May 19, 2012

Ravenpaw's Path

by Erin Hunter and Dan Jolley

It makes more sense to just write one post for each little trilogy, so that's what I'm doing now. The Ravenpaw's Path series follows the adventures of another cat who has left the clans, but still finds himself involved with them. I don't know Ravenpaw's backstory, having not yet read the novel series, but he's left his home in the forest and taken up living on a farm with his friend Barley. Ravenpaw finds that farm life suits him very well, and he's perfectly content. In Shattered Peace, a gang of five cats shows up at the farm. First they abuse the friends' hospitality, then they use the knowledge Ravenpaw and Barley have shared against them and drive them out.

When A Clan in Need opens, Ravenpaw and Barley are wandering deeper into the forest, having been forced out of their home. They take up with Thunderclan again, asking for help to take back the farm. But Thunderclan is facing its own troubles- the cats from the city, Bloodclan, are reorganizing themselves and launching raids against the forest cats. Before they can do anything to help Ravenpaw and Barley, Thunderclan has to focus on its own battle against the city cats. Are Ravenpaw and Barley willing to assist in the battle? There's some surprises in store for everyone.

Of the three books, The Heart of a Warrior was most full of battle scenes. Having successfully dealt with Bloodclan, Thunderclan now sends a group of cats back to the farm with Barley and Ravenpaw to help them regain their home. But things don't go as easily as they'd forseen. The gang at the farm has strong reinforcements, and it takes several heated battles to properly drive them out. Even after they've regained their rightful place, Ravenpaw and Barley face more problems in the form of two brothers who've begged to stay peacefully with them, but turn out to be scoundrels that continue to cause trouble.

There's more to these stories than just cats fighting over territory, of course. Ravenpaw and Barley face lots of ups and downs in their friendship. Barley is feeling his age and reluctant to talk about his past with the clans. Ravenpaw is happy on the farm and reluctant to live as a warrior, yet finds himself involved in more and more fights as he pursues his goals. The cats have to decide where their loyalty lies: with the cats who taught them the warrior code? which are stronger, ties of family or those of friendship? it was a rather good story arc overall, mostly gets the two stars because of the continually lame artwork.

Rating: 2/5 ........ 112 pages (each) 2009, 2010

more opinions:
Reading All Year Long
anyone else?

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