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Literature / Bravelands

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Bravelands is an ongoing book series by Erin Hunter, starring African wildlife. It's more similar to Seeker Bears than Warrior Cats and Survivor Dogs in that it stars several species of animals together. The first book, Broken Pride, was published in 2017.

A lion named Gallant is killed by a group of rival lions, led by Titan. Gallant's young son, Fearless, runs away and ends up snatched by an eagle. He is rescued by a troop of baboons, who decide that he is a good omen and decide to keep him. However, after their leader is killed, Fearless is kicked out of the troop. He returns to his pride, now ruled by Titan, and finds out that his now-blind mother, Swift, is in danger of being kicked out. After Titan's son, Ruthless, is kidnapped by cheetahs, Fearless strikes a deal with Titan to allow his mother to stay in the pride in exchange for rescuing his son.


The two other main characters are an elephant named Sky Strider, who can see prophecies as well as being able to read animal bones, and a baboon named Thorn, a low-class Deeproot who wants to become a part of the Highleaf caste. Thorn is in love with a female named Berry, but he can't court her until he moves up in his colony.

No relation to the Russian videogame series Braveland.


  • Broken Pride (June 2017)
  • Code of Honor (February 2018)
  • Blood and Bone (October 2018)
  • Shifting Shadows (May 2019)
  • The Spirit-Eaters (February 2020)
  • Oathkeeper (September 2020)

  • Shadows on the Mountain (May 2021)
  • The Venom Spreads (February 2022)
  • Blood on The Plains (October 2022)

  • The Shattered Horn (May 2023)


Bravelands contains examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Artful, Titan's favorite lioness, immediately gets Fearless's contempt for being snooty and blinding his mother.
    • Menace, Artful's daughter, She goes on to form her own pride, Like her parents (Particularly Titan) she was a code-breaker. As a cub Meance bullied her elder brother for his morals and as pride leader, she kidnapped several animals and subsequently used them as bait.
    • Grandmother is revealed to be the primary antagonist of the 2nd Arc.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: As Stinger is on the verge of death, he begs for Pear and Berry, his mate and daughter, to save him. They ignore his pleas.
  • Animal Religion: The Great Spirit rules all the animals except the lions. The elephant tribe's leader, the Great Mother, can channel it. In Blood on the Plains, Hyenas are revealed to worship a deity called The Great Devourer .
  • Arc Words: "Only kill to survive" and "Blood Pool's on the Plains"
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Baboons are described as having claws a few times, which is not true; like other primates, they actually have nails, like humans. Their society is depicted as being entirely metrocratic. In real life Baboon societies are matriarchal and baby baboons inherit which ever rank their mother’s have at the time of their birth.
    • Bull Elephants live in herds independent from the ones they’re born into. The same thing is true in real-life. However Bull elephants are usually depicted in the novels as living with their beard brothers for the rest of their lives. In reality, Bull elephants join Bachelor Herds once they’re too old to remain with their natal herd. Bull elephants leave their bachelor herds once they find a mate or reach a certain age and spend the rest of their lives as loners.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Both Broken Pride and Code of Honor end with Stinger taking a position of power, first as the leader of Brightforest Troop and then as the supposed Great Father to all the animals of the savanna.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Titan jumps off a cliff instead of letting himself be killed by Fearless, Ruthless, and Keen.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Blood and Bone has one. Stinger is finally dead, Thorn becomes the new Crownleaf of his troop and Great Father of Bravelands, and Berry and Thorn can be together, but Titan and his pride is still running around and a lot of animals have died.
  • Blood Oath: Of sorts. When two lions make an oath, they have to scratch each other on the throat and swear to hold the bargain they make. Fearless does this and makes Titan promise that he'll let his mother live, and Titan in turn scratches Fearless and makes him promise to bring Ruthless back safe and sound.
  • Broken Pedestal: Thorn is in complete disbelief that Stinger, the friendly and charismatic leader he had always looked up to, had broken the Code by murdering both Bark Crownleaf and Grub.
  • The Bully: Nut is a bullying baboon who picks on Thorn and Mud for being lower-ranking baboons, as well as Fearless for being a lion. Thorn dislikes him, but even he thinks that Nut getting banished for supposedly killing Grub is too much.
  • Reformed Bully: They’re several examples of antagonistic characters reforming themselves in this series.
    • One notable example is Nut. He is shown to be teasing others (Most notably Thorn and Mud) in Broken Pride. In Code of Honor however, Nut Allies with Thorn after the former reveals that Stinger was responsible for framing him. Nut even agrees to look after the Starleaf after Stinger orders a hit on her. Unfortunately, Nut is unable to protect her from the Stronbranches once they discover where he and the Starleaf are hiding. After Thorn flees from his troop, he and Nut choose Leopard Forest as their next hideout. There, they discover that another Baboon Troop called Crookedtree lives there instead of being overrun by leopards. When Crookedtree troop holds the two hostage, Nut lies that Thorn was also a Highleaf back in their own troop in order the make things better for the latter as well. Following Stinger’s defeat, Nut is re-accepted into Brightforest Troop alongside Thorn.
    • Resolute. Resulote makes his debut in Code of Honor as a loyal member of Titanpride. He often bullied Fearless and Ruthless. However, he turns on Titan after the latter loses his sanity.

  • Cliffhanger: Code of Honor ends with Fearless, who is now blindly following Stinger, preparing to kill his former friend Thorn.
  • Cool Old Lady: Great Mother. Her wisdom and calm attitude has earned her the respect of many animals in the Bravelands. She's calmed down an argument between a zebra and two wildebeests, talked the rhinos down from a rampage, and agrees to let Fearless and Thorn arrange a peaceful impasse with the cheetahs. Her death by an unknown assassin saddens her entire herd, and even the vultures willingly don't eat her body.
  • Death of a Child: Like the other three series, there are some baby animals that end up dying. One example is Sky's little cousin Moon, who ends up getting killed by Titan.
  • Downer Beginning: The first chapter ends with Gallant's Plot-Triggering Death, his daughter Valor seemingly killed, and his son Fearless chased out of the pride and left for dead.
  • Downer Ending: The end of Code of Honor has Stinger elect himself as the Great Father, having murdered the Great Mother and multiple other more reasonable figures of power to get there. Sky has lost Moon to Titanpride's forces, the new Great Parent has still not been decided yet (even though Sky is tasked with hosting the Great Spirit until he/she arises anew), and Thorn is being run out of his tribe and the savanna and is about to be killed by Fearless, who is now blindly following Stinger's orders.
  • Even The Rats Won't Touch It: Of a more spiritual example. The vultures in the Bravelands usually observe the carcass of a killed animal before eating it, to see if the animal was killed according to the Code or not. If so, then they eat. If not, however, the vultures won't eat it, instead taking its bones to the Great Mother to read. When the Great Mother is murdered, the vultures completely forgo their hunger and decide to guard her body.
  • Fantastic Racism: Fearless is bullied by some of the baboons because he's a lion.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The first book isn't particularly graphic about its violence except for Grub's death. He eats poisoned meat and ends up dying, foaming at the mouth, partway through.
  • Family of Choice: Sky, Rock, Silverhorn, and later Rush end up becoming an odd little family of Fire-Forged Friends.
    • In Shifting Shadows, it's broken when they all return to their own herds, though Sky and Rock regroup, and later adopt Rush's cubs after their mother is killed, and Sky later adopts Menace.
  • Honorable Elephant: Sky's elephant herd is said to be the most spiritual animals in the Bravelands, honoring the Great Mother (the matriarch of the herd). The elephants also love sharing stories and memories, and they all vote together on how to make a decision. They also have the ability to have visions from the bones they touch, whether it be another elephant or in the case of the Great Parent and Sky, any other animal.
  • Hypocrite: In Broken Pride, Stinger accuses the stubbornly traditional Grub of being a tyrant over the Brightforest baboons, wanting to be more open-minded to change. But in Code Of Honor, he ends up becoming even more of a dictator and even more close-minded than what he accused the more conservative Grub of being.
  • Insult of Endearment: Gallant's old friend Loyal takes Fearless in to live with him. When Fearless agrees to get Titan's son back from the cheetahs, he's irritated at the younger lion and calls him an idiot. After that, though, he uses the word affectionately.
  • Interspecies Adoption: After Titan takes over his pride, Fearless ends up getting adopted by a troop of baboons. It turns out that Stinger gets Fearless into the troop to protect him if anyone found out about his crimes, but most of the other baboons in the troop have accepted Fearless regardless of any complaints.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Fearless ends up befriending Thorn and Mud, two young baboons low in the baboon troop's ranks. He even gets approval from their troop leader, who had found him as a cub.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It's heavily implied that the corpse that Titan was eating was another lion.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Grub is aggressive toward Fearless, but since lions can sometimes eat baboons, he can be justified.
  • Kid Hero: Fearless is a lion cub who only recently received his new name.
  • King of Beasts: Lions are like royalty in the Bravelands. They do not pay their respects to the Great Mother, but they do follow the Code.
  • Maniac Monkeys: Monkeys are often a nuisance to the Brightforest baboons and will fight with them over territory. In Code Of Honor, they destroy Tall Trees, forcing the baboons to move elsewhere. In Shifting Shadows, the same troop of monkeys attack Crookedtree Troop. And within the troop itself, Stinger's followers are also vicious bullies who torment the other troop members out of pettiness, and Stinger himself is revealed to have orchestrated multiple murders, including that of the Great Mother, in pursuit of power.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Nut nearly causes Mud to get killed by crocodiles and shows no concern at all, Fearless attacks him. But when he sees everyone terrified, he feels ashamed from having attacked a member of the troop.
  • Naming Ceremony: As in most Erin Hunter works, this is used. Fearless' name was originally "Swiftcub" (which is apparently a generic name presumably related to his mother Swift). After several months of age and showing a certain attribute, cubs are given their "true" name.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Along with rogue animals, crocodiles usually never follow the Code. Sky even accuses them of killing the Earth Mother when she sees one swimming nearby. It doesn't help that the crocodile is smirking while she accuses it.
    • They end up somewhat averting this trope, though, by killing Stinger in Blood And Bone.
  • The Oathbreaker: The cheetahs accuse Fearless of being this when one of Titan's lions shows up to retrieve his cub, when it was said that no other lions would show up in their trade-off.
  • Oh, My Gods!: "Sky and stone!" is the most common, though other phrases such as "Skies above!", "Oh, Great Spirit" , and "great stars" are also exclaimed.
  • The Prophecy: Just like its three sister-series, prophecies are a focal point. Sky is able to tell prophecies by reading animal bones. In Shadows on the Mountain, Dayflower Mistback fortells a mysterious force threatining the Bravelands. Mud is revealed to have become Starleaf (The Baboon term for a seer) and has taken Moth as his apprentice in the next book. They both foretell the arrival of Bramble and Moonflower. Later Mud recives another prophecy on who'll succeeded a dying Thorn as the Great-Parent. This Great Parent is later revealed to be Prance Herdless.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Stinger, the baboon who let Fearless be accepted in the troop, is friendly and popular with the other baboons because of his calm and level personality..that is, until he reveals that he killed the past two troop leaders.
  • The Reveal:
    • The wise and friendly Stinger is revealed to be the murderer of Bark Crownleaf and poisons her successor Grub. Also in the same book, Great Mother is murdered.
    • In "Code of Honor", it's revealed that it was Stronghide the rhino who murdered Great Mother, although he was set up to do it by Stinger.
    • Loyal is actually Fearless' father, not Gallant.
  • Rhino Rampage: Rhinos are very grumpy and scorn the elephants for having the Great Mother as their matriarch. After Great Mother is murdered, something Stronghide is (partially) guilty of, Stronghide decides to make himself a Great Father to all the animals so that rhinos get the respect he believes they deserve. But the other animals in the Bravelands reject him.
  • Rite-of-Passage Name Change: Lions are given one name at birth, but then earn a new name at some point in their cubhood.
  • Royal Brat: Fearless thinks that Ruthless is this, but the cub turns out to be grateful for Fearless saving him. Menace (The younger sister of Ruthless) However, is shown to have inherited her father’s cruelty. She enjoys antagonizing her elder brother for his perceived uselessness. She eventually reunites with her father in his newly formed Wolfpride. In the Curse of the Sandtounge Arc, Menace is revealed to have formed her own pride. In Blood on the Plains However, Menace begs Chase to return Terror (Whom she grew to care about) to his real family after Grandmother brainwashes and subsequently turns her pridemates against her and Terror.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Mud and Thorn. Mud is quiet and rather shy, while Thorn is more outgoing and ready for a challenge.
  • Short-Lived Leadership:
    • In the first book, Grub is dubbed The Leader of Brightforest Troop after the previous leader is (supposedly) killed by a hyena. His rule as Crownleaf only lasts a few days at best, as a jealous Stinger Highleaf soon poisons his food. With Grub dead, Stinger is free to become the new Crownleaf.
    • Prance becomes the Great-Mother after Thorn dies. However her leadership (Which beings at the end of The Venom Spreads) ends when the plot of the third and final book of the second arc is finished as Prance is forced to give up her life to save the Bravelands from Grandmother.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Thorn breaking off his secret relationship with Berry is similar to Lionblaze breaking his friendship with Heathertail in Warrior Cats: Power Of Three. It's rather downplayed since they're in the same troop rather than different Clans, but they're on opposite sides of the caste system.
    • There's also a sprinkling of The Lion King (1994) in "Broken Pride": Fearless' father Gallant is murdered by another lion (like Mufasa being murdered by Scar, though Titan, Gallant's murderer, is not from Gallantpride), and Fearless runs away only to be adopted by another animal species (Fearless is adopted by baboons, while Simba lived with a meerkat and warthog). Fearless even decides to return home and challenge Titan for killing Gallant, while Simba challenges Scar for ruining the kingdom.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The reason there are no forbidden relationships is because of a legend of baboon love gone wrong. Sunrise Crownleaf and Moonlight Deeproot (the lowest rank) become mates, but jealousy festered in the troop and fight breaks out between the different ranks. Sunrise is killed in the fight, and Moonlight dies of a broken heart. Thus, they forbid the inter-rank romances with their saying: "Moon and sun shall never be one."
  • Taking You with Me:
    • When the cheetahs won't give Ruthless back due to a deal gone wrong, Fearless decides that, since he would be killed by Titan if he didn't return with his son, he'll take them down with him.
    • In Blood on the Plains, Prance gives up her life by jumping and luring Grandmother into a river of lava.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Stinger loves eating scorpions and his moniker "Stinger" comes from this. In his words, "the faster, the better!". He even tears the tails off of any scorpion he eats to avoid the poison. Scorpions become a Chekhov's Gun, allowing Thorn to discover who Grub's murderer is.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: After Grub's murder, Stinger turns out to be quite the tyrant in Code of Honor. The first thing he's done is murder the Great Mother by setting up Stronghide to kill her, and after that, he sets up his own brand of followers called "Strongbranches", officially disbanding the Council. He also ends up relocating his troop to a place with little food and less water, imprisoning critics who call out his kind of reign, and having the Starleaf murdered.
  • Uptown Girl: Thorn (a lower-ranking male baboon) courts Berry (a high-ranking female baboon), and the two become a couple despite it being against the rules. Near the end of "Broken Pride", Thorn breaks off his forbidden relationship with Berry to save her from Stinger if he turned on her for knowing that he murdered past troop leaders. They get back together in Shifting Shadows, but they end up breaking up again after Thorn begins to doubt their relationship and leaves the troop to embrace his destiny as the Great Father.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In Code Of Honor, Fearless ends up becoming a more cruel lion under Titan's reign, as opposed to the innocent and helpful lion cub he was in Broken Pride.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Code Of Honor sets up Stinger to be an example of this, with the other baboons and even the rest of the savanna animals being swayed by his way with words and skillful manipulation of emotions. This allows him to get away with the murder of the Great Mother, in part by framing Thorn for the crime.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Loyal asks Fearless this when growling that Fearless had made an oath he couldn't possibly keep.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Towards the end of Code Of Honor, Stinger frames Thorn for orchestrating the murder of the Great Mother. When Thorn accuses Stinger of being the real perpetrator, Stinger retaliates by pretending to have been emotionally hurt by Thorn's attempts to kill him, and thus turns the other savanna animals against Thorn.
  • You Killed My Father: This is Fearless' main motivation for returning to his birth pride.
  • Young and in Charge:
    • Fearless, a one-year old lion, becomes the leader of his own pride.
    • Also Thorn, a six-year old baboon, and Great Father of Bravelands. Likewise, Berry, who's only a year or so older than him, becomes Crownleaf of Brightforest Troop.
    • Another example of this trope is Prance Herdless (A young female Gazelle). Moment before his death, Thorn pass the Great-Spirit on to Prance making her the next Great-Parent.
    • Following the death of Grandmother, Bramble succeeds his father as their troops Silverback after the latter dies.
  • Unwitting Pawn: By the end of Code of Honor Fearless turns on Thorn when Stinger misleads the former into thinking that the latter had killed Bark and Grub Crownleaf as well Orchestrating The Great Mother’s death when in reality Stinger was at fault. In the next book However, Fearless realizes the error of his ways after discovering that Stinger was responsible for the death of one of his pridemates along with his ties to Titan.
  • Sneeze Interruption: In Shadows on the Mountain, Seek unintendedly jeopardizes Chase's hunt when he sneezes which subsequently alerts a Bush Piglet Chase was trying to hunt.