrana
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Considering the human obsession with cats, this is an obvious book to write; but at the same time it takes courage to write it becuase it is so easy to fail. I think that as a 40-50 page story it would have been wonderful, but as a 300+ pages novel it starts to drag after 100 pages or so. I found myself reading it just to finish it, which is a sentiment I don't like.

The main characters are very engaging and the overall cat mindset and culture is is very well handled. The story itself is a bit we
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Darby
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, own-it
Really enjoyed this one and... It's my 90th book this year! I have met my 2017 reading goal!

When I saw this one at work I could immediately tell it was like the Warriors books (which I read almost all of) and I got so excited. It was really wonderful <3
Amy
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh Fritti! He reminds me of my Marlowe. I really enjoyed this book. It needs to be a movie - it has everything!
Rich Rosell
Jun 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think that my general dislike of cats is what colored my overall non-appreciation of Tailchaser's Song. Sure, I was apprehensive at the start, but I had no trouble falling in with the universe created here. It is more likely the author's buildup to some "catastrophic" battle that eventually takes place largely off-screen that is my biggest problem. The animal-centric journey there wasn't all that awful - not great, mind you, - but pretty typical of the largely tired cliched fantasy/quest ...more
Claire Benham
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
I'm in love! I think. It was a little slow at times, but never too slow. And that ending! The last 50 pages or so were amazing, and incredible, and so worth all the slow build up. Everything up to that point was almost disjointed and it felt a little unnecessary, maybe that's why I figured it was slow. Maybe it's because it feels like our hero is never quite sure of his main objective, he's a little reluctant and at times he forgets all about his main quest. But then again, he is a cat. And at t ...more
Nora Peevy
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've only just finished and already, I want to begin again. This tale is delightful, filled with friendship, questing, love, laughter, and adventure. The cats are all near and dear to my heart, so many lovable furry personalities brought to life. This book is what I imagine being my cat is like. I adored it! Highly recommended to anyone that loves cats and animal stories.
Chris Van Dyke
I read this while waiting for "To Green Angel Tower" to come out. Its an epic fantasy adventure about a cat who goes off to rescue his cat-friends who have been enslaved, so sort of "The Last Unicorn" with cats. If that sounds like your cup of tea, perhaps you'll like it more than I did.
Evgeny
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The book is fairly forgettable, except for the fact that the main character is a cat.
Jonathan
Apr 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
If you always wanted to read watership down, but you are afraid of rabbits, try this instead. Unless of course you are afraid of cats. In which case, grow a pair, sissy!
Summer
Tailchaser’s Song does a really good job at lore-building for the feline protagonists. I really liked the different fables and songs explaining different aspects of cat behavior and cat life. Those were a lot of fun even if they were gross generalizations about cats.

Not all of Williams’s information regarding cats is accurate though- in particular the part about cat language and vocalizations. Domestic cats are MUCH more vocal than their wild counterparts; they meow because humans respond to it.
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Tad Williams is a California-based fantasy superstar. His genre-creating (and genre-busting) books have sold tens of millions worldwide, in twenty-five languages. His considerable output of epic fantasy and science fiction book-series, stories of all kinds, urban fantasy novels, comics, scripts, etc., have strongly influenced a generation of writers: the ‘Otherland’ epic relaunches June 2018 as an ...more
“Tangaloor, fire-bright
Flame-foot, farthest walker
Your hunter speaks
In need he walks
In need, but never in fear.”
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“But our own selves are like pearls, created by layer after layer of present laid over past until the original thing is completely hidden.” 9 likes
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