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Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice Hardcover – November 24, 2009
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Fans of the ongoing Warriors series will enjoy this first volume in the Omen of the Stars subset. Cats Jayfeather and Lionblaze are grieving for Hollyleaf and are uncertain of the identity of the third cat with the “power of the stars.” All of the clans are suffering from the heat and drought. When Lionblaze discovers his apprentice Dovepaw can “see” events happening far-off, he organizes a patrol to investigate a vision about the river. Dovepaw is a reluctant heroine, furious about her powers and new responsibilities. The perilous journey creates powerful bonds between the clans, but ancient grievances portend new battles. Grades 5-8. --Chris Sherman
From the Back Cover
After the sharp-eyed jay and the roaring lion, peace will come. . . .
Four warrior Clans have shared the land around the lake as equals for many moons. But a prophecy foretells that three ThunderClan cats will hold the power of the stars in their paws. Jayfeather and Lionblaze know that they are two of the cats in the prophecy. Now the brothers must wait for a sign from StarClan to discover the identity of the third cat.
Meanwhile, Dovekit and Ivykit—kin of the great leader Firestar—are poised to become ThunderClan apprentices. Soon one sister will have an ominous dream—and will begin to realize that she possesses mystical skills unmatched by any other cat.
In the midst of a cruel season that threatens the lives of all four warrior Clans, bonds will be forged, promises made, and three young cats will start to unravel the secrets that bind them together.
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The Fourth Apprentice is a wonderful start to the Omen of the Stars series, which promises to be epic. I won't spoil the plot, but if all goes well it offers reprises for many wonderful characters from the past. And the size of what is at stake is on the level of Tolkien and L'Engle's stories.
Of course, the Erin Hunter team lacks both the literary prowess and the meticulous editing those authors had. My eight-year-old does a better job than the Harper Collins folks do at keeping characters, herbs, and traditions straight. He also boasts a consistent style and strong grammar skills. Many of the authors' similes were tired by the end of the first series. They are no less so here at the beginning of the fourth series.
The other problem I have, and the one that gives me the most pause when it comes to allowing my son to continue to invest in these books, is the disappointing way in which the authors handled a plot misstep with regard to the Power of Three.
Again, I do not wish to spoil the books, but this mistake was on the level of having Tolkien decide, as Gollum falls into the abyss, that the One Ring isn't the One Ring after all.
One would think the narration would express at least a tiny bit of contrition for having wasted so much of the reader's time, but in Omen of the Stars, the issue is dismissed with the equivalent of a quick, "Bygones!"
These books are huge sellers. The writing's not that great. The editing is careless. But, until recently, the storytelling has been superb. Considering where the saga appears to be going, it should not be that hard to re-weave some of the plot threads the authors dropped or broke last time. Here's hoping they manage to do so.
UPDATE (without spoilers): Later in the OOTS series, my concerns were addressed. Keep reading!
and finally I was able to find out who is the fourth apprentice, to fullfil the ancient prophecy. This book starts by a heartbreaking event: A drought has struck the cats' territory. All that remains of the formerly big lake is a small pool of water which is now constantly shared/fought over by the four cat clans. All the little animals that the cat eat are either dying or dead. It's difficult to even find the herbs for the medicine tents because everything is so dry and dying.
Lionblaze and Dovepaw are sent to go on a dangerous mission to save the clans.
Dovepaw has a vision of a beaver dam blocking the river. Lionblaze believes her and convinces Firestar to send a patrol to remove this dam.
Erin Hunter is actually many different writers, and not just one person. The author has written three sets of Warrior cat -books
I would recommend "Warriors: Omen of the Stars: The Fourth Apprentice" to children/YA/adults who like cats, action and adventure. Other similar books besides the Warrior -series, that the readers might like, are the Seekers by Erin Hunter, and also the new Animellis Island -series.
This was a very intriguing book and once you pick it up you won't want to put it down because you want to know about the prophecy's cats and also what will the cats do to help themselves in this drastic situation.
The book arrived quickly and was new, as stated. A great value as well. I now get all of his Warriors books on Amazon.