September 25, 2011

Ratha's Creature by Clare Bell

Ratha's Creature is the first book in the Named series.

Ratha is a yearling herder of the Named, she is from a clan of intelligent, prehistoric wild cats who keep deer and horses.  Her mentor, Thakur, believes she has great promise and also believes she would make a good mother to his cubs, however, before any of this is to occur, a fire breaks out and sends the clan scampering for protection.

During this panic, Ratha has learned how to "control" fire and her leaders are afraid and ban her from the clan and leave her at the mercy of the Un-Named ones, those who lack intelligence, and survive on instinct and hunger alone.

Ratha sets out to find others like herself, while braving the elements and the creatures not of her lands.  Upon her journey, she befriends Bone-Chewer, who shows her how to survive in the wild.  Ratha dreams of returning to her people and after years of running, she returns to find that the Un-Named ones are masking for an all out attack.  Ratha must warn the others and believes she has the answer to their problems but first she must face the challenge set before her by the fates that have steered her to this point in destiny.  Will Ratha have the courage to do what is right for her clan or allow the old ways to kill them all?

This is marked as a young adult fantasy and wish for you to note that some of the scenes may be graphic for the more sensitive reader, when the clans war, it is rather bloody and descriptive.

I thought that the read was an intelligent one, using cats as the characters set in a prehistoric was outstanding.  This read often reminded me of other clan stories I have read however, with humans and not animals involved.  The quest for fire was interesting from the point of view of a cat and the naivete was captured splendidly.

I didn't enjoy reading the terms three horns and dapplebacks and horses and deers, I kept thinking there were more than the two animals that the Named ones tended.  The references between them was aggravating, either they are three horns and dapplebacks and describe them to the readers as you would explain a deer or a horse or just call them deers/horses.  The flipping back and forth, even in the same paragraph, wasn't an enjoyable experience.

I thought that the book was rather fast paced and I didn't really get a feel for Ratha nor her plight.  Her inner thoughts and such didn't give me a better glimpse at her overall makeup.  After all that she survived, one would think she'd have a bit more maturity and wisdom to bring to the table, but she appears immature and headstrong.

I would give this book a three out of five stars, while the storyline was enjoyable, I had issues with the characters and need more depth to give me a better understanding of the Clan and its inhabitants.  Many interesting back stories could have been incorporated but were left out, leaving a story without any life.  However, for you younger readers, I am sure you will find this a fabulous read as it sets you in a different area outside the box, then you are used to believing.

Ratha and the Named Series
Twenty-five million years in the past, a society of intelligent cats pushed close to extinction meets an enemy band of raiding predatory cats in a decisive battle which will determine the future for both. 

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this thoughtful review of Ratha's Creature. I appreciate your willingness to be critical as well as thoughtful. Clare Bell