Monday, December 22, 2014

Firestar's Quest (Warriors Super Edition #1) by Erin Hunter


*** Warning: This review contains spoilers!! ***

Okay... I don't know if I'm actually starting to get tired of the series, or if maybe I shouldn't have read two other super editions before reading this one, but I wasn't as blown away by this book as I was by the original series.

Even though this was the first super edition published, I actually read it after having already read Yellowfang's Secret and Tallstar's Revenge. In this book, the big quest involves Firestar going on a long journey, with Sandstorm accompanying him. But I actually found Tallstar's travels - which he undertook alone - much more interesting, making Firestar and Sandstorm's trip somewhat less impressive. In Yellowfang's Secret, ShadowClan tried to take down a bunch of rats, but despite being a large, well-trained clan, they actually lost the first battle. In light of that, it seemed unlikely that a young SkyClan - with fewer cats and less battle experience - would be able to defeat a sea of evil rats that had previously dominated over the first SkyClan.

I really liked the whole idea of Firestar building a clan from scratch, but many of the supporting details bothered me. From the beginning, it just didn't make sense that StarClan would allow four clans to gang up on and chase out the fifth clan. I just don't see how StarClan could have allowed such a major violation of the warrior code! Then, once Firestar understood his quest, I was annoyed that he was so wishy-washy about it. Sandstorm had to keep reassuring him that he was doing the right thing. I think it would have been more in character for Firestorm to complete his quest with conviction, never wavering from the goal, even if he felt unsure about himself along the way. Furthermore, as soon as the Shining / Whispering Cave was discovered, it was so clear that it ought to have served the same purpose as the Moonstone - a place for cats to speak with their warrior ancestors. Yet, in the end, the SkyClan cats communed with StarClan at Skyrock - so what was the point of the cave? Even when Echosong came along, it still wasn't clear. Why could some cats hear voices, and others couldn't? Would the cave only be used by medicine cats? Finally, I really thought Rainfur should have given a life to SkyClan's new leader!

Even the ending was unsatisfying for me. I wanted to read a bit about how the other clan members - and the other clans - reacted when Firestar told them the whole history of the fifth clan. I am assuming Firestar would have shared the entire story at a Gathering, since it was not actually a ThunderClan secret and was information that all clans were entitled to know. In fact, in hindsight, I think Firestar should have told the other clans before he left, giving every clan a chance - if they wanted it - to go with him to help repair the damage that all their warrior ancestors had done. Seems to me that once Firestar returned, the other clans might not have been happy, and might have accused him of trying to form an alliance with another clan!

But, I did enjoy reading about the process by which Firestar built the clan, having to recruit members and teach them about the warrior code, and having to be patient as some lessons couldn't be learned except by experience.

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