The Fourth Apprentice

The Fourth Apprentice - Erin Hunter The Fourth Apprentice is the 1st book in the Omen of the Stars series of Warriors. From what I understand, if there are any more Warriors series they will be 'prequels' to all the other series and so in a manner of speaking this is the 'final' series...(as of now of course) and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. I wasn't sure what direction Erin Hunter could possibly take after the way the final book; 'Sunrise' ended in the PO3 series, but I am really into the plot and the potential it has for future books. It begins of course, with JayFeather & LionBlaze approximately 6 months from the ending of the PO3 series. They are wondering when the 3rd 'chosen cat' will reveal him or herself to them and what this will mean for the prophecy.

The book opens up with StarClan being aware of who is the 3rd chosen cat: 'After the sharp-eyed Jay and the roaring Lion, peace will come...' and they decide to send this cat a sign...they mention that the prophecy didnt originate from StarClan, though they do not specify where it actually originated from.

Meanwhile, back in the forest the clan cats are suffering through the worst drought in recent memory. The lake has all but dried up, and no rain has fallen in a long time. Prey is sparse so RiverClan stake a claim to the territory surrounding the lake, where water used to be in an attempt to stop cats from other clans from stealing fish from the lake. During a visit to RiverClan, LionBlanze's new apprentice DovePaw (CloudTail's granddaughter) senses that RiverClan's leader LeopardStar is very ill...she also seems to be able to sense things happening from very very far away, almost as if she can see it in her mind. On the way back from a patrol she tells her clanmates that some brown animals are blocking the river that leads to the lake and that is why the lake is drying up. Most of the clan think she's just playing around, but she definitely has LionBlaze's attention. He brings JayFeather out so they can speak with DovePaw in private. She is kin of FireStar's kin, and it's obvious that she is the 3rd cat from the prophecy. Her powers are quite amazing and I thought it was a great addition to the other two's existing powers. We see DovePaw struggle to accept that she is different, and come to grips with the added responsibility that having special powers entail. Eventually 2 cats from each clan set off to find out what is blocking the river, following DovePaw's vision.

JayFeather for his part, finds that after coming across BreezePelt, his half brother, near the lake, the lather is harboring intense animosity towards JayFeather. BreezePelt seems to blame JayFeather, and his mother LeafPool for feeling like an outsider in his own clan. Near the end of the book, BreezePelt actually attacks JayFeather (a blind medicine cat!!) and JayFeather knows, BreezePelt wants him dead. Not only that, a fallen warrior from the dark forrest is fighting alongside BreezePelt! If a StarClan warrior hadn't come to JayFeather's aid, he would have been killed.

At the end of the book, with LionBlaze and DovePaw back from their quest after successfully freeing the water from a beaver dam, JayFeather & LionBlaze see TigerStar, HawkFrost and BrokenStar appear in the ThunderClan nursery. The fallen warriors are appearing in light of day, and with what we found out earlier in the book, (BreezePelt fighting alongside BrokenStar and LionBlaze knowing TigerStar is training TigerHeart) it seems that there will be a war between the cats of StarClan and the cats of the Dark Forrest; and the living cats of the 4 clans will be expected to choose sides, and join in the epic battle.