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Ratha's Creature (The Named, #1)
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Ratha's Creature (The Named #1)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,179 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Ratha and her clan are the Named, a band of intelligent wild cats whose society is based on herding deer. The Named have laws, language, traditions, and leaders. They also have enemies. The predatory raiders of the un-Named are driving them close to the edge of survival. Then Ratha, a mere yearling, discovers what she calls the red tongue: Fire. Her new weapon gives the Na ...more
Paperback, 259 pages
Published July 19th 2007 by Firebird (first published 1983)
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Meghann It is a really great book , I read it in one sitting .
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Community Reviews

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I originally read this about 15 years ago, and it's always stuck with me as one of my favorite series ever. I'm working on re-reading them all, especially with a brand-new book in the series having just been released.

So far, they're as good as I remembered them being. The story is set sometime in pre-history (it's hard to tell at times), where a Clan of sentient big cats survive by herding their own deer for food. Ratha begins the story as a cub just learning the ways of the herder, when a light
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
I came back and gave this a three star rating, because my previous one was only 2 stars. After I finished it, I couldn't get it out of my head, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. Though gruesome and depressing, it's almost poetic in a dark, haunting way. It actually makes me want to get the second one and possibly read the whole series.

UPDATE 10-16-11: Ah, to heck with it, I'll give it a four star! *audience cheers*
(This is another book for which I wish GoodReads allowed fractions of stars, but anyway)...
I picked this up as a Read-a-like for the Warriors Series, which I love to pieces. This book had a similar feel, while still holding a very separate identity. I would indeed recommend it to someone looking to for new "animal-related fantasy."
In many ways, this story reminded me of the Lion King. And, since this is copyrighted in 1983, it came first! The main character, Ratha, is far from perfect.. and I l
Sheila Ruth
Ratha's Creature is an intense, emotional roller coaster of a book. It's the coming of age story of a remarkable adolescent, but it's also a story of the eternal battle between social status quo and social change. Ratha is a remarkable character that you can't help but like in spite of her shortcomings, and teens will identify with her struggle to make sense of the world around her and find her place in it. Recommended for mature teens due to violence and adult situations.

Read my entire review.
This book is now one of my all time favorites - it is an amazing story written by Clare Bell, and a story I shan't forget anytime soon. I was brought into the thrilling world of Ratha and the Named, intelligent cats living millions of years ago. By the first page I was hooked; all the characters were well developed and the plot exciting and original. Clare obviously researched to write these novels, and for that I respect her for it. She's an amazing, talented author and now one of my all time f ...more
Katarina Bambina
Despite the cheesy tag line on the back of this book, I thoroughly enjoyed rereading it (I first read this book when I was 12). The description is amazing, the characters interesting, and the idea more or less original (despite all the cat books that have been written after this book came out in 1983). If you like "Watership Down", I would highly recommend this book-- and so far my students like it!
I first read this years ago and remembered really enjoying the series. In re-reading it, I found I didn't remember any of it, but I still really enjoyed it! I also found it to be a little more "grown-up" than I had remembered it to be, especially for being classified as a young adult.
Growing up this was one of my absolute favorite series.
The creatures were a mix of feral and intelligent, and never ceased to give me goosebumps at certain points.
Still one of my favorites 17 years later.
My absolute favorite book! A coming of age story told through the eyes of a prehistoric clan of wild cats. Themes like learning, belonging, and loyalty are key.
It was one of the best books ive ever read. I love how she said the eyes of most of the Un-Named we different from those of the clan.
PEN Center USA
1983 PEN Center USA Award Winner for Young Adult Literature (tie)
Ratha's Creature has an interesting premise. There are prehistoric cats divided up into two tribes so to speak - The Named and Un-Named. The Named are a tribe that has developed a system to herd animals and keep for food. The tribe trains cats to be herders and keep the tribe alive. Females are typically not allowed to be trained under the cruel leadership of their leader named Meoran. The main character/cat is Ratha who is a female that is an exception to the rule when her teacher Thakur promis ...more
Ratha’s Creatures Review by Adonijah Emanuel

Ratha and her clan (the Named) are a clan of a strong, self-aware, cheetah like prehistoric big cats. They have laws, languages and traditions and live by herding the creatures, dapple backs (horses) and three horns (deer), they once hunted. Surrounding the Named are the more numerous non-sentient UnNamed, who prey on the clan’s herds. Mating between Named and UnNamed is forbidden, since the clan believes that the resulting young will be UnNamed animal
Jun 03, 2011 Teri rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
I originally read this book, for the first time, when I was in the sixth grade (roughly 1994, I believe.) Back then, it had a different cover, though. I remember thinking "Didn't I see this as a cartoon once...?" because of the CBS Special that aired about it. In any case, I'm a big cat person, so to have found a book about talking cats that was so well-written was something that excited me beyond belief.

The way the story flows, the hardships that Ratha faces (as well as the other characters of
Saddleseat Sammi
Isn't the main character in a book supposed to be one of the most likable characters in the book? I really didn't connect with Ratha. I didn't feel sorry for her, I didn't agree with her motivation, and she doesn't seem like someone I would want to lead me. She had MAJOR anger management issues, she, frankly, doesn't make any sense, and she couldn't make up her mind on ANYTHING!!!!! I really hated the story line. It always changed drastically for the worst in the least probable places. The whole ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Austin rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Not many people
Shelves: animals
I give this book one and a half. I started off liking this book a lot but in the end I thought it was okay. I didnt like Ratha as a main character. Thakur and Bonechewer were much better. Bell's writing is good but this book lacked story. I found it kind of found it that it dragged on and on. The book is called Ratha's Creature but the creature(Red Tounge) had nothing to do in this book. She caught the creature, got kicked out of the clan and then the creature drowned. This book also lacked agoo ...more
Opal Lee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm still not sure how much I really enjoyed this book. There were several very good things about it. 'Ratha's Creature' fills a niche in the vast void of animal fantasy books for young adults and teens. The author did a splendid job of representing animal behavior, instinct and species characteristics, which in itself, is deserving of five stars.
I have read far too many animal fantasy stories that suffered from a lack of research into their subjects. This book is a very nice change of pace.
I Think that this is a great book. I LOVED it! Not only has it taught me quit a bit about mountain lions it has also inspired me to want to read more books. Before I read Ratha's creature I didn't want to have anything to do with reading. I also love goodreads it is amazing i started to find many books that i would like to read. I loved the way ratha really learned to like the red tonge(fire) and used it to help her clan keep the "un-named" cats off her land.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Jane
The Bad: Alright, first off, this story had a TERRIBLE editor. I found many mistakes, and one in particular made me want to drop the book and never read it again. Apparently the author thought that commas/punctuation was not needed at the end of speech. I found that a really dumb mistake, and I noticed it right away. And commas in general are super sparse.

Also, I didn't really relate with Ratha much at all. Sure, she could be bold and daring sometimes, but most of the time she was just annoying.
Alyson Errichetti
Interesting concept, but a little slow in reading. The Warriors books are much better and much more engaging.
Casey Anderson
3.5 stars I wanted to like this more than I did. Some of it was really great, and some of it was super frustrating. Ratha was kind of a selfish jerk. She never grew out of the child mentality. I got it when she was a "yearling" but as she aged I thought she'd mature.
However I still enjoyed the world, the story around it. I loved Bonechewer, Thakur, and Fessran. It was really only Ratha I was annoyed with. Also the namesake, the "creature" was really barely mentioned. However, I immediately adde
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This book had a plot. It had potential. I will give it a star for that. However, the characters were inconsistent. People said it was a more mature version of warriors. The only 3 similarities I saw were cats and clans and being exiled. There was no clan fellowship, the laws were twisted, and they did not teach their offspring to hunt. I could go o forever about my problems with this book, but the main 5 are this.

1. On the back, it says 'can a young herder who doesn't know hunting use her newfo
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
The Named, a group of prehistoric cats, herd packs of various animals including dapplebacks and three-horns. Ratha, a yearling, was getting trained to be a herder by Thakur. But he is hiding something about the mysterious Unnamed pack. Ratha can smell it. All of the Named have been taught that the Unnamed are stupid; they don’t know how to talk. Ratha swears she heard one speak. Then the forest is devoured by the “Red Tongue”-fire. Ratha discovers that fire can be used to their advantage and not ...more
Ratha is one of the Named and her whole life has been dedicated to hearding the Three Horns and protecting them from the Un-Named. One day after a forest fire she finds a spark of the fire left and she names it the Red Tongue. She finds out how to harness it and keeps it with her but when the clan leader finds out he exiles her in fear of the Red Tongue and she is forced to flee from the only life she has known.

The only reason I picked this book up was because of the cover. I would have skipped
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
I first read this book when I was younger, and the only thing I could remember about it was that all its characters were cats and that one of the prominent characters died horribly and tragically of a crushed ribcage. I made the mistake of trying to hunt the book down via Google searches, and, after turning up nothing but veterinary information and things too horrific for me to want to remember clearly, I finally turned to the catalog of the library I used when I was younger. By searching for "c ...more
Sean Silva
"Ratha's Creature" is the first novel in the series of the Named, and it's about intelligent prehistoric big cats who have learned to tame and herd livestock. The main character of the story is Ratha, a young, strong-minded female who is learning the ins and outs of being a good herder, but when Ratha discovers and figures out how to handle fire, her world and the world of the Named undergo a drastically change.

Not only did Clare come up with a phenomenal idea for her novel, but the way she hand
I read Ratha's Creature within days of finishing Promise of the Wolves, both similar in that each is set in the distant past with highly intelligent (four-legged) animals at the heart of the story. Bell sets her fantasy in the Miocene, a much more distant past of 25 million years ago, when the dominant hunter was the saber tooth cat. Both authors have both constructed a very interesting narrative about animal intelligence, but Bell's writing was vibrant with energy as she explored the impact on ...more
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Stone aged sentient cats [s] 8 38 Sep 18, 2014 12:21PM  
What's The Name o...: Cat's who discover fire [s] 4 18 Oct 14, 2013 12:10PM  
Cats: Ratha's Creature giveaway 1 14 Nov 04, 2011 05:45PM  
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I've been really busy with the Ratha's Creature Graphic Novel project! The idea of adapting Ratha's Creature as a graphic novel is now moving much closer to reality. Our Kickstarter is 75% funded, with 5 days left.

Tod, Dani, Ian, and Sheila have put together a real treat for Ratha fans -- a music video about how the artists are developing and visualizing Bonechewer for the R
More about Clare Bell...

Other Books in the Series

The Named (5 books)
  • Clan Ground (The Named, #2)
  • Ratha and Thistle-Chaser (The Named, #3)
  • Ratha's Challenge (The Named, #4)
  • Ratha's Courage (The Named, #5)
Clan Ground (The Named, #2) Ratha and Thistle-Chaser (The Named, #3) Ratha's Challenge (The Named, #4) Ratha's Courage (The Named, #5) Tomorrow's Sphinx

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