In the first Warriors series, we met Firestar and saw his progression from housecat (or “kittypet”) to leader of Thunderclan, one of four groups of wild, Warrior cats living in and around a forest. These six books were such an impressive beginning that the subsequent two series have paled in comparison. The characters in “The New Prophecy” series weren’t quite as engaging, and many readers were out-and-out disappointed with the third series, “Power of Three.” Fortunately, the fourth, and supposedly final Warriors series, “Omen of the Stars,” has gotten off to a very promising start. There is adventure right from the start of the first book, The Fourth Apprentice. It centers around Dovepaw, a likeable new apprentice who has the amazing ability to “see” what is going on in other parts of the forest, even events that are happening very far away. The lake where the cats live has all but dried up and only Dovepaw knows the cause — beavers building a dam far upstream. Her vision takes warriors from all four clans on an expedition to stop the beavers. Clearly, Dovepaw’s talent indicates that she is the third cat of the prophecy — the one who, along with Lionheart and Jayfeather, will “have the power of the stars in their paws.” And they will need it — Fading Echoes hints at a battle to come that will be bigger than the four clans combined. The villainous Tigerstar is still prowling the Dark Forest, and he is gathering his forces for an all-out war that will no doubt shake all the clans — including Starclan, the clan of feline ancestors — to their very core! Fading Echoes ends with a deadly battle that hints that evil may lurk closer to Dovepaw than she realizes. If the authors known collectively as Erin Hunter really do plan to wrap up the Warriors books with the final four of this series, they will be going out with a bang!
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