Warriors (novel series)
Boxed sets of the Warriors: The Prophecies Begin and Warriors: The New Prophecy series
|Genre||Preteen fiction, fantasy, young adult fiction|
|Published||January 21, 2003 – present|
Warriors is a series of novels published by HarperCollins by authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, and Tui Sutherland, with the plot developed by editor Victoria Holmes, who collectively use the pseudonym Erin Hunter. The series follows the adventures of four groups of cats, called clans — ThunderClan, WindClan, RiverClan, and ShadowClan — in their forest and lake homes. They look up to StarClan, the spirits of their Warrior ancestors, who guide the four clans. The clans collectively follow a warrior code, established in order to keep the clans' interactions civil outside of times of conflict.
There are currently seven sub-series, each containing six books, except for the seventh sub-series, which is not yet completed and only contains one book. The first, Warriors (later re-titled as Warriors: The Prophecies Begin), was published from 2003 to 2004. Warriors: The New Prophecy, published from 2005 to 2006, follows the first sub-series, chronicling the Clans as they move to a new home. The third story arc, Warriors: Power of Three, was published from 2007 to 2009. The fourth sub-series, Warriors: Omen of the Stars, was published from 2009 to 2012 and continued where the third story arc left off. The fifth sub-series Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, was published from 2013 to 2015. The sub-series acts as a prequel series, detailing the formation of the Clans. The sixth and most recent sub-series, Warriors: A Vision of Shadows, had its final book released on November 6, 2018, completing the "A Vision of Shadows" series. The first book of the sixth series, The Apprentice's Quest, was released on March 15, 2016, and the second book, Thunder and Shadow, was released on September 6, 2016. Chronologically, Warriors: A Vision of Shadows follows Warriors: Omen of the Stars, and Bramblestar's Storm. The seventh sub-series is entitled Warriors: The Broken Code. The first book in the seventh series, Lost Stars, was released on April 9, 2019. The second book, The Silent Thaw, will be released on October 29, 2019.
Other books have been released in addition to the main series, including eleven lengthier stand-alone "Super Edition" novels; a few other books that were published as e-book novellas, which were also published in five print compilations, with three stories each: Warriors: Tales from the Clans, Warriors: The Untold Stories, Warriors: Shadows of the Clans, Warriors: Legends of the Clans, and Warriors: Path of a Warrior. Six guides and several volumes of original English-language manga, produced as a collaboration between HarperCollins and TOKYOPOP, have been published as well. Manga published after TOKYOPOP's shutdown is published by HarperCollins on its own. The series has been translated into several languages, and there is a website featuring games, promotional videos, quizzes, and news.
Major themes in the series are adventure, forbidden love, the concept of nature vs. nurture, the reactions of different faiths meeting each other, and characters being a mix of good and bad. The authors draw inspiration from several natural locations and other authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare.
Warriors has received mostly positive reviews, but it has also been criticised for being confusing due to its large number of characters. Critics have compared it to the Redwall series, though one reviewer[who?] commented that the series is less elegantly written. Although nominated for several awards, Warriors has yet to receive any major literary prizes. The series has reached the New York Times Bestseller List and has found popularity in many countries, including Trinidad, Germany and China.
- 1 Inspiration and origins
- 2 Setting
- 3 Series
- 4 Standalones
- 5 Critical reception
- 6 Themes
- 7 Publication history
- 8 Other media
- 9 References
Inspiration and origins
The series first began when publisher HarperCollins asked Victoria Holmes to write a fantasy series about feral cats. Initially, Holmes was not very enthusiastic, since she "couldn't imagine coming up with enough ideas". She worked with the concept, however, expanding the storyline with elements of war, politics, revenge, doomed love, and religious conflict. Although the original plan was a stand-alone novel, enough material was created for several books, and the publisher decided on a six-volume series. The first volume, Into the Wild, was written by Kate Cary under the pseudonym "Erin Hunter" and was completed in about three months. Holmes then began to work behind the scenes, editing and supervising details. Cherith Baldry joined the team to write the third book, Forest of Secrets. Later, after she wrote the first Warriors field guide, Tui Sutherland became the fourth Erin Hunter., there were also some rumors that said "Warriors" where also based of off a children's book from the 60s called: "Forest Dogs" that had almost the same plot origins.
The authors have named several other authors as sources of inspiration when writing the novels. In an online author chat, Cherith Baldry listed the authors that inspire her as including Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Shakespeare. In the same chat, Victoria Holmes stated that Jacqueline Wilson, Kathy Reichs, and J. K. Rowling are some of the authors that inspire her. According to the official website, other authors who have inspired the writers include Enid Blyton, Lucy Daniels, Ellis Peters, Tess Gerritsen, Kate Ellis, Lisa Gardiner, and Meg Cabot. The authors have also mentioned several other sources of inspiration. The New Forest in southern England was the base for the forest where the original series took place. Other influential locations include Loch Lomond, as well as the Scottish Highlands. Nicholas Culpeper, a physician who used materials occurring in the natural world as medicine, also had an influence on the Warriors series. His book, Culpeper's Herbal, is used as a source by the authors for the herbal remedies that the cats use in the books. In addition, the authors suggested that they may use some fan-created names in future books. Also mentioned as a source of inspiration was the film series Rambo.
In the Warriors universe, a large group of feral cats has settled into a forest and claimed it for their own. The cats are split into four smaller Clans: ThunderClan lives in woodland areas, WindClan resides on the moors, RiverClan by the lake, and ShadowClan within and around the swamps hidden in the shadows. SkyClan, a fifth group, also used to be a part of this system but was forced to flee when their territory was destroyed to make human houses. The other Clans refused to share their territory, thus leading to SkyClan being driven out of their home. The other Clans were ashamed of this and tried to erase all memory of SkyClan. Each Clan has adapted to their own terrain; RiverClan, for example, will swim in the river to catch fish, while the majority of cats from the other Clans fear and avoid bodies of water.
Relationships between different Clans are tense and they often come into conflict with one another. Each clan is taught signature battle moves in order to protect their territory. Border skirmishes are the most common source of battle; they are often short-lived and cause no real damage to either side. Bigger and more brutal battles can occur, which can result in casualties. The Clans can also show concern for each other; the idea of one Clan being destroyed causes deep distress and will prompt urgent action on behalf of all four Clans. On the night of every full moon, the Clans will meet at a designated spot in order to share stories and news in peace. This is known as a 'Gathering', and fighting is prohibited.
Cats who live outside of the Clans are split into three groups. Housecats, known as 'kittypets', are often sneered at by the Clan cats for their cozy and lazy life, and if they wander into the forest are chased away, but will rarely come to harm. 'Loners' are cats who walk outside of the Clans, usually by themselves. Although regarded by the Clans with suspicion, they do not cause the forest cats any trouble, and so are free to wander outside of the borders in peace. Similar to loners are 'rogues', who differ only because they try to cause Clans harm. It is not unusual for a rogue to be a former Clan cat looking for revenge. For a kittypet, loner, or rogue to join a Clan is rare, but not unheard of. Often, these newcomers have to prove themselves in order to be regarded with trust by the rest of the community.
Beyond the Clans' territories lies a mountain range, inhabited by the Tribe of Rushing Water, which follows a different set of ancestors: the Tribe of Endless Hunting. The Tribe has a Healer, cave-guards, and prey-hunters, who each serve a different function in the Tribe. The Healer leads the Tribe, heals the ill and wounded, and communicates with the Tribe of Endless Hunting; the cave-guards defend the Tribe and the prey-hunters hunt. The Tribe was formed by the Ancients when they left the lake to live in the mountains. In turn, cats from the Tribe moved to the forest of the original series and formed the Clans.
StarClan is a group of the Clans' deceased ancestors who give guidance to the Clans. After death, most Clan cats join StarClan. It is represented by Silverpelt, and each individual star represents the spirit of a single dead warrior. Upon joining StarClan, the cats' spirits take the form in which they were most happy while living (i.e. blindness and deafness can be cured). StarClan Warriors, elders, deputies, queens, and kits keep watch over the Clans, usually watching the Clan they lived in while alive. They provide guidance to the Clans, often through dreams and other signs like omens. Often, this occurs when medicine cats go to the Moonstone, a large piece of quartz in an abandoned mine, which is used in the forest territory to communicate with the medicine and leader cats' ancestors every half-moon. StarClan cats are often described as being transparent and silver in color, with stars sparkling around their pelts.
In addition to StarClan, there exists the Dark Forest, also known as The Place of No Stars. The spirits of traitors who caused great pain and suffering to others walk alone there, forever, to pay for their sins. As the name suggests, it takes the form of a never-ending forest, forcing its residents to forever walk alone. Although cats of the Dark Forest are meant to be isolated as punishment, they later learn how to walk in the dreams of living cats. Like StarClan cats, Dark Forest residents will fade away if they are forgotten, or killed in battle.
Warriors: The Prophecies Begin
The original Warriors series, later re-titled Warriors: The Prophecies Begin, was released from 2003 to 2004 and consists of six books: Into the Wild (January 21, 2003), Fire and Ice (May 27, 2003), Forest of Secrets (October 14, 2003), Rising Storm (January 6, 2004), A Dangerous Path (June 1, 2004), and The Darkest Hour (October 5, 2004). The series was subtitled The Prophecies Begin for its planned re-release in paperback with new covers in 2015. The series details the experiences of a housecat named Rusty who ventures into the forest and is invited to join ThunderClan, one of four groups of wild cats in the forest. He rises through the clan hierarchy and becomes the leader of ThunderClan by the end of the series.
Warriors: The New Prophecy
The second series, Warriors: The New Prophecy, was released from 2005 to 2006, and consists of six books: Midnight (May 10, 2005), Moonrise (August 1, 2005), Dawn (December 27, 2005), Starlight (April 4, 2006), Twilight (August 22, 2006), and Sunset (December 26, 2006). In this series, the Clan’s survival is put at risk as humans begin to destroy the forest with machinery. To combat this, one cat from all four Clan’s is chosen to journey and find a new home for the cats to live. These cats are Tawnypelt of ShadowClan, Crowpaw (later Crowfeather) of WindClan, Feathertail of RiverClan, and Brambleclaw of ThunderClan, the latter of whom also struggles with his heritage as the late Tigerstar’s son. Feathertail’s brother Stormfur and the ThunderClan apprentice Squirrelflight also accompany them.
The first book, "Midnight" mainly revolves around the four chosen cats having their dream and leaving with Squirrelpaw/flight and Stormfur. Then, making a perilous journey and finding "Midnight", a wise badger. They then have to deliver a cryptic message from her which basically maent that the clans had to leave their home and that ""a dying warrior will show the way"". So then they decide to go over the mountains as it looks like it's safer than the route they took to get there.
The second book main theme is the six getting through the mountains and getting home alive.They meet The Tribe Of Rushing Water who 'keeps' Stormfur, believing him to be the cat who will save them from a Sharptooth a mountain lion. It turns out to be Feathertail who is the silver cat who saves the tribe and she dies plunging a rock into it's neck, killing it. It also says that Leafpaw/pool gets trapped by the Twolegs (humans), who don't want cats getting in their way when they destroy the forest. It ends with Leafpaw/pool captured and the now five cats seeing their home.
Warriors: Power of Three
The third series, Warriors: Power of Three, was released from 2007 to 2009 and consists of six books: The Sight (April 24, 2007), Dark River (December 26, 2007), Outcast (April 22, 2008), Eclipse (September 2, 2008), Long Shadows (November 25, 2008), and Sunrise (April 21, 2009). The plot is centered on the prophecy, "There will be three, kin of your kin, who hold the power of the stars in their paws", which was given to Firestar in Firestar's Quest by Skywatcher. The series revolves around Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, and Lionblaze, children of Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight, and grandchildren of the ThunderClan leader Firestar, who descover that they each have a unique power. Jayfeather's power was the ability to walk in dreams and sense emotions, despite being blind. Lionblaze can fight any battle without receiving injury. Hollyleaf is shown to not have one and later on it is revealed that either Dovekit or Ivykit will be one of the three.
Warriors: Omen of the Stars
The fourth series, Warriors: Omen of the Stars, was released from 2009 to 2012 and consists of six books: The Fourth Apprentice (November 24, 2009), Fading Echoes (March 23, 2010), Night Whispers (November 23, 2010), Sign of the Moon (April 5, 2011), The Forgotten Warrior (November 22, 2011), and The Last Hope (April 3, 2012). It is a direct continuation of Warriors: Power of Three, wherein they found out that Hollyleaf has no special power and Dovewing, grandchild of Firestar's nephew Cloudtail, is the third cat.
Warriors: Dawn of the Clans
The fifth series, Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, was released from March 5, 2013 to September 1, 2015 and consists of six books: The Sun Trail (March 5, 2013), Thunder Rising (November 5, 2013), The First Battle (April 8, 2014), The Blazing Star (November 4, 2014), A Forest Divided (April 7, 2015), and Path of Stars (September 1, 2015). It mainly features around cats of the old times but mostly Gray Wing.
Warriors: A Vision of Shadows
Warriors: A Vision of Shadows is the sixth sub-series. The series was originally titled, Warriors: StarClan's Promise. The first book, The Apprentice's Quest, which takes place approximately eight months after Bramblestar's Storm, was released on March 15, 2016. The books' main characters are Sparkpaw/Sparkpelt and Alderpaw/Alderheart who are Bramblestar's and Squirrelflight's children. Later on, Twigkit/Twigpaw/Twigbranch and Violetkit/Violetpaw/Violetshine, who are later discovered to be lost SkyClan kits/appentices/warriors, also become main characters. The first book, The Apprentice's Quest, starts with each Clan's medicine cats receiving a prophecy from StarClan together, telling them to "Embrace what you find in the shadows, for only they can clear the sky". The following books are Thunder and Shadow (September 6, 2016), Shattered Sky (April 11, 2017), Darkest Night (November 7, 2017), River of Fire (April 10, 2018) and The Raging Storm (November 6, 2018).
Warriors: The Broken Code
Warriors: The Broken Code is the seventh sub-series. The first book, Lost Stars was released on April 9, 2019. This series revolves around Bristlepaw/Bristlefrost, a ThunderClan apprentice/warrior, Rootpaw, a SkyClan apprentice, and Shadowpaw, a ShadowClan medicine cat apprentice. The second book, The Silent Thaw will be released on October 28th, 2019.  This revolves around the ThunderClan’s leader, Bramblestar, who has been behaving erratically after losing one of his nine lives. Suspicion is quickly spreading across Clan borders. And when a strange apparition sparks unrest in SkyClan and ShadowClan, each warrior must decide where their allegiances lie—with their Clan, or the warrior code itself.
Super Editions are stand-alone books in the Warriors series that are approximately double the length of a normal Warriors book, about 500 pages long. The first Super Edition was Firestar's Quest, about Firestar going to restore SkyClan.
Six field guides have also been published. The guides offer extra information, usually in the form of short stories, and are usually about 150 pages long.
Original English-language manga
Several series of original English-language manga have been produced by HarperCollins with TOKYOPOP. With the shutdown of TOKYOPOP, subsequent manga volumes have been published under the HarperCollins name alone. Four of the manga series consist of three volumes, though The Rise of Scourge is a standalone book.
Originally published only in e-book format, the novellas were later published in anthology volumes.
List of Standalones
|Firestar's Quest||Super Edition||08-21-2007|
|Bluestar's Prophecy||Super Edition||07-28-2009|
|SkyClan's Destiny||Super Edition||08-03-2010|
|Crookedstar's Promise||Super Edition||07-05-2011|
|Yellowfang's Secret||Super Edition||10-09-2012|
|Tallstar's Revenge||Super Edition||07-02-2013|
|Bramblestar's Storm||Super Edition||08-26-2014|
|Moth Flight's Vision||Super Edition||11-03-2015|
|Hawkwing's Journey||Super Edition||11-01-2016|
|Tigerheart's Shadow||Super Edition||09-05-2017|
|Crowfeather's Trial||Super Edition||09-04-2018|
|Squirrelflight's Hope||Super Edition||09-03-2019|
|Secrets of the Clans||Field Guide||05-29-2007|
|Cats of the Clans||Field Guide||06-24-2008|
|Code of the Clans||Field Guide||06-09-2009|
|Battles of the Clans||Field Guide||06-01-2010|
|Enter the Clans||Field Guide||06-26-2012|
|The Warriors Guide||Field Guide||08-08-2012||Barnes & Noble exclusive|
|The Ultimate Guide||Field Guide||11-05-2014|
|The Lost Warrior||OEL Manga||04-24-2007||Book 1 of Graystripe's Adventure Trilogy|
|Warrior's Refuge||OEL Manga||12-26-2007||Book 2 of Graystripe's Adventure Trilogy|
|Warrior's Return||OEL Manga||04-22-2008||Book 3 of Graystripe's Adventure Trilogy|
|The Rise of Scourge||OEL Manga||06-24-2008|
|Into the Woods||OEL Manga||09-02-2008||Book 1 of Tigerstar and Sasha Trilogy|
|Escape from the Forest||OEL Manga||12-23-2008||Book 2 of Tigerstar and Sasha Trilogy|
|Return to the Clans||OEL Manga||06-09-2009||Book 3 of Tigerstar and Sasha Trilogy|
|Shattered Peace||OEL Manga||08-03-2010||Book 1 of Ravenpaw's Path Trilogy|
|A Clan in Need||OEL Manga||08-03-2010||Book 2 of Ravenpaw's Path Trilogy|
|The Heart of a Warrior||OEL Manga||08-03-2010||Book 3 of Ravenpaw's Path Trilogy|
|The Rescue||OEL Manga||07-05-2011||Book 1 of SkyClan and the Stranger Trilogy|
|Beyond the Code||OEL Manga||11-22-2011||Book 2 of SkyClan and the Stranger Trilogy|
|After the Flood||OEL Manga||04-03-2012||Book 3 of SkyClan and the Stranger Trilogy|
|Hollyleaf's Story||Novella||03-03-2012||Originally released e-book only. Also part of the anthology Warriors: The Untold Stories|
|Mistystar's Omen||Novella||09-11-2012||Originally released e-book only. Also part of the anthology Warriors: The Untold Stories|
|Cloudstar's Journey||Novella||01-29-2013||Originally released e-book only. Also part of the anthology Warriors: The Untold Stories|
|Tigerclaw's Fury||Novella||01-28-2014||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Tales from the Clans|
|Leafpool's Wish||Novella||04-22-2014||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Tales from the Clans|
|Dovewing's Silence||Novella||11-04-2014||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Tales from the Clans|
|Mapleshade's Vengeance||Novella||04-07-2015||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Shadows of the Clans|
|Goosefeather's Curse||Novella||09-01-2015||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Shadows of the Clans|
|Ravenpaw's Farewell||Novella||01-26-2016||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Shadows of the Clans|
|Spottedleaf's Heart||Novella||04-11-2017||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Legends of the Clans|
|Pinestar's Choice||Novella||04-11-2017||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Legends of the Clans|
|Thunderstar's Echo||Novella||04-11-2017||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Legends of the Clans|
|Redtail’s Debt||Novella||04-09-2019||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Path of a Warrior|
|Tawnypelt’s Clan||Novella||04-09-2019||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Path of a Warrior|
|Shadowstar’s Life||Novella||04-09-2019||Also part of the anthology Warriors: Path of a Warrior|
The first book of the series, Into the Wild, was generally well-received, with reviewers calling it a "spine-tingling," "thoroughly engrossing" and "exciting... action-packed adventure." One reviewer praised the authors for "creating an intriguing world... and an engaging young hero", but another criticised the characters and imagined world as being "neither... consistent nor compelling."
The manga has also earned praise: a reviewer for Children's Bookwatch noted that Into the Woods "ends on a tense cliffhanger, leaving the reader in anxious anticipation for more. Suitable for readers age ten to one hundred and ten, warriors Tigerstar and Sasha's manga story, #1: Into the Woods, is especially recommended for cat lovers everywhere". Its sequel, Escape from the Forest, was also well reviewed: a reviewer for Publishers Weekly believed that girls would benefit from reading about Sasha leaving the powerful Tigerstar due to his "growing violence". The art was also praised, with the reviewer writing that "Hudson's artwork brings Sasha's emotional journey to life, showing each moment of fear, anxiety, contentment, and joy. The cat's-eye perspective of many of the panels, in addition, add [sic] a dramatic, energizing element to the book". The reviewer also wrote that "a twist at the end will leave fans eager for the next installment of Sasha's saga", and that the book would appeal to young adults trying to find their place in the world. Lisa Goldstein for School Library Journal also gave the book a positive review, writing that the plot would attract new fans and appeal to old fans. The reviewer also wrote that "though the cover claims that this is a 'manga,' the straightforward illustrations are drawn in a simple, realistic style".
The large number of characters involved in the series has often been seen as a negative point; though one reviewer compared the "huge cast" to that of a Greek drama, others wrote that it was "hard to follow" and "a little confusing." The characters have also been criticised as being "somewhat flat" and "limited essentially to each individual's function within the clan."
As one reviewer put it, the cats in the series are "true to their feline nature," leading some critics to jokingly comment that the books will "leave readers eyeing Puss a bit nervously" and wondering "what dreams of grandeur may haunt the family cat." However, this realism also means that the series contains a relatively large amount of violence, with one critic stating that it is "not for the faint of heart." Several critics have compared Warriors to Brian Jacques' Redwall series, though one commented that it was "not as elegantly written." The New York Times called the series a "hit with young readers", specifically because of its "sprawling universe", and the series was able to appear on the New York Times Bestseller List for a total of 117 weeks, as of November 24, 2013.
Awards and recognitions
Into the Wild was nominated for the Pacific Northwest Library Association's 2006 Young Reader's Choice Awards but lost to Christopher Paolini's Eragon. It was also listed on Booklist's Top 10 fantasy books for youth in 2003 and was a Book Sense 76 Pick. The Sight was nominated for the best Middle Readers book in Amazon's Best Books of the Year (2007) and placed sixth out of the ten nominees, with six percent of the total votes. It was also nominated for the Children's Choice Book Awards. In 2006, Warriors also received an honorable mention for the best book series for Publisher Weekly's "On the Cuff" awards.
Themes in the series often revolve around forbidden love. These relationships are not allowed for various reasons: some involve medicine cats, who are not allowed to have mates according to the medicine cat code, while others develop between cats in different Clans, which is also forbidden by the warrior code (for example, Graystripe and Silverstream.) Holmes said that another central theme of the series centres on "faith and spirituality" in StarClan. All books in the series feature the influence of StarClan, not just as the cats think of them, but in terms of prophecies delivered by StarClan which inevitably come true. Some scenes take place within StarClan's realm, with no living cats present as point-of-view characters. Thus the existence of an afterlife and the influence of spirits who have passed on and yet retain their earthly identities is integral to all of the plot arcs in the series. Another idea explored in the novels is the reactions of different faiths when meeting each other. For example, the Tribe of Rushing Water, which believes in different spiritual ancestors than the Clans, is introduced in Moonrise. In an author chat, Holmes explained that the books never say that either of the Clans or the Tribe of Rushing Water is right about faith because both are "equally valid." This leads to fear and suspicion between them because they are afraid of things they do not understand. Holmes said that "ignorance is a very scary thing!" Non-belief is also significant in the storylines: Mothwing and Cloudtail do not believe in StarClan.Kittypets, loners, and rouges were also a very important theme (at least for Erin Hunter).
Another theme is that characters can be a mix of good and evil. Holmes has said she is fascinated by these "shades of gray" in personalities. Her example of this was when Bluestar, a noble and honorable cat, gave up her kits for her own ambitions so an evil cat would not take over. Another example she gave of this is how the antagonist Tigerstar, even with all of his faults, is still courageous and fiercely loyal. Similarly, Holmes has also connected the theme to Brambleclaw and how nobody knew whether he was good or evil. A third major theme, often referred to as nature versus nurture, explores whether a person is born the way he or she will be, or if other things shape that. For example, Brambleclaw's father is the evil Tigerstar, but he eventually demonstrates that despite this, he is not evil himself, despite initial suspicion from Clanmates due to his father's legacy. This theme ties into the "shades of gray" theme. similar to the book ¨Forest dogs¨.
A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that friendship and responsibility are taught to characters in the novels, while booksforyouths.com had a reviewer who pointed out the idea that, just as Clan cats shun house cats for their soft life, people should realize that it is necessary to experience hardship in life. A Storysnoops review noted that one of the themes was that "it doesn't matter where you come from, only who you are inside". In Dawn, the importance of cooperation is explored. The four Clans, normally hostile to each other, are forced to work together in order to find a new home. Other themes that have been pointed out deal with family, loss, honor, bravery, death, loyalty, and following rules.
Holmes has said that one of the good things about writing a book about cats is that "we can tackle difficult human issues such as death, racial intolerance, and religious intolerance [without seeming so heavy]."
All of the Warriors books except for the manga have been published as hardcovers, and the majority of them have also been published as paperbacks. Starlight, Twilight, and Sunset from The New Prophecy, as well as the first four Omen of the Stars books, are available in an audiobook format. The New Prophecy audiobooks are spoken by Nanette Savard, whose performance has been praised by reviewers. A reviewer for AudioFile wrote: "Nanette Savard brings out the youth of the cats who are struggling to help their clan survive and to protect each other from outside danger." The Omen of the Stars audiobooks are spoken by Veronica Taylor who played Ash Ketchum and many anime and cartoon characters . The books in the four main series have also been released in an e-book format.
The Warriors series was first published in the United States and United Kingdom. The editions published of the first two series—Warriors and Warriors: The New Prophecy—in the United Kingdom had slight variations in cover design from their United States counterparts. Warriors is also sold in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Translations from English into other languages such as Czech, Lithuanian, Finnish, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Korean have been published more recently. The first six books have been published in Korea, Italy and Latin America, the first five series in Germany and the first four series in the Netherlands. Fandom also exists in Trinidad and Singapore. The first two books have been published in Poland.
The Warriors website features Warriors screensavers, along with videos on the process of writing a manga book and a video promoting The Last Hope. There is also a "How To Draw Manga" page. In addition, there are games, including quizzes, the New Prophecy Adventure, and the Warriors Adventure Game. On the Frequently Asked Questions section of the site, Erin Hunter said that they are working on an online game that would be released in late 2010. It finished the first round of testing in summer 2010, but has not been released. Whether it will be a role-playing game is unknown. Erin Hunter has stated on the official Warriors website that there is still no plan for an official video game, but if there was, it would probably be based on a movie version of the Warriors series, which was at the time not under consideration. Many fans have resorted to making their own games and websites, many of these sites being Play-by-post role-playing game forums.
On October 20, 2016, Victoria Holmes announced that Alibaba Pictures had bought the production rights for a film adaptation with David Heyman as producer. On May 14, 2018 it was announced that STX Entertainment had come on board to co-produce the film, with STX board member Gigi Pritzker working alongside Heyman. It was also announced that screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger would write the screenplay for the movie. No director or release date has yet been announced for the film.
The first short story written by Erin Hunter is "Spottedleaf's Honest Answer". In it, the spirit of former ThunderClan medicine cat Spottedleaf discusses her love for Firestar. It gives information on what happened in the Warriors series from Into the Wild to Firestar's Quest.
On January 20, 2009, another short story, "The Clans Decide", was released on the Warriors Ultimate Leader Election site, starring Firestar, who won an election through an online fan vote conducted in recognition of President Obama's Inauguration Day. In the story, the four Clans vote for a way to survive a tough winter. Every cat at the meeting votes on whether or not the Clans should work together to survive the winter. The cats vote in favour of working together.
Two short stories, "After Sunset: The Right Choice?" and "The Elders' Concern", are included with the Warriors mobile application. "The Elders' Concern" has been noted to contain timeline errors. Taking place after Bluestar's selection of Fireheart for deputy, it is about the elder Halftail, who is unhappy with the decision, and wakes the other elders to discuss it with them. In "After Sunset: The Right Choice?", After Brambleclaw is forced to kill Hawkfrost, he is worried about what Firestar might do, but Firestar is extremely proud of him.
Written by Victoria Holmes for a tour, a play titled After Sunset: We Need to Talk was first premiered on April 28, 2007 at the Secret Garden bookstore in Seattle, Washington. It details a meeting between Leafpool of ThunderClan and Crowfeather of WindClan after the events of Sunset. The script was released to the public on the official site for the Warriors series.
During a fundraising event in Russellville, Arkansas, Brightspirit's Mercy was performed by various high school drama students. The second of two plays by Erin Hunter, Brightspirit's Mercy is about Jaypaw, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf. After going to a Gathering, where it is obvious all of the Clans except for ThunderClan are starving, three cats from StarClan appear to them: Brightspirit and her parents, Shiningheart and Braveheart, characters created on Wands and Worlds, a fantasy fiction forum, in memory of a 10-year-old Warriors fan, Emmy Grace Cherry, and her parents, Dana and Jimmy Cherry, who were killed in a tornado in February 2007. They tell the three young cats that they must help feed the other Clans. Jaypaw is easily convinced, but Hollyleaf and Lionblaze are harder to win over. Eventually, they agree and hunt, then wait at the WindClan border for a patrol. Ashfoot, WindClan's deputy, accepts the gift, but Breezepaw, too proud to have help from another Clan, refuses to eat it. Jaypaw, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf then head towards another Clan's territory.
In the Chinese translation of the series, "3-D trading cards" are packaged in each book. The 3-D effect is produced using stereoscopic lenticular printing. These cards feature pictures of the cats on the center of the bookcover and their Chinese and English names, and biographical information on the back. Also produced are puzzles and cups with Warriors images.
On June 30, 2011, an official iOS application and Android application was released on the iTunes App Store and Play store. It contains information about the books in the series, profiles of the Clans and major characters (including app-exclusive information such as the name of Firestar's mother), an interactive timeline and maps, two application-exclusive short stories, a trivia game, and even an amino. The app has been taken off the Google Play store.
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The first Warriors series is finally to get its own name with its relaunch next year: "The Prophecies Begin". Purrfect! :D
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In this first spine-tingling episode in the planned Warriors series [...] sure to appeal ... to followers of Brian Jacques' ongoing Redwall series
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In the first exciting installment of the Warriors fantasy series [...] the stage is set for more action-packed adventure.
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The author has created an intriguing world with an intricate structure and mythology, and an engaging young hero. [...] The supporting cast of players is large and a little confusing [...] This is not as elegantly written as Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series
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The author's attempt to create a hierarchical warrior-clan society falls a bit short: neither the imagined world nor the characters within it are consistent or compelling. Characterization is limited essentially to each individual's function within the clan, and the cast therefore remains cartoon cats engaged in territory marking [...] while the pace occasionally flags there are a lot of bloody tooth-and-claw battles here that may engage readers of the Redwall series.
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This exciting book is not for the faint of heart as it is often violent [...] It is reminiscent of Greek drama, with its huge cast of characters
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Readers not familiar with the first book may find this one hard to follow. [...] The characterizations of the animals are somewhat flat [...] and the plot's twists and turns seem mapped out and predictable.
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Hunter debuts with a suspenseful animal adventure that will leave readers eyeing Puss a bit nervously.
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The Warriors books are a hit with young readers, in part, because of the sprawling universe they open up.
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