Oh. My. Starclan. This was AMAZING! I finally got this book in the mail on the 20th, and I read it all in one day! What a ride! The Hunters have been topping themselves with each new book released for A Vision of Shadows. The Apprentice’s Quest was fine, Thunder and Shadow was great, and Shattered Sky was amazing. I can’t wait for Darkest Night to be released.
Meet the cast! Art by Snowy-Owl-Of-Dawn
All the clans are shaken after the disastrous attempt to take back Shadowclan. Windclan ran away and closed their borders. Riverclan is heavily injured. Thunderclan is in chaos trying to keep a cool head above the storm. Alderheart knows what the prophecy means, how they must find Skyclan, but Darktail’s threat is so overwhelming, it’s preventing them from finding the solution to their problem. It doesn’t help that Riverclan is taken over as well later on. The chaos and disorder that affects the clans is a perfect storm of conflict that makes you wonder if the clans will actually win this time, what they will have to sacrifice to achieve this. Of course, if you’ve read the books for a while, you can assume that somehow the clans will survive. But not knowing how is the best part.
Darktail and his ‘Kin’. Left to right- Rain, Darktail, Raven. Art by AliKitKat
The Kin are the cats who follow Darktail, including rogues, Shadowclan cats, and even a few kittypets. Many cats originally joined because they thought Darktail would lead them to a life of glory and adventure. What they got was far worse. What makes the Kin so realistic is how it’s run. Darktail’s closest Kin, including Raven, Sleekwhisker, and even Violetpaw, are given all the prey they want. They can do as they please to be happy with their Kin. Others follow not because they want to, but because they’re too afraid to do anything else. Some sneak out of camp to the Thunderclan safe haven, but some are caught. Cats like Dawnpelt are taken to the lake and drowned, never to be seen again. That fear of death forces the Kin into submission as Darktail lives in comfort.
Purdy. Art by Fairyleaf
I’m giving Purdy a section here, because he died and I MISS HIM SO MUCH! His personality and stories warmed my heart. I fell in love with the old cat. I’m going to miss him. OH PURDY YOU WERE SUPPOSE TO LIVE FOREVER WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DIE NOW?! (blows nose)
Our little dorky medicine cat. Art by Fallblossom
Alderheart is trying to help his clan survive against Darktail while trying to find Skyclan at the same time. He cares deeply for Twigpaw and Violetpaw, only wanting what’s best for them. He’s basically like their adopted father, in a way. Compared to Firestar or Bramblestar, Alderheart is a nervous wreck. He jumps ahead on plans to help everyone, even though doing them at that moment causes multiple problems, such as he and Mothwing getting herbs from Riverclan and getting Needletail in trouble. He’s protective and kind and anxious, a well crafted character.
A Shadowclan rebel. Art by TennelleFlowers.
Needletail’s character has bounced around over the past three books. She was a rebellious apprentice who wanted to restore Shadowclan to it’s former glory. She wasn’t given the right foundation by her clanmates, which caused her to turn to Darktail for the support she needed. LZRD WZRD explains it well in his video on Needletail’s Radical Teenage Angst (man, I can’t go one warriors post without mentioning this guy, can I?). She fell in love with Rain because he could make her smile, make her feel as though she belonged. When Darktail killed Rain, he began Needletail’s path back to the ways of Starclan, realizing that what her elders taught her was morally right, and that what Darktail wants is evil.
She’s given a very powerful scene towards the middle-end of the book, where Violetpaw fails at drugging Darktail with poppy seeds to free the Riverclan prisoners. He takes Needletail to the lake and starts to drown her. When Violetpaw confesses, Needletail swims out of the lake and is told to kill Violetpaw. This scene is incredibly powerful, because of how much Needletail’s relationship to Violetpaw has been built up. They’re like sisters, like true kin. For a moment, it looks like Needletail will actually kill Violetpaw, but turns around and helps her escape, sacrificing her life. It finishes her arc with a dramatic ending worthy of this series.
Sisters. Art by prophecywings
Violetpaw and Twigpaw
The two sisters have been through a lot. They were separated into Shadowclan and Thunderclan (for a reason that was kinda lazy, and definitely terrible for them) and both spent quite a bit of Thunder and Shadow wanting each other. Violetpaw’s trying to stay alive in the Kin, witnessing Rain trying to kill Darktail and Rain’s subsequent death. She stayed by Needletail’s side, refusing to leave her alone. Meanwhile, Twigpaw wants to go find Skyclan and her father, making everyone believe she’s dead. Yeah, Violetpaw definitely takes priority right now, Twigpaw. Sorry. I’m not saying her story is worthless, it’s the best way to bring back Skyclan. But did she have to ‘die?’ She didn’t really die, but they wrote it off in a really lazy way. Violetpaw’s story is much more interesting.
Darktail and Violetpaw. Art by ClimbToTheStars
Violetpaw is trying to survive with the Kin under Darktail’s terrifying leadership. She realizes her mistake about her and Needletail staying there and tries to keep on Darktail’s good side while still trying to help the other clans defeat him. She and Darktail have a very creepy relationship. Darktail acts very kind and wise around Violetpaw, even though he knows she knows that he’s really not. He lets her have the best prey and tells her they have a connection as unwanted kits. It’s REALLY creepy. Like, SpottedxThistle creepy. She uses her connection to him to help a few cats sneak out of camp to Thunderclan, and tries her best to help the prisoners escape by drugging Darktail. That fails, Needletail dies, and Violetpaw runs to Thunderclan. I really love both of their characters, with their stories and personalities. Twigpaw is a bit of a mary sue, but Violetpaw is a full package of awesome.
Father and Son, die together. Art by WarriorCat3042
Onestar and Darktail
Oh my, was this a plot twist. Onestar is Darktail’s father. This ties together their arcs and characters so well!
As Onewhisker, the Windclan leader was quite the diplomat. When he became leader, however, he cut himself off from others and protected his clan and his clan only. He turned into a massive jerk, one everyone in and out of the world of the clans hated. Revealing his backstory ties how he acts together so well. He had kits with a kittypet because he kept bragging about how he was such a brave warrior. When the kittypet had a kit, who would become Darktail, he didn’t want to get in trouble and sent them away. This interaction turned him from diplomat to xenophobe because he knows what happens when you interact outside of your clan. Granted, he’s still a jerk for other reasons, but this changes what everyone thinks of the Windclan leader.
Darktail’s mother, Smoke, taught him to hate the clans and hate his father. He carried a warrior name so he could show them their defeat in cruel irony. He used his charm to gain followers and destroy the clans. He scared his father into hiding, taking his last two lives. Their final battle in the lake takes them both down to their graves, tying up everything they’ve done in a neat, soaking wet bow. It’s time for Harestar!
Skyclan deputy. The clan back from the dead.
Hawkwing and Skyclan
Skyclan is finally back where they belong! Twigpaw has brought them back to the lake and to the four clans, turning them back to five! (Great, my fanfiction is all out of wack now). Not only that, she’s met her father, Hawkwing, deputy of Skyclan. Skyclan has been a loose end for far to long, and it’s nice to see them finally come into the main series. Hawkwing is a gem. He’s a very kind and loving cat, and immediately loves his daughters. However, he wants them to leave their clans and join him in Skyclan. That’s definitely going to bring some drama. I’ll need to read Hawkwing’s Journey soon and learn more about him!
Kin United. Art by CYTROPLEx
Family is a huge theme in Shattered Sky. Twigpaw spends a lot of the book trying to find her family. Darktail’s group call themselves ‘Kin’. Violetpaw loves Needletail like a sister. Hawkwing wants to be with his kits. It’s something that echoes through every word. The book wants us to know we must protect our family and love them, that family will do anything or each other, that family isn’t always related through blood. It’s been a theme throughout many warriors books, since a Clan is basically one big family. It’s a well written and powerful theme of Warriors.
Oh, the fight scenes. How I love you! The book had plently of action, from the first battle to Rain’s death, to Riverclan VS the Kin, to Onestar and Darktail’s end in the lake. There was even LIGHTNING during that last one! Every fight scene kept you zooming around, following the blows and the pace. Each one was unique with different terrain and backstory and emotions. The final battle felt like every clan was coming together doing what they were born to do, harnessing the original emotions of the first series. Perfect action, perfect pacing.
This book is one of my favorites, one I’ll definitely re-read. I’ll never regret buying this book.