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Author Topic: "Warriors"  (Read 1996 times)
LittlePilgrim
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« on: December 05, 2005, 12:24:19 AM »

Warriors is a six-book series written by Erin Hunter. It follows the adventures of an ordinary housecat, Rusty, as he leaves the home he has known for the first six months of his life with his humans for adventure in the forest nearby. I'll write a plot synopsis for each book seperately, since there is much to contain. XD

The six books:

Into the wild:

(Erin Hunter Summary: For generations, four clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior anscestors. But the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger, and the sinster ShadowClan grows stronger everyday. Noble warriors are dying; and some deaths are more mysterious than others. In the midst of this turmoil, there appears an ordinary housecat named Rusty... Who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of all.)

This is the first book of the series. The opening scene shows a battle over territory between two opposing clans of wild cats: ThunderClan and RiverClan. As Thunderclan retreats from the battle, the clan's medicine cat, Spottedleaf, informs the leader, Bluestar that she has received a vision of prophecy from Starclan (I'll explain Starclan later). "Fire alone will save our clan."

Meanwhile, back in his human home, Rusty, a ginger-colored tabby tom is dreaming of catching mice, dreaming of adventure in the outside world. This dream is not the first, and Rusty has begun to feel he does not belong with his humans.

Against the advice of his fellow housecat, Smudge, Rusty treks off into a nearby forest, looking for adventure. There, he encounters a young cat by the name of Graypaw. After a brief confrontation, Graypaw explains to Rusty that he is part of a clan that resides in the forest. Bluestar shows up on the scene and offers Rusty a chance to join the clan. He is informed however that he will no longer be able to live the comfortable life of a housecat. He will have to devote himself to the clan... Or remain a 'kittypet'. As Bluestar explains, "You cannot have a paw in both worlds."

After going home for some thought and returning, Rusty agrees, much to the dismay of his fellow housecats. He joins with ThunderClan and begins to train to become a clan warrior, receiving the apprentice name "Firepaw" in honor of his flame colored fur.

It is an uphill journey. Firepaw must constantly battle against the resentment of the clanborn cats of his 'kittypet' origins, and against the temper of the clan's most ambitious member, Tigerclaw. Thankfully, he has help in this from his new friend, Graypaw, and from his mentor, Lionheart.

Firepaw learns about the warrior code, similar to the code of Chivalry practiced in the middle ages, and about Starclan. It is believed that Starclan is made up of the warrior anscestors lf the clan cats, and that they reside in a patch of the sky known as Silverpelt. There, each star is thought to represent one cat. These are thought to watch over the clans and guide them, protecting them. It is, in a sense, their religion.

Through much trial, Firepaw begins to win the clan cats over, even at one point training under Bluestar, a great privilage. Still, there are others, including Tigerclaw, eventually the Clan deputy (second in command), clearly do not trust his loyalty to the clan and do everything in their power to make life difficult for him.

In spite of this, Firepaw perserveres, first defeating and then winning over a ShadowClan cat named Yellowfang, who eventually becomes the clan's medicine cat, rescuing his friend Ravenpaw from a life-threatening plot, and drives out a murderous leader from Shadowclan. In recognition of all this, both he and Graypaw are made full warriors, receiving (once again) new names: Fireheart and Graystripe.

But the trials are not yet over. One clan, Windclan, has dissapeared from the forest, driven out while Shadowclan's murderous leader was still in charge...

This is a wonderful book. The characters are vibrant, their personalities all unique and interesting. There are some emotional moments that truly draw the reader into the story, and in fact brought some tears to this unemotional reader's eyes. The plot takes many roads one might not expect, all to one exciting climax in book six.

The biggest problem I have with this book, and the series as a whole, is that it seems to rely heavily upon spiritism. However, it does not quite work in the same manner as shamannism or witchcraft. The medicine cats do not make a habbit of trying to contact the dead. The biggest thing to keep in mind, I think, is that this is a madeup story and a madeup religion, which, I will admit, makes for an interesting storytelling device. Smiley
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For I am only human, not some hero of the faith/ I'm merely an example of God's mercy and His grace/ I keep my eyes on Jesus when my gains become a loss/ As I stumble to the cross. -Stumble, Timothy Mark
LittlePilgrim
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2005, 12:57:58 AM »

Warriors book 2: Fire and Ice

(Erin Hunter summary: Fireheart is a ThunderClan warrior cat now, but danger still lurks in the forest- and possibly closer than he thinks. With the chill of winter setting in, the cats of rival RiverClan are growing restless, while WindClan is weak and facing threats from all sides.
As tensions build to an explosive climax, Fireheart faces not only imminent battle, but also betrayal from within his own clan)

Fire and Ice (though this is just my guess) is named so because of the colors of the fur in the two main characters: Fireheart and Graystripe, best friends who will face a severe test of their bond.

Book two continues the adventures of Fireheart as begun in book one. We pick up story, however, looking through the POV of Windclan as they search for a new home, having been driven from the forest in the previous book. The tired, starving, injured cats find a cave near a human (twoleg) road (thunderpath) and decide to use this as shelter.

Back in the forest, a gathering of the three remaining clans is taking place at a piece of neutral ground known as Fourtrees, named for the four great oaks which encompass the clearing. It is at this gathering that it is decided, mainly through the influence of Bluestar, that Windclan must be found and returned to the forest. RiverClan and the new ShadowClan leader reluctantly agree.

The task falls to our two heros: Fireheart and Graystripe. This is their first warrior assignment and both are very excited about it. But the journey proves long and arduous.

After finding and nearly being attacked by WindClan, Fireheart and Graystripe set out to help the weakened cats back to their moorland home. It is a difficult journey, especially for one particular queen cat and her kit. But through the wisdom of Windclan's leader, Tallstar, and the encouragement of Fireheart and Graystripe, the clan makes it home.

Unfortunately, the trials are not over yet. It is now that we begin to see events develop which will have major consequences down the road. On the return from Windclan territory, Fireheart and Graystripe are forced to pass through the territory of Riverclan and are attacked by a patrol. They battle back, but are saved only by the timely intervention of a Thunderclan patrol, led by Tigerclaw.

The battle takes place near a riverbank with a sheer drop. One of the thunderclan warriors, Sandstorm (who was apprenticed at the same time as Fireheart, but was one of the voices against him through all of book one and did not become a warrior until book two, thus furthering her resentment of him) nearly falls over the drop, saved just in time by Fireheart.

Although she resents him, wanting him to allow her to fight her own battles, she soon changes her opinion as in the midst of fighting Graystripe, one of the RiverClan warriors falls over the cliff and vanishes in the river. It is here that we begin to see a change in Sandstorm's attitude toward Fireheart, an attitude change which will eventually make her his love interest for the remainder of the series.

Upon returning home, Fireheart and Graystripe are berated by Bluestar for taking the risk of travelling through RiverClan territory and moving against the warrior code. However, she is grateful to them for returning Windclan to their home and reserves judgement.

It is also here that Fireheart and Graystripe are assigned their first apprentices, those kits six months (moons) old who will train under them to become warriors one day. To Firestar is assigned the eager-to-learn, act-before-thought, Cinderpaw, a kit that reminds the warrior of himself at her age. To Graystripe is assigned Cinderpaw's brother: Brackenpaw. He is more level headed, but just as eager to learn.

At first, everything seems to go well as the clans prepare for winter. Fireheart and Graystripe train their apprentices together, teaching all they themselves learned.

But soon, another problem arises. On a training excersize with their apprentices, Fireheart and Graystripe approach the now iced-over river. Graystripe foolishly chases a water vole into the midst and falls through the ice, only to be saved by a RiverClan cat, Silverstream. She is the daughter of CrookedStar, the leader of Riverclan, and becomes somewhat of an illegitimate love interest for Graystripe (Cats from opposite clans are not supposed to mix).

This blatent display of disregard for the warrior code stirs feelings of resentment in Fireheart, though he vows he will not inform Bluestar or Tigerclaw of this. Unfortunately, this also forces Fireheart to take over Graystripe's training duties, and puts a huge strain on their friendship.

Battle soon arises yet again between the clans, with ShadowClan and RiverClan attacking the still-weak Windclan. ThunderClan rushes to their aid, but not before Fireheart receives a warning in a dream from Spottedleaf, who was killed in the previous book. "Beware a warrior you cannot trust."

This warrior, as it turns out, is none other than Tigerclaw... And here we get our first glimpse of the series' true antagonist, Fireheart's most dangerous enemy. The attacking clans are turned back, and for a time, all returns to normal. But the illicite romance beteen Graystripe and Silverstream continues, with Graystripe continuing to sneak off to see her. This will cause complications further down the line...

Fireheart resolves in his mind to find out the truth about the nature and deeds of the Thunderclan deputy, before Tigerclaw has a chance to betray not only his clan, but the warrior code itself.

Book two is another masterpiece, touching just the right notes and bending in just the right places. It is interesting to see the fledgling romance develope between Fireheart and Sandstorm, and to watch the animosity between protagonist and antagonist. I enjoy how it shows that even the best of friends will face tests of that friendship. The most emotional note of this story is when Fireheart's apprentice, Cinderpaw, is greviously injured in an accident on Thunderpath (Humans call this Allerton road). She recovers, but Yellowfang informs Fireheart that Cinderpaw will never be a warrior. Instead, as the series progresses, we see Cinderpaw's spirits turned toward a different pursuit... It is she that will become the next medicine cat, apprenticed under Yellowfang.

It is also in this book that we are introduced to Fireheart's kittypet sister, Princess, who becomes somewhat of a confidant outside the clan for him, as well as to her oldest kit, whom she gives to Fireheart to take into the clan and train as a warrior. Reluctantly, Bluestar agrees to this and the kit is given the name Cloudkit, for his long, snowy-colored fur. Through the rest of the series, he will be a key player.

I'll write some more revues tomorrow... But it's late, and I need to get to sleep. Keep an eye out for my synopsis of book 3: Forest of secrets...
« Last Edit: December 05, 2005, 10:50:39 AM by LittlePilgrim » Logged

For I am only human, not some hero of the faith/ I'm merely an example of God's mercy and His grace/ I keep my eyes on Jesus when my gains become a loss/ As I stumble to the cross. -Stumble, Timothy Mark
LittlePilgrim
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2005, 11:06:40 AM »

Warriors, Book 3: Forest of Secrets

(Erin Hunter Summary: Tensions are still high among the warrior Clans that roam the forest, and as allegiences shift, it becomes harder than ever to know whom to trust.
Fireheart is determined to find out the truth about the mysterious death about the former ThunderClan deputy Redtail. But as he searches for answers, he uncovers secrests that some believe would be better left hidden...)

Forest of Secrets is aptly named, expanding upon events which took place in book two and before the series began. Redtail, the first ThunderClan deputy, was killed around the same time Rusty first entered the forest.

According to Ravenpaw, he was murdered by Tigerclaw after accidentally killing the RiverClan deputy, Oakheart in battle. It was because of this knowledge that Ravenpaw's life was in danger and that Fireheart and Graystripe helped him to escape the forest, into the company of a loner (a cat that is not part of a clan but not cared for by humans) named Barley.

In the opening scene of this book, we are again taken away from the ThunderClan camp and are shown a glimpse of the past, as the Riverclan deputy, Oakheart, delivers two small kits to a queen cat named Graypool. Although Oakheart claims to have found the kits abandoned in the forest, Graypool can detect a hint of clan scent on them... That of ThunderClan.

We then skip ahead to present day to find Fireheart hunting prey for the clan in the midst of the woods which are now in the heart of winter, or leaf-bare. He returns to camp and places his caught prey upon a pile with prey the others have brought in. Stepping through the camp to the warriors'  den, he encounters Cinderpaw, now renamed Cinderpelt, and is filled with guilt again that he could not prevent her accident.

It is as he is reflecting on this that he is once more confronted by Tigerclaw, who begrudgingly informs Fireheart that he will not have to hunt again this day because Bluestar has chosen him to the gathering of clans; a great honor.

Seeing the deputy's demeanor, Fireheart is again reminded of the warning given him by Spottedleaf, "Beware a warrior you cannot trust." and again he resolves to find out the truth about the deputy and his past.

Before the gathering, Fireheart approaches his best friend and confidant, Graystripe, and requests that he accompany him to see Ravenpaw on Barley's farm after the gathering... without  informing anyone in the clan. Reluctantly, Graystripe agrees.

Also, on the way, Fireheart informs Bluestar of his suspicions about Tigerclaw and explains what Ravenpaw had shared with him. Bluestar is reluctant to listen as she believes Tigerclaw, ambitious though he is, is loyal completely to the clan, and also, if Redtail indeed killed Oakheart in battle, that would seriously taint his honor. To intentionally kill another in battle is against the warrior code. The cats fight only as a show of strength and to defend themselves.

The gathering is anything but the peaceful meeting of clans it is supposed to be, as tensions between the clans run high. Distrust runs rampant and the cats nearly come to blows.

Thankfully, the meeting ends without physical violence, and Fireheart and Graystripe sneak off alone to find Ravenpaw. They find him without much difficulty, and as they dine upon mice in the barn where Barley and Ravenpaw live, Ravenpaw again, reluctantly, relays his account of what he saw during the aforementioned battle. This time though, he adds one more detail which he had ommited before... That Oakheart's death had been an accident, a pile of stones collapsing upon him and Redtail while they thought. Redtail, apparently, escaped without serious injury. He also relays one other piece of information, that during a battle, when Tigerclaw had gone to attack a RiverClan warrior named Stonepaw, Oakheart had pulled him off immediately, declaring that no cat from ThunderClan should ever harm Stonepaw.

With this new information, we begin to see another plot twist. Graystripe and Fireheart resolve to find out what this meant and decide to travel to RiverClan territory to find out the whole story. Although Fireheart is reluctant with tensions running so high, Graystripe informs him that there is one cat they can trust: Silverstream.

At the Riverclan camp, Fireheart and Graystripe meet with Silverstream who introduces Graypool, who is now an elder, to them. She shares with them that what Ravenpaw had claimed about that night was true, and also reveals a startling secret... That Stormfur, as well as his sister Mistyfoot are both half-thunderclan cats... Unfortunately, we are not told who their mother is... Only that Oakheart was their father.

Tensions continue to build as our heros search for answers. Riverclan becomes flooded and against the warrior code, Fireheart and Graystripe work to help the clan survive. We are also informed that Silverstream is pregnant with Graystripe's kits, further complicating the situation. It is also in this book that Fireheart is given another apprentice, his own nephew, Cloudpaw.

The most emotional moment of this book comes when Silverpelt finally gives birth, with only Graystripe, Fireheart, Cinderpelt (the medicine cat apprentice) and Tigerclaw as witnesses. She dies giving birth, an event for which Cinderpelt blames herself, and the kits are brought to Thunderclan, the truth about Graystripe's illicite relationship at last revealed.

Although Bluestar is determined to fight to keep the kits where it is felt they belong, Graystripe sees that tensions with Riverclan are at an alltime high and reluctantly agrees to give his kits to them... But in the process, we see that he too has decided to leave Thunderclan to go with them, further complicating his relationship with Fireheart.

It is also here where the truth about Tigerclaw is finally revealed. He schemes with a group of former Shadowclan rogues, including Brokentail, the former Shadowclan leader who was captured in book two when he attempted a raid on ThunderClan, and blinded in the process, to attack and take over ThunderClan.

Bluestar's life is only saved by Fireheart's timely intervention, and Tigerclaw is banished from the clan. Unfortunately, his betrayal has a devastating effect on her, an effect which causes her to begin to lose faith in her warriors... And in Starclan itself. Fireheart is the only one she trusts.

Brokentail is injured again greivously, but once more survives. But by this time, it is clear that he will not change his ways, and Yellowfang takes it upon herself to end his trechery, feeding him three poisonous red berries, known to the clans as 'deathberries', and thus taking his final life. But before he dies, she reveals a devastating secret... Something that she has only shared with one other in ThunderClan... I'll let you find that secret out for yourself.

There are other secrets, of course, but I don't want to spoil the book for you by revealing them all here. This book delves more into the emotional nature of the characters than the action of the previous books, and we learn several startling facts about how the characters relate to one another. Unfortunately, Tigerclaw is not done wreaking havoc just yet. Leaf-bare is over, and newleaf (spring) is passing quickly. Summer (Green-leaf) is soon to come... And the forest is heating up, just as the tensions between the clans heat up.

Keep an eye out for my next review, Book 4: Rising Storm...
« Last Edit: December 05, 2005, 01:38:30 PM by LittlePilgrim » Logged

For I am only human, not some hero of the faith/ I'm merely an example of God's mercy and His grace/ I keep my eyes on Jesus when my gains become a loss/ As I stumble to the cross. -Stumble, Timothy Mark
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