Joan Aiken is the author of many favourite children's books, including The Wolves of Willoughby Chase series. When she was just seventeen she wrote her first novel, The Kingdom and the Cave, a thrilling adventure about a cat and his boy.
'The Under People. They live in a huge Cave. They are thought to be boring upwards. Giant worms and flying ants. Underground magic.'
Mickle, the palace cat, knows the kingdom is in danger. He can feel it in his whiskers and he has found a mysterious note in the royal library... (Yes, of course he can read, and speak - if he chooses to!) Mickle can't trust the King and Queen with his mission, so he and Prince Michael, with the help of their animal friends (and quite a bit of magic!), set out on a perilous quest to find the sinister Under People, discover their secret power and save the Kingdom of Astalon.
In her first novel, written when she was only a teenager, Joan Aiken showcases the imagination, wit and storytelling zest that would lead to classics like Arabel's Raven and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
Joan Aiken is the author of over a hundred books for adults and children, many of them classics. She worked on the magazine ARGOSY and wrote hundreds of short stories before her first novel THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE was published in the early '60s. It was highly praised in Time magazine and its success allowed Joan to write full-time thereafter. She has said, 'I would never want to do anything but write stories. It is inventing your own world, using all the bits of the real one that you like best. And that is something you can do anywhere, at any time.'