Rising Storm by Erin Hunter. Warriors, #1.
My copy: Avon Books (Harper Collins Publisers), February 2005. Paperback, 315 pages.
Fireheart’s traitorous enemy Tigerclaw has been vanquished and exiled from Thunder Clan — but Fireheart can’t shake the feeling that he’s lurking in the forest, waiting for his chance to strike.
That’s not the only problem facing the young warrior in these blazing summer months, as he struggles to handle sinister omens, an apprentice with a shocking secret, and a devastated Clan leader who is a shell of her former self.
Meanwhile the forest gets hotter and hotter … and everyone braces for the coming storm…
So I’m gradually making my way through rereading all the Warriors books. Rising Storm is book 4 of the original arc, and it’s definitely not as exciting as the previous three, what with Tigerclaw’s evil scheming and Tigerclaw himself not being very present in this book. Still, Rising Storm was a quick and entertaining read, despite focusing too much on Cloudpaw’s bratty behavior and Bluestar’s worsening condition.
In this book, the overlying threat to the Clans is a sickness that has swept ShadowClan. Fireheart, ThunderClan’s deputy, and Cinderpelt, the medicine cat apprentice, are the only cats who know of the sick ShadowClan cats who are recovering in ThunderClan territory. Honestly, I would have preferred the illness to be a bigger plot point, perhaps even spreading to the other Clans in a few cats here and there. This plot point felt almost sidelined was disappointing.
Then there’s Fireheart’s apprentice Cloudpaw… In future books, I love Cloudpaw, when he finally becomes a warrior. But his apprentice days are certainly rough. Cloudpaw is the epitome of a lazy, rude teenage boy, and he drove both me and Fireheart crazy. I had very little sympathy for Cloudpaw when karma hit him, especially since almost the whole book revolved around his bad behavior. I understand how hard it was for Fireheart, as Cloudpaw, being his nephew and his apprentice, was a reflection of him, but I really wanted the book to move along in terms of Clan politics and overall plot. I wasn’t in the mood for a misbehaving apprentice.
And third, Bluestar. Wowzers, Bluestar is a completely different person — er, cat. She’s a shell of herself, completely traumatized by the betrayal of Tigerclaw. She’s barely a leader, she’s making Fireheart make most of the decisions. She’s bitter, she’s angry. She’s not the Bluestar I loved back in the early books. It’s painful to see her in such a bad state, and obviously very painful for Fireheart and the other cats closest to her.
A few things I did really like about Rising Storm were the developing relationship between Fireheart and Sandstorm, Ravenpaw’s cameo, and everything to do with Yellowfang and Cinderpelt, because medicine cats are awesome, and often the wisest and most patient cats in every Clan. There are sad moments, as undoubtedly we lose a few cats through the story, and one death in particular really hit me hard.
Rising Storm is one of the weaker books in the Warriors original arc, but it was still an enjoyable, quick read. It’s a book that forces Fireheart to take on more leadership duties, which will be very important in the immediate story’s future. This book isn’t nearly as political as the previous three, and actually not as dark in that regard, but I would say it’s a good book for character development. Onto book five, A Dangerous Path! ♦
Have you read Rising Storm?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
What’s a book you’ve recently read that focuses more on character development than plot?
Comment below letting me know!
And, as always, happy reading!