Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Warriors - Bluestar's Prophecy

Warriors Super Edition: Bluestar's Prophecy
This review of Warriors: Bluestar's Prophecy by Erin Hunter, contains spoilers. If you have not read this book yet and plan to do so, you may want to stop reading here and come back after you have completed the book.

Bluestar's Prophecy is a prequel to the first Warriors book series. The book tells the story of Bluestar, from newborn kit to leader of ThunderClan. She endures much heart ache, pain and loss as she lives into her prophesied role as leader. The personal choices she must make are brutal.

One of the difficulties I had with the first six Warriors books was the constant tension. There was always something happening that was creating tension; battles being fought, cats dying, horrible natural disasters to survive, more cats dying, etc. Among all the pages of tension, there are a number of tension-light chapters in this book, for which I found myself thankful. I wanted to stay in these chapters as they provided a nice break from the emotional tension and added further depth to the characters. These breaks also allowed opportunities for the author to spring emotional tension out of the blue, as she chose to do.

One of the many heart wrenching times came early in the story, when Bluepaw watches her mother, Moonflower die. This moment reminded me of the movie Bambi, which I have never seen, but certainly have heard about. There is something about an innocent youngster grappling with the harsh concept of death that really gets to me.

Bluepaw, only a kit two days prior, sat helplessly while she watched her mother die at the paws of a strong WindClan warrior. When it was safe, she raced down to her mother, who lay motionless in a pool of blood.
Moonflower's eyes were half-open.
Thank StarClan! 
"Moonflower! Moonflower!" Bluepaw nudged her mother with her nose, waiting for her limp body to push back. But Moonflower only flopped backward.
Bluepaw stared desperately into her mother's eyes. "It's me, Bluepaw!" She hoped to see them flash with recognition, but they were dull, filled with the clouds that scudded across the sky.
"Bluepaw." Pinestar's soft mew sounded over her shoulder. She spun around and looked up at him.
"Why won't she get up?" Bluepaw wailed.
Pinestar shook his head. "She's dead, Bluepaw."
"She can't be!" Bluepaw twisted back to her mother, pressing her paws to her flanks and shaking her. "She can't be dead..."
The young apprentice began nudging her again with her muzzle. "Wake up!" she begged. "It was all a mistake. You don't have to be dead..."
She still smelled like Moonflower, of softness and the nursery. Come back! You were going to take us into the wood to get moss for our nests! You promised!...
She pressed her muzzle harder against her mother's flank, wishing she could find a little remaining warmth in her fur. Moonflower was as cold as the earth.
You said you would always be here with me. Why did you have to die?
Bluepaw goes on to lose her sister and her kits. Several chapters detail Bluestar's grieving. Each death seems to be weightier adding more to her burden. I found myself being able to relate to Bluestar's manner of grieving, which involved losing the desire to continue on. She sulked and longed for things to have worked out differently. The burden of life grows in time.

She never gets over the losses of life and the intensity of the losses fade in time. Somehow she manages to go on with life while holding these burdens. The prophecy given to her propels her to keep at it, so reluctantly, she sticks with it.

Along with providing a significant amount of backstory for Bluestar, Bluestar's Prophecy also provides more backstory for Tigerclaw and Whitestorm (Bluestar's sister's kit). I had hoped to learn more about Spottedleaf, but she only made a brief appearance. Overall, for the diehard Warriors fan this book is a must read. The book provided a similar storyline as the first Warriors series but without the larger drama unfolding. In the end, I would recommend this book to any Warriors fan.

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