SPOILER ALERT!

Sunrise

Sunrise - Erin Hunter As usual, once I get to the final book in a series of Warriors, the suspense is at a peak, and I can't put the book down till I'm finished. Sunrise was no exception, even despite the fact that it's predecessor 'Long Shadows' revealed quite a few secrets of its own. The prologue shows LeafPool inspecting AshFur's body and discovering who killed him, though she doesnt share the secret with anyone, she is very troubled by what she finds and blames herself for what has happened...we also see StarClan also feeling the turmoil with YellowFang clearly not approving of all the secrets and lies BlueStar has seemingly forced upon ThunderClan regarding the 3 chosen cats JayFeather, HollyLeaf & LionBlaze. Speaking of the lather, LionBlaze meets TigerStar in a dream again but this time LionBlaze overcomes TigerStar but doesn't finish him off, telling TigerStar 'you're already dead' which I felt showed LionBlaze conquering the evil temptations of TigerStar, hopefully once and for all.

Back in ThunderClan, most of the clan is speculating as to who killed AshFur, some feel that it must be WindClan, as AshFur's body was found near their border, though others feel it had to be the work of Sol, the rogue cat who almost took over ShadowClan. Only JayFeather, LionBlaze & HollyLeaf realize that the killer is sure to be someone from ThunderClan itself. FireStar ends up deciding to send a patrol to the SunDrown place to find Sol, to bring him back for questioning. Included in the patrol are HollyLeaf & LionBlaze, both of whom know that Sol did not kill AshFur. The patrol succeeds in bringing Sol back, and he is kept prisoner because he refuses to cooperate.

All throughout the three siblings struggle with the knowledge they have acquired at the end of 'Long Shadows'; that SquirrelFlight & BrambleClaw are not their parents. HollyLeaf seems to be the most troubled of all, worrying if she and her brothers might be rogue cats, and worrying how she can follow the warrior code, if her being in ThunderClan might be breaking the code in itself. Of course this means they are not FireStars kin, and therefore the prophecy must not refer to them... All three siblings resent SquirrelFlight for her lies, and are finding increasingly difficult to continue lying to their clanmates, and eventually begin to wonder who their real parents are, as scared as they may be to find out

After a visit to to the MoonPool, JayFeather starts to put the pieces together, who else would SquirrelFlight be willing to lie for, even to BrambleClaw, other than for LeafPool?! I remember at the end of the 'New Prophecy' series, they mentioned LeafPool was getting plump, as everyone was so well fed, and I wondered if she might be pregnant, but no mention was made of this again and eventually I forgot about it. Until JayPaw figures it out. HollyLeaf on her end, finds out that LeafPool was with SquirrelFlight when they were born and brought back to camp and she decides to confront LeafPool to find out what she knows. During their exchange, LeafPool confronts HollyLeaf in turn, telling her she knows that it is HollyLeaf who killed AshFur (!!!!!) She admits to HollyLeaf that she is their mother and this upsets HollyLeaf beyond anything else...if her mother is a medicine cat, she has broken the code beyond anything else HollyLeaf could have ever imagined. This knowledge leaves her very disillusioned, and after discussing the new knowledge of their mother (while HollyLeaf doesnt give away to her brothers that she killed AshFur) the 3 decide they MUST find out who their father is.

Eventually JayFeather is visited in a dream from YellowFang. She tells him it is time for the secrets and lies to end, and brings him a crow's feather....for CrowFeather, their father! Upon sharring this with his brother and sister, they confront CrowFeather, but he doesnt believe them...LionBlaze is angry and JayFeather is somewhat subdued but once again HollyLeaf is very distressed. She has spent her life dedicated to the warrior code, and know feels their birth was a mistake. Finally, even after killing AshFur to keep their secret safe, she can no longer live with all the lies and deceit. The warrior code means everything to her, as LionBlaze tells JayFeather at one point and HollyLeaf can not bear to be the daughter of a medicine cat; to be half clan...she announces EVERYTHING at a clan gathering, in front of all 4 clans. BrambleClaw is shocked and hurt, SquirrelFlight is ashamed and in despair, LeafPool admits to everything, renounces her medicine cat title and leaves the gathering, while CrowFeather still denies that these are his children.

HollyLeaf tracks LeafPool back to ThunderClan, she has a plan. She confronts LeafPool and tries to force her to eat deathberries! LeafPool responds by saying she has lost her calling, the one cat she ever loved, her children and her life; and so letting her live is far, far worst than killing her. HollyLeaf, increasingly distraught runs off. JayFeather & LionBlaze follow, she runs to the tunnels and admits to her brothers that SHE killed AshFur. She runs into the tunnels as they start to collapse. Her brothers cannot go in after her, but I am not sure if she is really dead?! I dont know it seems to have happened so fast...maybe she is but we will see in the next series ;)

The book ends with JayFeather & LionBlaze vowing never to tell anyone that HollyLeaf had killed AshFur, and wondering what is to happen to the prophecy now that they are no longer 3...could another of FireStar's kin fill in the empty space...

I am having mixed feelings about the series being finished and the reader not having a 'conclusion' so to speak about the prophecy we have been anxious to be fulfilled. I definitely loved the series regardless, though I am sad at how everything turned out with HollyLeaf. Now that I think about it, she really didnt have any 'powers' like her brothers...unless she isnt really dead...we shall see!

*I'm adding this post script, because as I was finishing this review, I felt I was rambling on but I must add that I am happy that the story isn't really finished, as this means we get to know JayFeather & LionBlaze more...and I'm excited about this prospect. Now that all the secrets are out in the open, it should be interesting to see how they deal with their 'new' lives.*