Okay, not going to lie — this series was honestly the single saddest experience of my reading career. And this is saying something, because Warriors is by no means a peaches-and-cream-petting-puppies-on-the-beach sort of series, anyway. But Dawn of the Clans is officially the saddest ever.
As the title implies, this is the prequel to the established Warriors canon; it’s the tale of those first brave cats that left their failing home in the mountains to come to the forest and begin the Clan system. And because this is something that was never done before, these cats are like pioneers, so every natural obstacle (new predators, new climate, new illnesses) comes as a surprise, and they have to learn how to get through it.
And of course there are personal struggles, resulting in families being torn apart, and all of that is stuff that really, really gets to me. Brother turning against brother, father turning against son… I wanted to slap Clear Sky upside the head about 17 times. And that made it really hard for me to sympathize with him once his redemption began. So it kind of hampered my whole experience of the Clans formation.
Here are things I liked:
- It was really great to see the “old” forest again. Although it’s not “old” at this point in the timeline (prequel, remember), that part was still wonderful for me, to read about places that were so common (and beloved to the reader) in the original 6 books (The Prophecies Begin).
- Gray Wing, Thunder, and River Ripple. I have to say, it was a bit of a surprise, but this is the only instance in which I’ve read a Warriors series and just not cared for many of the characters.
- Seeing how each of the Clans got their names and how the original territories were established.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Pretty much everything else.
The backstabbing. The breaking up of camps. The constant in-fighting. The villains. (My idea on the villains were that I wished Tigerstar and Brokenstar had already been born, so that they could come back from the Dark Forest and kick major rogue feline arse. Seriously. This is a big statement, because Tigerstar and Brokenstar were on the same level of love-to-hate as Voldemort, in my view, and believe me, I hated them.)
Literally, I was so upset by this series that I actually DNF book 6, and I “cheated” by looking up the ending in The Ultimate Guide. (Sorry-not-sorry, White Fang.) And no offense to those that really liked this one (I know from the fan art/videos that were some that did), but it just didn’t do it for me.
And that’s a sort of sad thing, since my heart has had so many incredible and beautiful moments when it comes to Warriors. But luckily I can still enjoy the “canon” without having to pay much attention to any of the prequel.