I’m not sure what enticed me to start reading this series. A few friends had been reading them with their kids, or their kids were interested with them. I think that combined with a great sale Amazon was having finally spurred me into action. Despite the fact that these books are written for kids around 8-10 years old, they deal with some tough subjects, and were a pleasant read.
There are four clans of cats that live side by side (separated by boundaries) in the forest. Close to these clans lives Rusty, a kittypet, owned by humans. One day he runs into the ThunderClan cats, and they invite him to join up – if he can prove himself a warrior. He has to overcome trials and tribulations while the clans are also overcoming trials and tribulations. He’s trained as a warrior, has to handle death, being made fun of for being a kittypet, and making new friends.
The book isn’t overly complex, but I did like the attention to detail that the author provides when describing life as a ThunderClan member. It’s easy to follow along, and because of the way the books are written you tend to forget that this is a clan of cats until something like grooming happens. I enjoyed the book enough to continue on with the series, and just recently learned that the name ‘Erin Hunter’ is a pseudonym for four people who are writing the novels together.
One thing that bothered me was that every single character in the book has a compound name. Lionheart, Bluestar, Tigerclaw.. you get the point. It made it difficult to figure out who was who and at the beginning all of the names just blurred together. Others have mentioned that the cats don’t actually behave anything like cats, but behave more like dogs (with bonding together, courage, etc) which I can agree with but I don’t think of these as actual cats living out in the woods, more like magical creatures on some alternate universe who are similar to what we perceive as cats. If you suspend some of that reality, it really is a pleasant read.