Title: Winter Tithe
Author: Carol E. Leever and Camilla Ochlan
Series: Of Cats and Dragons #2.5 (same universe, but more of a side story)
Tokara Deldano and her family are preparing to celebrate the midwinter festivities, but an ancient legend has closer ties to her than she might expect. When trouble strikes the villages, Tokara’s main concern is the puppy she and her sister love, who has gone missing . . .
This is only tangentially related to the Of Cats and Dragons series (same universe), as it takes place in a different country with some distant relatives of Omen. The nods to Omen and Tormy were nice, but the story is ultimately its own, so it can be read without either book in the series.
I liked the strong characterization. Tokara was a believable little girl who grows up just a bit as her family has to deal with a legend intersecting their lives. I wish the end was a little more explicit about what became of Bumpus, because I was expecting a friendship between the two and I don’t know if that’s actually what happened, or if he’s just going to keep waiting more or less by himself.
All in all this was a nice bonus story, and I wouldn’t mind catching up with these characters again in a few years when they’re all grown up. I rate this Recommended.
As of this writing, the book was available on the author’s website, but not anywhere else online. http://ofcatsanddragons.com/books/