Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Fireheart’s traitorous enemy Tigerclaw has been vanquished and exiled from Thunder Clan — but Fireheart can’t shake the feeling that he’s lurking in the forest, waiting for his chance to strike.
That’s not the only problem facing the young warrior in these blazing summer months, as he struggles to handle sinister omens, an apprentice with a shocking secret, and a devastated Clan leader who is a shell of her former self.
Meanwhile the forest gets hotter and hotter … and everyone braces for the coming storm…
Thoughts: I mentioned last time how this series is starting to get a little darker and involve more violence and death. This doesn’t change in the fourth book of the series. Be prepared for the death of characters who have grown somewhat near and dear as you read your way through this. The lives of feral cats living in the forest are not all sunshine and happiness, and they face death every day. This really comes to light in this book. Previously, characters have died but they’re usually ones who haven’t gotten a great deal of development, or else they’re blatant enemies of the protagonist and his Clan. Here, there’s a death to tug at your heartstrings, and you feel the loss of the character as soon as they’re gone.
The plot of Rising Storm is a rather chaotic one, as it seems like opposition is battering Fireheart from all sides. Greystripe is gone. Tigerclaw is gone but the threat of him still lingers in the forest. Bluestar has retreated into her den for the most part, and exists in an intermittant fugue state, devastated by Tigerclaw’s betrayal. Fireheart has to shoulder the responsibilities of deputy as well as pick up the slack for Bluestar, train his errant nephew, and still keep watching over his shoulder for Tigerclaw’s promised revenge.
Things aren’t all bad, though. The relationship between Fireheart and Sandstorm is starting to pick up, and it kept amusing me to see just how dense Fireheart was when it came to her affection and interest. Not only typical of someone who has a lot of his mind, but also very typical of the character, who has a streak of self-doubt and often seems to have blinders on when it comes to opinions and thoughts.
This book closes on a very grim note, but one that makes the reader want to put it down and immediately pick up the next one in order to continue the adventure. If you’ve made it this far in the series, then you’re in for a real treat in the books to come.
So long as you don’t mind more disturbing death, that is. Honestly, I can read gruesome depictions of war, pain, bloody injuries, you name it. But some of the deaths in this series gave me the heebie-jeebies, and I still feel profoundly uncomfortable thinking of them now. If this is a series you read to or with your kids, you might have to have some frank discussions with them afterwards.