HollyleafTheGreat shares their opinion on Redtail and his novella.
Okay, who let the brand-new editor that’s never actually read the first series write a book? I read Redtail’s Debt a while ago, and I had high expectations. The book could have offered us a peak at Redtail’s point of view, seen any feuds between Redtail and Tigerclaw before his death, and a lot more. But what we got was Redtail’s Debt. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the book yet, although I wouldn’t waste my time. We start off being introduced to Redpaw, and it feels like I’m reading a combination of Brakenfur and Dovewing. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dovewing, but it feels like someone took her, drained the whiny out of her, shoved it into Brakenfur, and shrunk him. Seriously. On my first attempt to read the book, I put it down because Redpaw was so boring! But then we cut to ThunderClan marching into RiverClan’s camp, which I do not recall happening in Crookedstar’s Promise. Bluefur, Tigerclaw, and Redpaw are coming around back, but a hawk shows up, and Redpaw cowers in fear, frozen. Tigerclaw saves him, and constantly reminds him that Redtail owes him his life. And we have a timeskip where ThunderClan pillages WindClan. These are supposed to be our heroes. Also, at some point, I forget when, Tigerclaw tries to kill a tiny apprentice. We timeskip a bunch, to when Redtail has been made Deputy, and… he feels like Tigerclaw no longer controls him, and it seemed kind of sudden, not gradual. Now we know what started the conflict, and NOTHING IMPORTANT HAPPENS, and we get to the part that confuses and infuriates me- the battle scene from the Prologue to Into the Wild. What’s wrong with it is:
-ThunderClan is trying to take control of Sunningrocks, while originally ThunderClan had them, and RiverClan was trying to take control. This is canon-defiance #1 of the last chapters.
-It’s DAYTIME when Redtail goes to Sunningrocks. The Prologue occurs during the night. This is canon-defiance #2 of this last scene
-Ravenpaw is battle-hungry. I know seeing Redtail be betrayed and killed by Tigerclaw made him so scared, but it would have made sense for Ravenpaw to show signs of being hesitant, or doubtful, or believing the matter could be resolved a different way. That would have made sense with Ravenpaw’s character. This Ravenpaw feels like he’d enjoy watching death.
-When Tigerclaw kills Redtail, he explains that it’s nothing personal, even though we’ve been supposedly building up that Tigerclaw felt that Redtail was in debt to him, but cut him short. The writer disregards the entire book, it was that forgettable. Also the fact that he kinda monologues to a dying Redtail about how “Oh, it’s not personal, I just need to take your place.
And finally, the thing that kills me most:
-Redtail kills Oakheart. They have a whole scene where Redtail kills Oakheart (which somehow doesn’t traumatize Ravenpaw), despite at least one book of the first series being based around Fireheart and Graystripe needing to prove that Tigerclaw could not have killed Oakheart if Oakheart was killed by falling rocks, and with a body to prove it. This completely destroys one of Fireheart’s only ways to prove that Tigerclaw killed Redtail. This is canon defiance #3, and I HATE it! Did the author really not read the Prophecies Begin? I wouldn’t be so angry if it was a small detail that could be overlooked, like a certain background cat appearing in the allegiances that died of greencough 5 times. They’re background cats. But something as huge as Oakheart’s true cause of death? That’s one of the most important parts of establishing Tigerstar as evil!
How to Fix Redtail’s Debt:
-Don’t make up some battle that didn’t happen. A fox could have attacked Redtail, or maybe a hawk while he was on Sunningrocks.
-Make Redtail gradually change from honoring his word, to putting his Clan above all else, and then Tigerclaw having some disputes with him before the battle
-Make Ravenpaw act like Ravenpaw.
-Copy and Paste the prologue, and just rewrite it so that it’s from Redtail’s Point of View.
-Kill Oakheart with rocks
-Have a battle bewteen Redtail and Tigerclaw. A short one, but a battle nonetheless.
-Have Redtail’s dying last shorter.
– Show Redtail watch over Bluestar’s decision, have her pick Tigerclaw, and have Redtail reject him.
-Make Redtail interesting.
Okay, we’re done here, redo Redtail’s debt, and I’ll be back soon with how we can make Hawfrost a better villain. Goodbye!