The Familiars, a nominee for the 2012 Mark Twain award, is the story of an alley cat on the run from a bounty hunter who finds himself chosen to be a wizard’s familiar. His wizard is taken by an evil queen and he must join with a know-it-all jay and a clumsy tree frog to save him. It is all very standard fantasy fare; dangerous quest, mysterious heritage, unknown talents, and the storytelling is competent. The animal point of view is something a little different than most of these types of books and it works well. I found it an enjoyable read but lacking that wonderful quality very good fantasy has.