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THE OUTLAW VARJAK PAW by SF Said Kirkus Star

THE OUTLAW VARJAK PAW

By SF Said (Author) , Dave McKean (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-75044-7
Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Varjak Paw is back! The small, silver housecat-turned-hero (thanks to his mastery of the mystical warrior “Way”) now lives on the streets with his alley-cat friends, shrewd Holly and timid Tam, along with Cludge, the galumphing canine galoot. But city life is hard in winter, especially when the thuggish gang, led by the mysterious Sally Bones, monopolizes food and shelter. Varjak tries to defy Sally on behalf of the Free Cats, to find that even the Way is not sufficient against her malevolent powers—while his dreams of his ancestor Jalal promise “something more powerful than fighting.” The tone here is more subtly surreal than the baroque conclusion of the first book: an oppressively sinister atmosphere, punctuated by sudden acts of horror, but leavened by the appearance of fresh characters like the sassy Scratch Sisters, the hulking Orrible Twins and the hero-worshipping kitten Jess. Said’s spare, taut writing effectively propels an increasingly grim plot, and makes Varjak’s growing maturity and leadership appear both natural and admirable. It’s a rare sequel that so surpasses its predecessor; one hopes the neatly resolved plotlines don’t preclude further installments. (Fantasy. 10-14)