Friday, September 07, 2007

Rahta's Creature by Clare Bell

Ratha is a member of the Named, a tribe of cats that has culture and language. However, when lightning strikes and Ratha tames the Red Tongue, she is made an outcast. She runs in with one of the Un-Named, whom she names Bonechewer. She grows up and learns the way of the hunter from Bonechewer, whom she then mates with. She and Bonechewer then go to a meeting of the Un-Named where she pretends to be mute. Much to her dismay, the Un-Named decide to attack her old clan. She is forced to take part as she cannot rejoin them and be accepted. However, Ratha is recognized and then kept from the fighting. Once the clan has been ousted, she and Bonechewer get a den where they stay for the winter. Come Spring, they returned to Bonechewer's territory where she gave birth. Unfortunately, because Bonechewer, although his mother was a Named, was part Un-Named, so Ratha's children were as dumb as many of the Un-Named. In her disappointment, Ratha attacks here children and Bonechewer, who banishes her. Ratha wanders until she runs into Thakur, one of the Named. Thakur takes her to the clan, where she is once again cast away. When lightning strikes, Thakur finds her and convinces her to defeat Meoran, the leader, with the Red Tongue. Ratha does so and becomes clan leader. Using the Red Tongue, Ratha and the other Named drive off the Un-Named raiders, among whom was Bonechewer. Bonechewer dies, and Ratha grieves for him. Then, Ratha takes full leadership of her clan.

Although at first I didn't believe I would like this book, it was surprisingly good. The way that the author makes the cats understand what cats would understand, and not as much as humans, makes it much more realistic. A little foreshadowing goes a long way to make the book a lot better. Each main character is like a real person, changing with the way the plot moves. Ratha's Creature gets an 8 out of 10 from me.

Content: Graphic descriptions of burning and injuries.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age: 14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Chambersburg, PA United States

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