I was never really a great reader as a child so I often find it difficult to recommend new books to my avid reader. The difficulty with avid readers is that they often read above their level and it isn’t easy deciding whether a book is appropriate or not appropriate for them to read. Some time back, the school librarian recommended the series called Warriors by Erin Hunter to G1 after noticing that he enjoyed the Harry Potters series immensely. He read one of the books and told me it was good but he never really went back for the other books so I figured it couldn’t have been that good.
Recently, while searching for new books for him to try, I picked up another Warriors book from the library. It appears to have made its mark because he devoured three books far more quickly than it took him to get through Inkheart and he’s been eager to return to school to get the next book in the series. What’s the book about? Well, never having read the books myself, I had to look up Wikipedia to find out a little more about this series.
About Warriors by Erin Hunter
Warriors is a fantasy series in the world of cats. There are five cat clans – ThunderClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, RiverClan, and SkyClan – that have different talents, abilities, and loyalties. The stories are written from the perspective of the cats with their thoughts and feelings of love, loyalty, and prejudice towards other clans. Major themes in the series deal with forbidden love, adventure, the concept of nature vs. nurture, the reactions of different faiths meeting each other, characters being a mix of good and bad, and the dubious merits of war and violence. They currently have six sub-series and several stand-alone novels so it should keep my reader busy while he waits for How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (the last book from How to Train Your Dragon – which he has been waiting for for over a year now).
Commonsense Media is usually my “go to” site whenever I encounter a new book or movie I’m unsure about so here’s what they say:
All of the books take place in a world of cat characters that belong to different “clans” that have different talents, abilities, and loyalties. Parallels can be drawn between the clans (which think and feel like humans) and human cultures, making these books an excellent point of departure for discussion about cultural differences and prejudice. Cats engage in wars and battles, fought with claws and teeth, in which some characters are wounded or killed. There are descriptions of cuts and injuries that are tempered for middle-graders, but some sensitive cat lovers could find them too scary. It should also be noted that this series walks a line between opposing war and using violent battle to engage the reader.
- Commonsense Media – 9 years+
- Amazon – 8 to 12 years
Not exactly multi-award-winning or of the highest literary standards (you’d do better to look up Michael Morpurgo), Warriors is more for an entertaining read.
What I like about Warriors
Although I haven’t read any of the books – although I think I just might so I can engage in discussions with G1 – I do like the messages that Erin incorporates into her stories, e.g. “it doesn’t matter where you come from, only who you are inside” – especially with the story of Brambleclaw whose father is the evil Tigerstar, although Brambleclaw himself eventually demonstrates that he is not evil himself.
The novels offer a lot of scope for discussions that relate to the real world. For instance, no one is entirely good or bad but a mix of both. The differences between the clans can also open up discussions about racial differences and prejudice.
Books in the Warriors Series
Now that I’ve looked up the books in the series, I finally understand why G1 couldn’t really get into the series. The book he started reading was Book 2 from the fourth sub-series – Omen of the Stars. Since the books have continuity, the story can be a little confusing if you don’t begin from the start, especially since there are a lot of characters in the story. So here are the books in order – I had to do my homework since the books don’t list their book number of series number on the covers and I don’t know which book comes next…
Warriors: The Prophecies Begin
For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But now ThunderClan is in grave danger. Rival ShadowClan is growing stronger, a traitor may be hiding in their midst, and rising tensions threaten every cat in the forest.
In the dark days ahead, ThunderClan’s fate will rest in the paws of an unexpected hero: an ordinary house cat named Rusty…who may yet turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.
Warriors: The New Prophecy
Six cats, including young Brambleclaw of ThunderClan, must embark on an unprecedented journey, with the fate of the entire forest in their paws. The strength and courage of the greatest warriors will be put to the test as the prophecy unfolds—and the quest to save the Clans begins.
Warriors: Power of Three
Hollypaw, Jaypaw, and Lionpaw—grandchildren of the great leader Firestar—possess unusual power and talent. But secrets and uncertainty surround them, and a mysterious prophecy hints at trouble to come. The warrior code is in danger, and these three apprentices will need all of their strength to help the Clans survive.
Warriors: Omen of the Stars
It has been foretold that three ThunderClan cats—Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovepaw—will hold the power of the stars in their paws. Together, they must unravel the truth behind the ancient words of the prophecy. But the dark shadows that have preyed on the Clans for many moons are gaining strength, determined to tear the four Clans apart. As a catastrophic battle with the Dark Forest draws nearer, Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovepaw learn of another, more ominous prophecy, which reveals that a mysterious fourth cat must join them in order to save the warrior Clans from utter destruction.
Warriors: Dawn of the Clans
Warriors: A Vision of Shadows
This is a planned series that hasn’t been released yet.
- Firestar’s Quest – There is peace at last between the warrior Clans, and all four are thriving. Then Firestar, legendary leader of ThunderClan, discovers a shocking secret: StarClan, the warrior ancestors who guide his paw steps, have lied to him. Firestar must embark on a perilous quest to discover a long-forgotten truth. Whatever he finds at the end of his journey, he’s sure of one thing: Nothing will ever be the same again.
- Bluestar’s Prophecy – Bluestar—leader of ThunderClan—has been prophesied to guide her Clan to power in a time of great turmoil. But closely guarded secrets from the past haunt her every paw step, and dark shadows whisper in her ears. Will she protect her Clan? Or collapse under the weight of her destiny?
- SkyClan’s Destiny – The newly reunited SkyClan is thriving under Leafstar’s leadership. As new apprentices and warriors move through the ranks, Leafstar is determined to believe that SkyClan’s future is bright. But outside threats continue to plague the Clan, and as dissent grows from within, Leafstar must face the one question she dreads: Is SkyClan meant to survive?
- Crookedstar’s Promise – Crookedkit dreams of becoming a great RiverClan leader. Then a mysterious cat appears, whispering promises of greatness and glory—if only Crookedkit will pledge his undying loyalty to his Clan. No cat could have ever imagined the terror and destruction that would lie in one seemingly harmless promise.
- Yellowfang’s Secret – Yellowkit can’t wait to fight for her Clan. But when she earns her warrior name, Yellowfang, she realizes that her true destiny is to become a healer. As a loyal medicine cat, Yellowfang has proven her dedication to ShadowClan—but her dreams are haunted by a dark prophecy that threatens to destroy the Warrior clans forever.
- Tallstar’s Revenge – After a tragedy leaves the young warrior Talltail filled with bitterness and an all-consuming hunger for vengeance, he sets off on a dangerous quest for revenge—far outside the bounds of the warrior code.
- Bramblestar’s Storm – The Dark Forest has been defeated, and Bramblestar is now leader of ThunderClan. But the warrior cats must learn to weather a new kind of storm—or all four Clans will be swept away.
- Moth Flight’s Vision – The five warrior Clans are newly formed, and the forest is at peace—but in WindClan, one young cat is troubled by strange visions that will lead her to a destiny no cat could have predicted.
- The Untold Stories
- Hollyleaf’s Story
- Mistystar’s Omen
- Cloudstar’s Journey
- Tales from the Clans
- Tigerclaw’s Fury
- Leafpool’s Wish
- Dovewing’s Silence
- Shadows of the Clans
- Mapleshade’s Vengeance
- Goosefeather’s Curse
- Ravenpaw’s Farewell
One of the criticisms about the Warriors series was that there are too many characters which made the stories confusing. For children that may be struggling to keep track of the Warriors’ world and characters, there is a Warriors Website loaded with information. There are also games to play and a free Warriors App to download.