Thursday, February 7, 2008
Warriors: A Dangerous Path
I have just finished. I began reading the last chapters and I could not stop. Again I am awed by how well the life of the cats is shown with the talents of the three authors working under the pen name Erin Hunter.
Fireheart is deputy, and he now struggles with his fears of Tigerstar and the sordid prophecies of a 'pack' in the forest. Disloyalty within the clan, and Fireheart has to deal with learning to trust. He has to hide Bluestar's weakness from the other clans, and deal with her distrust of him. Again a worthy successor to the last book!
I nearly cried at the end again. Fury and evil envelop this book with something that is actually reminiscent of the desperation in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The words 'Pack pack' and 'Kill kill' become words of horror as cats are torn apart by giant dogs, hungry only for the warm blood of freshly killed things. This is perhaps the first time that dogs have become truly evil in my eyes...even in Bambi they didn't matter. And, from the viewpoint of the cats, these aren't dogs. They are monsters. They desire to kill, and they don't care why or how.
A Dangerous Path is darker than the first four for that reason. Cloudpaw becomes a warrior, and Fireheart takes on a new apprentice; Bramblepaw, the son of the dreaded warrior Tigerstar, who has tried (and sometimes succeeded) to kill cats of his own Clan with a mad desire for power and leadership.
Greystripe again becomes a prominent character after he saves Fireheart from being shredded by his leader, Leapordstar. He is banished from RiverClan and joins ThunderClan once again.
Perhaps the greatest moment (if not the only moment) of triumph and joy is when Bluestar attacks the lead dog and saves Fireheart, after calling him a traitor for so long, and finally realizing that her Clan is loyal.
As always, the whole StarClan thing is something to be cautious about with younger readers and to be mindful of while reading. It is the cats' mythology; and it really does resemble other mythology with lots of rituals and 'rules' or 'rubrics' that must be followed lest StarClan be angry.
Five stars for A Dangerous path.
NOTE: This post was actually published on February 8, but I started a draft on February 7, and that's why it is published under that date. I finished it on February 8.