The Sorcerer’s Song and the Cat’s Meow

By A. A. Roberts



Text Box: The Sorcerer's Song and The Cat’s Meow
By A.A. Roberts
Five stars
ForeWord CLARION Reviews

Reviewed by M. Wayne Cunningham

The Sorcerer's Song and The Cat's Meow is an author's triumph and a reader's delight. Filled with creative energy, intelligence and imagination, A.A. Roberts' novel grabs the reader's attention with its brightly coloured, intriguingly designed cover and holds it throughout with its cheeky humour, vivid imagery, one-of-a-kind characters and a fascinating string of stories that form the chapters and structure of the book. 

The Sorcerer of the narrative is Aikeem Abdul Jamal Yossafa and his companion is Pendella Purrfect, one of the feline Council of Thirteen. He is immortal, able to cast spells and charms and converse with his cat. She walks through walls, calls up her protective beast and dispatches rats with the flick of a well-honed claw. Together they travel through time and space, defeat a sand demon at the lost city of Qar in the Sahara, hold a horde of giant insects, rats and sloths at bay outside of Avalon and defeat the armies of Darkness with Darkness—in this case, an evil wizard who messed with their lives earlier. Along the way they engage in love affairs with representatives from their own species: Aikeem with Celise, whom his attempts to save send her soul soaring to only the One God and the Celestial Administration knows where. Pendella’s great love is Thomas Wondermore who dies on the claws of a rogue cat called Legacy who later redeems himself as a warrior in the battle for Avalon.    

As the book progresses, stories pile upon stories, all cleverly and often surprisingly interwoven between reality and fantasy. There are murder mysteries, romances, corporate intrigues, tales of “the greatest non-governmental arms deal in history.” There are references to NATO, Kosovo, Albanians and Serbs; intimations of Alice in Wonderland, Bugs Bunny and Merlin; and journeys through Dreamscape, Dark Seer’s realm, Darkling Space, Neverwhere and Everalways. There’s even a trip to Sid’s Desolation Bar and Grill where “they serve a very nice rat burger” and “a lone ferret in a beret strummed on a beat up old guitar.” There are characters galore too: Pleep the custodian who rides in Aikeem’s magic backpack that holds everything from cats to full-course meals to guns, swords and rocket launchers; 250,000 dwarves with only one deck of cards to while away the millennia they’ve been doing “dwarfs do what dwarfs do best. They mine.”  Rats and sloths and Chitins and evil wizards also do what they do best in Roberts’ kaleidoscopic fantasy—they take on the personas of those we love to hate while we rally around cats like Pendella, Grizzle-Whiskers and Sharpclaw O’Bannon and dwarfs like Jackenstein, Cragstein, and Diddle Buddlebut. 

In the end, of course, Aikeem rescues Celise, and defeats the armies of Darkness and Dark Seer to the music of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Pendella continues on as her purrfect self. What a wonderful, free-falling storytelling ride to get to the end of a fantasy that’s about as close to purrfect as you can get.

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Reviewed by Tracy Roberts

A mythical tale exploring and defining the realms of reality and the supernatural, The Sorcerer's Song And The Cat's Meow tells the story of Middle Eastern Sorcerer Aikeem Abdul Jamal Yosaffa, and his faithful feline companion, Pendella Purrfect.

Aikeem, a Sorcerer who has traveled thousands of years perfecting his craft, meets Pendella Purrfect in an alley in New York City. Recognizing that each has a great power for good, they instantly bond and an unconditional love is cultivated. Together, they travel between the world of reality and the magical world of Dreamscape, a plain of existence that defies the laws of nature. In this magical world, animals such as rats, sloths, felines, and rabbits have the ability to talk, walk upright, and reason. As Aikeem and Pendella Purrfect travel between the two plains of existence, they meet such colorful and unforgettable characters as Striped Seer, Snapper the Cat, Jackenstein Muddleboot, and Blitherskites. 

On their magical journey, the forces of good and darkness collide. Threatened by sinister forces seeking to destroy and enslave humanity, a struggle to save humankind emerges. In the city of Avalon, where the fate of humanity resides, dark forces, guided by the ominous creatures Dark Seer and Daagbo, seek to align all the creatures of darkness in an effort to overthrow humanity and replace humans as the occupiers of the real world. Aikeem and Pendella Purrfect enlist those with the power of good to fight the Army of Darkness. 

As the tale unfolds, readers are encouraged to use their imagination. A well-plotted story with vivid and riveting description of characters and settings, as well as an intense page turning battle, the book is a delight to read. In today’s world, where technology and the quest for superficial material pleasures often act as a deterrent to creative thought, The Sorcerer's Song And The Cat's Meow encourages readers to embrace their dreams. This book would make a great a movie.

 I highly recommend this mythical novel to young adults, and to fans of such sorcerer stories as the “Harry Potter” books.

Paperback: 224 pages 
Publisher: (7 Aug 2006) 
ISBN: 1847287255