Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Warriors - Death

 ¡Spoiler warning! - ¡Spoiler warning! - ¡Spoiler warning!

This blog post contains spoilers. If you are planning to read but haven't read all six of the Warriors books (ending with The Darkest Hour) you might want to skip reading this post! Consider yourself warned...

The Warriors book series detail the many challenging adventures of Fireheart, a former kittypet (house cat) who sought after his dream of being a tough forest cat. Fireheart makes many friends and several enemies as he integrates into the ThunderClan way of life. Through it all, Fireheart proves he can be a tough warrior but he never losses his compassionate heart.

Reading the Warrior books was generally enjoyable but it was also emotionally difficult for someone like me who has a difficult time with cats dying. There are a huge number of characters in the stories and sadly, a lot of cats end up dying. There were two main character's deaths that really got to me.

Spottedleaf, a beautiful dark tortoiseshell she-cat with amber eyes, white paws, black-tipped tail, distinctive dappled coat and small pink nose was the medicine cat of ThunderClan before she died from a viscous attack by an enemy clan early in the story. She was also Fireheart's first-love. Throughout the story, Spottedleaf visits Fireheart in his dreams, occasionally giving him cryptic visions of what will come.

I'm not sure what it was about Spottedleaf's death that gets me but it certainly does. Her combination of wisdom, gentleness, kindness and strength instantly bonded her to my heart. Fireheart's ongoing love for her also draws me to her. It is clear that Fireheart longs to be with her, even in his dreams. I suspect Spottedleaf reminds me of my Willow.

Bluestar, a blue-gray she-cat, with silver hair tinged around her muzzle, and piercing blue eyes was the strong and wise leader of ThunderClan for many seasons. Bluestar holds a special place in Fireheart's heart because she was the cat who invited him to join ThunderClan, thus fulfilling his dream to be a true forest cat. Bluestar also mentored Fireheart into a strong and wise warrior. Her belief in Fireheart's integrity and character are powerful. Sadly, later in the story her strength and wisdom are sapped away by her increasing depression and paranoia and she eventually loses all hope. 

Bluestar's death was very difficult. I felt as though I had journeyed far with her and I was not ready to end the journey. Her passing was eased by the redemption that took place in her life before she died. I suspect in some ways, Bluestar reminded me of Max.

I can only imagine that my bond with these cats is tied to them being cats. I think if this adventure story was written with human characters rather than cat characters I would not have been nearly as saddened at the losses. (Yikes, what does that say about my compassion for humans vs. my compassion for cats?!) As it is, many tears were shed for the death of sweet Spottedleaf and wise Bluestar. May you forever hunt in StarClan.

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