September 21, 2017, 07:42:53 PM

Author Topic: Tallstar's Revenge  (Read 673 times)

Offline Spellmaster

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Tallstar's Revenge
« on: July 21, 2015, 05:44:49 PM »
I read tallstar's revenge a few months ago, when the book discussions on v4 were pretty much dead, so I never shared my thoughts... but people talking about it again inspired me to go find what I wrote down after finishing it and finally post it.
so there's no overarching point to this thread except to talk about the book as a whole. what did you like, what didn't you like, how did you feel about the characters, whatever, feel free to just share your thoughts here

also should go without saying but this thread will contain unmarked spoilers!! Be Forewarned


overall I'm pretty ambivalent about this one, because I like WindClan and there were some cool themes here, but there were also things that bothered me...

tbh I think what got to me the most was the writing?? I know it's aimed toward an audience younger than me and it's not like I expect warriors to be a literary masterpiece, but there were a lot of instances of phrases being used over and over, sometimes multiple times within the same paragraph (I remember one that started with "Jake shook his head." and then ended with "He shook his head."). it's not the worst offense but I find it really jarring and it happens far more often than it should. this was the first warriors book I'd read in a while, but I don't recall having this issue with most of the other books :/

that aside, my other main criticism is that the plot felt a bit forced...? because on one hand it makes sense that Talltail is upset about his father's death, but on the other I spent a lot of time thinking whoa there buddy, you need to calm down, this is an unreasonable amount of anger... Talltail makes Sparrow out to be this conniving shrewd villain but it seemed pretty clear to me that his narration was really biased and he was basically blinding himself with his own rage. which is realistic, I guess, I'm sure people actually do that, but from an outside perspective it's frustrating because instead of sympathizing with him you spend the whole book waiting for him to realize how wrong he is instead of accomplishing anything. it was difficult for me to root for him in that part of his quest.

I was very interested in his restlessness, though. he's definitely got this claustrophobia thing going, both literally (being afraid of the tunnels) but also extending to the whole territory and encompassing his entire life as a warrior, and I thought that was pretty novel? I don't recall many warriors being that curious about what's beyond their territory or what life is like outside the clans, so it's nice to see one who's not just content to do the same thing in the same place for his entire life.

also some character thoughts:

I'm kind of torn about Shrewclaw because he was a total jerk and frustrated me a lot, but something struck me as very realistic about the way he bullied and teased Talltail for fun and just didn't realize how awful he was being. I became a lot more interested in him when Tallpaw started to brood after Sandgorse's death, because you'd think Shrewpaw would be the mean guy no one likes, but the fact that he maintained normal relationships and grew closer to Reena while Tallpaw sulked and drove everyone away from him highlighted Tallpaw's attitude problems pretty well. so while I didn't like him as a person/cat, I thought he was an intriguing character.

I was also interested in Hawkheart because (I think) the only other places we'd seen him were Bluestar and Crookedstar's books, where his main role was to kill Bluepaw's mother in battle. and warriors aren't supposed to kill and he's a medicine cat besides and even his name sounds ~evil~ so he was more of a villain in those books... but in this one he's just a normal part of the Clan. Bluepaw may have seen him as cruel, and his actions may have been too extreme, but watching his daily life with his clan it's clearer that he's really not so bad, to him it really was just self-defense. so it was nice to see him as more of a person than a stock bad guy. and I just like those kinds of gruff/blunt characters who come across as harsh but really aren't as uncaring as they may seem (in that regard he reminds me a little of Jayfeather).

Offline Flametail

Re: Tallstar's Revenge
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 09:51:09 PM »
(long post, sorry)

I finished Tallstar's Revenge about a week ago; I'm really glad to be seeing discussion about the book.

I enjoyed the book a lot as a whole -- getting to read about WindClan's territory in the old forest and seeing how the cats that actually lived there viewed it was really interesting. That was one of my favorite parts of the novel, actually -- being able to read about all the scenery that the WindClan cats were surrounded by, as well as how their Clan functioned together and how much they valued their cleverness and swiftness as whole. I also liked reading about how much Tallpaw loved his territory when he was first discovering it, how he learned to run like a true WindClan cat -- things like that made me really appreciate our hero a lot more. The small details were fantastic to me, and reading about WindClan made me appreciate it a lot more than I did before.

however, my greatest issue with the book, similarly to yours, was basically how Talltail didn't let go of the fact that his father died in the tunnels while Sparrow escaped -- it was understandable to a point, but when he decided to leave the Clan mainly to hurt Sparrow, it seemed as if the issue he had was being really blown out of proportion. I did enjoy Talltail's interactions with Jake and how well they seemed to bond with one another -- and how the authors were able to tie that back to how Tallstar cared about Firestar, knowing full well that he was Jake's son. I also kind of liked how they included Talltail's feeling of being closed in by his own territory, as expansive as it was, to his quest instead of making it about his desire for revenge alone.

another issue that I had was how so much of the book was building up to Talltail's seeking Sparrow and murdering him, and I felt like the climax kind of fell flat after Sparrow was able to survive without any harm done; given how much Talltail was looking forward to hurting him, it seemed a bit odd for him to suddenly drop those feelings, even if there was some buildup to it beforehand. Also, I know if wouldn't have fit the story, but I might have preferred for Talltail to end up trying to save Sparrow after attempting to murder him and losing him, then having to come to terms with that instead. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I felt as if that would have been more interesting.

on the characters;

I was really irritated with Shrewclaw throughout the book, mainly because of the way he treated Tallstar from kithood forwards. I know that he was mostly just teasing, but his repetitive insults and not having a lot of endearing qualities made him kind of an unlikeable character to me. I did appreciate how his character was shown in a different light following Sandgorse's death, which definitely added to the depth that he had as a cat, but overall I wasn't much of a fan of him.

Speaking of Sandgorse, his relationship with Talltail was pretty interesting to read about as well. Even if his reaction to the fact that his beloved son wasn't going to follow in his pawsteps as a tunneler was fairly predictable, I enjoyed how he treated his son beforehand and was interested in what happened after. I do like the fact that Talltail didn't harbor any anger against his father -- which made his reaction to his death more understandable -- and the distance between them after the fact felt realistic, if not a little forced. He was a pretty good father to his son to a point, unlike some other parents we've seen (i.e. Rainflower in Crookedstar's Promise) and I liked him as a character because of his strong work ethic and intelligence. Reading about how he directed and dug many of the tunnels was really neat to me, and I appreciated that.

Anyways, I mostly enjoyed the book as a whole, even if there were some issues with it. I hope that we get to see more threads (and books) like this in the future!

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Offline moss

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Re: Tallstar's Revenge
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, 08:36:09 PM »
hi old thread lol

i just finished tallstar's revenge today so i might as well post on this thread

i'm probably not going to say a whole lot but i really loved the ending so i'm just like :D :D right now. i loved how talltail and jake both left their homes together because they wanted to know what else was out there and grew really close but in the end even though they would have liked to stay together they realized they had to go back to their homes/where they belonged ;_; and the firestar thing at the end

i agree with some of the issues mentioned like earlier in the book i was like tallson You Need 2 Chill but i still kind of like how that storyline ended up... it could have been written better sure, maybe there could have been a bit more to the thing that causes talltail to seek revenge.... i liked how shrewclaw died the same way as his mother because he was seeking vengeance, it kind of makes it like, if talltail had gone through with killing sparrow he would have died too. and with jake's involvement with that storyline too, when they're journeying together and trying to find sparrow, jake isn't trying to make talltail stop, but he knows that talltail needs to eventually realize that he shouldn't and so he's there, gently supporting him and being understanding and waiting and helping him grow :')

ALSO with the repeated words things the past few days i was just like STOP SAYING SWATHE EVERY PARAGRAPH..... LMAO seriously it got so bad

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Re: Tallstar's Revenge
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2016, 02:28:23 PM »
Sorry to drag up an old thread, but I've started reading Tallstar's Revenge recently and noticed something interesting:

The way the tunnelers are portrayed reminds me very much of coal miners and early 20th-century mining communities - I've noticed quite a few parallels between the two e.g. doing dangerous underground work, being treated unfairly by authority figures, close family connections and following in the footsteps of one's family, etc. I'm wondering now whether this is where Kate got her inspiration or whether it's just a coincidence..?

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Offline Darkforestwarrior

Re: Tallstar's Revenge
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2016, 07:22:16 AM »
I think the comparison of Tunnelers to coal miners is extremely fitting. It's basically the exact same job minus gathering coal and involves similar risks. I would not be surprised in the least if this was an inspiration for the Hunters, good catch!

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