Shirley Rousseau Murphy
- Title: The Catswold Portal
- Author: Shirley Rousseau Murphy
- ISBN: 9780060765408
- Page: 472
- Format: Mass Market Paperback
A striking new reissue of an epic fantasy by popular Harper author Shirley Rousseau Murphy, featuring a princess s dangerous quest to reclaim her throned, 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 aA striking new reissue of an epic fantasy by popular Harper author Shirley Rousseau Murphy, featuring a princess s dangerous quest to reclaim her throned, 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 CatswoldRaised by the oldwitch Mag, Melissa discovers a perilous secret She has 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 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 at stake than he could possibly have imagined.
Recent Comments "The Catswold Portal"
It had some fun ideas, but Melissa and Siddonie just didn't make sense. Melissa just sort of floated along, doing exactly as the plot required without much thought. More was done to her than by her, as it were. Siddonie was consistently described as pure evil, even as a child. Uh, why? I mean, her actions are evil in adulthood, but how come every good guy who sees her immediately knows that the kid is bad news?The world-building was meh. There were kingdoms with kings. There were different races [...]
I wanted to love this, but it fell a little flat for me. It should have been everything I ever wanted out of a fantasy novel, magic, cats, battles and a million other things besides. Instead I got a random sexual mess that I'm having trouble understanding, and that wasn't even the worst of it.So when 17 year old Melissa(Or Sarah, as her undercover name is) is thrust into the big bad normal world in cat form (after spending the first few chapters in Netherworld, learning her heritage) she falls i [...]
It's funny how different a book feels when you reread it years after you first devoured it. I read Catswold Portal around '93 or '94 (when I was transitioning from Jr. High to High School) and I was enchanted with it. Just loved it. I recently reread it and now I can only think did this book make sense when I was a kid? There were plot holes (nothing sizeable, but noticeable), and while I think the key to great writing is to imply and not spell things out for people, this book could've used some [...]
This story is by the author of the Joe Gray series. Both contain talking cats but the Catswold Portal cats can change from cat to human by use of magic.Sarah knows something is up when she finds hidden papers in Mag's cottage. She finally finds out that she is Melissa and can change from cat to human. The only problem is she has fallen for Braden, a painter, who was married to Melissa's friend Alice. He finds Melissa captivating to paint but can't figure at first when a little tortoise shell cat [...]
This is an utterly charming book, part romance, part faerie tale, part allegory, all fun. For those who love cats, this book is a winner.
I first read this novel ca 11 years ago, and I found it enthralling then. Having just finished re-reading it, I am very disappointed indeed. It is deeply flawed on many counts. Both Braden, the male love interest, and Melissa, the female love interest, are all too familiar stereotypes. He is tanned, muscular, strong, but kind. She is lovely, slender of waist, has green eyes and thick, black lashes, and is very feminine. Really, quite often this story reads more like a somewhat unusual version of [...]
This was a fun read and I enjoyed it, but this is not a fantastic book. There were whole plot threads and characters (Prince Efil didn't need to be fleshed out) that I realized later were completely unnecessary and, had they been taken out, could have left more room for the main story. Some important things got shorted or "convenienced" away, like Melissa suddenly "remembering" the changing spell when it became convenient to the story for her to be able to change. And I was 50 pages from the end [...]
Read this 3 times. What a great great book. Whether you like Cats or not this has the mystery and suspense to keep you reading and then wanting more. I stole the next comment right from the Authors tag. Because Shirley Rousseau Murphy knows cats and she couldn't have said it better.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– [...]
Not sure if this was a 2 star or 3 star book. I gave it three because the author has a great grasp of how cats behave. Melissa as a cat was pretty cute. Melissa as a person was not so engaging. There were also issues with pacing in the book. Lots of time spent describing Melissa's concerns over being discovered, however surprisingly little repercussions when she finally was. In fact, most of the conflicts in this book ended up resolving a bit to quickly and neatly.
Fun, wish-fulfilling stuff with not half-bad internal characterization. The cheesy romance was okay in doses but got more and more groan-worthy as it went on, making me sadly want to finish the book in a rush. Also, that age gap! And the time setting! Who knew! After developing so long and building attachment to so many characters, it sure did seem Murphy was ready to throw in the towel, too. I enjoyed it! Just don't tell (too many) people.
A very awkward read - fantasy story of the Upperworld and Netherworld where entities switch from cats to humans and back again. Typical story of good and evil. Great potential (if you like this genre), but the author's writing style doesn't flow very well. It was difficult to follow characters who had two names with changing personalities.
I first read this book about 25 years ago, shortly after I was married. I loved it then, and revisiting it, I began to realize why, and I still love it.Perhaps the underlying cat concept and emphasis has a lot to do with it. I love cats. But more than that, the way she intermingles the two worlds. Good, fun book
Enjoyed the story very much! Some things were dropped at the end though, or didn't make sense throughout, so I found that confusing at times, but Shirley Rousseau Murphy is a good story teller and this was a very fun read.
This one starts out a bit weak, but once it picks up enough momentum it's quite good, especially if you like cats, fantasy adventures, and books about overthrowing an evil tyrant.
Loving books about cats but wanting a break from Warriors, I decided to give this one a go. I also love fantasy, so all things were looking good. Then I read the large amount of mixed reviews. I wasn't in the mood for a slow book, so I hesitated reading this at first. Luckily, once I'd started, I found it hard to stop. This took up the majority of my free time over the four days it took to read. Even in these cold winter months, I found myself getting up an extra ten minutes early just to fit in [...]
I gave it 3.5 but rounded up to 4 for the sheer nostalgia of it.Melissa has no memory of her childhood before the age of nine. Her guardian, Mag, hides things from her. And she finds herself strangely fascinated by small animals--especially live, fluttering ones. When she decides to go hunting the truth about her past, she is thrown into a world of intrigue, magic, shape-shifters, and treachery. She learns that she is Catswold, a race of shape-shifting cat people. She meets and falls in love wit [...]
Melissa is Catswold royalty. She’s a shapeshifter who takes both cat and human form and she comes from a stubbornly independent race. She’s beautiful, powerful, and special, but she has no idea who she is. Melissa’s earliest memories are from age 9 and she doesn’t know where she came from, what she is, or who her parents were. In order to find these answers, she summons a Lamia from the Hell pit. It starts her on a quest to discover her own identity, one that inevitably leads her out of [...]
Details about the book:Title: The Catswold PortalAuthor: Shirley Rosseau MurphyPage Count: 404First Sentence: He ran pounding through the forest, his tennis shoes snapping dry branches as he stretched out in a long lope.My Review:The Catswold Portal is a fantasy book.The reason I read this book is for a reading competition/buddy read with someone on another forum. I wasn't too keen on the cover, but once I got into it, it was just fabulous. It takes place in two dimensions, the Netherworld and t [...]
I read this book once a long time ago, and later on asked for a copy for Christmas. It was no less better the second time around. If you love cats, you WILL love this book.One thing I loved was the idea that magic and science were restrained to their respective worlds - so that someone with guns and technology couldn't take over Affandar, and a skilled magician couldn't take over our world - making for a wonderfully plausible book that has a mixture of magic and science. I also liked the subtle [...]
Wow. I'm not even sure what to say. I remember reading this book fairly often as a kid. I mean, fantasy and cats. You can't beat that, right? I honestly didn't remember much beyond the first chapter and the cat door in the garden. I was excited to pick it up and it took me some time to get started, but wow. It's horrible. The writing is terrible and abrupt and jumpy. There were several times I got lost and had to reread a paragraph to puzzle out what was going on.The characters are okay. You don [...]
The story started slow, but everything was important to the scene building. Although there were instances that seemed to be just filler, the story soon sucked me in and I didn't want to put it down (hence the 4-star rating). I loved the cat interactions, the world below ours, the emotions that were generated. With some imaginative stretching, I can see Siddonie being pure evil from such a young age. Melissa vacillated between being strong and kind of wimpy, but I could see that as well, consider [...]
This is one book I have never tired of. I love cats, and this was my first taste of fantasy - though it did not make me love the genre with all of my heart, it still paved the way for a special spot in my interests. I love the imagery of the Netherworld, and the concept of shape-shifting. Murphy has a unique ability to pull you into the world of the characters, whether in the fantastical Netherworld or the mundane Real World. Not to mention, I grew up walking the streets of Carmel as a child, an [...]
This book may sound strange, but for some reason it works. It's about cats who live in an underground world and are able to transform into humans, and how they happen to meet and interact with the upper human world. It's a fantasy, war, and love story.I found this book by having read the Joe Grey mysteries by the same author--about 2 cats, Joe Grey and Dulcie, who are able to talk and help solve mysteries in their town, but only their owners know they can talk.It all sounds crazy, but it's endea [...]
In 1957 San Francisco, a garden shed is closed by a carved wooden gate that happens to be a portal to the netherworld ruled by evil Queen Siddonie. The only one who can oppose her is Melissa, who turns out to be a princess of the Catswolders, who can shift form from humans to felines. Like the characters, the book is a shapeshifter, alternating between silly and enchanting. The author is reaaly good at capturing feline character, so this should appeal to any cat fancier.
Shirley Rousseau Murphy managed to capture my attention from the very first paragraph of this book. She pulled me into a another world, one "peopled" by cats in such a way that I was comfortable and excited by the adventure. I'm not someone who normally likes stories told by animals but this is one author who can pull it off with aplomb. I highly recommend this book for an enchanting escape into fiction.
I read this a while ago and just found it in the garage. I remember liking it a lot, but this time around I just did not have the patience for it, so I skimmed it quickly, but it might be because I have a lot on my mind lately. Still, it is a good story, and the whole shapeshifting thing coulda ended up being cheesy but didn't. I could totally see this as a movie.
Great read, especially for cat-lovers and fantasy fans. The intertwining stories and characters from the Netherworld and the Upperworld ("real world" California) was very entertaining - hard to put down! Excellent incorporation of mythology into a unique view. I wish there were more books about the Catswold Portal!
This is the obvious inspiration for her "Joe Grey mysteries" which I love. This is slow to start, and I almost didn't finish it. It helps to know that this is set in the 1950's and not in current times, even though it was published in 1992. Do you have to read this to enjoy Joe, no. Does it help, yes.
Okay, I really enjoyed this cat fantasy book while I was reading it. There is lots to love about the dual worlds, the cat/human mystery, and the art! But there are plenty of plot holes and weak points to the story that don't hold up well under critical analysis. So I say, skip the critique and just enjoy it.
My mom gave me this book after she read it and I thought it sounded silly, to be honest. But I read it because I didn't have anything else to read at the time.It was great! It was a nice mix of fantasy, adventure, mystery, and romance. It was also clean. I would highly recommend this book.
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