Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dark River-Erin Hunter

Dark River
Erin Hunter
HarperCollins, Dec 2007, $16.99
ISBN: 9780060892050

Although their three offspring are quite different in demeanor and skills, Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw believe that their grandfather, the renowned chieftain Firestar, is proud of their apprentices’ progress. Lionpaw is training to become a warrior; Hollypaw is studying the warrior code; and finally Jaypaw is learning medicine due to his enigmatic ties to his teacher Leafpool and StarClan.

In spite of the different directions their training is taking them the trio has always remains close. However, as each begins to take a slightly darker path to journey level, they start to pull apart. Lionpaw learns something that he must conceal from his siblings and others; Jaypaw discovers a secret that if revealed would help his ThunderClan at the cost of others including Starclan; and Hollypaw has uncovered a truth that could prevent a war, but no one believes her. As they war within themselves and with each other over what is a warrior, the clans seem headed to a hostile solution.

The second Powers of Three Warriors book is an exciting middle school coming of age fantasy. The story line rotates perspective between the three youthful heroes with the best this time being Jaypaw’s segue because he goes beyond the typical quest with an obsession for knowledge as he needs to understand why his calling is medicine; although the other two warrior entries are well written too they progress only slightly. As with the first book (see THE SIGHT), the tone remains impending doom with darkness seemingly inevitable while the three apprentices are not quite as naive as before, but retain a youthful innocence and exuberance that leads to life threatening even while learning what was before.

Harriet Klausner

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