Tailchaser's Song

Tailchaser's Song

by Tad Williams

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Fifteen years ago, a young author surprised and enchanted readers with his first novel—the story of Fritti Tailchaser, a courageous tom cat in a world of whiskery heroes and villains, of feline gods and strange, furless creatures called M'an.

The book was Tailchaser's Song, the author was Tad Williams.The legend was born.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101142240
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 12/01/2000
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 134,993
File size: 746 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tad Williams has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to—singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer firm. He is cofounder of an interactive television company, and is currently writing comic books and film and television scripts as well. Tad and his family live in London and the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Tad Williams at tadwilliams.com. 

Read an Excerpt


In the Hour before time began, Meerclar Allmother came out of the darkness to the cold earth. She was black, and as furry as all the world come together to be fur. Meerclar banished the eternal night, and brought forth the two.

Harar the Goldeneye had eyes as hot and bright as the sun at the Hour of Smaller Shadows; he was the color of daytime, and courage, and dancing.

Fela Skydancer, his mate, was beautiful, like freedom, and clouds, and the song of travelers returned.

Goldeneye and Skydancer bore many children and raised them in the forest that covered the world at the beginnings of the Elder Days. Climbfast, Wolf-friend, Treesinger, and Brightnail, their young, were strong of tooth, sharp of eye, light of foot, and straight and brave to their tail-ends.

But most strange and beautiful of all the countless children of Harar and Fela were the three Firstborn.

The eldest of the Firstborn was Viror Whitewind; he was the color of sunlight on snow, and of swiftness....

The middle child was Grizraz Hearteater, as gray as shadows and full of strangeness....

Third-born was Tangaloor Firefoot. He was as black as Meerclar Allmother, but his paws were red like flame. He walked alone, and sang to himself.

There was rivalry among the Firstborn brothers. Whitewind was as fast and strong as a cat could dream of being—none could overmatch him at jumping and running. Firefoot was as clever as time; he solved all puzzles and riddles, and made songs that the Folk sang for generations.

Hearteater could not match his brothers' exploits. He grew jealous, and began to plot the downfall of Whitewind and the humiliation of the Folk.

So it came to pass that Hearteater raised up a great beast against the Folk. Ptomalkum was it's name, and it was the last spawn of the demon-hound Venris, whom Meerclar had destroyed in the Days of Fire. Ptomalkum, raised and nurtured with Hearteater's hatred, slew many Folk before it was itself slain by the gallant Whitewind. But Viror Whitewind received such wounds that he soon wasted and died. Seeing the downfall of his schemes, Hearteater was afraid, and crept down a hole and disappeared into the secretive earth.

There was great lamentation in the Court of Harar at the death of Whitewind, the best-beloved. Firefoot his brother fled the Court in heartache, renouncing his claim to the Mantle of Kingship, and wandered the world.

Fela Skydancer, Whitewind's mother, was ever after silent, all her long life.

But Harar Goldeneye was so full of rage that he wept, and swore great oaths. He went howling into the wilderness, destroying all before him in his search for the traitorous Hearteater. Finally, unable to bear such great pain, he fled to the bosom of the Allmother in the sky. There he still lives, chasing the bright mouse of the sun across the heavens. Often he looks down to earth below, hoping to see Viror running once more beneath the trees of the World-Forest.

Countless seasons turned and the world grew older before Firefoot again met his treacherous brother Hearteater.

In the days of Prince Cleanwhisker, in the reign of Queen Morningstripe, Lord Tangaloor came to the assistance of the Ruhue, the owl-folk. A mysterious creature had been pillaging their nests, and had killed all the Ruhu hunters who had come against it.

Firefoot laid a trap, clawing away at a mighty tree until it was near cut through, then lay in wait for the marauder.

When the creature came that night, and Firefoot felled the tree, he was astonished to discover that beneath it he had trapped Grizraz Hearteater.

Hearteater begged Firefoot to free him, promising that he would share the ancient lore that he had discovered beneath the ground. Lord Tangaloor only laughed.

When the sun came up, Hearteater began to scream. He writhed and screeched so that Firefoot, although fearing a trick, liberated his suffering brother from beneath the pinioning tree.

Hearteater had been so long beneath the earth that the sun was blinding him. He clawed and rubbed at his steaming eyes, howling so piteously that Firefoot looked about for a way to protect him from the burning of the day-star. But when he turned away, the blinded Hearteater dug himself a tunnel, more swiftly than any badger or mole. By the time the startled Firefoot bounded over, Hearteater had disappeared back into the belly of the world.

It is told that he still lives there, hidden from the eyes of the Folk; that he works foul deeds underground, and aches to return to the World Above....

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Tailchaser's Song (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I'm looking up Tad Williams books when I come across Tailchaser's Song. Even though it seems so different from his other stories I decided to download it because 1- I love cats and 2- Tad Williams is a pretty good author. I can't begin to tell you what a clever, emotional, and fantatic adventure this book is. I haven't been this engrossed in a story for a very long time. It's been endearing and heart-wrentching with charactors I will remember always. So beautifully written and so tragic at times. Not a cutsey kitty book like I was expecting. Certainly my most favorite Tad Williams books and now one of my all-time favorites. You won't be able to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book about a dozen times over the years and i always find something new. Not for everyone, but if your sense of adventure is strong i highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic story. Beautifully executed theme.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book bette than i expecred
Nightmare-at-war More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. I've read it about five or six times in the past two years and I never grow bored with it. If you love a thrilling mystery with talking animals and plots that turn you around every time it can, then this is the book. The first time I read it, the plot threw me so many times. It's a really interesting book.
Soul-Stealer More than 1 year ago
I read this book over 6 years ago. Yet, it has stuck in my brain ever since. I can still remember scenes from this book. By far one of the best books I have ever read.
rbtwinky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book started off really good, but petered out towards the end. Williams does a wonderful job of creating the culture and society of the ¿Folk,¿ but that was the best thing going for this book. The love story that was so sweet and promising was forgotten soon after the action gets going. This book is good for getting into the mind of your cat, but not for much else.
Fourpawz2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book started out as a pleasant little cat fantasy, mainly following the story of the hero ¿ Tailchaser. I love the many names that Williams come up with for his characters, cat and otherwise, as well as the place names and the cat mythology. I especially liked the story about how M¿an (man) came to be. Tailchaser and the rest of the Folk (read cats) live at Meeting Wall near Old Woods. Everything is going along quite swimmingly when suddenly the folk begin to disappear and the elders of Meeting Wall hold a `nose-meet¿ in order to work out what is to be done. They decide to send a delegation off to Mirmirsor Sunback, queen of the folk, and her court at Rootwood forest to apprise her of the situation and appeal for her help. Tailchaser, afraid that Hushpad, his best friend and would-be mate who has also disappeared, will be overlooked by the delegation, undertakes to follow along on his own in order to plead her case before the court himself. In the course of his journey, Tailchaser takes up with the youngling Pouncequick and meets the rather unbalanced Eatbugs. There are a multitude of things that happen to Tailchaser, his friends and the other cats they meet along the way that I cannot reveal here for fear of spoiling the story.It would have been easy to keep his story on a more Redwall-ish level, but Williams chooses to go quite dark with it. His villains are very evil and creepy and there are times when things look very black for Tailchaser and his allies. This was a good book. I read a bit of it aloud to Willie and except for the tale of Windflower (¿all his tom-hood had been taken, changed he had been to half-fela*¿) he seemed to like it too.*female
leld on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An old favorite of mine. A cute, fun read. I love the creation of a whole world here, with myths and religion that I can imagine cats having. Good storytelling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would say perfect, but cat would disagree. Captivating read, and now I feel that I understand my cat, better than before, but never perfectly!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe it was just mourning of my cat but I am glad to have found this book. It makes me happy, even in loss, of a well shared life. It shines a light on the little known lives of my furry companions and their possibilities with special meaning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a old paperback of this book and I pull it out and read it every so often . This is not a cute fluffy cat story . It's action, adventure and danger ! A true insight on how a cat thinks. I now look at my cats in a hole new light and understanding .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written adventure, I love the contrast of the down to earth main character, and his ultimately super surreal experience. The created cat culture is also very believable. Recently, I lost my beloved cat Sai. I loved imagining him as Tailchaser. There is a great deal of spirituality in this book which I found helpful.
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A very interesting book, if you like this book read Warriors!
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STORE NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
I love kittys. Peops like me, who will hug, kiss and respect cats, it's a MUST read! * * * * * stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago