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Midnight: Warriors, The New Prophecy    by Erin Hunter order for
by Erin Hunter
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

My teen sons and I are all addicted to the wonderful cat Warriors series, and wondered how it would develop after its previous lead, ex-kittypet Firestar, rose to leadership of ThunderClan and defeated his nemesis Tigerstar. Now, Firestar still leads ThunderClan, but stays in the background in this New Prophecy sequence, which substantially increases the mystical element in the series.

Though the Clans don't know it yet, disaster is headed their way, and StarClan has plans for them - in particular for one cat selected from each Clan. Both of Tigerstar's offspring are chosen (Brambleclaw in ThunderClan, and Tawnypelt from ShadowClan), along with Graystripe's daughter Feathertail from RiverClan, and cocky, quarrelsome apprentice Crowpaw from Windclan. Dreams come to them, and eventually they meet and decide to follow the setting sun in a search for salt water. None share what they know with their Clan leaders, fearing obstacles and disbelief.

Firestar has two daughters now by Sandstorm - Squirrelpaw is an apprentice with attitude (especially towards Brambleclaw) and is linked telepathically to his other daughter, Leafpaw, a gentle healer. Squirrelpaw insinuates her way into Brambleclaw's quest as does Feathertail's sibling Stormfur. The six cats head off, wondering if they will ever see their Clans again. They encounter sheep and cows, dogs, humans (Twolegs) and rats, and slowly learn to work together under Brambleclaw's leadership. They encounter an old loner named Purdy, an 'unlikely savior' who guides them along their way.

When these brave six finally reach salt water and Midnight as StarClan predicted, they're surprised to find answers (and further predictions) from 'one of the deadliest enemies of the forest cats'. They realize that their journey has just begun, setting the scene nicely for the next episode with this engaging new Warriors generation.

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