Friday, January 19, 2007

Warriors by Erin Hunter

Book 1: Into the Wild

Synopsis: Rusty is just an ordinary house cat until one day he meets and cat in the forest and learns about the clans. Although many are not happy to have a "kittypet" enter, Rusty is taken in by the ThunderClan and given the new name Firepaw. Along with meeting new friends and learning the ways of the clans, he must prove to everyone that his heart belongs with them and not with his former "twoleg" masters.
Book 2: Fire and Ice

Synopsis: Firepaw is now Fireheart, a true warrior of ThunderClan with his own apprentice, Cinderpaw. However, after meeting his sister, he begins to wonder where his loyalties lie, particularly after his best friend, Graystripe, falls in love with a cat from another clan. However, after Cinderpaw is nearly killed in a terrible accident, Fireheart begins to suspect that someone in his own clan may be trying to kill the leader of the Clan.
Book 3: Forest of Secrets

Synopsis: Fireheart is given charge of his nephew Cloudpaw while the crippled Cinderpaw learns to become a medicine cat. Graystripe learns that his love is pregnant causing even more friction between him and his friend. Just as tensions run high, floods and a dangerous rogue cat threatens the ThunderClan. And it seems that the cat is getting help from ThunderClan's own deputy.

Book 4: Rising Storm

Synopsis: Clan leader Bluestar is badly shaken by what has happened to the treachery of her own deputy, Tigerclaw. Unable to trust anyone, she makes Fireheart deputy. However, his apprentice Cloudpaw seems to want the comfortable life as a kittypet making the ThunderClan even more uncomfortable with their leader's decision. However, that is the least of their problems when they discover that Tigerclaw is now Tigerstar, leader of the ShadowClan.
Book 5: A Dangerous Path

Synopsis: Bluestar is even more confused. When a dog is believed to be running loose in the forest, she becomes convinced that it is the work of WindClan who wish to steal ThunderClan's prey. Despite evidence to the contrary, she is unmoved. Fireheart must go behind his leader's back in order to prevent an unnecessary war.

Book 6: The Darkest Hour

Synopsis: Fireheart is now Firestar, leader of the Thunderclan. Tigerstar's power has grown even further as he joins the ShadowClan and WindClan together with the aid of city cats. However, when the city cats decide to take over the forest, Firestar must convince all the clans to fight together or the forest will be lost forever.

Assessment: I made the mistake of reading the 6th book first. Whatever you do, do not start in the middle, and especially not the end. While I could follow the story just fine, the characters and back stories were a little confusing. But after I finished the book, I HAD to read the others. I then devoured these books like chocolate. Filled with action, adventure, and even political intrigue, each book is a page turner. Every time I finished one, I was in awe of Hunter's ability to pack so much plot in such neat writing. Although Book 1 doesn't really fully flesh out why Rusty wants to leave his comfortable life so much, by the time he enters ThunderClan, you won't care for you'll be too wrapped up in the thick plot. Readers will be drawn into the complex and well drawn characters that by the end of the series feel that they really know them. Just to give a warning, there is a fair amount of violence in these, either from fighting, natural causes, and occasional murder. However, the deaths are treated with dignity as mournful occasions that should be avoided at all cost. I was actually a little sad to have finished this series. Both boys and girls will love these books.