“I am proud of my kits. I will watch over them forever. I promise.”
I genuinely don’t know if I can say that I liked Erin Hunter’s Tigerstar and Sasha series. As of this point, Return to the Clans is the technical final installment in this side story–though all the characters will come back in later books–and I’m kind of torn. On the one hand, it was fun to read. And this is the first experience I ever had with the Warriors Manga. But, on the other, there were continuity issues and various plot points weren’t great.
Trigger Warning: Death
Though I suppose it’s possible to say that this is a trigger warning you’ll need for many of the books in the Warriors world, it’s especially prevalent in this book for one reason.
You actually see it.
Whereas in many of the books, death is really something left up to the readers to imagine. For this reason, I think it was easy for me as a kid to move past all the times a cat died so easily. That, and I wasn’t emotionally connected to the cats who did die. Since this is a manga, though, things are a little different. Not only are we exposed to the potential starvation of a mother and her kittens, [spoiler]but we’re also subjected to watch a kitten drown. [/spoiler]
This was honestly rather harrowing for me. And I’ve thought a lot about it while reading the Warriors books.
The Story Overall
The plot basically follows Sasha and her decisions after giving birth to Tigerstar’s kits. A lot happens in the course of this rather short graphic novel and eventually Sasha and her kits find their way to RiverClan. They join up with the cats and her kids are set up to become warriors.
Of course, Sasha has to make a decision herself. Staying with the clan could potentially put her kits in danger. After all, there are those in ShadowClan who would recognize her and be able to guess who fathered them. And that’s pretty much everything that happens. Sure, it’s nice to know the story of these cats, to see the conclusion of Sasha’s experience with the warriors. But it doesn’t really pack a large emotional punch.
Part of this, I think, is also due to just knowing what happens next for these cats.
So, this series is kind of a fill in the gaps for the future novels in the world of warriors. I believe these books came after the second arc of books. And it makes sense that Hunter would need to fill in some backstory here. There are certainly moments in the other books where I feel like we, as readers, aren’t privy to important information. Or at least, we wouldn’t know this information without having read this series.
Perhaps it wasn’t the best of things for Tigerstar to watch over his kits.
All in all, I feel somewhat apathetic about these books. They’re alright and it was entertaining to read them. I don’t think I’m emotionally invested in them, though, despite there being some incredibly harrowing emotional moments that I had to read through. It’s an interesting dynamic, for sure.
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