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I'm looking for a book I read around the mid 2000s. I'm pretty sure it had the word "cat" in the title. It was about a girl who could talk to cats or understand them, and the kingdom she lived in. I'm sure her father died at the beginning, and he and her uncle had a terrible secret that the girl and two other male characters had to find out while defending the kingdom or something like that.

The book used a lot of Irish words, I specifically remember cac. One of the male characters used to be a slave or servant? Maybe. He had some of his fingers removed I'm sure, and the girl fell in love with him. I’m think were three books to the series but I could be mistaken.

  • Unlikely, because it's from 2017, but amazon.com/Magnificats-Gwyn-Dolyn/dp/0986042870/… looks like it might kind of fit? – FuzzyBoots Apr 1 '18 at 15:13
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    No that’s not it :( the cats weren’t a main part of the series, as far as I can remember.. – Rua Apr 1 '18 at 15:14
  • So was it the girl and two male characters trying to find the secret of her father and uncle? Or was the uncle part of the search? Not certain who "they" is in this case. – FuzzyBoots Apr 1 '18 at 15:27
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    Sorry it’s not clear! The secret her father (the king) and uncle had was about a torture device I think, and the girl and two male characters find this secret out. – Rua Apr 1 '18 at 15:32
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    You might try looking at the covers at goodreads.com/list/show/93933.Best_Celtic_Fantasy and see if any of them spark a memory. – FuzzyBoots Apr 1 '18 at 15:55
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Possibly 'The Poison Throne' by Celine Kiernan fits?

Wynter returns from a five-year exile in the bleak Northlands to find her beloved homeland in turmoil. King Jonathan's civilised, multicultural realm is no more; the gibbets and cages have returned. Days of laughter, friendly ghosts and gossipy cats remain only in Wynter's memory - the present confronts her with power play, dark torture chambers, violent ghosts, and cats (those still alive) too scared to talk to humans.

The Inquisition is a real and present danger. Crown Prince Alberon is missing. There are murmurings of a 'Bloody Machine' of untold destructive power. And as Wynter and her friends, Prince Razi and the mysterious Christopher Garron, seek to restore stability to the fragile kingdom, risking death at every turn, Wynter is forced to make a terrible choice.

It is the first book of the Moorehawke trilogy and was published in 2008. The cats do talk, if they have a mind to, and there is a sleuth of ghosts in the dungeon where the torture device is. Lots of court intrigue and carpentry too. Several cover versions feature a raven.

Reference:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4618801-the-poison-throne

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This sounds to me like it could be the Pangur Ban series by Fay Sampson.

I'm looking for a book I read around the mid 2000s.

I also read it in the mid 2000s!

I'm pretty sure it had the word "cat" in the title.

The first book in the series is Pangur Ban the White Cat.

It was about a girl who could talk to cats or understand them, and the kingdom she lived in.

I don't remember if Princess Finnglas had a particular ability to talk to cats, or if it was Pangur Ban who was special by being able to talk to humans, but certainly they could communicate with each other.

I'm sure her father died at the beginning, and he and her uncle had a terrible secret they and two other male characters had to find out while defending the kingdom or something like that.

In the second book of the series, Finnglas of the Horses (the only one I read), the protagonists find themselves in some sort of evil empire, and find the "terrible secret" that Finnglas's father the king is involved somehow (possibly something involving slave trade?) At the end of this book,

he dies, trapped under a beam in the collapse of a large building which caught fire. The fire was probably a result of what Finnglas and her male friend(s) were trying to do. I think the feel of it was that she wanted to save the kingdom even though its leader (her father) had done terrible things.

The book used a lot of Irish words, I specifically remember cac.

Although it's set in a fantasy world, there's definitely a Celtic/Irish feel to it.

One of the male characters used to be a slave or servant? Maybe. He had some of his fingers removed I'm sure, and the girl fell in love with him.

That would probably be Niall, the monk who befriends and travels with Finnglas and Pangur Ban. I don't recall them falling in love, but maybe that happens in the third book?

I’m think were three books to the series but I could be mistaken.

Yep: Pangur Ban, Finnglas of the Horses, and Finnglas and the Stones of Choosing.

  • Sorry, that’s not the one.. :( I was so hopeful too 😂 – Rua Apr 1 '18 at 15:54

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