Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Long Shadows

Seeing that I had waited almost three months for this book, I was expecting something wonderful. Dramatic. Shocking. And I got what I wanted.
316 pages, Long Shadows is chock-full of mystery, lies, drama, adventure, and more secrets than you could have ever forseen. I was shaking as I read it- which just goes to show how exciting it was.
The only two things that I didn't like were:
1) Erin Hunter tried to squish too many events into 316 pages. Some events seemed unreal because they flew by so quickly.
2) The middle of the book was filled with Warrior/Tribe history and ancient clan/tribe lore. Necessary for the story, I suppose, but boring all the same.
Now that I have given my review, I feel compelled to spill out all the spoilers. So here goes.
MAJOR SPOILER WARNING (spoilers in no particular order)
  • Lionblaze, Hollyleaf, and Jayfeather (he got his medicine cat name!) are not Squirrelflight's kits. But we still don't know the mother. Leafpool. most probably. (I think the parentage is going to be revealed in Sunrise, but still, we have to wait for another half-year!)
  • Ashfur was the traitor who tried to kill Firestar. And he hates Squirrelflight. He knows about the kits-not-being-Squirrelflight's-thing.
  • Squirrelflight murdered Ashfur.
  • Millie almost dies, but she becomes healthy in the end. (Noooooo, Millie, why couldn't you have died???)
  • Practically the whole of ThunderClan was infected with greencough (Firestar too!)
  • To avoid everyone getting sick, Firestar (in his sickly condition) takes all the sick cats to the abandoned Twoleg nest to recuperate and stay away from the healthy cats.
  • Firestar's AWESOME! (sorry, just my personal opinion)
  • Firestar loses a life.
  • Ah yes. Whitewing is going to have kits, and the lucky father is....Birchfall!!! (Who's about a million years younger than Whitewing *roll eyes*)
  • Possible LeafpoolxAshfur shipping...or it could just be Jayfeather's unknowingness. (I keep thinking Jaypaw!)
  • Since Sol took over ShadowClan, Blackstar wanted to be called Blackfoot. Tawnypelt and her three kits came to ThunderClan. However, the all-powerful Three went to ShadowClan, and with the help of two StarClan warriors, they got rid of Sol and ShadowClan went back to normal.
  • Three new StarClan cats! Brightspirit, Braveheart, and Shiningheart. These cats appeared in honor of Jimmy, Dana, and Emmy Cherry, who all died in a tornado in Arkansas. The three StarClan cats help Jaypaw save his Clan from greencough.
  • Heatherpaw becomes Heathertail. She HATES Lionblaze.

And Now, My Favorite Quotes (you knew this was coming!):

"'Did you see Firestar die?' Berrynose meowed, his eyes wide. 'What was it like?' Lionblaze glared at him, and didn't bother to answer. As he padded away, he heard Brambleclaw's voice raised scathingly. 'I might expect a question like that from a kit, Berrynose, but nor from a warrior, especially one that I mentored.'" (p.243)

"'Upset?' Ashfur echoed. 'I'm not upset. You have no idea how much pain I'm in. It's like being cut open every day, bleeding onto the stones. I can't understand how any of you failed to see the blood....'" (p.273)

"'Stay there!' Turning to face Squirreflight but keeping one paw on the branch, he hissed, 'I can't believe you didn't know how much you hurt me. You are the blind one, not Jayfeather. Who do you think sent Firestar the message to go down to the lake, where the fox trap was? I wanted him to die, to take your father away, so yo'd know the real meaning of pain.'" (p.274, said by Ashfur)

"Squirrelflight raised her head, her gaze locked on Ashfur's crazed eyes. 'Kill them, then,' she meowed. 'You won't hurt me that way.'" (p.275, referring to the Three)

"'If you really want to hurt me, you'll have to find a better way than that,' Squirrelflight snarled. 'They are not my kits.'" (p. 276)

"Wedged behind a rock just below her paws, the lifeless body of a cat floated in the swollen water, his fur dark and sodden. His tail streamed out into the current, waving as if he were still alive. Dustpelt was the first to speak. 'It's Ashfur.'" (p.305)

"Jayfeather knew they were all thinking of the scene on top of the cliff, when Squirrelflight's terrible secret had been shared in storm and fire. That, and that alone, had to be the reason for Ashfur's murder. Now, for their own sakes and the sake of their Clan, they must all conspire to keep the truth hidden forever." (p.316)

Mwa ha ha! Long Shadows was awesome!


Maya Ganesan said...

No, Birchfall is not a million years younger than Whitewing. Birchfall and Whitewing were apprentices at the same time, but Birchfall got his warrior name about one or two books before Whitewing. I'd say he's a couple months older than her.
We knew that Birchfall and Whitewing would become mates all along. It was obvious.

I LOVE the part when Brackenfur - I think - says "Are you saying that one of us killed Ashfur?" (These aren't the exact words.)

It's obvious. Leafpool's obviously the mother. How can they be Firestar's kin otherwise? And, there are too many hints. There's two moments in Long Shadows where Jayfeather and Hollyleaf feel that Leafpool's being too "mothery". And before they find out the truth, Jayfeather, I believe, wonders why Leafpool is being so much like a mother...he thinks, 'I have Squirrelflight for my mother...Leafpool's just my mentor.' Those aren't exact words - I don't have the book next to me right now.

But I don't know why the three haven't suspected Leafpool of being their mother (too much trust in her, I guess) or why ANYONE in the Clan hasn't said that Squirrelflight killed Ashfur.

The cats felt a little too mindless and stupid in the book. I loved Long Shadows, though. I liked the ancient-cats part.

Long Shadows was goodness. For once, ThunderClan cats were in danger of losing their lives and one ThunderClan cat actually died. This is the most normal Warriors book in some time.

Maya Ganesan said...

Whoops - sorry for such a long comment. :) Happy Thanksgiving.

Priya said...

Actually, Birchfall is WAY younger than Whitewing. I think you're mixing him up with Shrewpaw. Birchfall was only born in Midnight, while Whitewing was born in Firestar's Quest. Whitewing was an apprentice when Birchfall was born. It's actually kind of weird for them as mates- usually the tomcat is older than the she-cat, and if the she-cat is older, it is usually only by about a moon.

Katie said...

This cover really excites me.. enough to want to read the Power of Three series! Thank you Priya!


Anonymous said...

How many lives does firestar have?

Priya said...

Anonymous, I think he has five lives now. He's supposed to die at the end of the series, which is in 7 books...that would mean that practically loses a life every book :-(

Noooo Firestar!!! Thanks for commenting on my blog, anyways.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Squirrleflight did it. I believe that it was Sandstorm to protect her daughter. Hunter insinuates that the damage done to Ashfur was perfectly done like killing a piece of prey. I also have reason to believe that the "Three" are Leafpool's kittens because Squirrleflight would have only covered up the truth for her sister.

Priya said...

That's a really good idea. I was also wondering about that because Squirrelflight was still too weak to cleanly kill a strong, healthy cat like Ashfur. And Sandstorm is very strong and fast (and my fav character), but how would she know about the Three not being Squirrelflight's? I also agree with you that the kits are Leafpool's--that's become very obviously hinted in the books now.

Katie said...

Guess what Priya,

You have to promise not to say ANYTHING to ANYONE at all. I'll e-mail you about it.

**Hint- It's about the Warriors**