First edition cover
|Cover artist||Wayne McLoughlin|
|Series||Warriors (novel series)|
|August 21, 2007|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.H916625 Firs 2007|
|Preceded by||The Darkest Hour|
|Followed by||Midnight (Chronologically) and SkyClan's Destiny (Plot-wise)|
Firestar's Quest follows Firestar, the leader of ThunderClan, one of the four Clans of cats living in a forest, as he goes on a journey to find the lost fifth Clan, SkyClan. After receiving dreams from the previous leader of SkyClan, Firestar and his mate Sandstorm leave ThunderClan to find and rebuild the lost Clan. At the end of the book, the Clan is rebuilt with a leader, medicine cat and territory. It is set in between The Darkest Hour and Midnight.
Though the book was published after Sunset where the point of view changed, Firestar's Quest still uses Firestar's point of view. The book allowed Erin Hunter to explore the old territories again. An excerpt of Firestar’s Quest was released to promote sales of the book, which were very successful. The novel has also received positive critical reception.
Concept and development
Firestar narrated the first six books but, for the later Warriors: The New Prophecy and Warriors: Power of Three series, other cats were chosen to speak. Firestar was chosen to narrate the special edition. Cherith Baldry wrote Firestar's Quest and Gary Chalk illustrated the book. Erin Hunter has said the novel was a chance to explore the old territories, which had been left behind in the Warriors: The New Prophecy series.
To promote the book, an excerpt was released online on the Warriors website, and later at the back of the Warriors manga volume Warrior's Refuge. AuthorTracker emails mentioned increasingly Firestar’s Quest as the launch date approached. The book was also commonly mentioned in the author chats on Wands and Worlds.
All of the Warriors novels are listed as being written by Erin Hunter. Erin Hunter is a pen name for four people, Victoria Holmes, who creates the storylines and edits, Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, and Tui Sutherland, who write the books in turns. Chronologically, Firestar's Quest takes place between the first two series—after the events of The Darkest Hour and before Midnight. Firestar's Quest was put under the title Warriors: Super Edition, as a special edition extra long book.
After the publication of the novel, Holmes has confirmed the possibility of seeing SkyClan again:
|“||Yes they will! I'm planning the Super-Special for 2010 at the moment, and I think I can reveal exclusively and for the first time ever that it will be set in SkyClan. Yay! Well, it would have been a waste of all those lovely names and characters if we hadn't used them again.||”|
SkyClan's Destiny, the third super edition and sequel tells of a civil war in SkyClan and was released on 3 August 2010. SkyClan was also brought back in the SkyClan and the Stranger manga, including The Rescue, Beyond the Code, and After the Flood. These detail how Sol lives in SkyClan and shows what Clan he is referring to in The Forgotten Warrior.
In the forest of the warrior cats, there are four Clans of feral cats who follow StarClan, their spiritual ancestors. Each Clan chooses a leader and then StarClan gives nine lives to leaders like Firestar, the leader of ThunderClan and the protagonist of the book. Firestar was born as a kittypet (a house cat), but wanders off into the forest and chose to join ThunderClan. In this book, Firestar goes to rebuild SkyClan, the lost Clan.
Firestar's Quest takes place between The Darkest Hour and Midnight. The novel follows Firestar, leader of ThunderClan on a journey to find a fifth lost Clan of the forest called SkyClan. Firestar and his mate Sandstorm journey upriver in order to rebuild the long-lost Clan. When they arrive at the Clan's former home, they meet Skywatcher, a descendant of SkyClan, who tells them about SkyClan's story, and shows them the Whispering Cave, they also find SkyClan's old home deserted, the caves strangely marked with tiny claw marks resembling those of rats. Firestar gathers together Leafdapple, Sparrowpelt, Sharpclaw, Echosong, Rainfur, Petalnose, Clovertail, Patchfoot, Shortwhisker, Cherrytail, Sagekit, Mintkit, Tinypaw, Rockpaw, and Bouncepaw. Eventually, Firestar re-establishes the Clan and helps the Clan fight the force that destroyed the ancient SkyClan: rats. Though SkyClan emerges victorious, the warrior Rainfur is killed and Firestar loses his second life. As Firestar and Sandstorm prepare to return home, Leafdapple is made the leader and renamed Leafstar on the Sky Rock, which is used to connect to the SkyClan ancestors. Sharpclaw is made deputy of the Clan, and Echosong becomes the medicine cat.
In the epilogue, Sandstorm and Firestar's new kits are born. They decide to name one Squirrelkit (after her bushy tail), and the other Leafkit (in honor of SkyClan's new leader, Leafstar, and after Spottedleaf). SkyClan blood runs through ThunderClan in cats such as Spottedleaf from Spottedpelt and Tigerclaw from Gorseclaw.
Before Firestar left the forest, a whole series of events happened that weren't shown in The New Prophecy. Such events included the warrior Longtail losing his sight when a rabbit clawed his eyes, Willowpelt being killed by a badger, and Bramblepaw receiving his warrior name; Brambleclaw. Also, Sootpaw got a new mentor, Thornclaw. This book is also the origin of the prophecy "There will be three, kin of your kin who holds the power of the stars in their paws." The prophecy was passed on to Firestar by Skywatcher.
In an authortracker e-mail Victoria Holmes says that one of the main themes of Firestar's Quest is that "two cats are genuinely torn following the warrior code and doing what they believe is right for themselves". In the book, Firestar is asked to find and rebuild SkyClan which described as Holmes "will take him a long way outside the warrior code and all that he believes in". A review commented that "themes of faith and responsibility give it depth" and also added that "It's quite satisfying watching Firestar and Sandstorm assemble a ragtag group of cats into a true clan" and compared to movies such as The Bad News Bears to Major League.
HarperCollins published the hardcover edition of Firestar's Quest and released it on August 21, 2007. The book had a 150,000 first release. After the release, Erin Hunter went on tour to talk about Firestar's Quest with fans. HarperTrophy, an imprint of HarperCollins, released the paperback version of Firestar's Quest on May 13, 2008. Russia has published a translation of Firestar's Quest. The German version of the book has also been released as both a hardcover and audiobook. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada have English versions of Firestar's Quest. Canada launched the book early on August 9, 2007.Firestar's Quest also went on many bestsellers list including the New York Times Best Seller list.
A reviewer from Children's Literature gave a very positive review, calling Firestar's Quest a “fantastic extension” to the Warriors series, and near the end of the review, the critic said Firestar's Quest showed that the Warriors books had evolved “from simply entertaining to thought provoking adventures”. A review by Booklist noted the longer length of the book and also praised the mission and new characters introduced in the book. Publishers Weekly also gave a positive review writing "Fans of the Warriors books will excitedly delve into Firestar's Quest, the latest edition to Erin Hunter's bestselling series."
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