books, cats, Fantasy fiction, Young Adult fiction

Warriors Update: The New Prophecy

I’ve finished the second sub-series of the Warriors epic.  It was quite the ride. There were several nail-biting moments (even more than the original series, and that is saying something). There were also certain moments that really filled my heart with joy, and, of course, brought on some tears. And the ending this time really left me feeling hollow and aware that some very unpleasant things are soon going to happen in this universe.

Now, because I’ve already stated I don’t do spoilers, I won’t reveal too much (certainly not as much as the internet can tell you — or my 13-year-old son). But The New Prophecy is very different in some ways from The Prophecies Begin. There are several narrators in this set of books, and it’s done to keep the reader up with events that are happening in two places at the same time. Generally it wasn’t too difficult to follow, and I appreciated that what could have turned into a major plot gap was filled in early on.

The premise of series #2 is that something big (and bad) happens in the forest where the Clans live, and they’re required to find a new home. This complicated process involves getting cats who would normally not work together to cooperate for an extended period of time; and naturally there are dangers and unexpected obstacles to face. This makes for some really heart-warming moments — some are downright inspiring, in fact — as the Clans join together to battle their mutual rivals or threats. It also means that new friendships, alliances are formed, and, of course, new enemies are made, too.

Because of the dangers associated with the journey, it means, unfortunately — but understandably — that not every cat makes it to their new home. Some old friends, and some new ones, to readers “change their status” between the start of Midnight and the end of Sunset. Some deaths are a shock, some are less surprising but still sad, and others are unfortunate but rather necessary (you’ll see what I mean). Such is the life of a Warrior cat…

The other really interesting thing in series #2 — the author definitely set up an expansion of the backstory and mythology of this universe. Most of the plot focuses on events happening in the present; but there are hints given that some accepted facts of the past are not necessarily true, and the indication that not only is change all right, but that maybe it’s happened before. Also, new types of characters are introduced — cats or creatures that weren’t previously encountered — ands this broadens the horizons of the protagonists, and the reader.

As I mentioned above, the ending to The New Prophecy made me a little nervous. At the conclusion of The Prophecies Begin, everything was neatly wrapped up, and there was a sense of calm descending and a period of new prosperity beginning for the Clans. This time, it’s the opposite. There are some loose threads (with a character or a story arc), and some slightly worrisome elements. Certain cats say or do things that arouse suspicion, and it’s not alleviated by the last page of Sunset. The author definitely had a lot of new ideas ready to go for the third series; most of Sunset really sets up the next chapter in the tale of these cats.

However, this doesn’t really bother me. Normally it would; but there is enough sufficent wrap-up on the current plot that I can live with it. (Especially since I already knew there are several more books to go.) And with the addition of certain cats to StarClan (the afterlife), it means there’s the potential for readers to meet again with old friends, and to rest secure in the knowledge that their Warrior ancestors are looking over these new cats we now hold so dear.




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