Warriors: Omen of the Stars

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Warriors: Omen of the Stars
Warriors Omen of the Stars boxed set.jpg
The Fourth Apprentice
Fading Echoes
Night Whispers
Sign of the Moon
The Forgotten Warrior
The Last Hope
Author Erin Hunter
Illustrator Wayne McLoughlin
Country United States/Canada
Language English
Genre Children's literature
Fantasy
Publisher HarperCollins
Published 2009–2012

Warriors: Omen of the Stars is the fourth arc in the Warriors juvenile fantasy novel series about anthropomorphic feral cats. It comprises six novels published by HarperCollins from 2009 to 2012: The Fourth Apprentice, Fading Echoes, Night Whispers, Sign of the Moon, The Forgotten Warrior, and The Last Hope. The novels were written by Erin Hunter, a pseudonym that refers to authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, and Tui Sutherland, as well as plot developer and editor Victoria Holmes. Omen of the Stars details the experiences of Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovewing, who, as part of a prophecy, have special powers. The arc's themes deal with forbidden love and the effect that being different can have on relationships. Though the Warriors series has appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, none of the novels in Warriors: Omen of the Stars has won a significant literary award.

Inspirations and influences[edit]

The authors drew inspiration from natural locations in the United Kingdom.[1] Some other sources of inspiration include the works of authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.[2]

Publication history[edit]

In the United States, hardcover and e-book formats for The Fourth Apprentice were published on 24 November 2009,[3][4] Fading Echoes on 6 April 2010,[5][6] Night Whispers on 23 November 2010,[7][8] Sign of the Moon on 5 April 2011,[9][10] The Forgotten Warrior on 22 November 2011,[11][12] and The Last Hope on 3 April 2012.[13][14] The first four books were also released on those days in an audiobook format, read by Kathleen McInerney.[15][16][17][18] Paperback editions of each were released on 21 December 2010,[19] 5 April 2011,[20] 27 December 2011,[21] 3 April 2012,[22] 26 December 2012,[23] and 2 April 2013,[14] respectively.

Release in Canada generally preceded release in the United States by a few days. The Fourth Apprentice was released in hardcover on 24 November 2009 (same as the United States)[24] and paperback on 13 December 2010.[25] Fading Echoes was released in hardcover on 15 May 2010[26] and paperback on 5 April 2011.[27] Night Whispers was released in hardcover on 19 November 2010[28] and paperback on 19 December 2011.[29] Sign of the Moon was released in hardcover on 5 April 2011 (same as the United States)[30] and paperback on 26 March 2012.[31] The Forgotten Warrior was released in hardcover on 22 November 2011 (same as the United States)[32] and 13 December 2012.[33] The Last Hope was released in hardcover on 26 March 2012[34] and in paperback on 25 March 2013.[35]

Synopsis[edit]

The Fourth Apprentice[edit]

The Fourth Apprentice
Publication date
24 November 2009
Media type Print (hardback and paperback), audiobook, e-book
Pages 352[3]
ISBN 978-0-06-155509-1
OCLC [36] 310399272[36]
Preceded by Sunrise
Followed by Fading Echoes

The Fourth Apprentice takes place approximately six months after the end of Sunrise, during the summer, when the four Clans are suffering due to a drought. In ThunderClan, sisters Dovekit and Ivykit become apprentices with Lionblaze as Dovepaw's mentor and Cinderheart as Ivypaw's. While out in the forest, Dovepaw speaks of seeing brown animals up the river building a dam, but no other cat believes her. Lionblaze realizes that Dovepaw is one of the Three foretold in the prophecy "There will be three, kin of your kin, who hold the power of the stars in their paws", of which he and his brother Jayfeather are also a part. They each have a special power, and he realizes that Dovepaw's is the ability to see and hear things very far away, i.e., clairvoyance. Dovepaw and Lionblaze tell ThunderClan leader Firestar that Dovepaw has had a dream from StarClan, the Clans' spiritual ancestors, informing her that the animals, beavers, are building a dam upstream that blocks the river.

Lionblaze plans to travel up the stream and find a way to unclog it and bring the water back, a journey that would include a patrol from each Clan, and Firestar agrees. Each Clan sends two cats. Lionblaze and Dovepaw are chosen to represent ThunderClan on the trip, and meet up with Toadfoot and Tigerheart of ShadowClan, Whitetail and Sedgewhisker of WindClan, and Rippletail and Petalfur of RiverClan. When they arrive at the beaver dam, they plan an attack on the beavers, but the beavers prove too strong, wounding many and killing Rippletail. The patrol creates a new plan that requires more cats, so Lionblaze and Dovepaw set out to find Seville, Jigsaw, and Snowdrop, housecats they met earlier on their journey, and convince them to help. The housecats agree and, with their help, the dam is successfully destroyed.

Meanwhile, back in ThunderClan, Poppyfrost, pregnant with Berrynose's kits, becomes worried that Berrynose does not love her, as he forces her to stay in the nursery. She leaves camp, but ThunderClan medicine cat Jayfeather follows her to the Moonpool, spotting his half-brother, Breezepelt of WindClan, following her too. Jayfeather attempts to comfort Poppyfrost, but is interrupted when Breezepelt shows himself again, attacking Jayfeather. Breezepelt declares that the rule forbidding the killing of a medicine cat no longer affects him because Jayfeather's birth occurred outside of the warrior code. The spirit of another cat, unknown to Jayfeather (Brokenstar), aids Breezepelt in the attack, but the spirit of Poppyfrost's sister Honeyfern comes to Jayfeather's rescue and chases them off. She tells Jayfeather that she is proud of Poppyfrost and Berrynose, that Berrynose truly does love Poppyfrost, and that he is only terrified of losing Poppyfrost as he had originally lost Honeyfern.

Jayfeather tells Lionblaze about the tom that aided Breezepelt, and Lionblaze confesses to meeting Tigerstar, the antagonist from the original Warriors series, in his dreams in the past. They realize that Breezepelt must have been recruited by Tigerstar to help fight in a war between StarClan and the Dark Forest.

Fading Echoes[edit]

Fading Echoes
Publication date
6 April 2010
Media type Print (hardback and paperback), audiobook, e-book
Pages 352
ISBN 978-0-06-155514-5
Preceded by The Fourth Apprentice
Followed by Night Whispers

The spirit of Hawkfrost, Tigerstar's son, begins to visit Ivypaw in her dreams and teaches her battle moves, pretending he is from StarClan. Ivypaw, still jealous that Dovepaw is keeping secrets from her, decides not to tell anyone about Hawkfrost's training.

The Three reveal to Firestar who they are: Firestar reveals that he suspected it all along, but had his doubts after Hollyleaf's disappearance in Sunrise, as Hollyleaf is the sister of Lionblaze and Jayfeather.

After days of rain, Dovepaw senses a tree on the edge of the hollow about to fall. She warns Firestar and the Clan, and they manage to evacuate the camp before the tree falls. However, Mousefur stays behind, refusing to give up on a mouse that she is eating. Longtail goes back into camp for the mouse, and Briarpaw goes back for Longtail. As a result, Briarpaw's backbone is broken, rendering her rear half permanently paralyzed, and Longtail dies.

The spirit of Tigerstar tells Ivypaw that giving a strip of territory to ShadowClan to avoid future conflicts has endangered ThunderClan. Ivypaw believes Tigerstar and tells Firestar that she had a dream from StarClan of ShadowClan invading because they believe that Firestar is too weak to keep his own territory. Firestar and the senior warriors decide to attack ShadowClan preemptively. During the battle, Lionblaze accidentally kills ShadowClan deputy Russetfur after she takes Firestar's seventh life.

Night Whispers[edit]

Night Whispers
Publication date
23 November 2010
Media type Print (hardback and paperback), audiobook, e-book
Pages 295
Preceded by Fading Echoes
Followed by Sign of the Moon

Jayfeather discovers upon unintentionally entering Ivypaw's dream, that Ivypaw and Tigerheart are receiving training from the cats in the Dark Forest.

Lionblaze and Cinderheart decide to do an early border patrol and run into ShadowClan medicine cat apprentice Flametail, who is angry with Lionblaze for killing Russetfur in Fading Echoes.

Dovepaw later uses her power to listen in on Lionblaze and Jayfeather, who are discussing Ivypaw's training in the Dark Forest, then confronts Ivypaw about this. Ivypaw denies that it is wrong. Dovepaw informs Jayfeather that she knows about Ivypaw training in the Dark Forest. Dovepaw wants to try to stop her from going, but Jayfeather tells her to leave Ivypaw alone for the time being.

Blackstar, leader of ShadowClan, asks Flametail and his mentor, Littlecloud, whether StarClan sent them a sign regarding the battle or not. When they reveal that there was no sign, Blackstar asks Littlecloud to go to the Moonpool to speak with StarClan. However, since Littlecloud is ill, Flametail goes to the Moonpool instead. When Flametail arrives at the Moonpool, the spirit of Raggedstar, a former ShadowClan leader, tells him that ShadowClan must stand alone and not trust any allies. When he returns to ShadowClan, he tells Littlecloud and Blackstar: while Littlecloud does not agree, Blackstar does.

In the Dark Forest, Ivypaw overhears Tigerstar telling Tigerheart during a training session that if Tigerheart cannot beat those "ThunderClan weaklings", he is nothing. Ivypaw, realizing that Tigerstar lied to her, flees. She then agrees to act as a spy on the Dark Forest for Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovepaw.

Flametail falls through the ice on the frozen lake while playing a game with other apprentices and begins to drown. Jayfeather, who is nearby, leaps in to save him, but the ice closes up. Jayfeather is determined to save Flametail until the spirit of Rock, an ancient cat from before the Clans, appears and tells Jayfeather that it is Flametail's time to die. Jayfeather lets go of Flametail, who drowns.

Shortly afterward, Ivypaw visits the Dark Forest, now as a spy, and Brokenstar gives her a test to prove her loyalty. He instructs Ivypaw to kill the spirit of the now-dead Flametail, who is confused about no longer being in StarClan and does not know where he is. Brokenstar says a cat's soul does die, either slowly as he or she is forgotten, or by any blows that would kill a living cat. Ivypaw prepares to pounce, believing that she has no other option without revealing her disenchantment with the Dark Forest, but Tigerheart, who is Flametail's brother, stops her. Tigerstar, who is also Tigerheart and Flametail's grandfather, lets Flametail go, saying that he is not a threat. He then states that he believes Ivypaw, even if hesitant now, will fight for the Dark Forest when the final battle arrives.

Sign of the Moon[edit]

Sign of the Moon
Publication date
5 April 2011
Media type Print (hardback and paperback), audiobook, e-book
Pages 352
ISBN 978-0-06-155518-3
OCLC 641531926
Preceded by Night Whispers
Followed by The Forgotten Warrior

In Sign of the Moon, Ivypaw and Dovepaw receive their warrior names, Ivypool and Dovewing.

ThunderClan warrior Icecloud falls through the roof of a tunnel near where Hollyleaf was buried. Lionblaze and Jayfeather venture down the tunnel, only to find a tuft of fur in the spot Hollyleaf supposedly died. This leads them to believe that Hollyleaf may not have died.

Jayfeather, Dovewing, Foxleap, and Squirrelflight then visit the Tribe of Rushing Water when Jayfeather receives a dream from Rock, who insists he go to the mountains without telling him the purpose. While there, Jayfeather is sent back in time as his previous incarnation, Jay's Wing, to convince the Tribe's ancestors to stay in the mountains after journeying from the lake at Jayfeather/Jay's Wing's urging in Long Shadows. Realizing that the ancient Tribe has not yet gained a connection with their ancestors' spirits, he appoints the Tribe's first Teller of the Pointed Stones (also called Stoneteller, a role similar to Clan leader and medicine cat combined). He appoints Half Moon, then returns to the present day, where he appoints Crag Where Eagles Nest as the Stoneteller of modern times to resolve a crisis due to the current Stoneteller dying of old age without a successor.

The Forgotten Warrior[edit]

The Forgotten Warrior
Publication date
22 November 2011
Media type Print (hardback and paperback), e-book
Pages 368
ISBN 978-0-06155-522-0
Preceded by Sign of the Moon
Followed by The Last Hope

Birchfall reveals to his daughter Ivypool that he is training in the Place of No Stars.

Dovewing no longer has her special senses after being overwhelmed in the mountains in Sign of the Moon. She fears that she will not regain them and that she is no longer part of the prophecy as a result. Sorreltail is expecting kits, but leaves the nursery at night immediately before they begin to come. Dovewing hears her cries for help close to the lake and realizes that her powers are back.

Due to the lack of apprentices in the Clan, Cherrykit and Molekit are apprenticed. They have a run-in with a fox, but an unknown cat saves them. Lionblaze investigates, finding Sol, a loner first introduced in Eclipse who previously predicted an eclipse then briefly convinced ShadowClan to lose faith in StarClan. Sol says that he saved the apprentices and is welcomed by some, but not trusted by others. When Sol disappears, Dovewing and Ivypool follow him into the tunnels and discover that he is trying to spark a battle between ThunderClan and WindClan. While Dovewing and Ivypool are spying on Sol and WindClan in the tunnels, WindClan warrior Owlwhisker almost discovers them, but Hollyleaf, who had not died in the tunnel collapse in Sunrise and instead lived in the tunnels in self-imposed exile, leads them to safety. Before she can re-enter the tunnels, Lionblaze arrives and convinces her to return to ThunderClan. Dovewing and Ivypool reveal that Sol is planning an attack on ThunderClan and that Hollyleaf actually saved the apprentices from the fox. In preparation, Hollyleaf teaches ThunderClan battle skills useful in the tunnels.

At a Gathering, Dawnpelt and Tigerheart, siblings of Flametail, accuse Jayfeather of murdering Flametail. Though none of the leaders agrees with this accusation, they suggest that it may be best for the Clans if Jayfeather's duties are suspended until his name is cleared.

WindClan attacks through the tunnels, but ThunderClan repels the attack, being more experienced in underground combat due to Hollyleaf's training.

The Last Hope[edit]

The Last Hope
Publication date
21 March 2012 (Canada)
3 April 2012 (United States)
Media type Print (hardback and paperback), e-book
Pages 384
ISBN 978-0-06-155527-5
Preceded by The Forgotten Warrior
Followed by The Sun Trail

Jayfeather receives a prophecy informing him that there is actually a fourth cat in the prophecy. Dovewing believes Ivypool to be the fourth, Lionblaze believes it is Hollyleaf, and Jayfeather believes it is Mothwing, medicine cat of RiverClan. However, there is division in StarClan and therefore between the medicine cats due to the accusation that Jayfeather murdered Flametail in Night Whispers, making it difficult to speak to Mothwing. Jayfeather is granted safe passage, however, and she shows him a reed that has been smoldering for days, even after heavy rainfall. Jayfeather takes this as an omen to find the spirit of Flametail, although the divisions in StarClan make it difficult. When he finds Flametail, he convinces Flametail to reveal the truth: that he had drowned and was not killed by Jayfeather. This revelation resolves the divisions among the medicine cats, who then unite StarClan in preparation for the final battle with the Dark Forest. Former ThunderClan leader Bluestar tells Jayfeather that the fourth cat is Firestar. The final battle between the Clans and the Dark Forest then begins, with both StarClan and Dark Forest cats taking on corporeal forms. The battle ends when Firestar kills Tigerstar's spirit, but he dies immediately afterward and loses his last life.

Reception[edit]

A reviewer for Booklist suggested that fans of the series would enjoy The Fourth Apprentice and called Dovepaw a "reluctant heroine".[37] A reviewer for Horn Book Guide praised the dramatic adventures and fight scenes.[38] Another reviewer for Booklist called Sign of the Moon a "bridge book", but praised Hunter for the quality of the novel and allowing readers to "get to know a few of the multitudinous cast" better.[39]

Beth L. Meister and Kitty Flynn for Horn Book Guide noted in multiple reviews for books in the series that new readers would have difficulty getting into the story due to the amount of required background information and numerous characters. They also rated all six books four out of a six-point scale in which a rating of one is the highest.[38][40][41][42][43][44]

Themes[edit]

Reviewers have commented that themes often revolve around forbidden interClan romances.[41] In addition, reviewers noted that Fading Echoes explores how having special abilities can affect relationships.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official Warriors website". HarperCollins. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Bolton, Kathleen (21 April 2006). "Interview: Erin Hunter". Writers Unboxed. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice". HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #2: Fading Echoes". HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #2: Fading Echoes". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #3: Night Whispers". HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #3: Night Whispers". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #4: Sign of the Moon". HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #4: Sign of the Moon". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #5: The Forgotten Warrior". Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #5: The Forgotten Warrior". Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #6: The Last Hope". HarperCollins. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #6: The Last Hope". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #2: Fading Echoes". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #3: Night Whispers". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #4: Sign of the Moon". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #2: Fading Echoes". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #3: Night Whispers". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #4: Sign of the Moon". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #5: The Forgotten Warrior". Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  24. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #2: Fading Echoes". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #2: Fading Echoes". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #3: Night Whispers". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #3: Night Whispers". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #4: Sign of the Moon". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #4: Sign of the Moon". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #5: The Forgotten Warrior". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  33. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #5: The Forgotten Warrior". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  34. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #6: The Last Hope". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  35. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #6: The Last Hope". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  36. ^ "Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice (Hardcover)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  37. ^ Sherman, Chris (26 December 2009). "Booklist Online Book Review: The Fourth Apprentice". Booklist. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  38. ^ a b Meister, Beth L. (Spring 2010). "Hunter, Erin: The Fourth Apprentice". Horn Book Guide 21 (1): 73. 
  39. ^ Welch, Cindy (1 September 2011). "Sign of the Moon". Booklist 108 (1): 116. 
  40. ^ a b Meister, Beth L. (Fall 2010). "Hunter, Erin: Night Whispers". Horn Book Guide 21 (2): 342. 
  41. ^ a b Meister, Beth L. (Spring 2011). "Hunter, Erin: Night Whispers". Horn Book Guide 23 (1): 73. 
  42. ^ Meister, Beth L. (Fall 2011). "Hunter, Erin: Sign of the Moon". Horn Book Guide 22 (2): 358. 
  43. ^ Flynn, Kitty (Fall 2012). "Hunter, Erin: The Forgotten Warrior". Horn Book Guide 23 (2): 70. 
  44. ^ Meister, Beth L. (Spring 2013). "Hunter, Erin: The Last Hope". Horn Book Guide 24 (1): 73.