The Darkest Hour (Warriors Series #6)

The Darkest Hour (Warriors Series #6)

4.8 991
by Erin Hunter

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ThunderClan's darkest hour is upon them, as Tigerstar's quest for power plunges all the Clans into the most terrible danger any cat has ever faced. In order to save his Clan and his friends, Fireheart must uncover the meaning of an ominous proclamation from StarClan:

"Four will become two. Lion and tiger will meet in battle, and blood will rule the forest."



ThunderClan's darkest hour is upon them, as Tigerstar's quest for power plunges all the Clans into the most terrible danger any cat has ever faced. In order to save his Clan and his friends, Fireheart must uncover the meaning of an ominous proclamation from StarClan:

"Four will become two. Lion and tiger will meet in battle, and blood will rule the forest."

The time has come for prophecies to unfold, and for heroes to rise ...

Editorial Reviews

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Praise for previous books in the Warriors series: “In the style of classics by Tolkien or Jacques. You’ll never look at your plain old tabby the same way again.”
ALA Booklist
Tigerstar's dark ambitions have endangered the very survival of the entire ThunderClan and brought the forest to the brink of war. To save his feline clan, Firestar must accept his destiny. The stirring conclusion to a reader acclaimed series.
Children's Literature
The concept of the house-cat turned warrior is appealing in this sixth novel in the "Warriors" series. But, as a new reader of the series, I had difficulty becoming attached to the characters in this novel. The fantasy felt empty of meaning with little more than a straightforward plot to keep the story moving. In addition, as a cat-lover, the warrior-cats that are the focus of the story often seemed more warrior than cat-like to me; the author did not seem to make much use out of their cat-like abilities or distinguish overly between types of cats. What the novel most lacks is a sense of place; although maps are provided, the descriptive details are missing. The reader hears no birds singing and smells no scents in the cats' forest home. Because of this, the fantasy lacks the texture required for believability. However, with that said, devoted readers of the series may find the book more readable than I did, because much of the storyline relies heavily on events described in previous novels. Overall, though the writing often felt mechanical, the story succeeds simply because of its brisk pace and somewhat unusual fantasy elements. 2004, Working Partners Limited/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 10 up.
—Laura Ruttig

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Warriors Series , #6
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.09(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Warriors #6: The Darkest Hour

By Erin Hunter

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Erin Hunter
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060525851

chapter One

Watery shafts of light sliced through the bare trees as Fireheart carried his leader to her final resting place. With his teeth clenched firmly in her scruff, he retraced the route the dog pack had taken as the brave warriors of ThunderClan lured them to the gorge and their destruction. His whole body felt numb, and his head spun with the terrible realization that Bluestar was dead.

Without his leader, the forest itself seemed different, even stranger to Fireheart than the day he had first ventured into it as a kittypet. Nothing was real; he felt as if the trees and rocks could dissolve like mist within a moment. A vast, unnatural silence covered everything. With the rational part of his mind Fireheart realized that all the prey had been scared away by the rampaging dog pack, but in the grip of his grief it seemed that even the forest was stunned into mourning for Bluestar.

The scene at the gorge replayed over and over in his head. He saw again the slavering jaws of the dog who led the pack, and felt its sharp teeth meet in his scruff. He remembered how Bluestar had appeared out of nowhere, flinging herself at the dog, driving it -- and herself -- over the edge of the gorge and into the river. He flinched again at the icy shock of the water as he leaped in to rescue his drowning leader, and their hopeless struggles until two RiverClan warriors, Mistyfoot and Stonefur, came to help them.

Most of all, Fireheart recalled his dismay and disbelief as he crouched beside his leader on the riverbank, and realized that she had sacrificed her last life to save him and all of ThunderClan from the dog pack.

As he bore Bluestar's body home, with the help of Mistyfoot and Stonefur, he kept pausing to scent the air for fresh traces of dog, and he had already sent his friend Graystripe to scout the territory on either side of their trail, searching for signs that the dogs had caught any of the ThunderClan cats in their desperate race for the gorge. So far, to Fireheart's relief, they had found nothing.

Now, skirting a bramble thicket, Fireheart set down his lifeless leader once more and raised his head to drink in the air, thankful to taste only the clean scents of the forest. A moment later, Graystripe appeared around a clump of dead bracken.

"Everything's fine, Fireheart," he reported. "Plenty of broken undergrowth, but that's all."

"Good," Fireheart meowed. His hope rose that the dogs that had escaped the fall into the gorge had fled in terror, and the forest once again belonged to the four Clans of wild cats. His Clan had lived through three terrible moons, when they had become prey in their own territory, but they had survived. "Let's keep going. I want to check that the camp is safe before the Clan comes back."

He and the RiverClan warriors took up Bluestar's body again and carried it through the trees. At the top of the ravine that led down to the camp entrance, Firestar paused. He briefly remembered the early morning, when he and his warriors had followed the trail of dead rabbits that Tigerstar had laid to lure the dog pack to the ThunderClan camp. At the end of the trail they had found the body of the gentle queen Brindleface, slaughtered to give the savage dogs a taste for cat blood. But now everything seemed peaceful, and when Fireheart tasted the air again he could detect only cat scent coming from the camp.

"Wait here," he meowed. "I'm going to take a look."

"I'll come with you," Graystripe offered instantly.

"No." It was Stonefur who spoke, flicking out his tail to bar the gray warrior's way. "I think Fireheart needs to do this alone."

Flashing a grateful look at the RiverClan deputy, Fireheart began picking his way down the ravine, his ears pricked for any sound of trouble ahead. But the strange silence still reigned over the forest.

As he emerged from the gorse tunnel into the clearing, Fireheart paused to glance warily around. It was possible that one or more of the dogs had never made it to the gorge, or that Tigerstar had sent ShadowClan warriors to take over the camp. But all was quiet. Fireheart's fur prickled with the strangeness of seeing the camp deserted like this, yet there was no sign of danger, and still no scent of dogs or ShadowClan.

To be sure the camp was safe, he rapidly checked the dens and the nursery. Memories came unbidden: the bewilderment of the Clan as he told them about the dog pack, the heart-pounding terror of the chase through the forest with the breath of the pack leader hot on his fur. At the foot of the Highrock, listening to the wind whispering through the trees, Fireheart thought back to the time Tigerstar had stood here, boldly facing his Clan as they discovered the true depth of his treachery. He had sworn undying vengeance as he was sent into exile, and Fireheart was sure that his bloodthirsty attempt to set the dog pack on the cats of ThunderClan would not be his last attempt to fulfill his oath.

Last of all Fireheart prowled cautiously through the fern tunnel to Cinderpelt's den. Glancing through the entrance, he saw the medicine cat's healing herbs neatly ranged beside one wall. The strongest memory yet flooded over him, of Spottedleaf and Yellowfang, who had been ThunderClan medicine cats before Cinderpelt. Fireheart had loved them both, and grief for them swept over him again to mingle with his grief for his leader.

Bluestar is dead, he told them silently. Is she with you now, in StarClan?

Retracing his steps along the fern tunnel, he returned to the top of the ravine. Graystripe was standing on watch while Mistyfoot and Stonefur gently groomed the dead leader's body.


Excerpted from Warriors #6: The Darkest Hour by Erin Hunter Copyright © 2005 by Erin Hunter. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Erin Hunter is inspired by a love of cats and a fascination with the ferocity of the natural world. In addition to having great respect for nature in all its forms, Erin enjoys creating rich mythical explanations for animal behavior. She is also the author of the bestselling Seekers and Survivors series.

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Darkest Hour (Warriors Series #6) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 991 reviews.
Fireheart47 More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite Warrior book of all time! I think that what I liked the best is the never ending action. Just when you think you have it figured out, something that blows your mind happens. When I first read this my mom got mad at me for reading it too much. :) So many twists and turns and a few tragic deaths. It really catches your attention. Do yourself a favor and read this book before you die. It HAS to be on your bucket list. You won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. You should read this. But read book 1-5 before reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read the warriors series! Erin Hunter is a GREAT AUTHER! She is also very creative. Though I would start with the first series.These books are so absorbing that you start to think you're in the books as well!
MrsGris More than 1 year ago
Girls 11 and over (and moms and grandmas too). Will fall in love with these cats. We hope a movie or TV series comes along.
Tessa_Reads More than 1 year ago
The trick is you have to read the first five books! I got caught up in the series and have "kittypets" of my own. I loved seeing things from a cat's point of view. I was moved to tears in some parts & was holding my breath in others. I recommend this series for anyone who wants to get lost in a good book and let the rest of the world go by for a while!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could never put this book down
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I am a 60 year old Twolegs (whose two kittypets rule her with paws of iron within their furry gloves) I am enjoying this series immensely. The characters grow and develop from their experiences, and their behavior and motivations are believable - they are not just cutesy-poo Disney cats. Erin Hunter is to be commended for this imaginative and sympathetic narrative.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This suspenseful book is packed with lots of action. while Fireheart and the rest of the clan is mourning Bluestar's death the forest seems calm, but there is actullay something stirring in the shadows. what is tigerclaw plotting to do next? as thunderclan ponders this mystery Firestar realizes that the clans have to work together to defeat the threat that is coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I spend every second of my life thinking about warriors. My fav person is ashfur. It kept me hanging on, now a new series warrios: survivor is being made!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im gonna pee my pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YOU'RE A BIG JERK, WHOEVER SAID THAT ERIN HUNTER SUCKS! You probably crushed some kid's dreams!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Hour is the book with the most suspense and action as well as mystery from all the books. The details are so great, the reader will feel like he/she is part of the book. They will actually feel like a ThunderClan warrior, fighting in battle. I absolutely love this book, and i can guarnantee that your child will love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book just really brings out the true heart of warriors i find this book truely amazing, i don't know how Erin Hunter can write such good books but this book, is one of the best of all time
GwenluvsJKS More than 1 year ago
My daughter is 11 and began reading this series in July. She has blown through the first six books in the series. A few times, I have found her hiding under the blankets with a booklight at 2 am because she can't put it down. These last two books she described as sad because a favorite character is losing faith in her relationships. I don't want to give anything away. She came running into the living room last night begging me to buy the next book on my Nook immediately!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warriors is a great series and deserves more attention. And probably the only way is to make movies and TV shows based on the books. The website is one step toward all people knowing aabout Warriors. Many people comment on the idea such as Wetwhisker,Princess Clan,Cindersky,Shadowblaze,loyal Silver,Swiftfire,many anonymous,and myself,Swiftstream.(P.S. I DO NOT HAVE A WARRIORS ACCOUNT ON THE WEBSITESO PLEASE DO NOT LOOKS ME UP THERE. I MADE MY OWN NAME AND CHAT ON WARRIOR COMMENTS)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a sad but good book, i really felt like this book was heart touching book and filled with amazing mystery's.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the best warriors I have ever read. It is a very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's really saspenseful in parts but over all it's a great book with lots of great battles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Firestar is now leader of the clan and learns the struggles of a Clan Leader. Tigerstar still being a threat brings a new idea to the other three Clans which is really so that he can rule all four. When his plan backfires on him the four Clans face their worst threat yet. This story was a great addition to the series and made me realize im really not done with the series.
ToriVic More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading this thilling series as much as my 11 year old does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Serves you right,Bloodclan,go back to your kittypet life.Tigerstar,you mouse-brained piece of crowfood,you almost destroyed the forest!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic series. It annoys me that several low-star reviews have nothing to do with the books and are from people posting to eachother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book highly recommend it.Also try reading the seekers series also by erin hunter. Its about 4 bears on a quest to save the wild they are also great books, but sad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. There were some sad parts and some nasty parts. I want to read more of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book #6 is the best of all the books in the 1rst series. The book had a lot of action and was kind of sad. I really liked the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probaly the only series ill ever read! Wonderful book.