- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (May 27 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060871229
- ISBN-13: 978-0060871222
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #728,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Seekers #1: The Quest Begins Hardcover – May 27 2008
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“Hunter creates a richly sensuous world filled with cruelty, beauty, tenderness, savagery and just enough underlying legendary background to add mystery…fans of animal fantasies will haunt the shelves for the next volume.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“These stories will be welcomed by the Warriors series’ many fans.” (ALA Booklist)
“The suspenseful conclusion will build in an eager audience for the next installment.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
Three bears . . . one destiny
From the author of the nationally bestselling Warriors books comes a brand-new animal fantasy series. 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 . . . .See all Product description
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The story itself is fairly simple. Three bears, Kallik, Lusa, and Toklo, all have no parents with them for one reason or another, and all are on a quest to follow the north star to some place that they've heard is good for them. None of them have met yet, though undoubtedly they will at some point. All have their own stories, their own personalities and clearly definied characters. Unsurprising, there.
What did surprise and impress me most of all was Toklo's story. Books by Erin Hunter have a habit of dealing with some very hard issues, like violence, death, and loss, and this is no exception, except that Toklo ended up dealing with a distant mother who was mentally unbalanced and depressive due to the loss of one of her cubs. Enjoy, kiddies. But that wasn't what interested me. No, what interested me most was the introduction of Ujurak, the shapeshifter with a nebulous past, a childlike personality, and no idea of why he can shapeshift into just about any animal he comes across. Erin Hunter has dealt with animal spirituality before, usually with acceptance that the spiritual world is a real one that can be interacted with, but Ujurak was new and interesting to me, bridging worlds and ideas, and I'm most interested to see more of his character and how his part in the story plays out.
Though Hunter's books are for children, they can certainly be enjoyed by an older crowd without much difficulty, which I think is a mark of a good author. (Or in this case, group of authors.) I definitely want to check out the rest of the Seekers series when I can, and hopefully they'll all be as interesting as this introduction.
Kallik is a polar bear. Strong willed and curious, she and her brother Taqqiq are travelling with their mother Nissa across the great icy plains of the Arctic. They are trying to reach land before the ice melts so that they will be able to survive in the wild for the warmer months. Kallik longs to be strong, just like her mother.
Lusa is a black bear. She lives with her mother and father in a zoo enclosure and is curious about the world outside her cage. Her father, King, once lived in the wild but he won't tell her anything about it. She longs to know what the wild is like, longs to experience life in the wild for herself and not feel trapped.
Toklo is a grizzly. He wanders with his mother Oka and his brother Tobi through the forest, trying to stay out of the way of other bears and humans. Toklo resents his younger brother Tobi as he is very sick. He wonders if his mother loves Tobi more than he loves him. He longs to prove to Oka that he is a real bear, a strong bear, unlike his sickly brother.
When tragedy strikes in three very different ways, Kallik, Lusa and Toklo are forced to care for themselves in the wild. More than that, the three bear cubs are being brought together to fulfill a destiny that none of them could have ever imagined possible...
Following the phenomenal success of her Warriors series, featuring clans of cats in a struggle for power, Erin Hunter changes focus and enters the realms of fantasy fiction with Seekers: The Quest Begins.
Seekers: The Quest Begins is an incredible read. I was preparing myself for the average talking animal book where the animals are cute and the conflict is resolved and we have a happy Disney like ending. Not so in Seekers: The Quest Begins. There is violence within these pages and the threats are very, very real.
This makes the story of the three bear cubs heading towards destiny all the more exciting. As a reader, we really get a feel for what it is like to be a bear, to live in the wild, to constantly have to fight for food and nourishment, to survive in a barren landscape. Hunter has done the undoable: given us an understanding of the true life of bears.
At first, I was worried that Seekers: The Quest Begins would be a cheap rip off of Brian Jacques Redwall series. Again, I was proven wrong. Those that compare the two are comparing apples and oranges. Seekers: The Quest Begins does have talking animals but the similarities end there.
Erin Hunter has actually made bears seem more human but without losing their ferocity, their wildness. She has given us three strong protagonists in Kallik, Lusa and Toklo and I found myself rooting for them, cheering for them. I didn't expect to become attached to three bear cubs but by the end of Seekers: The Quest Begins, I feel like I know these bears.
That is the true power of Hunters writing. She presents us with animals who are somehow so human we can't help but fall in love with them but she never lets us forget that they aren't human, that they have worries beyond anything we could imagine. It takes a very talented writer to balance this fine edge and Hunter does this with aplomb.
Seekers: The Quest begins is a fantastic adventure that leaves me hungering for more. If you're looking for a great read to start your summer off right, look no further; Seekers: The Quest Begins will leave you breathless.
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