Reviews: Warrior Cats Dawn Of The Clans

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The Sun Trail: Not just one of the best books in the franchise, but the best possible starting point for new fans
Long have I lamented how people seeking to get into Warrior Cats have to trudge through the first two books, which are poorly written and don't give them an adequate example of how great the series will become. So when Dawn of the Clans, a prequel arc explaining the originals of the four (technically five) Warrior Clans that the characters belong to, I rejoiced. Not only were the elusive secrets of the past finally going to be revealed, but there would also be a new point for readers to jump in to the series.

The Sun Trail, the first book in this new series, has completely surpassed all expectations I had set for it. The first half of the book is a journey story, which Warriors has always been a little rough with. However, it's done really well here because instead of focusing too heavily on the same threats that we've seen so many times before (although this is plenty of entertaining action), we get introduced to our likable cast of 16 characters. They banter back and forth, develop interesting personalities, and sometimes they die. The journey does a pretty good job of setting them all up, so that by the time they've reached their new home, you care for these characters.

Of course, the second half of the book is where it truly starts to shine. Not only are we introduced to a steady stream of new characters, the typical deconstructions start up. Warriors has always been the type of place where being Hot Blooded and running into danger is a death sentence, where both the antagonists and protagonists want to change the world for sympathetic reasons, and where nearly every choice is seriously analyzed. That's never been more apparent than here. The antagonist is one of the grayest in the series, and his fall from grace is described in lavish detail. The Sun Trail also notably takes it upon itself to deconstruct many of the recurring themes of the series.

There's also really great world-building, which nicely ties together the overarching mythology of the series. It's pretty satisfying for long term fans, as are the many references to the arcs to come.

And of course, it's a great start for new readers, showing them what to expect from the series. Of course, some stuff (such as one particularly awe-inspiring event at the end) will be lost on them, but the story of two brothers will ring clearly.
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