Warriors: Winds of Change is an enjoyable graphic novel story. Even though, it can be a standalone title, I probably needed to have a little more background about the Warriors series and their world to understand some of the backstory of where the characters are from. There are several points about their religion, the idea of littermates and the rivalry between clans though might have been cleared up. Yet, the stronger reader could pick up some of that while reading.
Erin Hunter’s anthropomorphic cats are examples of a basic fantasy story world. There is magic, battles and of course, the cats with their own tribes or clans. The medieval aspect of established tribes becoming nomadic has been seen before, but the animals help keep it fun. Not having read a lot of the novels, I am assuming Warriors is a younger version of the Redwall series. In this story one cat is meant to become the leader of his clan after the current leader passes. However, he is passed over. Like any good “the king has died and there are questions about the heir” storyline, the cats take sides, things get cloudy, and there are enemies from not only outside, but inside as well. A few scenes also make me think of The Rats of Nimh with the human vs. animal connections.
Seriously rich illustrations make up for any text bumps. The colors and details are terribly lush. It almost felt like they needed “wet paint sings” in a few places. And while that is a good thing (the nice, solid illustrations), sometimes it was a bit too much as there are a lot of dark colors (blues, and grays in particular).
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I might pick up other graphic novels, or even try a “novel” series, but I won’t be rushing. The nice thing about the graphic novel is if your child wants to read the novels, but the text is too dense, the illustrations are a nice addition. Strong ages 8 to 10, but best for 10 and up.