Warriors (novel series)
Boxed sets of the Warriors and Warriors: The New Prophecy series
|Country||United Kingdom/United States/Canada|
|Published||January 21, 2003–present|
Warriors is a series of novels published by HarperCollins; it is written by authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Tui Sutherland, with the plot developed by editor Victoria Holmes, who collectively use the pseudonym Erin Hunter. The series follows the adventures of four Clans of wild cats—ThunderClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, and RiverClan—in their forest and lake homes. SkyClan, the long-forgotten fifth Clan of the forest, is later introduced in the stand-alone novel Firestar's Quest. It receives additional focus in the novel SkyClan's Destiny, the manga trilogy SkyClan and the Stranger, and the 2013 novella Cloudstar's Journey. A few cats in the series are Firestar and Graystripe, though there are quite a few more, such as Bluestar, the leader of ThunderClan, and Brambleclaw.
There are currently six sub-series, each containing six books. 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, is not yet complete and is still being written and published. 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. Warriors: A Vision of Shadows immediately follows Warriors: Omen of the Stars, and Bramblestar's Storm.
Other books have been released in addition to the main series, including nine lengthier stand-alone "Super Edition" novels entitled Firestar's Quest, Bluestar's Prophecy, SkyClan's Destiny, Crookedstar's Promise, Yellowfang's Secret, Tallstar's Revenge, Bramblestar's Storm, Moth Flight's Vision and Hawkwing's Journey, the latest Super Edition, released on November 1, 2016. There are also a few other books that were published as e-book novellas: Hollyleaf's Story, Mistystar's Omen, Cloudstar's Journey, Tigerclaw's Fury, Leafpool's Wish, Dovewing's Silence, Mapleshade's Vengeance, Goosefeather's Curse and Ravenpaw's Farewell. Three more e-book novellas have been confirmed, Pinestar's Choice, Thunderstar's Echo and Spottedleaf's Heart will be published in April 2017. These e-book novels have also been published in three print compilations, with three stories each: Warriors: Tales from the Clans, Warriors: The Untold Stories, and Warriors: Shadows of the Clans. 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. In addition to the books, the authors have also written several short stories and two plays. The Warriors series, with the exception of the manga, has been released in e-book format for popular e-readers such as the Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle. The series has also been translated into several languages. In addition, the series has a website featuring games, promotional videos, quizzes, and news. The official message boards closed on August 12, 2016.
Major themes in the series deal with 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 criticized for being confusing due to its large number of characters. Critics have compared it to the Redwall series, though one reviewer 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 Setting and characters
- 2 Warriors: The Prophecies Begin
- 3 Warriors: The New Prophecy
- 4 Warriors: Power of Three
- 5 Warriors: Omen of the Stars
- 6 Warriors: Dawn of the Clans
- 7 Warriors: A Vision of Shadows
- 8 Other books
- 8.1 Super Editions
- 8.2 Field guides
- 8.3 Original English-language manga
- 8.4 Novellas
- 8.4.1 Hollyleaf's Story
- 8.4.2 Mistystar's Omen
- 8.4.3 Cloudstar's Journey
- 8.4.4 Tigerclaw's Fury
- 8.4.5 Leafpool's Wish
- 8.4.6 Dovewing's Silence
- 8.4.7 Mapleshade's Vengeance
- 8.4.8 Goosefeather's Curse
- 8.4.9 Ravenpaw's Farewell
- 8.4.10 Spottedleaf's Heart
- 8.4.11 Pinestar's Choice
- 8.4.12 Thunderstar's Echo
- 9 Inspiration and origins
- 10 Critical reception
- 11 Themes
- 12 Editions
- 13 Other media
- 14 References
Setting and characters
In the Warriors universe, there are four Clans of feral cats that live in a forest: ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan. A fifth Clan, SkyClan, is driven out by the other Clans when its territory is destroyed by humans(Twolegs) building a town, and it scatters shortly after arriving at a new home in a gorge. SkyClan is later rebuilt during the events of Firestar's Quest and is later contacted by Firestars' grandson Alderpaw and his companions. Cats in each Clan live and hunt in their own territory, which they defend from other cats. Each Clan is adapted to its own types of prey and members usually possess (or are taught) special skills which suit the territory's terrain. BloodClan is a group of stray city cats introduced in The Darkest Hour. However, they are not considered to be a true Clan because they do not believe in the warriors' spiritual ancestors, StarClan, or the warrior code, a set of rules followed by all Clan cats. BloodClan is considered to be a group of rogues (non-Clan cats who do not respect the Clan cats' rules) and was defeated in The Darkest Hour by the four warrior Clans.
StarClan is a group of the Clans' deceased ancestors who give guidance to the Clans. After death, most Clan cats join StarClan. StarClan is said to be represented by Silverpelt (the Milky Way), 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 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 cats' ancestors every half-moon. When the Clans move to live by a lake because humans destroy their forest, the medicine cats gather at the Moonpool, a pool used as the replacement for the Moonstone. In an author chat, Hunter said that StarClan can "just get glimpses of" the future, which they occasionally pass on. In addition to StarClan, there exists the Dark Forest, also known as The Place of No Stars. The spirits of cats who cause great pain and suffering to others during their lives reside there instead of in StarClan. Dark Forest cats eventually gain the ability to walk in dreams like StarClan. Both Dark Forest and StarClan cats eventually fade away as they are forgotten. In addition, both Dark Forest and StarClan cats fade away before they are forgotten if they are "killed".
Beyond the Clans' territories lies a mountain range, inhabited by the Tribe of Rushing Water. The Tribe is shown to be similar to the Clans, yet 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.
The Clans' origin is described in Secrets of the Clans. Originally, many small groups of wild cats from the Tribe of Rushing Water live in the forest. Without a code of honour to follow or ancestors to provide guidance, they fight constantly for food and territory. One night, a large battle occurs, and many cats die. The spirits of the cats killed in battle return and tell the remaining cats to "unite or die". In this way, the Clans are formed from the previous multitude of small groups. This idea is expanded on in the fifth sub-series "Warriors: Dawn of the clans". The dead spirits become StarClan, and the code of honour that the cats follow is gradually created, as described in Code of the Clans.
The main character in the first series is Firestar, a young kittypet who decides to join the Clans as a kittypet. In the second series, it wavers between the cats who journey to a young badger, Midnight, who tells them that the forest will be destroyed.
The Clans have a hierarchical system, with different cats having different positions within the Clan. The leader receives his or her nine lives and leader name ending with the suffix -star from StarClan after he or she goes to the Moonstone/Moonpool. The leader makes all major decisions for the Clan, such as deciding when to wage a battle or promote a warrior. The leader's word is law, according to the warrior code, and must be followed. The deputy is second in command and succeeds the leader when the leader loses his or her last life. The deputy's job is mainly to organize patrols and other everyday tasks. In order to be appointed deputy by the leader, a cat must already be a warrior and have mentored at least one apprentice. There is also a medicine cat in each Clan, who receives messages from StarClan and is trained extensively in the uses of herbs to heal sick or injured cats. Medicine cats are not allowed to have kits or mates, as it would distract them from their duties. At each half-moon, the medicine cats from each Clan meet at the Moonstone/Moonpool to talk with StarClan.
In a Clan, there is never more than one medicine cat apprentice at any one time: a medicine cat apprentice helps gather herbs and learns medical knowledge, but he or she is considered an apprentice until the current medicine cat dies or retires, even if he or she has already received a full medicine cat name. There are also warrior apprentices (usually referred to simply as apprentices), who train to hunt for and defend their Clan, the duties of a warrior. All apprentices' names end with the suffix -paw. These apprentices are mentored by warriors, who pass down knowledge and skills they have learned from their own mentors. Apprenticeships usually last approximately six months. Apprentices occasionally undergo assessments to determine their progress, and they become warriors when their mentors deem them ready and the clan leader approves it. Warrior name suffixes (e.g. -claw, -heart, -pelt, -tail, etc.) are selected by the leader during the warrior ceremony.
Another important event after the warrior ceremony is the silent vigil that the new warriors lead the night after the ceremony. They must watch over the sleeping camp in silence until sunrise, when the Clan leader tells them their vigil is over. When a cat becomes old, permanently ill, or disabled, he or she retires to become an elder. Elders share their knowledge with the Clan and are cared for by the apprentices. The only task they carry out is burying dead Clanmates. Clans also have queens, who are she-cats expecting or caring for their kits. Queens return to warrior duties when no longer expecting or nursing kits. A queen is not obligated to reveal the identity of her mate. A kit's name always ends with the suffix -kit; kits become apprentices after they are six months old.
The feline characters of the Warriors series use different words for certain concepts and objects in the natural world. These can range from terms referring to other animals, such as twoleg (human), or kittypet (house cat), to referring to human objects such as a monster (car),Thunderpath(road) or horseplace (stable). The animals also have specific terms for time and measurement, such as sundown or moonhigh representing different times of day according to the positions of the moon, sun, and stars overhead. The seasons are given names according to the trees and foliage in the forest, with newleaf meaning spring, greenleaf meaning summer, leaf-fall meaning autumn, and leaf-bare meaning winter.
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 (5 October 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 pet cat named Rusty who ventures into the forest and is invited to join ThunderClan, one of four groups of wild cats in the forest. He accepts the invitation and receives the apprentice name Firepaw while he trains to become a warrior. Later, Firepaw receives his warrior name, Fireheart and discovers that Tigerclaw, the deputy of ThunderClan, wishes to kill ThunderClan leader Bluestar in order to succeed her and become leader himself. Ravenpaw, his apprentice, is forced to flee due to his witnessing of Tigerclaw killing Redtail, the former ThunderClan deputy. Fireheart eventually becomes deputy of the Clan after Tigerclaw tries to kill Bluestar, fails, and is banished from ThunderClan. After his banishment, Tigerclaw takes over another Clan, ShadowClan, and lures a pack of dogs into ThunderClan camp in an attempt at vengeance. Bluestar dies sacrificing her last life to protect the Clan from the dogs, and Fireheart succeeds her as leader, receiving nine lives and the name Firestar from the Clans' spiritual ancestors, StarClan. Tigerstar then attempts to take over all four Clans, telling them that the leaders will rule together. Leopardstar, leader of RiverClan, agrees, but Firestar and Tallstar, leader of WindClan, refuse. Tigerstar then enlists the aid of BloodClan, a vicious group of city cats, to take over the Clans, but BloodClan leader Scourge kills Tigerstar (taking all nine of Tigerstar's lives at once by slicing him from neck to tail) and decides to take over the forest for himself. The four Clans unite to fight BloodClan, and Firestar loses the first of his nine lives in battle against Scourge, but Firestar kills Scourge after he returns to life, defeating BloodClan and saving the forest.
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 the series, four cats, Brambleclaw, Tawnypelt, Crowpaw, and Feathertail, are sent on a mission by StarClan to the sun drown place (the ocean), with Feathertail's brother Stormfur and ThunderClan apprentice Squirrelpaw accompanying them. There, a badger named Midnight tells the six cats that all four of the Clans are in danger from humans and must leave for a new home. On the way back to the forest, the traveling cats meet a group of cats called the Tribe of Rushing Water who are being terrorized by a mountain lion called Sharptooth. Feathertail sacrifices her life to kill Sharptooth and save the Tribe. The remaining cats return to their Clans and relay the message. Together, the four Clans travel to a new territory by a lake, encountering the Tribe once again on the journey. Once at the lake, ThunderClan medicine cat apprentice Leafpool and Crowfeather (formerly Crowpaw) fall in love with each other. However, the warrior code says that Leafpool, as a medicine cat, cannot have a mate. In addition, Clan cats may not be mates with cats from other Clans. They eventually abscond, but return when Midnight warns them that a group of badgers plans to attack ThunderClan. Upon returning, they find that a badger has killed Cinderpelt, the ThunderClan medicine cat, while she is helping Sorreltail give birth. Cinderpelt is then reborn as Cinderkit, to fulfill her destiny of being a ThunderClan warrior.
The series then centers around the prophecy "before there is peace, blood will spill blood, and the lake will run red". Hawkfrost and Brambleclaw have been meeting with the spirit of their dead father Tigerstar in dreams, in which he is teaching them how to become Clan leader by force. Hawkfrost follows Tigerstar every step of the way, but Brambleclaw is split between loyalty to his leader and his own ambition. Firestar appoints Brambleclaw as deputy after finally accepting the possibility that Graystripe might never return (he was abducted by humans prior to the Clans' journey to the new territory). The series reaches its climax when Hawkfrost traps Firestar and tells Brambleclaw to kill him. Brambleclaw decides that he does not want to become leader by force and refuses. Instead, he frees Firestar. Hawkfrost attacks Brambleclaw, intending to kill him for his knowledge of his and Tigerstar's plans, but Brambleclaw manages to kill Hawkfrost instead. Hawkfrost's blood runs into the lake, turning it red, explaining the "blood will spill blood" prophecy as Brambleclaw is Hawkfrost's kin.
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 details the experiences of Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, and Lionblaze, Firestar's grand kits, and thus kin of his kin. Jayfeather is blind, but has the unique ability to feel emotions and memories coming off of other cats and to enter their dreams, where he is then able to see. Lionblaze has the power to never get hurt in a fight. Hollyleaf found her power in being completely loyal. A loner cat called Sol warns Jayfeather and Leafpool that the sun will disappear. During a battle involving all four Clans, the sun disappears in an eclipse. Sol then persuades ShadowClan to lose faith in StarClan, using his warning as evidence that he knows more than StarClan. Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf fake a sign from StarClan to convince Blackstar, leader of ShadowClan, that StarClan is real and should be followed, but StarClan cats come, making it a true sign. Sol is banished. Ashfur tries to kill Hollyleaf, Lionblaze, and Jayfeather during a fire because he is angry with Squirrelflight, whom he had wanted as a mate in Sunset, but Squirrelflight reveals that they are not her kits. Ashfur threatens to reveal this deception, but Hollyleaf kills Ashfur to keep him quiet. Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, and Lionblaze learn that their true parents are Leafpool and Crowfeather, not Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw; this makes their birth against the warrior code and medicine cat code, codes of honour followed by Clan cats and medicine cats, respectively. During a Gathering, Hollyleaf reveals the truth about their parents to all the Clans, then runs away into a set of tunnels under the Clans' territories because she can not stand the fact that her birth is against the warrior code, which means a lot to her. The tunnels then collapse on Hollyleaf, and she is presumed dead. Jayfeather realizes that Hollyleaf was never meant to be part of the Three and that either Dovekit or Ivykit, grandkits of Firestar's nephew Cloudtail, is meant to be the third cat of the prophecy.
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. ThunderClan apprentice Dovepaw has the special ability to hear and see extremely distant things. When Dovepaw reveals that the cause of a drought to be a beaver dam upstream, Jayfeather and Lionblaze realize that she is the third cat in the prophecy from Warriors: Power of Three. After Dovepaw saves ThunderClan from a falling tree with her powers, she receives special attention from Firestar that makes her sister, Ivypaw, jealous. Hawkfrost's spirit exploits her jealousy and befriends Ivypaw; he begins giving her battle training in her dreams as Tigerstar did in Warriors: The New Prophecy. Jayfeather, Yellowfang, and Spottedleaf discover that the Dark Forest cats are training for battle. Jayfeather finds out about Ivypaw's Dark Forest training; he suggests asking Ivypaw to act as a spy, and Ivypaw learns that Tigerstar is training her and training "under-recognized" cats to fight against the Clans, though they do not know it. Ivypaw and Dovepaw then receive the warrior names Ivypool and Dovewing. Jayfeather then visits the Tribe of Rushing Water, where he goes back in time to the Ancients and helps Half Moon become the first Stoneteller. He is then given a new prophecy: "The end of the stars draws near; three must become four, to battle the darkness that lasts forever". When a fox chases two apprentices, a mysterious cat scares away the fox; in searching for this cat, ThunderClan finds Sol. Dovewing and Ivypool spy on Sol as he plots with WindClan to attack ThunderClan and are almost discovered, but Hollyleaf, who has been living in the tunnels since the events of Sunrise, 'reveals' herself and leads the two to safety. Returning to ThunderClan, she shows them how to fight in the tunnels in preparation for a battle with WindClan. During the battle, she traps Sol, but releases him, warning him never to return to the Clans. In The Last Hope, at the Moonpool, Yellowfang and Brambleberry—a former RiverClan medicine cat—tell Jayfeather that he must tell Lionblaze and Dovewing about the new prophecy he received while in the mountains, and unite all the Clans. They discover that Firestar is the fourth cat of the prophecy. When the Dark Forest attacks the Clans, Firestar kills Tigerstar, and Firestar loses his last life. Brambleclaw becomes the new leader and names Squirrelflight his deputy.
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). Warriors: Dawn of the Clans May also be known as the "Prequel Series", due to it being about how the five clans (ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, ShadowClan, and SkyClan) were created.
In The Sun Trail, prey is scarce in the mountain home of the Tribe of Rushing Water, so a cat named Gray Wing and his companions must leave to find more food and a better home. Once they reach their new forest home Gray Wing falls in love with a cat there named Storm. The Tribe cats start to live in the forest and take in rogue cats. When Gray Wing sees Storm again, he invites her to visit Clear Sky, another former Tribe cat and Gray Wing's brother. Once she meets Clear Sky, however, she falls in love with him. Gray Wing discovers that Storm is pregnant by Clear Sky and that she is going to live with him for a while, breaking Gray Wing's heart. When Turtle Tail, another one of the Tribe cats, who becomes a kittypet later in The Sun Trail tells Gray Wing that Storm is in trouble, Gray Wing does not believe her. When he finds Storm, she is dead along with two of her three kits. Storm had left Clear Sky after he banished his own brother Jagged Peak who was hardly a kit because he had fallen out of a tree and broken his leg. Clear Sky banished all cats who couldn't look after themselves. Gray Wing, Tall Shadow, and the Tribe cats who live on the moor name the surviving kit Thunder. When Gray Wing shows Thunder his father, Clear Sky rejects Thunder. Sad and angry with his brother, Gray Wing adopts Thunder.
The second book, Thunder Rising, takes place a couple of months after The Sun Trail. Turtle Tail returns to Gray Wing's group pregnant by an aggressive kittypet named Tom, and becomes Gray Wing's mate. A fire breaks out in the forest, forcing Clear Sky's group to take shelter with Gray Wing. While taking shelter with Gray Wing, Clear Sky realizes that he was wrong about Thunder and invites him to join his group. Thunder quickly accepts the offer but soon realizes that his father is too power-hungry and concentrated on the needs of the group over the individual and leaves.
In the third book, The First Battle, Clear Sky declares war upon Gray Wing's group. Gray Wing tries to make peace, but Clear Sky is ambitious and wants more territory. Tom arrives to look for Bumble (another housecat) and Turtle Tail. He steals Turtle Tail's kits and brings them to live with him. Cats from Gray Wing's group go to look for and bring them back, but they find Turtle Tail dead by a road. The cats manage to rescue the kittens from Tom, who swears revenge. At the end, Gray Wing's cats fight Clear Sky's. Many cats die, and the battle ends in a stalemate. The ghosts of the fallen cats return to tell the fighting cats to "unite or die". Clear Sky is struck with guilt and grief.
In the fourth book, The Blazing Star, rogues (non-Clan cats) join the groups and a one-eyed cat tries to take control of the forest. The groups meet again at the full moon, where they are greeted again by the fallen cats. This time, they bring a new message: "To tame the Claw that blights the forest, grow and spread like the Blazing Star". No cat can understand what it means; however, during the meeting, Thunder meets a she-cat named Star Flower. After the meeting, the cats notice that a strange sickness is starting to infect the prey, giving them sores and bloated bellies. Wind Runner's kit falls ill with the disease and eventually dies. Struck by sadness, Wind Runner, Gorse Fur, and their kits leave the hollow to live on their own.
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 and Alderpaw who are Bramblestar's and Squirrelflight's children.
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". This is the titular prophecy of the series (A Vision of Shadows). When receiving this prophecy, Jayfeather sees Alderkit (Alderpaw's former name) in his dream, as well as the other medicine cats. Later him, Leafpool, and Bramblestar decide that Alderpaw should become a medicine cat apprentice. Further into the book, Alderpaw has a vision of the far-off SkyClan. After deciding that Alderpaw's vision relates to the prophecy, Bramblestar sends Alderpaw on a quest to help SkyClan along with his ex-mentor, Molewhisker, Sandstorm, his sister Sparkpaw, and her mentor Cherryfall. While on the quest, they're joined by ShadowClan apprentice Needlepaw. Sandstorm dies along the way. When they reach the gorge where Skyclan lives, they find that they have been run out of their territory by a group of rogues. They decide that they arrived too late to help SkyClan and return back to the lake. On the way back Alderpaw and Needlepaw find two female kits (Twigkit and Violetkit) who lost their mother. Needlepaw suggests that the kits could be "what you find in the shadows". They then take the kits back to the lake and at a full moon Gathering, the clan leaders decide that ShadowClan should take one kit and ThunderClan should take the other. ThunderClan takes Twigkit and ShadowClan takes Violetkit.
The second book, Thunder and Shadow, was released on September 6, 2016. It follows Twigkit and Violetkit's lives in ThunderClan and ShadowClan. The two kits struggle to find their place in their respective clans, and feel lonely. However, Alderpaw and Needlepaw befriend the kits, and even arrange for them to meet in secret between the two clans' borders. The Clan cats discover that the rogues from A Vision of Shadows followed the quest cats to the lake, and have made camp near ShadowClan. Meanwhile, the ShadowClan apprentices start to lose faith in the warrior code, and many of them eventually join the rogues, including Needlepaw, who brings Violetkit with her.
The third book, Shattered Sky, will be released on April 11, 2017.
Super Editions are stand alone books in the Warriors series that are approximately double the length of a normal Warriors book. There are nine Super Editions as of November 2015: Firestar's Quest, Bluestar's Prophecy, SkyClan's Destiny, Crookedstar's Promise, Yellowfang's Secret, Tallstar's Revenge, Bramblestar's Storm, Moth Flight's Vision and Hawkwing's Journey. Each Super Edition Novel also includes an exclusive manga except for Firestar's Quest.
Firestar's Quest, the first Warriors Super Edition, was released on 25 August 2007. It is set between The Darkest Hour and Midnight and details Firestar and his mate Sandstorm's journey to restore SkyClan, the fifth Clan of the forest that is driven out when a town is built and scattered when it is attacked by rats in its new home. Firestar and Sandstorm find rogues and house cats, some of whom are descendants of the former SkyClan and teach them how to hunt, fight, and follow the warrior code. When a house cat named Echo dreams of starry cats, Firestar realizes that the dream was sent by StarClan, indicating that Echo should be SkyClan's medicine cat. Echo is taught all that Sandstorm was taught before leaving ThunderClan with Firestar on their quest. She is named Echosong. While SkyClan is rebuilding its ranks, rats attack as they did when SkyClan first came to the gorge. SkyClan defeats them by joining together under the direction of Firestar, Leafdapple (later Leafstar), and Sharpclaw, her deputy later on. Firestar manages to kill the leader of the rats, after which the rats leave. During the rat attack, Firestar loses a life, leaving him with only seven, and a warrior called Rainfur is killed. Towards the end, Echosong dreams of dappled leaves, indicating that Leafdapple should be the new leader. She is named Leafstar and receives her nine lives, meeting Starclan. The former leaders that drove the ancient Skyclan out apologize in Starclan. Cherrypaw and Sparrowpaw are then made warriors (Cherrytail and Sparrowpelt) and Bouncekit, Tinykit, and Rockkit become apprentices (Bouncepaw, Tinypaw, and Rockpaw). The epilogue describes the birth of Squirrelkit and Leafkit, Firestar and Sandstorm's only kits.
Bluestar's Prophecy was released on 28 July 2009. It covers Bluestar's life from her birth to the beginning of Into the Wild. The novel begins on the day of Bluestar's death as she saves Fireheart and ThunderClan from the dog pack, a scene from A Dangerous Path. The novel then returns to when Bluestar was still a kit, Bluekit. Bluekit is apprenticed to Stonepelt as Bluepaw, and proves to be an excellent hunter, catching a squirrel "almost as big as her" on her first day of hunting. The next day, Goosefeather sees a sign in the vole Snowpaw (Bluepaw's sister) brings back to camp and proclaims that ThunderClan must attack WindClan. Later, he tells them that they must destroy WindClan's medicine supply in order to keep them at bay during winter. Pinestar is reluctant but agrees to attack at dawn. Bluepaw and Snowpaw are ordered to stay out of the fight, but they help Featherwhisker, the medicine cat apprentice, tend to the wounded. During the battle, Bluepaw's mother, Moonflower, destroys WindClan's medicine supplies, but is killed by Hawkheart, the WindClan medicine cat. Bluepaw enters a state of grief which lasts until Sunfall, the deputy and her new mentor since Stonepelt was injured during the WindClan battle and never healed, talks her out of it, telling her that she must honor Moonflower by doing well. She attends the Gathering that night, where she meets and becomes friendly with Crookedpaw and Oakheart of RiverClan.
A while later, Bluepaw receives her warrior name, Bluefur, and Snowpaw receives hers, Snowfur. Bluefur finds out that a Clanmate, Thrushpelt, is in love with her, but she dismisses it, deciding that she is too young to have a mate. However, Snowfur wants a Clanmate named Thistlepaw as a mate. A few moons later, Pinestar announces that he wants no more of the warrior life and goes off to live his last life as a housecat. Sunfall becomes Sunstar and Tawnyspots becomes the new deputy. On a patrol to RiverClan, Bluefur is pulled aside by Oakheart, who tells her to meet him that night at Fourtrees. She does, and the two warriors spend the night together, having fallen in love. About a month later, Tawnyspots falls ill with an incurable illness, so he is unable to be deputy for much longer. Thistlepaw, now Thistleclaw, wishes to become deputy in his place. Bluefur discovers that she is pregnant with Oakheart's kits. ThunderClan believes her kits are with Thrushpelt and are overjoyed. After Goosefeather convinces her that she must become deputy, and not Thistleclaw due to his violence and ambition, Bluefur reluctantly brings her three kits (Mosskit, Mistykit, and Stonekit), to RiverClan to live as RiverClan cats. Mosskit dies along the way. Bluefur then convinces ThunderClan that a fox or other creature took her kits. Once Featherwhisker deems Tawnyspots incurable and unfit for deputyship, Sunstar appoints Bluefur as the new deputy. After Sunstar dies, Bluefur becomes Bluestar and receives nine lives. Thistleclaw is outraged by this and continues to be bitter towards Bluestar until he was killed later on.
Many months later, she is seen sitting with Spottedleaf, the medicine cat, and hears the "Fire will save our Clan" prophecy. The manga at the end of the novel depicts Bluestar's decision to accept Rusty (later Firestar) to the Clan.
SkyClan's Destiny was released on 3 August 2010. The book follows Leafstar and her struggle to rebuild the once-lost Clan. The book takes place several months after Firestar's Quest. The Clan's members are split over whether or not "daylight-warriors", housecats who join the Clan in the day and return to their owners at night, should be allowed to be part of the Clan. Leafstar struggles with the decision, as she wants to take Billystorm, one of the daylight-warriors, as a mate, but wants what is best for the Clan. SkyClan then faces a series of challenges caused by visiting rogues.
Crookedstar's Promise was released on 5 July 2011. It takes place at the same time as Bluestar's Prophecy and details the life of Crookedstar, initially Stormkit. As a kit, Stormkit falls into the river after he sneaks out of camp and attempts to chase ThunderClan medicine cat Goosefeather away from Sunningrocks, a part of RiverClan territory (at the time). This leads him to break his jaw on a rock. Rainflower, Stormkit's mother, rejects Stormkit due to his disfigured appearance and demands that RiverClan leader Hailstar perform a renaming ceremony to rename Stormkit to Crookedkit. Feeling rejected, Crookedkit is visited in a dream by Mapleshade, a Dark Forest cat who allows Crookedkit to believe that she is from StarClan. She tells him that she can give him anything he wants as long as he is faithful to his Clan and puts all other things aside. Crookedkit quickly accepts this promise, believing it not to be a difficult promise, as he was already loyal to his Clan, and believes that Mapleshade can help him become leader. Mapleshade then uses Crookedkit's promise to seemingly bring about the deaths of Crookedkit's loved ones. When Crookedjaw is chasing away a dog, the dog knocks his mother, Rainflower, into a river, and she hits her head on rocks. Mapleshade urges Crookedjaw to focus on the dog instead of bringing his mother to the medicine cat, and she dies. Crookedjaw then becomes deputy upon his father Shellheart's retirement; shortly after, Shellheart dies of a lump in his stomach. Not long after, Hailstar loses his last life while fighting rats in a barn: although Mapleshade urges him to not protect Hailstar so he can become leader, Crookedjaw ignores her, having discovered that she is actually from the Dark Forest. Nonetheless, Hailstar is killed. Despite his insistence that she stay away from him, Mapleshade continues to haunt Crookedstar: his mate, Willowbreeze, dies of a respiratory infection days after giving birth to his three kits, and two of the kits die as well. When Crookedstar confronts Mapleshade, she reveals that she had once been the mate of Crookedstar's great-grandfather. Mapleshade had been a ThunderClan cat, while her mate had been from RiverClan: Mapleshade is rejected by her Clan for taking a forbidden mate, then loses the kits in the river when she attempts to bring them to RiverClan. Her mate blames her for letting the kits drown in the river, and RiverClan, too, rejects Mapleshade. As a result, Mapleshade vows revenge on her mates descendants, one of whom is Crookedstar. When Crookedstar finally reveals his promise and his belief that it caused the deaths of his loved ones, to his medicine cat Brambleberry, she argues that the deaths were not in fact Mapleshade's fault. Following the conclusion of the novel, Oakheart is killed, then in the manga feature, Silverstream, Crookedstar's only remaining kit, dies after giving birth to Graystripe of ThunderClan's kits. Mapleshade asserts that these deaths were her doing as well, but Crookedstar tells Mapleshade that she has failed to punish him, as his loved ones live on in StarClan, while she has no one. Finally, Crookedstar dies as well.
Yellowfang's Secret was released on 9 October 2012. It is a Super Edition about the former ThunderClan medicine cat Yellowfang and her life in ShadowClan. It follows Yellowfang as she first trains to be a warrior, then later realizes her paws are not meant for shedding blood and her decision to switch to the role of medicine cat instead. However, she breaks the code of medicine cats when she gives birth; as a result, she and her whole Clan are punished by her disloyalty to the code. In the end, she herself is cast out of ShadowClan by her own kit Brokenstar.
Tallstar's Revenge was released on 2 July 2013. It tells the story of Tallstar, whose father dies when he is an apprentice during a tunnel collapse. As a result, he attempts to avenge his father Sandgorse's death by killing the cat (a rogue named Sparrow) whom he believes did not help his father escape the tunnel and is therefore responsible. Tallstar leaves his Clan to track down Sparrow and briefly travels with a house cat named Jake, who is later revealed to be the father of Firestar (the main protagonist of the original six books). When he meets up with Sparrow, Tallstar discovers that his father actually sacrificed himself to allow the other cat to escape and does not carry through with his intended vengeance, instead saving Sparrow's life when Sparrow slides down a cliff and near a road.
Bramblestar's Storm, the seventh volume in the Super Edition arc, features Bramblestar, the leader of ThunderClan. The book takes place after the Clans' victory over the Dark Forest cats. This book was released on 26 August 2014. All Clans are struggling due to the lake flooding; however, ThunderClan and ShadowClan appear to be suffering most. Deaths of Clanmates leads to tension and grief between those in ThunderClan as they simultaneously also try to survive outside of their usual territory, having been displaced by the flooding. On a border patrol, Bramblestar encounters some housecats that are taken into the Clan until they can return home. Bramblestar becomes close to one of the housecats, Jessy, which upsets Bramblestar's deputy (and former mate) Squirrelflight causing many quarrels between them. Ultimately, two of the housecats, Minty and Jessy, decide to leave, leaving only Frankie (later named Stormpaw) with ThunderClan. Jessy leaves because she feels that it would be better if Bramblestar and herself do not become mates because Bramblestar’s heart belongs with Squirrelflight. In the short manga chapter included at the book's end, it is revealed that Squirrelflight is pregnant with Bramblestar's kits.
Moth Flight's Vision
Moth Flight's Vision is the 8th Super Edition novel that was released on November 3, 2015. It features a cat named Moth Flight, who becomes WindClan's first medicine cat. Moth Flight was also the one who discovered the Moonstone, and that all leaders shall be granted nine lives. It takes place a few moons after the last book in the Dawn of the Clans series. In this book, Moth Flight, an easily distractable she-cat, kit of Wind Runner (later Windstar), leaves her Clan, following a unexpected guide, and meets an unexpected friend, who is vital to her journey. She finds an object, and is told something important. She goes home, and reveals the secret information. Her friend stays with her, and she gives birth to four kits after his death. She lives happily for moons after, until she dies a sad, peaceful death.
Hawkwing's Journey is the 9th Super Edition novel that was released on 1 November 2016. It follows Hawkwing a apprentice, warrior and eventual deputy of Skyclan. It details the introduction of Darktail, the main antagonist of both Hawkwing's Journey and of the sixth arc A Vision of Shadow. The plot revolves around Darktail's treachery and eventually Skyclan's forced exile from the Gorge territory. Leafstar, the leader of Skyclan decides that the gorge is lost and that the clan's only hope is to find the rest of the Warrior Clans. So Skyclan sets out searching for the Lake territories. The book ends with Skyclan still wandering with many of its cats scattered or dead. Despite all this the cats that remain still held their faith and continued on, trusting Starclan to lead them to the Lake.
Four field guides have also been published. They offer extra information, usually in the form of short stories, and are usually about 150 pages long. Secrets of the Clans is the first field guide in the series. It gives more details about the Clans previously unrevealed in the main series. Cats of the Clans, featuring illustrations and descriptions of the cats, was released on 24 June 2008. Code of the Clans, which describes the origins of the cats' code of honour, the warrior code, was released on 9 June 2009. Battles of the Clans, released on 1 June 2010, is about past battles and each Clan's special battle tactics. Enter the Clans is an omnibus field guide released on 26 June 2012. It is a collective work of the field guides Secrets of the Clans and Code of the Clans, although four pages of colour artwork and the double foldout map inserts in the middle of Secrets of the Clans, as well as five pieces of colour artwork in Code of the Clans, are not included in Enter the Clans.
Warriors: The Ultimate Guide
The guide contains descriptions of forty characters, including Goosefeather, Dovewing, Brairlight, Lionblaze, and Ivypool. It also has various short stories, including the leadership ceremonies of both Tigerstar and Bramblestar, as well as maps of Clan territories. The first printing of the book featured a timeline of the Warriors universe on the reverse of the cover jacket.
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.
Graystripe's trilogy is a three-volume series following Graystripe from the time that he was taken by humans in Dawn until he returns to ThunderClan in The Sight. It was published as the first part of a partnership between TOKYOPOP and HarperCollins. These books tell how Graystripe and Millie, a housecat Graystripe meets during his captivity, find their way to ThunderClan from a faraway town. It consists of 3 books: The Lost Warrior (April 24, 2007), Warrior's Refuge (December 26, 2007)  and Warrior's Return (April 22, 2008).
The Rise of Scourge
The Rise of Scourge was released on 24 June 2008 and, unlike the other manga which form trilogies, is a standalone volume. The story details the early life of BloodClan leader Scourge, one of the antagonists in The Darkest Hour, who is bullied in his youth for being small. The book chronicles his story up to the point when he kills Tigerstar, who once attacked Scourge when he ventured into the forest as a kitten.
Tigerstar and Sasha
Tigerstar and Sasha is a manga trilogy detailing how Tigerstar and the rogue cat Sasha meet and the events that occur after Sasha leaves Tigerstar and ShadowClan. The books are Into the Woods, Escape from the Forest, and Return to the Clans.
Into the Woods
|Author||Erin Hunter and Dan Jolley|
|Publisher||HarperCollins and TOKYOPOP|
|2 September 2008|
|Media type||Print (paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.7.H86 War 2008|
|Followed by||Escape From the Forest|
The book begins with Sasha chasing after her owner's car, which then speeds off, leaving her grief-stricken in the street. She then is filled with memories of her human owners, Ken and Jean, who took care of her. Everything was right until Jean got sick, and despite all they could do, she died. Ken, lamenting over Jean, then went with several other humans and left the house. Sasha, having escaped from an open bathroom window, began chasing after him. Unsuccessful, she wanders into the forest after seeing her friend Shnuky for the last time.
Soon after, she finds an old den made of logs and bedded with leaves, and settles down there. The next day, while hunting prey she encounters a tom named Pine, who engages in conversation with Sasha. He warns her of the Clan cats living in the forest, in the process taking off her collar for her. The next morning, a ShadowClan patrol consisting of Tigerstar, Rowanpaw, and Jaggedtooth comes along, and Sasha takes a particular interest in Tigerstar. After Rowanpaw scents traces of foxes, a frog appears, although he is unsuccessful at catching it. Before it can get away, though, Sasha drops on it and says that it slipped through their paws.
The next night, Sasha realizes that she has feelings for Tigerstar, and misses a rabbit while being caught up in her thoughts. Turning around she sees that Tigerstar had caught it for her, criticizes her hunting technique, and tells her she needs someone to show her how to hunt properly. When Sasha asks who would teach her, he says that he might.
After a time of not seeing Tigerstar, Sasha returns to her den one evening, only to find Tigerstar already waiting for her. Asking him where he was, he comments on how nice her den was, and then stops and asks when she will be seeing her humans again, after seeing her collar hanging around a protruding branch on the logs. Sasha asks him why he was snooping around in her den, and he tells her that he cannot see her any more if she has the collar. She refuses to destroy it, and quarrels with Tigerstar about housecats and how they are not independent. Sad, she reminisces about her perfect life with Jean and Ken.
The next day, Sasha leaves a pigeon at the ShadowClan border to prove to Tigerstar that kittypets can hunt. After catching a rabbit, Sasha is attacked by two foxes. Before she can escape, though, Tigerstar comes and attacks the duo of animals, telling her to run. Scrambling up a tree, Sasha sees that the foxes have an advantage over him, and she jumps down to assist him. After defeating both foxes, Tigerstar stays in her den for the night and lets his wounds heal, and tells Sasha that he came to thank her for the pigeon, and that she is unlike any housecat he has ever known.
One night Sasha brings Tigerstar to her old fence near the town. Upon sitting on it, he loses interest and Sasha takes offence, although he comments that if she wishes to be a rogue she would have to say goodbye to her old life.
Tigerstar shows her around ShadowClan camp the next day, and introduces her to Blackstar, then known as Blackfoot. Sasha is offered to join a patrol, which she accepts. Along the way, she also sees Pine, who has gotten sick because winter is now coming on. Because Sasha does so well on the patrol, Tigerstar invites her to spend the night in the warriors den. Enjoying herself immensely, Sasha accepts.
Racing back to the camp, she looks down on the camp from a tree, suddenly stopped by the voices of Tigerstar and his Clanmates. Soon she becomes frightened after Tigerstar discusses his plans to rule the forest with his Clanmates, including hiring BloodClan and setting a pack of dogs on ThunderClan. Extremely scared and changing her mind, Sasha flees, but before she can get far she is approached by Tigerstar who asks if she will join ShadowClan.
Escape from the Forest
|Author||Erin Hunter and Dan Jolley|
|23 December 2008|
|Media type||Print (paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.7.H86 Was 2009|
|Preceded by||Into the Woods|
|Followed by||Return to the Clans|
The book opens to Sasha refusing Tigerstar's offer to join ShadowClan. Their conversation turns into an argument, and Sasha insists that Tigerstar's plans go against the warrior code.
Back at her den, Sasha thinks about her heartbreak, and dreams of Ken coming, finding her, and taking her home. She makes her way out of the forest, realizing that she has no place there anymore. She bumps into Pine, and tells him that she is leaving.
Sasha returns to where she used to live with Ken and Jean, and is chased away by the human that is now living there. In a secondhand clothing store, Sasha catches Ken's scent and finds one of his coats. As she roams the town, Sasha encounters two BloodClan warriors and narrowly escapes. Sasha wanders onto a tour boat, where she curls up and goes to sleep.
When Sasha wakes up, the floor is shaking. She runs outside to jump off, only to find that the boat is surrounded by water. She is spotted by the tourists, who believe her to be a ship cat, and the captain shuts her in a cupboard. Let off the boat, she notices that the captain looks lonely and sad. When she sneaks back onto the boat, she begins to attract many customers to the boat service as "Brownie the Famous Ship's Cat," gaining the affection of the captain. One night, she even prevents two saboteurs from burning the boat.
One day when the boat is out, Sasha finds a bag with a very young cat inside it in the water. The captain takes him home and names him Patch. The spring thaw arrives, and the captain ties up the boat and prepares to go elsewhere. Sasha decides not to go with the captain and Patch because she now knows that she is going to have kits, and wants them born in the forest. Patch and the captain are sad, but they understand.
Return to the Clans
|Author||Erin Hunter and Dan Jolley|
|9 June 2009|
|Media type||Print (paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.7.H86 Was 2009|
|Preceded by||Escape from the Forest|
Sasha has gone back to the forest to raise her three kits, Hawk, Moth, and Tadpole. While hunting for her kits, she is caught by a ShadowClan patrol. Afraid that they will take her kits, she lies and says they died from the cold. Afterwards, she lets her kits play outside, but when they go back in, she tells them about Ken.
Later, she lets them outside again, but this time, Russetfur walks in on them. Instead of forcing her to give them up to ShadowClan, she instead helps Sasha by giving her some prey, and warns her to leave as soon as possible. Later on, Sasha goes out hunting and the kits go out to find Ken because they want to make their mother happy.
Meanwhile, Sasha has come back to find her kits gone. The kits go into an abandoned house. Sasha, still trying to find the three, gets confronted by BloodClan warriors, but is able to trick them into fear by telling them she is a Clan warrior out looking for revenge of Tigerstar's death, and the BloodClan cats end up pointing out the direction they saw the kits go.
In the basement, a pipe blows and water leaks rapidly from it. Sasha rescues Hawk and Moth, but Tadpole doesn't make it out of the flooding basement. That night, a devastated Sasha dreams of Tigerstar and asks if Tadpole is with him. Tigerstar says no, but confides that he is safe. Sasha later meets with Pine, a loner she had previously met, and he takes her and the kits to a barn where another she-cat lives.
After Pine leaves, Sasha is attacked by the queen while Hawk and Moth are attacked by the she-cat's kits, but Sasha beats her. She leaves with the kits and decides to take them to RiverClan. In the outskirts of RiverClan territory, Sasha tells the kits who their father is and says that it is their secret. Sasha tells RiverClan that she and her kits wish to become warriors.
When they get back to camp, the kits get their apprentice names, but Sasha refuses to take a warrior name. Not long into their apprenticeships, Hawkpaw and Mothpaw see other kits from the nursery pretending to be Tigerstar and kill everybody. They ask Sasha why they acted like that about him. Sasha tells them the truth about him and makes them promise again that that was their little secret.
Later, Hawkpaw and Mothpaw discover the remnants of the Bonehill, a hill of bones that Tigerstar created in the events of The Darkest Hour. In the end, Sasha decides Clan life is not for her, and she also realizes that her kits are far safer and happier here than with her, so she leaves, but her kits stay.
Ravenpaw's Path is another trilogy which is centred around former ThunderClan apprentice Ravenpaw and his life on the farm with the farm cat Barley after the events of The Darkest Hour. Holmes has said that the series takes place in the second half of the year between the original series and the The New Prophecy series, soon after Firestar and Sandstorm return to the Clan in Firestar's Quest. The three books are Shattered Peace, A Clan in Need, and The Heart of a Warrior, which were released on 3 August 2010.
SkyClan and the Stranger
SkyClan and the Stranger is a trilogy detailing events experienced by SkyClan after its revival in Firestar's Quest and the events of SkyClan's Destiny. It also details how Sol came to know about the Clans. The trilogy begins with The Rescue, which was released on 5 July 2011. The second book is Beyond the Code and was released 22 November 2011, and the third book is After the Flood and was released 3 April 2012.
Originally published only in e-book format, the novellas Hollyleaf's Story, Mistystar's Omen, and Cloudstar's Journey were later published in print by HarperCollins in the anthology volume Warriors: The Untold Stories, which was released on 2 July 2013. Tigerclaw's Fury, Leafpool's Wish, and Dovewing's Silence were published in print in the anthology volume Warriors: Tales from the Clans on 4 November 2014. Mapleshade's Vengeance, Goosefeather's Curse, and Ravenpaw's Farewell were published in print in the anthology volume Warriors: Shadows of the Clans on January 26, 2016.
Hollyleaf's Story was released on 3 March 2012. It details Hollyleaf's experiences beginning from when she is buried in a set of tunnels at the conclusion of Sunrise until she goes to the tunnels beneath ThunderClan territory to find Ivypool and Dovewing spying on Sol and a group of WindClan cats (in The Forgotten Warrior). When she first goes into the cave, she is saved by Fallen Leaves, the spirit of an ancient cat who died in the tunnels, and lives with him for the remainder of her time in the caves. The novella describes various ways in which she continues to help ThunderClan during her absence.
Mistystar's Omen is a novella released on 11 September 2012. When Leopardstar loses her ninth life, her longtime deputy, Mistyfoot, becomes leader, receiving the new name Mistystar. Mistystar discovers a secret about RiverClan and her leadership is plunged into crisis as soon as it begins.
Cloudstar's Journey is a novella that was released as an e-book on 29 January 2013. It describes the original SkyClan's experiences as humans destroy their forest home to build a town. When their camp is ruined, Cloudstar, leader of SkyClan, brings his whole Clan to a Gathering and asks the other Clan leaders to help them.
Tigerclaw's Fury is the fourth novella. It was released on 28 January 2014. It describes Tigerclaw's experiences while he is banished from ThunderClan and his acceptance into ShadowClan (including how he helps ShadowClan fight off sickness and how he is appointed as its new leader).
Leafpool's Wish is the fifth novella, which was published on 22 April 2014. It details Leafpool's experiences before and after the birth of her kits.
Dovewing's Silence is the sixth novella which was released on 4 November 2014. It takes place just after the battle in The Last Hope and is about Dovewing's trouble after losing her powers.
Mapleshade's Vengeance is the seventh novella. It was published on April 7, 2015, and details Mapleshade's past. It features the story on Mapleshade a strong ThunderClan warrior and a forbidden love and vengeance.
Goosefeather's Curse is the eighth novella. It was released on 1 September 2015 and details Goosefeather's troubling gift. It takes place before Bluestar's Prophecy and before Bluestar is born.
Ravenpaw's Farewell is the ninth novella. It was released on January 26, 2016. The story is after the clans left the forest. One of the main plots in this story is for Ravenpaw (and later Barley) to take Barley's sister, Violet's kits to SkyClan as they want to live the Clan life.
Spottedleaf's Heart is the tenth novella. It will be released on April 11, 2017. The story takes place shortly before Firepaw joins ThunderClan. The main plot is about Spottedleaf becoming a medicine cat and receiving a prophecy about Firepaw's arrival.
Pinestar's Choice is the eleventh novella. It will be released on April 11, 2017. The story takes place shortly after Mapleshade's Vengeance. The main plot is about Pinestar becoming leader and later leaving ThunderClan behind to become a kittypet.
Thunderstar's Echo is the twelfth novella. It will be released on April 11, 2017. The story takes place shortly after Dawn of the Clans. The main plot is about Thunderstar struggling to be the first leader of ThunderClan and keeping his Clan safe.
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.
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.
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 & Sasha #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 24 November 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 honourable mention for the best book series for Publisher Weekly's "On the Cuff" awards.
Themes in the series often revolve around forbidden love, such as those involving Bluestar and Oakheart, Graystripe and Silverstream, Leafpool and Crowfeather, and Dovewing and Tigerheart. These relationships are not allowed for various reasons: some involve medicine cats (such as Leafpool), who cannot have mates, while others develop between cats in different Clans, which is forbidden by the warrior code. 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.
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 honourable 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.
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, honour, 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 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 Kathleen McInerney, a pseudonym of Veronica Taylor. 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 three 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 is currently not under consideration. Many fans have also created their own forum-based role-playing games.
During a July 2009 author chat, Victoria Holmes stated that there are currently no planned Warriors movies, and none under consideration:
"Oh, the fickle world of movie making, well, there are currently no Warriors movies in production or even under consideration. The economy is not in a state to invest in a rather dark animation about feral cats, apparently. I promise I'll let you know if there are any changes."
In August 2010, she stated:
"Well, never say never, but there are currently no Warriors movies in production, and no immediate plans."
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 20 January 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 28 April 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 centre of the bookcover and their Chinese and English names, and biographical information on the back. Current cards feature Firestar, Bluestar, Tallstar, Graystripe, Tigerstar, a collage of the 5 previous cats, Brambleclaw, Feathertail, Leafpool, Onestar, Crowfeather, Hawkfrost, Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, Lionblaze, Blackstar, Squirrelflight, Breezepelt, Sandstorm, Oakheart, Leafstar, Crookedstar, Yellowfang, Dovewing, Ivypool, Flametail, Stormfur, Tigerheart, and Spottedleaf. Also produced are puzzles and cups with Warriors images.
On 30 June 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, and a trivia game.
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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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