A striking new reissue of an epic fantasy by popular Harper author Shirley Rousseau Murphy, featuring a princess's dangerous quest to reclaim her throne...and, of course, cats!
There is a door in an artist's garden: an elaborate carved passageway into a realm ruled by a dark sorceress queen. There entities strange and wondrous roam the Netherworld––yet none as astonishing as the shape–shifting Catswold...
Raised by the oldwitch Mag, Melissa discovers a perilous secret. She has more than one form––human girl and magical cat––and once inhabited two worlds. And it is her destiny to return to a mystic realm of wonder and terror, to do battle for her people's liberation and the crown that is rightfully hers.
A man beset by tragedy, painter Braden West is intrigued by the calico cat who has charmed her way into his studio. But his "guest" is more than she seems, and Braden's very existence will be radically altered as he follows Melissa from the Hell Pit into the dread perils of an evil ruling court, thrust into the heart of a magical conflict with more at stake than he could possibly have imagined.
This delightful fantasy posits a Netherworld located under modern California and peopled by humans, mythological creatures--including Harpies and Griffons--and shape-changers such as the Catswold, who can shift between cat and human forms. In this land where technology fails but magic works, Melissa, a young woman with no memory of her past, goes to the city of Affandar, ruled by the cruel Queen Siddonie, to learn her history. Taking a strange interest in Melissa, the queen teaches her magic spells far superior to those of the common people. From an imprisoned Harpy she sets free, Melissa learns she is heir to the Catswold throne, but for her disobedience she is turned into her cat form and cast forth in the upperworld. There she is taken in as a pet by artist Braden West, who, unaware of her true nature, falls in love with her. Then Melissa discovers how to regain her human form and returns to the Netherworld pursued by Braden. Murphy, a writer of children's books, balances her rich, detailed Netherworld with a vividly characterized earthly realm. Her cat people, in particular, ring true. (Apr . )