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

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,667 Ratings  ·  107 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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Karyl They are called the Named because they are, as far as they know, the only intelligent clan who have gained the ability to name themselves. If I say…moreThey are called the Named because they are, as far as they know, the only intelligent clan who have gained the ability to name themselves. If I say any more than that, it will probably give away too much.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Althea Ann
Apr 30, 2015 Althea Ann rated it liked it
Ratha is a young female in a tribe of intelligent, talking big cats who call themselves The Named. The book follows her growing up & negotiating the tumultuous power struggles of her world.

For some reason, from the brief description I'd read of this series, I expected the characters to feel like 'aliens' - but overall, I thought this felt more like an animal story. I'd recommend it more for fans of animal stories than pure sci-fi fans (think Tad Williams' 'Tailchaser's Song', for example).

Aug 01, 2007 Caroline rated it it was amazing
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*
Sheila Ruth
Feb 22, 2008 Sheila Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: imaginator-press
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 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
Sam Afton
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
Nov 15, 2007 Xarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, own
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.
Dec 05, 2011 Sparrowkeeper rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 19, 2008 Katarina Bambina rated it it was amazing
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!
Sep 18, 2013 Carrie-Lea rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 28, 2013 Aeryn rated it it was amazing
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.
May 19, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing
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.
PEN Center USA
Aug 01, 2011 PEN Center USA rated it it was amazing
1983 PEN Center USA Award Winner for Young Adult Literature (tie)
Jun 11, 2013 J.T. rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 05, 2014 Adonijah rated it it was amazing
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 TJ rated it it was amazing
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
Mary Jane
Oct 21, 2014 Mary Jane rated it it was ok
Shelves: animal, gave-up-on
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.
Ashley Brown
Ratha's Creature is a quick read, with intense page-turning action the entire way through. It does not bog down in descriptions, and every word seems to have intent for moving the story forward.

This book is a coming of age story, where a young female cub must learn to survive on her own among what her clan believes to be unintelligent, mindless members of their own species. She is banished from her own clan by Meoran, the clan leader, and the one who teaches those he (cruelly) rules that the oth
Apr 25, 2015 Mercy rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-challenge

The rest of this review can be found @

Ratha’s Creature was a great read, and truly different. I don’t find many books where the main character is full-blown animal (aka, no shape-shifting abilities), and it brought me back to the time when I used to roleplay as a wolf. Upon first getting this book, I wondered what the “creature” part of the title meant, and during the part it was revealed, I had to remind myself that we’re in the mind of an animal who has
Dec 08, 2011 Austin rated it it was ok
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
Dec 05, 2011 Anna11 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alyson Errichetti
Jul 04, 2011 Alyson Errichetti rated it liked it
Interesting concept, but a little slow in reading. The Warriors books are much better and much more engaging.
Madeline {Neon Cheetah}
Mar 21, 2016 Madeline {Neon Cheetah} rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Wow! Ratha’s Creature was an amazing read that didn’t cease to amaze me. Glad I bought it!
Jan 09, 2017 Thistle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don't believe in fate, but sometimes there are happy coincidence. When I was offered Ratha's Creature for review, I grinned like a madman. This was my favorite book of all time! The username that I've been using online for 20 or so years (Thistle-Chaser) comes from it. My oldest LJ icon is from it. I still have a VHS tape of the CBS Storybreak animated special from the 80s of this book.

And then I waited. And waited. Usually when I accept a book for review, they send it in a day or two. This on
May 26, 2017 Thomas rated it really liked it
This is so sad! I love it!
Mar 22, 2017 CleverBaggins rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, cats
This one I probably would've enjoyed when I was a kid. I think the writing was just to young for me or something. I passed it on to a friend's kid who I bet will enjoy it.
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
Mar 13, 2017 Sadie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2016 Celina rated it liked it
Warning - contains spoilers!

I really wanted to give this book four stars, but in the end it dissapointed me a little too much. It's an enjoyable read, but nothing that stood out too much to me. Most of the characters felt very one-dimensional, with barely any characterisation to make them stand out amongst each other, and the story progressed a bit too fast at times for me, resulting in some plot-points being dealt with in two paragraphs or less.

Ratha, on the other hand, is overall a well-writt
Nov 15, 2011 Heavensent1 rated it liked it
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
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Stone aged sentient cats [s] 8 42 Sep 18, 2014 12:21PM  
What's The Name o...: Cat's who discover fire [s] 4 20 Oct 14, 2013 12:10PM  
Cats: Ratha's Creature giveaway 1 16 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)

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