Sasha has returned to the woods to have her kittens, but with the arrival of leaf-bare, food becomes scarce and Sasha begins to wonder what best for her kittens. To return to the Clans could be dangerous for both her and kits, but the protection and training they provide could keep the kits safe. But is that what’s best for Sasha?
Warriors: Tigerstar and Sasha: Volume 3 Return to the Clans
Created by: Erin Hunter; written by Dan Jolley; Illustrated by Don Hudson
Tokyopop/HarperCollins; 2009 ISBN: 978-0-06-154794-2
In this third and final volume of this series, Sasha faces her darkest moments yet. For the sake of her kittens, she perseveres, leading her to make a difficult but ultimately necessary decision.
It’s just been one hardship after another for Sasha. She’s lost her twoleg friends, then she ran away from her first love and now she has to struggle to find enough food to keep her kittens fed. I’d like to say this is the darkness before the dawn, but there never seems to be a dawn for Sasha, just small, short-lived beams of light. Her den is on the border of Shadowclan territory, but she isn’t given away by Russetfur. Another rogue cat, Pine, tries to help Sasha and her kits by telling them about a farm where they can live, but the barn cats there don’t want them around, and Sasha really doesn’t want to be there. When she finally decides to return to the clans, she goes to the Riverclan, who live on an island where she and the kits are accepted, but it still isn’t a home for her.
Through most of this series, we have seen how strong Sasha is, but it is in this volume that we see her at her most vulnerable. She loses more in this volume than in the previous two, and it’s enough to almost make her give up, but her dedication to her kits keeps her going. So it’s perfectly understandable that she goes over the edge when the mother barn cat tells Sasha she “could learn a thing or two about being a mother” from her. But it is just the push she needs to finally realize where her kits belong.
There is nothing overtly objectionable in this volume. Because the theme of this series seems to be “loss and sacrifice”, there is a death, caused by a tragic accident, but Sasha’s strength and refusal to give up in the face of it keeps the death from being meaningless. Life goes on, and Sasha does everything she can to make sure her kits do live on. She makes all of the sacrifices in order to do what’s best for her kits, as all good mothers do. This isn’t a happy story, but it is a good one. It helps readers of the novels to better understand Sasha when she is encountered in them, and it shows another side to Tigerstar, making him less of the villain. This title is a must for any Warriors fan.