Thunder and Shadow by Erin Hunter

Genres: Childrens, Xenofiction
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 6th 2016

4 OUT OF 5 STARS

“‘You will take this Clan over my dead body.’ Delight sparked in Darktail’s gaze. ‘That sounds fair.’”

Separated from each other Twigkit and Violetkit struggle to fit in with their new clans. Meanwhile, the rogues who destroyed SkyClan have found their way to the lake. They’re ruthless – and it looks like ShadowClan will be their next target.

Thunder and Shadow has managed to breathe life into the Vision of Shadows arc after it’s dreadfully dull opening with The Apprentice’s Quest. I had very low expectations going in and this book far exceeded them.

There is very little of the dull travel plot that quite a few books in the series fall into, however the actual plot is a bit messy. There is a lot going on between the rogues’ reappearance, the kits struggling to fit in, ShadowClan’s sickness and Onestar’s madness. The original quest to save SkyClan is mostly pushed aside and following the several new plots is a bit messy but it’s still a major improvement from the previous book.

It was also refreshing to follow Twigkit and Violetkit instead of Alderpaw. Alderpaw was a rather bland character – and a sort of unnecessary third medicine cat. Twigkit and Violetkit have an exciting plotline and as a bonus Violetkit is in ShadowClan. It’s great to finally have a main series protagonist outside of ThunderClan. It was a wonderful new point of view and it made the relationship between Violetkit and her sister more interesting.

This book is not without faults of course. The characters are the most notable issue. Too many of them have extreme personalities that veer into nonsensical. Jayfeather is more crotchety than ever. Bramblestar makes several stupid and uncaring decisions. Needlepaw’s personality goes through a blender and comes out worse than before. Onestar no longer cares about the warrior code and it can no longer be argued that he’s even a decent leader when he used to be a friendly and well-meaning cat.

Overall it’s one of the better books in the series. It has drama, death, betrayal and high stakes. It does, however, have to be appreciated for what it is. It’s a children’s book. The writing is simple, most things are clear cut but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable for adults to read.

One of the better books in The Warrior Cats series, even if the series has far outlived it’s prime.

Read this if you’re a fan of: Watership Down

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