Traveling back in time to 1874 London to prevent an assassination plot against Queen Victoria, the feline wizards of Grand Central Station -- leader Rhiow and her able partners Urrah and Arhu -- must summon their powers to avert disaster in Victorian England, or else their archenemy, the evil Lone One, will warp time and trigger Armageddon. Teamed with a young Arthur Conan Doyle, Queen Victoria herself, and other historical figures, the feline wizards set out to find the forgotten magic that will rewrite history -- or the cats who can save mankind will never have existed.
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"A purr at the right time can do wonders," says Rhiow, the furry, black heroine of To Visit the Queen,. Diane Duane's mettlesome cats can work wonders with more than their purring: they're wizards, capable of casting spells, walking on air, traveling through space and time, and speaking to humans--if they choose to. In this sequel to the bestselling The Book of Night with Moon, Rhiow and her team are called in to troubleshoot a malfunctioning magical portal in the London underground. Gradually, they unravel a conspiracy that threatens to twist their reality into a nightmarish alternate history--one in which Victorian England gets a boost from future science and uses nuclear technology to terrorize the world. This perfidious design rests upon the assassination of Queen Victoria, and it's up to Rhiow, Arhu, Urruah, and the London cats to save the queen.
Duane has earned an enormous following with her stories of the unending battle between the evil Lone Power and the forces of life, here championed by Rhiow and the other wizard cats. Although her stories are usually lively reads, in To Visit the Queen, Duane takes a long time to build up to the action and burdens the narrative with large lumps of magic terminology that's more than reminiscent of computer programs or mathematical theorems. But there's a lot of fun to be had from the wheels-within-wheels universes going awry, in spotting tidbits of history, and in following the chain of events as the traitor in the pride reveals its claws. --Blaise SelbyFrom Kirkus Reviews:
Cat fantasy, a sequel to The Book of Night with Moon (1997), wherein feline wizards keep magical transit gates functioning, prevent disasters and invasions, and generally tidy up, while humans go about their business in blissful ignorance. This time, the evil Lone Power has induced a Tower Hill, London, gate to malfunction, allowing unsuspecting humans to slide from or into the past. Sent by the Powers That Be, our heroes from Grand Central Station, New Yorkhouse cat Rhiow, dumpster resident Urruah, and impetuous young Arhuexamine the problem. The past, they discover, has already been changed: when Queen Victoria was assassinated in 1874, vengeful Britain bombed the world into a nuclear winter! How come? Well, one victim of the timeslipping gate dropped a modern scientific encyclopedia in 1816, giving rise to unrestrained and explosive scientific advances. The present, though, could change at any moment, so the wizards have to stabilize the timeline by preventing Victoria's assassination. They will have help, from the boy Arthur Conan Doyle (don't ask), while Ith, the dinosaur wizard from the previous adventure, investigates fragments of an ancient Egyptian spell written on cat mummy wrappings that might help stave off a nuclear winter. But despite all this, the Lone Power blocks access to 1874, and only when Arhu discovers the twin sister he never knew he had will the wizards find the power they need to enter it. After a dreadfully slow start, stuffed full of numbing details on the construction and operation of the gates, readers will discover little but recycled ideas and a stack of personal problems for the characters to work through. YA-ish and disappointing. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Aspect, 2000. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110446608556