^ yeah, I can see why the cats that died in the battle would be upset, but like... they can't act like they're above that kind of behavior, they were part of it too :/ just because they've learned their lesson now doesn't mean they get to be all disdainful of the cats they sided with five minutes ago
I finished Path of Stars so I guess here's a reaction essay
as a whole I quite like this series, partly because it's really interesting to see the origins of the clan system, and partly because I feel like it was more character-driven than the other arcs? so (apart from the original sun trail prophecy) I'm not sure how I feel about the brief implications that this was ~destined~ to happen... I wouldn't say it cheapens
it, but I think it's more interesting to have the clans come about because of the circumstances and decisions of the founders, not because they had
to exist (not to mention that "fate" makes it really easy to avoid taking responsibility for your actions...). I was more pleased with the aspects of clan life that developed naturally, like instituting formal one-on-one training for protection, appointing a "deputy" in case something happens to the leader, etc.
I was also a little disappointed with the end because
nothing really happened with slash?? I thought there was going to be some sort of final showdown, but instead he just threatened the clans, failed to kidnap a kit, and unceremoniously disappeared. it's kind of an underwhelming resolution to a conflict that lasted so long
it was nice to see the early clans working together so much, and that theme wraps around well to the end (or current point, I guess) of the main series, where the clans have resolved again to be separate together
. makes me wonder what drove them apart so badly in between...
I do understand the criticism of having so many female and so few male cats die, but I've never really gotten the "pointless deaths" argument... I feel like you could argue that practically any death is pointless, if you spin it right. when does it become unnecessary? at least some
of them have to be necessary, because I would be very skeptical if this many cats got through multiple battles and an epidemic with no casualties... honestly I was more surprised that so few
cats died from the sickness, after they made such a big deal out of it.
in terms of characterization, I think DotC may have had the advantage of a smaller cast, so fewer cats were left as flat background characters. tall shadow and river ripple were probably my faves by the end. some more specific (and spoilery) thoughts:
- I like gray wing and thunder well enough, but apart from the breathing problems, both of them struck me as fairly typical protagonists... though I do appreciate that the "mainest" character wasn't actually one of the five leaders, even though he played an integral role in the formation of all the clans.
- no strong feelings about jagged peak but I was kind of e_e about how rude he became, and how holly was always defending his arrogance
- I still don't like clear sky, because even after he got his second chance he remained nearly as self-centered and controlling as he was before, but I was glad he finally admitted to his faults. maybe now that he has a family he'll actually get better. I also enjoyed how quick water always stood up to him no matter how much of a jerk he was to her.
- sometimes I like wind runner's attitude and sometimes she's just aggravating. I didn't care for him at first, but I think I actually ended up liking gorse fur more
- still like the medicine cats too. I sort of wish dappled pelt had remained one of the "healers"... it seemed like once pebble heart started to show interest in herbs, dappled pelt stopped. it makes sense for there to be some cats with only a passing interest in healing, but I would have appreciated that more if it didn't mean all the future med cats (up until moth flight) were male :/ they could have had a healer in almost every camp
- I'm neutral on quiet rain but I felt like she was totally different when she reappeared?? maybe I just need to reread, but I remembered her as a gentle and anxious yet resolved kind of mother, and then at the end she was suddenly more the "snappy blunt elder" type and it surprised me
- kind of eh on slash and one-eye because except for the cult thing they seemed little more than your typical power-hungry jerk villains. I do like the idea of the clan cats coming into conflict with the rogues who were there first, though, there's a lot of potential for mixed feelings there
I don't ship much in warriors in general, but I wasn't enthralled with any of the romances. a lot of them just happened way too fast for me. gray wing/turtle tail was cute though, I'm glad they eventually got it right. I ended up liking wind runner and gorse fur as a pair, too.
I'm torn on thunder/lightning tail because I don't like the incest-y feel to shipping cats who were raised like brothers, but I wasn't that fond of any of thunder's whirlwind romances with the she-cats either. and the way lightning tail acted jealous of star flower, and made his nest so close to thunder's in the new camp, I could see lightning tail having a crush on him...