Lara's's Reviews > The Quest Begins

The Quest Begins by Erin Hunter
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Nov 21, 08

bookshelves: tween-books
Recommended for: 4th-8th grade
Read in November, 2008, read count: 1

Synopsis : Three young bears from different species—black, polar, and grizzly—are separated from their families when they are just young cubs. They find themselves brought together on a perilous journey. Fate is about to change all these bears lives forever, setting their paws on a path toward a future they cannot yet imagine . . .
Review : Having just learned that Erin Hunter is actually a pen name for three seperate writers makes me less jealous of the fact that they were able to not only write this fantastic story but also managed to find time to crank out the equally awesome "Warrior" series without essentially breaking a sweat. So, now that I know, it's not as envy inspiring...but, only ,i>bearly. Straight off of the top, this book is very touching and it made me teary in a few places--so little ones and sensitive readers should know to be prepared. Natural selection and tragedy are realistically, unapologetically interwoven in this remarkable story. This tale follows three bear cubs (Kallik, Toklo and Lusa--great names!) through their separate journeys as they each struggle with illness, abandonment, death and captivity. It is their individual mythical belief in the protective, gallatic, earth, water and wind bear spirits which provides strength to continue on in the face of natural heart-breaking tragedy. The balance of characterization, natural bear behavior and environmental concerns makes this a really fantastic adventure story. As mentioned, more sensitive readers will need to steel themselves against the realistic portrayal of life in the wild.
Critical Reviews : The reviews I found agreed. "Told with an interesting balance of cute anthropomorphic characterization and realistic attention to bear behaviors and the brutalities of life in the wild." -- ALA Booklist. "Hunter creates a richly sensuous world filled with cruelty, beauty, tenderness, savagery and just enough underlying legendary background to add mystery." -- Kirkus Reviews
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