Summary: (From GoodReads) Before there is peace, blood will spill blood...
The Clans have finally arrived in their new home, following the prophecies of their warrior ancestors. The journey was difficult enough, but now they must struggle to establish territories and learn the hidden dangers of this unfamiliar world. Most importantly, Leafpaw knows they must find a replacement for the Moonstone: a place to communicate with StarClan. Otherwise there will be no way to choose new leaders, no way to share medicine cat secrets, and no way to know whether the Clans are on the right path.
The future seems uncertain, and more than one cat is harboring sinister plans that could lead to violence and darkness. As all the warriors wait for a sign, some of them begin to realize that the threats they face in the forest may not be as perilous as the threats they face from within.
Thoughts: Finding this book was tricky for me, since it seemed that none of the local libraries had it, and having been unemployed for so long, I couldn't just go out and buy a copy. I was stuck at the end of book 3 for what felt like ages! But the other day I finally got my chance to continue with the story.
This book held a lot of interesting developments for the characters Aside from all four Clans growing more accustomed to their new home, we get to see a lot of developing relationships. It felt somewhat like this book was an "in between" book, not as filled with action and adventure as a lot of the others were, but instead focusing more on telling a lot of what happens when things don't involve fighting.
I was intruiged at numerous places in this book. The hint that Mothwing might have planted her own sign to become a medicine cat was wonderfully done. Normally the foreshadowing in this series as very heavyhanded, and understandably so since the books were written for a younger audience. But I saw no hint of that anywhere else, and I'm hoping there's some elaboration later on.
Hawkfrost is either a brilliant liar, misunderstood, or a mix of both, and I'm inclined to believe the last option. We already know him to ambitious, and we know he looks up to Tigerstar, and so it's not a far stretch to think that he might have been covering his own tail when he repented for his actions with Mudclaw. Time will tell on that, too, I suppose.
And I was very interested to see the budding relationship between Leafpool and Crowfeather. I could see it coming a mile off, honestly, but to see the pieces of the conflict going on inside Crowfeather was a nice touch. Not uncommon, but still nice.
My final comment on this book is that I liked how it was a good feel of a mix of the old and new. I don't just mean that the Clans are evolving and having to change their ways while still hanging on to the tried-and-true, but I've noticed an improvement in the writing compared to earlier books, more stylish turns of phrase and sharper descriptions. But it still stayed true to the style I've come to be familiar with when reading these short novels, and so the new things weren't jarring distractions so much as pleasant surprises.