Friday, January 6, 2012

Fiction Friday (7)

Winter has long been a time when I crave the world of talking animal fantasy. Something about the wind rattling the roofbeams and wood burning in the fireplace makes me want to escape into this particular stream of imagination. About a year ago, I was searching for a new series in the genre and decided on giving Erin Hunter's Warrior books a chance. Having cats of my own, and former strays at that, the concept behind the books intrigued me. Here are my reviews of the first two books in the series. Enjoy.

Warriors #1: Into the Wild
by Erin Hunter (Avon 2004)

Children's animal fantasy is a genre that one is either a fan of or not. Seeing as how Watership Down was the first novel I ever truly loved, it's safe to say, I fall into the category of one who loves talking animal stories. This first book in the Warrior series is a solid addition to the long linage of talking animal stories. Erin Hunter pays close attention to the traditional heroic arc, following kittypet Rusty on his journey to becoming Firepaw and then Fireheart. The action is extremely well written. The book is a constant page-turner. Solid middle-grade fiction with the promise of an expanding story.

Warriors #2: Fire and Ice
by Erin Hunter (Avon 2004)

Though the Warriors series lacks the timeless literary feel of some other high profile talking animal franchises for kids, it still manages to spin intriguing stories that at times are gripping and emotional. This second installment sees newly named warrior Fireheart once again dealing with several problems throughout the book. There is once again a threat from the other cat clans and these action sequences are done at a nice pace. However it's the personal issues facing Fireheart that are most interesting in this book. His faltering friendship with Graystripe, his renewed longing for his kittypet family, and especially his relationship with young Cinderpaw are the heart of this book and contribute to making it a notch better than the first installment. The growing mystery surrounding the clan's deputy Tigerclaw also builds quite nicely. I'm eager to finish the next four books in the series.

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