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Swashbuckling Cats: Nine Lives on the Seven Seas

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  50 reviews
If you think cats and water don’t mix, think again.

Plunge into worlds of piratical cats: on ships, in space, and beyond the veil.

Fourteen "tails" of adventure-loving cats, puns, and fun, featuring: Beth Cato; Krista D. Ball; Rebecca Brae; Grace Bridges; Lizz Donnelly; Megan Fennell; Chadwick Ginther; Joseph Halden; Blake Liddell; Frances Pauli; JB Riley; Rose Strickman; Le
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published May 26th 2020 by Tyche Books Ltd.
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Dee Arr
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Perhaps it’s because I am not much of a cat lover, as I found it difficult to become immersed in this collection of pirate felines. The actual writing of each author was good and a few of the story plotlines stood apart from the rest.

My favorite story? That had to be Rose Strikman’s “Cat at the Helm, a blend of cat-fantasy, magic, and virtual reality. A close second was “The Furgeldt Collector.” Law officer Marshmallow Mittens had already lived eight lives, and the struggle between duty and not
Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen)
A huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing with me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Wow, what a book! 4,5/5, the average of my ratings for each story! (Technically 4,36 but shush.)

I really enjoyed this book even though I seem to struggle with short stories, in terms of picking the book back up after finishing one. These stories were just a joy to read and ranged from the ridiculous to the extremely dark. Of many, I'd gladly take a whole novel, a series, or ev
Esther Ente
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I discovered the ARC on Netgalley and absolutely had to read this!
A throughout entertaining anthology about Pirate Cats. There are a lot of different approaches, from classic pirate tales, steampunk airships, cats-turned-human, human-turned-cat, and spaceships, the stories don't get boring. Some read faster, some are very well-written, some make you sad, but I found something to enjoy about all of them.
Nice, mostly family-friendly anthology with stories that would lend themselves to homeschool projects. PG10 due to battle scenes.

The Pride by Megan Fennellis about the beached ex-pirate Kit who is a jackal shifter and the ship *Pride* is a longer read for this anthology, taking a little over an hour.

The Comeback Kitty by S.G. Wong is a family-friendly quick read about Kit the ghost cat and 13-year-old orphan Ying the junior coaler.

The Motley Crew by Rebecca Brae is another family-friendly quick
Cathy Geha
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Swashbuckling Cats – Nine Lives on the Seven Seas
Edited by Rhonda Parrish

Twitter as a tool for authors to brainstorm and collaborate…that is what I believe happened with this anthology of tales that star feline characters with rather human abilities…and sometimes magical ones, too. Allusions to multiple lives, friendship, piracy, love, families, ghosts and so much more…this was a fun read and one that kept me guessing. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories I read and plan to read the rest later.

I fo
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: readtoreview
I received a copy of this book from the Editor in exchange for an honest review.

Let’s just take a second to admire this wonderful cover. It is a piece of art by Sarah Dahlinger and it just the cutest thing ever, myar!!!!
And it is not just the cover that is amazing, but the idea of this anthology. A collection of stories about cats, and this is amazing, but there is more to it! Because we have not only cats but pirates too. How cool is that??? And I think that all of you can guess correctly!

We ar
Beth Cato
Jul 24, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Not a review. Includes my story "A Royal Saber's Work is Never Done." ...more
Becca ConsumesBooks
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it

If you have recently discovered a hole in your reading heart that only cat pirates can fill then rejoice; your days of waiting are over. Or hey, maybe you just want a quirky coffee table book, I won’t presume. True to its name, Swashbuckling Cats, is a fun romp of feline action and danger on the high seas.

Don’t be fooled by its piratey exterior though, within the pages of Swashbuckling cats you will find many forms of piracy from various eras and worlds. You will be confronted with stories o
Laura L
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest, I did not have high expectations going into this book. I genuinely thought I would read a couple of stories and would likely DNF, but I wanted to try something different.

Oh my gosh, am I glad I tried it.this book is genuinely brilliant, there are no bad stories, only excellent ones, and good ones. Some of them really stayed with me after the story ended (in an anthology about pirate cats, I hear you ask ?!) Indeed!!

I genuinely recommend this to everyone, cat lovers or animals lo
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ARC -- so awesome!
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pirate cats. I’ll say it again Pirate Cats. This is an entire book about Pirate Cats. Imo you’re either sold by that from the start or not, but I’ll try to put into words how great having a book about pirate cats is.

I got an ARC from the publisher, which I only begged for out of impatience cause I had this baby on preorder minutes after I saw Krista D. Ball tweet about pirate cats.

I loved this anthology, all the different kinds of cats, from common house cats to shape shifters to bipedal human-s
Cats! How could I resist, lol. I saw the publisher talking about this on Twitter and knew I wanted it. I pre-ordered it and then I got a review copy. Cats on the seas, I was curious about this premise especially as house cats in the real world usually don't like water (there are a few big cats who enjoy the water). A few stories take place in outer space, which doesn't quite fit the premise, and several stories explored the belief that cats have nine lives. I liked most of the stories and there ...more
Alexandra Forrest
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I got a copy of the upcoming Swashbuckling Cats: Nine Lives on the Seven Seas from Tyche Books in exchange for an honest review. For me, rating short story collections is the worst. Some are the best! Some are super not. Overall, I enjoyed this collection but had one major quip that also really couldn’t be helped. The premise is that all the stories have pirates and cats. Sometimes the cats are the pirates. Sometimes the characters are shapeshifters who are both cat and pirate. Sometimes they ar ...more
Mike Timonin
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I was a kid, we had a picture book called _The Ship's Cat_, a poem by Richard Adams about a cat who saves the crew of her ship from pirates. Although I don't remember the story particularly, the striking artwork by Alen Aldridge of the bold cat rescuing her ship has remained with me. This collection of short stories hits exactly the same spot, for me, as that picture book from my childhood.

The title is entirely accurate - this is a collection of stories about cats engaging in swashbuckling
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this collection from Tyche Books in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say, when I opened this, I was skeptical. I went in expecting a bunch of cutesy stories that I would roll my eyes at for a while before figuring out how to write a polite review. Instead I found some cute (not cutesy--big difference) stories brimming with a sense of genuine fun, adventure, and affection. There were quite a few clever variations on this incredibly specific theme, and some moments that
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it
As someone who loves cats and enjoys pirate stories, I felt like I had to read an anthology that combines these things. I like that the authors took pretty different approaches to the theme: the stories feature things like actual pirate cats, regular cats on pirate ships, cats in space ships and cats in a pirate-themed video game. However, the quality of the stories is a bit varied, which is almost always the case when it comes to short story collections.
Christina Westcott
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love cats and fantastic adventure? This is the book for you. It covers the gambit of emotions, from the lighthearted fun of "The Perfect Kibble" (a problem every cat owner can attest to) to the poignant "Pirates Only Love Treasure" to the dark Norse saga of "All Cats Go To Valhalla." The perfect antidote to being cooped up "in this spring of our discontent". (Sorry Shakespeare). Read it with your cats, read it to your cats. I received this book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. >^..^< ...more
Midu Hadi

I requested this book on Netgalley and I'm so glad I did!

As its name indicates, this book features feline pirates. Like most anthologies, this one was a mixed bag. Some stories stood out because of their world-building, plot, or characters and made me wish they could be turned into a novel. Others felt incomplete to me. Still others failed to make a mark.

For instance, the story, The Comeback Kitty, seemed muddled. Even by the time it ended, I was still confused about the object the cat wanted h
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review was made possible by an ARC of the book that I received from the publisher. Nonetheless, my review is an attempt at portraying my honest opinion.

“PIRATE CATS!” was my mental cry of joy upon seeing the title, but don’t be fooled: this short story anthology has more than just stories about pirate cats. The authors interpreted the theme quite loosely, writing stories that included cats and ships in any way. The subgenres, settings, and tones of the stories vary quite broadly, which keep
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, shorts
3 stars

This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.

Upon seeing the cover of this book I was instantly reminded of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, since the cat on the cover (which is stunning) was clearly Growltiger (of “Growltiger’s Last Stand”). With that sort of promising association to begin with, I was eager to sink my teeth into this anthology of s
Jemima Pett
As with all anthologies, this is a mixed bag.  Some took the piratical theme literally, and these were mostly the best of the bunch, or maybe more what I was expecting.

Some were altogether different, featuring cats and boats or somehow adrift in some sort of way. The mix of scifi, general fantasy and pirate fantasy was a good one; it avoided any sense of tedium, and gave some contrast between stories.

Like Equus, and Chris Porteau's Tails of Dystopia, some of these stories sing long after the boo
May 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from Tyche Books.

An interesting anthology with a quirky premise. Good humour, but inconsistent quality among the stories in the anthology. Here are my thoughts on the few that I enjoyed the most:

The Cat and the Cook - Blake Liddell

This was an excellent story. I was kept guessing as to the cat’s real intentions, and the ending was strangely touching. There was a suitably creepy vibe throughout the story and it was just well written in general.

Iseult Murphy
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful anthology of 14 short stories detailing cats on ships, in many different imaginative forms. As I love animals, cheese and adventure, it was a sure thing that I’d love this book. However, the stories are all such high caliber that they were easy to love.

My favourites were The Growing of the Green by Lizz Donnelly, about a space cat version of Gráinne O’Malley. A Royal Saber’s Work is Never Done by Beth Cato, which is amazing in world building and character development and I’d love Cato
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

As a self proclaimed "cat person" I went into this book with very high expectations! And I must say, I was more than thrilled by what I found between its covers.

These are wonderfully crafted little tales, each one full of adventure and intrigue and incredible imagination! In particular I quite enjoyed "Pirates Only Love Treasure" as it kept me on the edge of my seat with its many twists and turns. In saying that though, I did t
Susan Johnston
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Princess Fuzzypants here: I am and have always been a fan of anthologies. I enjoy dipping into stories that are short but entertaining and come from a variety of authors. This book is no exception.
All the stories involve kitties on the High Seas, many of whom are pirates. The protagonists are at various stages of their lives, including one story of a cat who is seeking a Queen to grant her ninth and final life. All the stories are entertaining although I do confess a couple had me a bit confused
Irkalla Ethrinkah
May 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
First, thank you to Netgalley, Rhonda Parrish, and Tyche Books for the proof.

I really wanted to like this book. The subject seems original. However, none of the stories were more than just ok, except for one.

Even worse, according to other reviews, “The Furgeldt Collector” (which I skipped as a result) is nothing but a pure feline bloodbath.

Some points: "Let the Sun Shine" was too short, but it was good. It left questions unanswered but was cute and intriguing. If the author were to flesh this
Ben Toth
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't often go in for short story collections, dunno why but it's just not something I usually read. This time I'm so glad that I did. Cats and pirates, what's not to love about the combination? The stories will run you through the gamut of emotions, and not all of them are just about cats. There's at least one that comes to mind with a jackal, for instance. Probably my favorite, The Comeback Kitty, has plenty of excitement and a very heartwarming ending. Overall, if you like high seas adventu ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Given the cover this looked like it would be a fun, albeit silly read. While some of the stories had some cute aspects that drew you in, there were several that just didn’t seem to go anywhere and fell flat, one in particular “The Furgeldt Collector” went a bit too gory for my liking.

As within anthologies some of the stories are well written others not as strong and as such can bring the whole review down a couple of notches.

There is a little bit of something for everyone, even if you are not a
Ray Smith
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for "Swashbuckling Cats" when it was announced. Pirates and cats, curated by Rhonda Parish? Win all around, right? Um...not so much. I've read a *lot* of the editor's anthologies, and this was the most average of them all. There were no bad stories (there never are in this line), but on the other hand there were no memorable stories that made me stop and go "whoa." I don't regret buying the book, but I was disappointed. (Knowing me, I'll probably reread it in a few months and ad ...more
Do you enjoy cat tales? Pirates stories? Well then you are in for a treat with Swashbuckling Cats which have 13 - count them 13 - short stories of pirates who are also cats. You have naval adventures, space ships, Egyptian goddesses, magic, and plenty of mayhem. As with any collection, some stories appeal more than others, but there are plenty to choose from. My only gripe was how short some of the tales were. Now I need to check up on various authors to see if they have earlier or further adven ...more
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Like a magpie, Rhonda Parrish is constantly distracted by shiny things. She’s the editor of many anthologies and author of plenty of books, stories and poems.

She lives with her husband and three cats in Edmonton, Alberta, and she can often be found there playing Dungeons and Dragons, bingeing crime dramas or cheering on the Oilers.

Her website, updated regularly, is at

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