Ever finished a book and were just like “Uh?” That was Ratha’s Creature for me.
While well written and engaging I’m not sure what the point was. The book is about a clan of intelligent cats living in a prehistoric world. The cats have learned to herd wild game for domestic use. This allows them to develop a more sophisticated society, language and laws. When we meet Ratha she is a young cat learning how to catch wild game and tame it to add to their herding stock.
Ratha is more intelligent than even most of the clan cats, and has a fatal flaw of being too honest. Basically she can’t keep her mouth shut when she should. It’s gets her into trouble with friends and enemies alike.
I would say this is a coming of age story except that she doesn’t really ever seem to grow up emotionally. She may be super intelligent and a great survivor, but she never learns how to filter her thoughts so as not to offend everyone around her. It makes her hard to connect with as a reader, and leads to tragedies that could have been avoided. Ratha is the cause of most of her own problems. Even when warned by her friend Thakur she can’t seem to act any differently than her impulses. Is the author implying that no matter how “cultured” a cat may get they are still “wild”? I find that hard to believe.
What Ratha does learn is bitterness and that leads her to revenge. Even when Thakur sacrifices himself so she can live she hates him for it. It’s just really weird that in such a well written book the main character and plot can be so messy.