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Moonrise: Warriors, The New Prophecy #2    by Erin Hunter order for
by Erin Hunter
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Midnight, the first of the new Warriors sequence, StarClan sent a group of cats (representing all four Clans) on a long, dangerous quest to reach salt water. Led by Tigerstar's son Brambleclaw, they succeeded, only to learn that Midnight was a badger (luckily a benign one as badgers prey on cats). Aside from Brambleclaw, questors include Stormfur and his sister Feathertail, Brambleclaw's injured sister Tawnypelt, argumentative apprentice Crowpaw, and Firestar's feisty daughter Squirrelpaw.

This second episode, Moonrise, opens on another tribe of cats, listening anxiously in a cave to a prophecy from their leader, Stoneteller, that a silver cat will come 'who will rid us of Sharptooth once and for all.' After consulting with Midnight, and now heading home, the questors choose the shorter route, through the mountains. The action alternates between their adventures, and the trials of those on the home front, where Squirrelpaw's gentler sister Leafpaw continues her work as a healer while worrying about the giant machines she's seen and the destruction they've caused. There's plenty of trouble in the forest, and though Firestar tries to rally the clans, the other leaders won't agree.

Soon there are poisoned rabbits everywhere and starving and dying cats. To complicate matters further, Leafpaw (who begins to be advised in visions by Firestar's loved SpottedLeaf) discovers that Tigerstar left another son, one just as ambitious as his nasty dad. Then ThunderClan cats go missing. In the mountains, the questors cope with eagle attacks, a mudslide and waterfall, and meet another tribe of cats who insist that Stormfur is their promised savior, and that he must stay with them to deal with the large and scary Sharptooth. There's a rescue and escape, a confrontation and a poignant sacrifice. The episode ends as the questors finally straggle home.

In this new Warriors series, Erin Hunter has broadened her world canvas and injected a stronger mystic element, making it even more exciting. My sons and I pounce on each new book in this gripping epic that deals with love and war, natural and man-made disasters, tragedy and a focus on the ultimate survival of the feline clan.

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