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The 'Outer Regions' were created by the artist Karen Kuykendall, whose book of paintings, The Cat People, and her justly famous Tarot cards immortalized these fantastic lands and peoples. There exists among Ms. Kuykendall's records a complete Travelers' Report upon which this book is based. -Andre Norton, from her introduction to Mark of the Cat/Year of the Rat In Mark of the Cat multiple award-winning 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 killed cat. His trek will bring him to a cave where he will enter the secret world of the cat... to a trial that will mark his destiny. In Year of the Rat, 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. For in a desert climate, water is the key of life. 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 along with it has brought the desert rats, hoards and hoards 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?