“If mercy is power, then I have never been more powerful.”
Erin Hunter’s Tigerclaw’s Fury is a short novella that follows an angry cat now ousted from his clan. When Tigerclaw’s treachery is revealed, thanks to a foiled murder attempt on his own leader and the meddling of a young warrior, Fireheart, he sets out on his own intent on revenge. Furious and hellbent on retribution, he must first lick his wounds and then find whatever power he can to destroy the clan he once hoped to lead.
A Murderous Mind
There’s something about power-hungry sorts that make it difficult to handle being within the dark depths of their mind. Tigerclaw is a devious and manipulative sort of evil. Everything he does is calculated, carefully planned in order to get him the power he has always coveted. Nothing he does is without that motive. Thus, following Tigerclaw and his fury after he is ousted from his clan upon failing to kill his leader, is a ride.
A Slow Takeover
Unintentionally, perhaps, Tigerclaw sets his sights upon the dying Shadowclan. While at first he simply returns to the rogues he’d once used to attempt a coup on his clan, this dangerous cat quickly sees an opportunity with the sick cats of Shadowclan. Understanding that they won’t always be sick, Tigerclaw sets about building a reputation, striking at the clan while they are at their weakest. And he does this, mind, by showing compassion.
It’s truly fascinating to see how kindness and charisma can deeply manipulate, especially during hard times. Despite having seriously dark motives, it is difficult for the Shadowclan cats to see this. Instead, they see a benevolent cat who helps them in every area without asking a thing in return. They are easily tricked into seeing him as a sign from StarClan above, come to save them.
And perhaps he did, for a time. But only insofar as it served his own ends.
This novella simply fills in the blank time within the larger story. It answers the question of where Tigerclaw went after being banished and the even larger one of how he managed to convince Shadowclan to make him their leader. This is the origin story, in a way, of Tigerstar himself. And it’s a pretty good one, even if it doesn’t really tell you much more than that.
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