This is the very first book in Warriors, Into the Wild.
Author: Erin Hunter
Reccommended reading age: Grades 4-8
Warriors is a series about four Clans of cats: ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan. They live separate lives in each of their territories, watched over by their warrior ancestors, StarClan, and gathering to share news once every full moon. Inside the Clan, young apprentices are trained to be warriors and to support their Clan and protect it from danger. The first Warriors book starts with Rusty, a young housecat, or kittypet. He is offered a chance to become a Clan cat by the leader of ThunderClan, and decides to accept. He joins ThunderClan, adopts the Clan name Firepaw, and begins to train as a Clan cat. He learns to hunt and fight, and to take care of the other cats in the Clan. But Firepaw is destined to be more than just a normal Clan warrior. There is a prophecy that says Firepaw will save ThunderClan from being destroyed. After much hard training, Firepaw earns his warrior name of Fireheart. Will Fireheart save ThunderClan, or will all of the Clans be destroyed? This is just the beginning of the story of the Warriors.
As with any series of books, Warriors has good and bad things about it. One major thing is that they aren’t like most books, with three or four books in a series. Oh, no. First, you have the ‘original’ series, which has six books. Those are the ones about Fireheart. But then, you have six more, which form ‘The New Prophecy’ and then six more in ‘The Power of Three’ series. And after that, six more make up the ‘Omen of the Stars’ series. Each series is told from the point of view of a different cat, or cats. But that’s not all! To go along with all those books, there are the special edition and manga books that tell all of the side stories that go along with the four series. And after that, you have the Field Guides that explain more history and background. All in all, there are about fifty books, and counting. I’ve read two thirds of them, tops.
Here is an example of the page that shows all the characters.
So if the number of books hasn’t confused you yet, next is the number of characters. On average, there are up to one hundred characters in each book. (But don’t worry, they aren’t all main characters, and some are mentioned only once or twice. Most of them aren’t even mentioned by name.) Thankfully, there is a guide in the beginning of the book that explains all of the characters names, what their job is, and gives a brief description of what they look like, in case you forget. But throughout the course of all those books, it doesn’t stay the same hundred or so characters. Every so often, some of the cats will die, but will be promptly replaced with new ones. To make matters worse, the characters change their names! Each cat’s name has two parts. The first part of their name is something to do with nature. This part stays the same, at least. The second part of their name is changed as the cat gets older and gets a different job within the Clan. So on average, each cat can go through three or four names in his or her lifetime. Example: Firepaw became Fireheart when he became a warrior. You might also think that all of those fifty books would be different, but I’ve noticed that they have a surprisingly similar plot structure. There are several things that happen in every series (that’s the group of six books.) Here are a few. Warning: This part may contain spoilers!
- There is some all-powerful prophecy that tells an all-powerful cat what to do.
- Some really good, important cat, or cats, dies.
- Some evil cat, or cats, dies, but not before they have managed to stir up a lot of trouble, usually resulting in the death of a good cat.
- Two cats who aren’t supposed to fall in love do fall in love. More often than not, this forbidden love is revealed and causes a lot of hard feelings.
- In every series except the first one, the bad, dead cat, comes back to haunt innocent, good, living cats, and tries to trick them into his plan of overthrowing all of the living cats and taking control of everything.
Also beware: if you do end up reading the Warriors series, don’t get too attached to any of the characters, because most of them end up dying eventually, and more often than not they are pretty gruesome deaths. Very, very few of the cats in Warriors die peaceful deaths of old age.
Warriors aren’t all bad, but you do need to have a lot of patience and free time if you are going to read them. They are fairly addicting and it’s hard to read just one and not read the story that follows it. I think they are a good read, though: fairly easy, but still hard enough to be interesting. Good luck!
Works Cited: http://easybib.com/key/055690