A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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?
- Author: P.C. Cast
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press
- Publication date: October 17, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 576
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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