By Diane Duane

Touring again in time to 1874 London to avoid an assassination plot opposed to Queen Victoria, the pussycat wizards of Grand significant Station—leader Rhiow and her capable companions Urrah and Arhu—must summon their powers to steer clear of catastrophe in Victorian England, in any other case their archenemy, the evil Lone One, will warp time and set off Armageddon. Teamed with a tender Arthur Conan Doyle, Queen Victoria herself, and different ancient figures, the tom cat wizards got down to locate the forgotten magic that would rewrite history—or the cats who can shop mankind won't ever have existed.

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She stretched out her forepaws and closed her eyes. “If you simply knew,” Rhiow acknowledged. “You don’t have any concerns. you might have a pleasant mattress to sleep on, great nutrients everytime you wish it. . . . ” “As regards the nutrients, ‘nice’ is relative,” Rhiow acknowledged with a few leisure, kneading together with her paws on Iaehh’s knee. “That ‘choice elements’ factor you gave me the day prior to the day prior to this was once elements, very well, yet as for ‘choice’? Please. I’d be tempted to move out and kill my very own cows, other than that obtaining them within the cat door will be a nuisance. ” “Ow, ow, don’t do this! You move out and in everytime you like, you don’t have a task, you don’t need to fear approximately an individual counting on you. . . . ” Rhiow’s tail twitched sarcastically. “Wouldn’t it's great if it have been so,” she stated softly, and sighed. Any wizard had day-by-day issues over even if she was once doing her activity good: you driven prior these doubts and fears as most sensible you may, safe within the wisdom that the Powers That Be wouldn't lengthy let you cross on uncorrected in the event you have been messing up. but that regimen, unfavourable kind of approval occasionally fell in need of one’s emotional wishes; it left you brooding about, Am I giving adequate? The Powers that made the Universe have poured Their advantage into me for the aim of saving that Universe, piece by way of piece, daily. Am I giving sufficient of it again? And—more to the point—is it operating? “What a life,” Iaehh acknowledged. “You’re now not kidding,” Rhiow acknowledged. “But I nonetheless ask yourself . . . is it more than enough. . . . ” She opened an eye fixed and seemed up at him. “I don’t be aware of sometimes,” Iaehh stated, stroking her progressively, “if it’s reasonable for me to maintain you. simply because . . . you’re all that’s left of her. I don’t recognize, is reasonable cause to maintain a puppy? ” Rhiow sighed back. His tone was once reflective, his face used to be nonetheless, however the depth of Iaehh’s grief for Hhuha used to be no much less seen for missing tears. For something, Rhiow might listen the echoes of his feelings: even nonwizardly humans might deal with that a lot with the ehhif with whom they spent so much in their time. for one more factor, Rhiow used to be an skilled wizard, fluent within the Speech. figuring out it, you may thereby comprehend whatever that spoke. you'll additionally communicate to whatever that spoke, and make your self understood: yet this used to be strictly forbidden to wizards other than whilst engaged in errantry, on wizardly enterprise that required it. Rhiow had occasionally been tempted to wreck her silence, yet she had by no means performed it—not even if Iaehh had clutched her and wept into her fur, moaning the identify that Rhiow herself additionally might have moaned aloud in shared grief, if simply it were allowed: Susan, Susan . . . Iaehh stroked her, and Rhiow may listen and suppose his ache, a bit blunted from that first negative evening, yet no much less effortless to undergo. She knew how it got here to him in surprising stabs, all at once, on the sound of a phone ringing or a ra’hio advertisement that had continually made Hhuha chortle. “I fear that you’re lonely,” Iaehh stated slowly. “I fear that I don’t look after you correct. I fear . . . ” “Don’t worry,” she acknowledged, snuggling a bit toward him.

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