Mallowpaw shares their thoughts on Leopardstar’s Honor.
Note: Every time I mention ‘Tigerstar’ in this article, I am referring to the first Tigerstar
So I just finished Leopardstar’s Honor and I can’t say it was my favorite book in the series. So in this article I will go over the problems I have with it.
The Sister in the room is the amount of mistakes in this book, especially the allegiences. I’m not going to list every mistake in the allegiences, but for sample Grasswhisker is listed in the allegiances while his mother is still a kit, Whitestorm and Patchpelt are listed twice, and Willowpelt, Mousefur, and Runningwind are listed when they weren’t born yet. It’s excusable when it calls Frogleap dark gray when he is actually normal gray, but it’s far less so when it makes such a stupid, ridiculous mistake as listing Patchpelt twice with slightly different descriptions. And they moved a chapter around the 30th chapter mark, but forgot to edit the other chapters around it, so they referred to events that hadn’t happened or been explained yet.
So one thing that I have a problem with in most Warriors books is the lack of emphasis put on childhood friends of main characters, and this book is no exception. An example in the main series is how in Power of Three and Omen of the Stars, it is stated several times that Hollyleaf and Mousewhisker were good friends. But this is never shown at all in the books they were in, because Hollyleaf’s character arc was so much more important than a cat who might’ve influenced her to make some of the decisions she made. But Leopardstar’s Honor takes this to a whole new level. Leopardstar grew up with seven other cats (Sedgecreek, Loudbelly, Reedtail, Frogleap, Sunfish, Skyheart, and Blackclaw) who she was implied to be very close with, but only Frogleap and Sunfish had scenes with her that showed they were close at all. Skyheart literally was her enemy for a bit and threatened to drown her! The book could’ve given her a redemption arc and showed why Leopardstar forgave her, but instead she just apparently forgets about it.
Another thing, kind of a small thing but it still irks me, is that when Skyheart, Sunfish, and Leopardstar were giggling about who they were going to become mates with later in life, all of them were right.* Why do what translates to young teenagers know exactly who they will become mates with so early in life? If you asked a thirteen year old who they will marry when they are older, their answer will be very very rarely true. And I especially love how Sunfish said she would mate with Beetlenose, a warrior who was in a position of power over and considerably older than her (he was older than Crookedstar, who was her leader very soon after this!) and everyone was just okay with that. And she was right. It takes a lot to make me hate a couple because of an age gap. I’m perfectly fine with ThornclawXBlossomfall and DustpeltXFerncloud. But this is just ridiculous.
Another thing is the reuse of Silverstream’s story. I literally returned the book back to the library after the third Silverstream chapter, and it took all the motivation I had to pick it up again. Like, Silverstream’s personality is that she loves Graystripe and… that’s about it. We get it. Silverstream and Graystripe became mates. We don’t need five chapters explaining this after The Prophecies Begin told us everything we needed to know. She’s not even really interesting at all; people only care about her when Graystripe is there too.
And the lack of explanation of characters dying and being born is annoying as well. Like, where were Greenflower and Silverpaw (no, not Silverstream), who were mentioned in The Prophecies Begin? Why did Perchkit’s death go completely unnoticed in the book? Why was no suspicion raised about Graypool’s odd death, nor was it ever shown? Where did Petaldust, Owlfur, Lilystem, Brambleberry, Softwing, Fallowtail, Tanglewhisker, Dawnbright, Emberdawn, Echomist, Grasswhisker, Mallowtail, and Mudthorn go? Did Mudthorn in particular even exist at all? Did the rest die? Where in StarClan are they? Well, no one knows, because the book was too busy teaching us stuff we already knew about Silverstream. So now we have to make tons of headcanons, inferences, and excuses to make any sense of the timeline at all.
Mosspelt is something I don’t like about the book at all as well. She reminds me of Spotfur. She was mates with the main character’s crush but had no real personality (maybe she should get a novella too). I wish Leopardstar and Mosspelt’s relationship could’ve been fleshed out or truly built at all. Perhaps she could’ve consoled her about the deaths of most of her family. But no. We get some random cat who was just kinda forgotten after her plot-important mate died. And that’s an awful way to write a character.
Stonefur wasn’t great in this book either. People complain that Dovewing, Feathertail, and Firestar are Mary/Gary Sue/Stus. But Stonefur puts all of them to shame. He is literally the epitome of ‘Gary Stu’. He has no flaws, and nothing he ever did could be considered in the slightest a fault. He did everything right, was successful, strong, and brave, and died probably the most heroic death in the entire series. I would have liked him so much more if he was something more than ‘here I am to help you learn the theme and be perfect.’ He was completely uninteresting and unrelatable.
Probably the only things I liked in this book were Leopardstar’s relationships with Mudfur and Tigerstar. It was interesting to see how blunt Mudfur was about how much and how often he doubted her, and it was sweet to see him encourage her in the end. And Leopardstar and Tigerstar’s relationship combined the exact right amounts of impression, ambition, and romantic interest to make it a unique and interesting relationship to read. It reminds me of what some fans want Ivypool and Hawkfrost to be. But I do feel like Leopardstar and Tigerstar went from ‘possible romantic interests and partners in crime’ to ‘sworn enemies who don’t at all care about each other’ far too quickly, though overall I liked their relationship more than almost everything else in this book.
But my main, most important problem with Leopardstar’s Honor is that it didn’t even do what the book was written to do! Leopardstar’s Honor is supposed to be a redemption arc for Leopardstar (even though it wasn’t relevant to any of the main series books being written at the time like most super editions, they still apparently wanted to give Leopardstar a bit more time) but Leopardstar didn’t get much of a redemption arc this book. Almost everything in the book was before Tigerstar’s reign, and although she did some bad things then, her major fault was allying with Tigerstar. If they wanted to give her a real redemption arc, they should’ve started the book at maybe the last third of where the real Leopardstar’s Honor was. But even if they did that, A Shadow in RiverClan already gave Leopardstar a better redemption arc than anything this book did! And even aside from that, the mess they called a redemption arc wasn’t even a redemption arc at all! It wasn’t ‘I’m sorry for my actions’. It was ‘No, wait, my actions were all justified and I’m the victim’! Tigerstar was shown to have manipulated her, and she was the victim rather than an accomplice. That’s not a redemption arc. That’s a ‘Nope, this character isn’t and wasn’t evil.’ They could’ve done this book so much better, but it’s too late now.
*Although Leopardstar and Frogleap didn’t actually become mates, they shared mutual romantic interest in each other and heavily considered it until they, with a lot of regret, decided not to