Mark of the Cat, Year of the Rat

~ An Omnibus for the Mark of the Cat Series by Andre Norton

(Series aka) The Cat People


Contains ~

  • The Mark of the Cat (1992) Published by ACE, HC, 0-441-52020-0, $17.95, 248pg ~ cover by Joe Burleson

Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 2002 Dustjacket ~

Andre Norton has written and collaborated on over one hundred novels in her more than sixty years as a writer, working with such authors as Robert Bloch, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey, and Julian May. She has received the Nebula Grand Master Award, the Fritz Leiber Award, and the Daedalus Award. She currently lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she serves as Director of High Hallack Library, a research-and-resource center for writers and students of popular literature.
In 1990, Miss Norton made the acquaintance of Karen Kuykendall after being given a copy of one of her books of fantasy illustration, which were set in a universe of the artist ‘s own creation. Upon learning that Karen had never organized into novel form the complex and extensive background to her “Outer Regions," Andre undertook to do so herself. The result was Mark of the Cat, which was published in 1992. Following Karen's death in 1998, her chronicler returned in her honor once more to the world of the Four Kingdoms with a sequel. Year of the Rat.

Karen Kuykendall studied illustration and motion picture design at the Art Center and Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. She held a M.A. in Education/Art History from the University of Arizona and was for nine years a teacher of English, history, and art.
Ms. Kuykendall’s unique creations, which she evoked in multiple media including costumes, sculpture, paintings, jewelry, and dolls, were frequently inspired by her fantasy world of the “Outer Regions." In 1992, that universe received an additional incarnation as a novel when fantasy Grand Master Andre Norton translated the artist's vision from a visual to a verbal form as the novel Mark of the Cat. Many of Karen ‘s pieces are now held in private collections in the United States and Australia. Examples of her work are also on permanent display at the Mesa Museum near her long-time home in Case Grande, Arizona. She died it 1998, after a long and valiant battle against cancer.


Write-up from the rear of the 2002 Tradepaper ~

Multiple award-winning Author Andre Norton presents a novel of magic and adventure- the unforgettable story of a boy’s journey of discovery, from trial to triumph. Hynkkel, commanded by his father to travel into the unknown in a test of survival, starts out with almost nothing, but the red gold sandcat pendent worn around his neck as a reminder of his slain cat. His trek will bring him to a cave where he will enter the secret world of the cat…to a trail that will mark his destiny.
Andre’s never before Published sequel to Mark of The Cat, we find the natural water sources of the five queendoms of the Outer Region drying up. Hynkkel, not fully recovered from his previous trials, must now find a way to stop this loss and recover the missing water. To do so he must first find out who, or what, is causing the water loss and where it is going. When he and Murri, his sandcat, set out on their journey they make another, even more startling discovery. A being of ancient evil has returned and has brought with it, hoards and hordes of deadly desert rats, bent on one thing – to destroy the queendoms one by one. Can Hynkkel both find the missing water and stop the rats before all succumb to the Year of the Rat?


Write-up from a fan ~

Mark of the Cat ~ A young man who was the second son of a tribal chieftain is considered no better that a servant in his own home because of his dislike of the warrior's arts, preferring to tend to the livestock. When the oldest son kills his companion cat, he flees into the dessert, where he befriends one of the large wild Sand Cats of the region. The cat and his mate "give" the boy their oldest male cub as his companion on his wonderings. The boy hooks up with a doll-maker and her apprentice, and travels with them to the capital city of the Five Queendoms, where he is selected as one of the candidates for the position of Emperor. Thanks to his innate resourcefulness, and the assistance of the Sand Cat, he wins the throne. ~ SL

Year of the Rat ~ The newly crowned Emperor is approached by the dollmaker's apprentice, who is the last survivor of one of the High Houses slaughtered during the previous Emperor's reign; she wished her House and privileges restored. One of the duties of the new Emperor is a Progress through all of the Queendoms, and he chose her for his Consort. The illegitimate son of the old Emperor resents that the Crown did not come to him by rights, and he's making trouble. Also, there is some evil power that has stirred up the Rats, who are the ever-present danger to the Queendoms. ~ SL


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

In memory of Karen Kuykendall, 1928-1998 Artist, Dollmaker, Costumer, Jeweler, and "Creator of the Outer Regions."


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2002) Published by Meisha Merlin, HC, 1-892-06552-2 $40.00, 602pg ~ cover by Hoang {Black Paper Boards}
  • (2002) Published by Meisha Merlin, TP, 1-892-06553-3, $20.00, 602pg ~ cover by Hoang
  • (2017) Published by Worldbuilders Press, DM, no ISBN, $3.99, ~ cover by Matt Forsyth
  • (2018) Published by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, PB, 978-1-680-68019-5, $19.99, 560pg ~ cover by Matt Forsyth


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2002) Published as Fanzine (self-published), HC, 840pgs. ~ cover by M. Whelan ~ Russian title Лоренц ван Норрис [Lorenz van Norris] ~ Limited to 20 copies and not released until March 2018 


    • "Lorenz van Norris" (cycle)
      • "The Sword is Drawn" as "Naked sword" ~ translation by V. Arzhanov & Olga Filippova, pp. 5-134
      • "Sword in Sheath" as "Sword in the sheath" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 135-268
      • "At Swords Point" as "On the edge of the sword" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 269-414
    • "Cat sign, Year of the Rat" (cycle)
      • "The Mark of the Cat" as "The Sign of the Cat" ~ translation by N. Nekrasova, pp. 415-612
      • "Year of the Rat" ~ translation by N. Nekrasova, pp. 613-837

View the Original contract

For information on editions currently available visit the Book Store



Open menu