A Dangerous Path by Erin Hunter. Warriors, #5.
My copy: Avon Books (Harper Collins Publishers), May 2005. Paperback, 313.
Source: Library. Own. Bought. Gifted. Won in a giveaway. Thank you, source(s)!
ShadowClan has a dark new leader, but will he be satisfied with his power now — or does his desire for revenge burn even more strongly? Fireheart fears that there is a connection between the rise of Tigerstar and the terrible dreams that haunt his nights, murmuring of danger and death.Meanwhile, a mysterious and vicious threat unlike any other has invaded the forest, placing every cat’s life in peril. Fireheart’s beloved leader has turned her back on their warrior ancestors, and Fireheart can’t help but wonder if she’s right. Has StarClan abandoned them forever?
So this is where the series gets really dark. There are many deaths and some very evil schemes to be found. Tigerstar is just as monstrous as ever, if not more, now that he’s the leader of ShadowClan has has a lot of power at his disposal. Going into A Dangerous Path, I remembered some of the major plot points back from when I read this series as a kid, but I still was shocked and saddened and disturbed when they happened. (Heck, I got teary at the end! Yeah, guys, I almost cried about a book about cats.) Warriors is still very much a middle grade series, but the story takes a very dark turn in the last two books. All the filler that book 4, Rising Storm, basically was is not present in A Dangerous Path at all. It’s almost all plot and plotting, and there are some more great character developments.
Speaking of characters… Fireheart changes a lot here. He’s forced to take on even more leadership as Bluestar gets progressively worse. When he judges others for their actions or lack thereof, he sometimes lets old events and relationships cloud his reasoning, or at least bias him toward one side or another. I still love Fireheart, and it’s amazing to think back on how young and inexperienced he was in book 1. Other characters grow, too: Cloudpaw and Longtail especially. But we see lots of Sandstorm (ooh, FireSand shipping!), Cinderpelt (wise little medicine cat), Brightpaw (it infuriates me what Bluestar renamed her), Graystripe (so glad to have the Fireheart/Graystripe friendship back), Tawnypaw, and Bramblepaw, plus others! Yeah, this the book where all the ThunderClan cats are featured, as well as a few RiverClan cats, too.
The only negative thing I have to say about the series is that everything besides plot and character development is very repetitive. Patrols, hunting, apprentice training… I pointed this out in an earlier review for I believe Fire and Ice, but once you’ve read one hunting scene, you’ve read them all. I pretty much skim or skip these more mundane/less exciting parts that aren’t vital to the overall plot. There’s only so much I can take of Fireheart or Cloudpaw hunting a squirrel, the dawn patrol marking the Clan borders, etc. This isn’t really anyone’s fault, since these scenes show what Clan life is like, but these scenes are definitely boring once you’ve read a few of the books.
I can’t wait to read the final book in the original arc: The Darkest Hour. From what I remember, it’s insanely dark but an amazing conclusion to the series. I hope you guys aren’t sick of my Warriors reviews! Because guess what — I’m planning to reread The New Prophecy and the Power of Three series, too! (And maybe Omen of the Stars and Dawn of Clans if I can handle it, haha.) Basically, I’m letting you know that these clan cats are going to continue to take over the blog for a while yet. I hope you’ll stick around my fangirling, but if not, that’s fine, too. ♦
Have you read A Dangerous Path?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
What’s a book you’ve read that is just plot plot plot?!
Comment below letting me know!
And, as always, happy reading!