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The Darkest Hour (Warriors Series #6)

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Overview

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 ...

...

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The Darkest Hour (Warriors Series #6)

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Overview

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 ...

ThunderClan's darkest hour is upon them and Fireheart, the warrior cat, must protect his clan from a threat unlike any the forest has ever seen, as the time comes for prophecies to unfold and heroes to rise.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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.
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
“Tension-filled.”
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
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
“Tension-filled.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060525842
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/5/2004
  • Series: Warriors Series , #6
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.09 (d)

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.

Biography

Erin Hunter is the nom de plume of three British writers who create enthralling, animal-centric YA fantasies in the tradition of Brian Jacques's Redwall books. In 2003, they launched their bestselling Warriors series with Into the Wild, the story of a domesticated kitten who leaves the comforts of his human home to join a family of feral cats living in the woods. Introducing a captivating world where rival cat clans struggle for survival, the book was an immediate sensation with animal- and adventure-loving preteens. Since its debut, Warriors has become a genuine publishing phenomenon, spawning a string of six-book miniseries, each with its own distinct story arc.

The Erin Hunter collaboration is an unusual but highly successful one. Characters and story ideas emanate from editor Victoria Holmes, who keeps track of previous plot lines, ensures continuity, and coordinates the details of a complex and growing cast of characters. Kate Cary and Cherith Baldry take turns writing individual books; then everything is vetted again through Holmes, who checks carefully to make sure the stories are told in a single, unified voice. With different writing styles at work, this would seem a daunting task. However, in a 2006 interview, Holmes explained her modus operandi: "I think of it as being able to "speak Erin Hunter", like speaking a different language, and after working on [so many] scripts, I know pretty much at once if a line or phrase doesn't sound right."

Although the Erin Hunter books are written for young readers, they do not shy away from difficult material. The animals face life-threatening dangers and experience pain, grief, and loss -- sometimes even treachery within their own ranks. But the authors are always careful to reinforce positive messages about family, friendship, loyalty, and love. Independently, Holmes, Cary, and Baldry stay busy with their own writing and editing projects; but in 2008, they reunited for a second animal fantasy series. Seekers: The Quest Begins features a trio of bears from different species (black, polar, and grizzly), who join together for an adventure-filled odyssey that will change their lives forever.

Good To Know

Fun facts about "Erin Hunter" and the Warrior books, plus advice for aspiring writers:
Cherith Baldry and Kate Cary have always loved cats -- and writing fantasy stories! Cherith is particularly interested in the stories of King Arthur, with all those glorious battles, knights, and a courtly code of behavior. Kate is fascinated by animal interaction and the way you can read all sorts of hidden motivation into what cats do. She's also not afraid of describing the goriest scenes!

Says Victoria Holmes, "I love being one of the Erins and frequently dream of being a cat running through a forest when I am coming up with new story lines. Teaming up with Kate and Cherith on the Warriors books is an unconventional way of working, but we love writing the books together and it means we can produce them much faster than a single writer could."

They came up with the single name, Erin Hunter, to avoid confusing their readers by having books from the same series filed in different places on the bookshelves.

Erin's advice for aspiring writers: "Read, read, and read some more! Make sure you read a wide variety of stories: fantasy stories teach you about making up completely new worlds, crime-solving stories teach you about handling a complicated plot, stories with lots of characters teach you how to describe relationships. Also, write as many stories as you can, even if no one else reads them. And remember that the best inspiration comes from what's around you -- Kate and Cherith go for long walks through the woods to find new locations for the cats to explore. They also spend hours watching their cats -- and other people -- to see how they behave in certain situations."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Erin Hunter is the pseudonym for three writers: Cherith Baldry, Kate Cary, and Victoria Holmes
    2. Hometown:
      All three writers live in the U.K.

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.

Continues...


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.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1016 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(928)

4 Star

(45)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(26)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1022 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Darkest Hour

    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.

    40 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Best book ever!!!

    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!

    23 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    From a 9 year old

    This was a great book. You should read this. But read book 1-5 before reading this.

    19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    WHOEVER SAID THAT!!!!!

    YOU'RE A BIG JERK, WHOEVER SAID THAT ERIN HUNTER SUCKS! You probably crushed some kid's dreams!

    17 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

    I could never put this book down

    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2012

    Very appropriate for children of all ages

    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.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 29, 2012

    Good read BUT.....

    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!!

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    I love it

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    12 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Book Five

    This was a sad but good book, i really felt like this book was heart touching book and filled with amazing mystery's.

    9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Battles

    It's really saspenseful in parts but over all it's a great book with lots of great battles.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2005

    Not just for pre-teens

    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.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2008

    the darkest hour

    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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Warriors

    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

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    New favorite series!

    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!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    To Erin Hunter(please reply)

    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)

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Kathryn

    It is the best warriors I have ever read. It is a very good book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Firestar!

    Serves you right,Bloodclan,go back to your kittypet life.Tigerstar,you mouse-brained piece of crowfood,you almost destroyed the forest!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    Best for last

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    Tagg

    Great book.
    The Taggerung approves. - Tagg

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    I am in need of a clan please this

    I am in need of a clan please is any lleader in need of a cat?

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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