Long Shadows

Long Shadows - Erin Hunter ***SPOILER ALERT**** DO NOT read on unless you want the plot to be given away....you've been warned LOL!

Wow...just wow. I don't even know where to begin, Long Shadows completely blew my mind, threw me off and of course left me wanting to jump in to the next and final installment in the PO3 series. It seems like so many things have happened in just one book...firstly Shadow Clan stopped believing in StarClan, so JayPaw HollyLeaf & LionBlaze came up with a plan to renew ShadowClan's faith. The plan was a success, with help from a few StarClan cats, and I knew something bigger had to be coming, as it was so early in the book to be problem free. Then green cough spread through ThunderClan, and with no catnip to heal them, FireStar was forced to seperate the clan in two, between sick cats and healthy cats, to avoid the deadly disease to ravage the clan any further. JayPaw traveles back in time and meets with the first cats to ever live around the lake...and there is much more to his vision than meets the eye. It seems as though JayPaw was actually a member of the first cats in a past life, and he is the one who leads them to a new home, where they will become known as the Tribe of Rushing Waters, the tribe of cats that the questing cats met during the New Prophecy Series; the same cats who asked for help from ThunderClan just a few books ago in the PO3 series. After JayPaw finally comes back to his own time, having helped the past cats find their way to their new home, he finally receives his true name, and becomes JayFeather ♥ If all this isnt already enough to make your head spin, then you'd better hold on to something because the end of this book is truly unbelievable. A huge thunderstorm threatens ThunderClan camp and traps the chosen three cats in. SquirrelFlight, their mother finds them and leads them to a different escape route, but not before AshFur arrives. AshFur had loved SquirrelFlight and had been devestated when she had chosen BrambleClaw over him (during the New Prophecy series). AshFur informs SquirrelFlight that he wants her to feel the pain he has felt all these years and therefore he will force the chosen three to die in the fire caused by the thunderstorm. SquirreFlight then proceeds to inform him, along with LionBlaze, HollyLeaf and JayFeather that she is NOT their mother, so AshFur can do as he pleases. She has been lying to the whole clan, including BrambleClaw who still believes these kits are his own. Once AshFur leaves, allowing the kits to live and vowing to reveal SquirrelFlight's secret, she admits to 'her' kits that this is in fact true, and she will not reveal who their real mother is (though I have a pretty good idea at this point). Now LionBlaze, HollyLeaf & JayFeather's who lives are turned upside down and they vow that AshFur must be kept quiet, at all costs. The book ends, with AshFur found dead, on ThunderClan territory, while LionBlaze, HollyLeaf and JayFeather know that he has dies because of the secret he knew. Many questions remain: who actually killed AshFur (again I have my own ideas on this) and if JayFeather, LionBlaze & HollyLeaf aren't SquirrelFlight & BrambleClaw's children, are they still the cats of whom the prophecy speaks? Furthermore are they kin to TigerClaw?

I definitely didn't see ANY of these twists coming, as usual Erin Hunter weaves a delicious web of intrigue, suspense & foreboding. At this point I feel like starting book 6 right away and reading straight through the night until I have all the answers....but I will try and pace myself, since there is another series after PO3, I can only assume that even when I'm done book 6, I still won't have all the answers ;-) Amazing book, highly recommended!