The Smile of the Cat takes us back to planet Kansas. As the people continue to move on with their lives in this new world, the Zaiuni people still have to deal with the trauma that they suffered through while they were enslaved. Being peaceful people, they are very forgiving and able to live in peace among their former captors; however, some events occur that force some of them to have to rehash former abuses from the Banlite people. In this book, fourth in the "Storyteller" series, healing and forgiveness play a huge role in helping the whole community.
When Juliet is attacked and violated by a man from her past, she and Spencer suffer through a huge loss that has a serious effect on their relationship. As a result of this, Juliet chooses to take the high road and rather than having her attacker killed, she allows him to be punished in a way that will make him know the pain that he brought upon her and her family. This punishment will also offer him a chance to redeem himself. Little does she know how much healing will come about for her whole family because of her rational decision.
As the story progresses, Maryan also has a man from her past visiting her from his place in the stars. This would be her Banlite lover Vendan. Convinced that he is mostly a comforting figment of her imagination, Vendan begins to prove that he is not. Wanting happiness for his love, he works on ways to make her happy. When Kansas is selected as a safe haven for people from other worlds, like earth, interesting relationships develop and many people of the planet are able to find true healing and happiness.
I loved reading The Smile of the Cat. As with other books in this series, I always feel like I am visiting with old friends. While most of the story takes place on the planet of Kansas, after painful events, we get to see great changes happening for people who have been through so much. As I journeyed through the story, and saw wonderful things begin to happen, it felt very reassuring to know that the people of Kansas are in a wonderful place. Yet still I hope there will be more books forthcoming from this wonderful author!