Sun Warrior: Tales of a New World, Book 2

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Sun Warrior:  Tales of a New World, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Absorbing, heftier second installment focuses on characters.

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

People may look, live, and worship differently, but everyone wants the same thing: a chance to live happily and healthily in a world where you can be your best, truest self. Anger clouds your judgment and makes you act out of fear, which just creates more chaos. Choose love and forgiveness, don't let hate consume you. Change can be really scary, but sometimes it's for the best.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mari, 18, and Nik, 23, are both great leadership models. They strive to be fair and to calmly make decisions that are best for everyone. They're also brave, loyal, able to put themselves in others' shoes, and not afraid to take swift action when necessary. Their friends and followers are also good models for loyalty and doing what's best for the group. Bad guys Dead Eye and Thaddeus have become more evil. They're ruthless in their pursuit of power and/or revenge, not caring who or what gets hurt along the way, and destroying anyone who questions them or gets in their way.


Characters, including beloved companion animals, are in peril a few times from fantasy creatures or from bad guys. Cutting thin strips of flesh from both wild animals and companion pets is a prominent theme. It's not gory, but it is disturbing; animals in pain briefly described. A devastating wildfire and efforts to stop it. Many people die and are injured. Past rape and near rape mentioned; characters who experienced it coping afterward. Attacks with magical powers and super strength as well as fighting with crossbows, knives, kicking, and punching. Murder and killing animals described without gore but mention of blood. Sex and violence paired when a woman is "ravaged" on a bloody floor and groped roughly in front of others. A man is hung by the neck so that he has to stand on tiptoe to breathe; he's used as target practice for crossbows, blood and pain briefly described. A man is killed by a wild sow: shredded entrails and bloody froth spewing from lips.


A couple of sex scenes described briefly mention penetration, thrusting, and that he "spent himself." An erection is alluded to. Complicated sexual dynamics when, in order to protect herself from more violence, a woman doesn't protest or try to stop sex with someone she fears and is repulsed by, and who treats her roughly. Sex and violence paired when she's "ravaged" on a bloody floor and groped roughly in front of others. Nik and Mari exchange a few kisses, decide to wait to have sex because she's nervous. When she's ready, undressing, caressing, and kissing are briefly described and the sex itself is implied but not described. A few brief mentions of same-sex couples, which are normal and unremarkable to both Earth Walkers and the Sun Tribe. One tribe's traditional dress is topless, and bare breasts are mentioned. 


"S--t," "f---ing," "bitch," "hell," "whore," "damn," "bastard," "ass," "butt," "pissed off," "crap," and "a--hole," mostly used by one bad-guy character who doesn't appear very often, but when he does, he uses a lot of verbal hostility and profanity. "Bloody beetle balls" exclamation.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mead, ale, and fermented apple drink at a few celebrations. Giving poppy tea for pain and to put people to sleep mentioned. Looking forward to drinking mead at a celebration and wanting a big mug of ale mentioned once each. Cannabis tea mentioned as helping calm anxiety.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sun Warrior is the second in a fantasy series by P.C. Cast that began with Moon Chosen. Reading the first book isn't strictly necessary, but it will help readers more fully imagine the far-future, postapocalyptic world and the characters who now live in it. Humans and companion animals are occasionally in peril, and stripping flesh from living animals is a strong theme. Sensitive animal lovers, be warned that beloved companion animals die, and there are a few brief depictions of villains mistreating their companions. Fights include fantasy violence with magical powers, as well as fighting with crossbows, knives, kicking, and punching. Murder and killing animals aredescribed without gore but with mention of blood. Sex and violence are paired when a woman is "ravaged" on a bloody floor. A woman submits to sex she finds repulsive to avoid violent consequences. A few sex scenes mention penetration, thrusting, and that "he spent himself." Other sex is mostly kissing and attraction. One character uses strong language constantly (including "f---ing," "whore," "bitch," and "s--t"), although he doesn't appear often. Well over 550 pages, it's best for fantasy fans who are strongly independent readers.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written bygreensilverhawk November 27, 2018


This book is great! I read it just before I turned 14, but I should have waited. The violence was not very disturbing, but the sex a was a little much for under... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SUN WARRIOR, two societies have been destroyed by violent conflict, wildfire, and disease. Now Mari, leader of the Earth Walkers, and Nik, of the tree-dwelling Sun Tribe, want to rebuild a better society together. They want to live in a society that values people for their strength and character, not for their appearance, and where people have a chance to live freely as their best, truest selves. But the hate-filled, vengeful Thaddeus will never rest until they're captured, and the forest is showing signs of a terrible disease spreading from the Skin Stealers who live in the long-abandoned city. Mari and Nik determine the only way forward is to pack up what little they have left and cross the Rocky Mountains. At the same time, Mari is learning not only to share her ability to harness the power of the moon, but that she also has a devastating new power. But can any of her magic help the people prepare and leave before Thaddeus catches them, and before the Skin Stealers move in and take over the territory?

Is it any good?

P.C. Cast's second in her Tales of a New World series is another big, meaty bite of a vast, richly imagined world that fantasy fans, especially dog lovers, will enjoy. Sensitive animals lovers should beware, though: Sun Warrior briefly shows animals in pain and being mistreated by bad guys. Teens old enough to handle some violence, both fantasy and real-world, and some brief adult sexual dynamics, especially fans of magical fantasy, will quickly be absorbed in this intriguing, unusual world.

Teens will especially enjoy rooting for Mari and Nik as they imagine the better, more just, and free society the two hope to build together. They'll also easily relate to the fear, anxiety, and excitement that go with life's big changes, especially leaving behind everything you've always known for something new. Author Cast does a good job of holding the reader's interest even though overall there's a bit less action and adventure than in the first book. There's still plenty of excitement and magic, though, and yet another cliffhanger ending that'll have fans eager for a third book.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Sun Warriors. How much is too much in books and other media? Does it matter if it's fantasy or real-world violence?

  • What about the sexual content? Does it seem realistic? Why, or why not? Is it too much?

  • What are some of your favorite fantasy books or series? What do you like best about them? How does the Tales of a New World series compare?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

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