Into the Wild (Warriors Series #1)
  • Into the Wild (Warriors Series #1)
  • Into the Wild (Warriors Series #1)
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Into the Wild (Warriors Series #1)

4.6 3435
by Erin Hunter

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Fire alone can save our Clan...

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by the powerful ancestors. But the warrior code is threatened, and the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger. The sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying -- and some deaths are

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Fire alone can save our Clan...

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by the powerful ancestors. But the warrior code is threatened, and the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger. The sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying -- and some deaths are more mysterious than others.

In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary housecat named Rusty . . . Who may yet turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

Editorial Reviews

“The cat characters are true to their feline nature, making this sure to appeal to fans of Clare Bell’s long popular “Ratha’s Creature” and its sequels and to followers of Brian Jacques’ ongoing Redwall series.”
ALA Booklist
“[The] first spine-tingling episode in the planned Warriors series. Sure to appeal to...followers of Brian Jacques’ ongoing Redwall series.”
Publishers Weekly
In the first exciting installment of the Warriors fantasy series, debut novelist Hunter creates a cat world shared by four tribal clans, drawing on the habits of feral animals and also inserting valuable themes regarding family, friendship and responsibility. Rusty, a young tomcat, forsakes the soft world of the "Twolegs" for the riskier life of the wildcat clans that rule in the woods, beyond the Twolegplace. When Rusty tries to snare a mouse in what proves to be ThunderClan territory, he meets Bluestar, the leader of the Clan, who invites him to learn "what it is to be a real cat. The strength and the fellowship of the Clan will always be with you, even when you hunt alone." Becoming "Firepaw," a warrior-cat-in-training, the once pampered pet adapts quickly to the tribal rules, bonds with his fellow apprentices and with the old she-cat Yellowfang, who is on the run from ShadowClan. When the merciless leader of ShadowClan drives out WindClan and demands to share ShadowClan's hunting territories, the stage is set for more action-packed adventure. (The second Warriors novel, Fire and Ice, is due out in June.) Certain to please any young reader who has ever wondered what dreams of grandeur may haunt the family cat. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)
Children's Literature
Book I of the many-part "Warrior" series introduces its feline hero: Rusty/Firepaw/Fireheart, a "kittypet" who is seduced from his comfy "twoleg" existence into joining the Thunderclan of feral cats. What follows is the regulation training of a warrior and the hero's proof of his bonds of fellowship with the clan through the ferocity of battle. Fortunately, Firepaw is a well-set young fellow who adapts well. Also fortunately, he fulfills a prophecy granted to the clan leader, Bluestar, that "only fire can save their clan" from the onslaughts of the three other warring clans in the neighborhood. He just happens to be a fiery-furred ginger tom—and the results of the series is thus a fait accompli. The writing quality is another matter. The series is one of these "created by" affairs farmed out to writers willing to take on the task. Erin Hunter (if she exists) has done a yeoman's job of bringing life to the book, but don't expect any brilliant insights into the feline mind. This is a story that could have been told with any animal group substituted—or fantasy story, or inner-city gang story for that matter. It has a certain relentless pacing, but the "he mewed" and "she purred" and "the warrior mewled" which pass for cat talk grows old fast. Maybe less critical young readers won't notice they are being fed corporate pabulum. 2003, Avon, Ages 8 to 12.
—Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Rusty, a young "kittypet" (house cat), yearns for adventure. When he's offered the chance to join the ThunderClan, one of the gangs of feral cats in the area, he doesn't hesitate. Renamed Firepaw, he becomes an apprentice and begins to train as a warrior. After rescuing Yellowfang, ex-medicine cat for the ShadowClan who has fled for her life, Firepaw and the other ThunderClan members find themselves in the middle of a turf war against the rival gang, led by the nefarious Brokenstar. There's a traitor in their midst, though, and Firepaw must learn more than just hunting and fighting to survive. 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, but there are standouts who give dimension to the tale. The difficult life of a feral cat is described in some detail, and a fair amount of violence is included. The ending is left ambiguous-there is definitely more to come. This is not as elegantly written as Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series (Philomel), but it's another option for fans of animal adventure/fantasy stories.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hunter debuts with a suspenseful animal adventure that will leave readers eyeing Puss a bit nervously. House kitten Rusty is restless, bored with his safe, bland existence; no wonder he jumps at an invitation to join the feral cats in the woods. Now called Firepaw, he relishes his lessons in fighting, hunting wild prey, and above all becoming one with the close-knit, ferociously loyal ThunderClan. Although some scorn his "kittypet" origins, he gains the friendship of the other apprentice kittens, approval from the wise leader Bluestar, and a peculiar bond with the battered, bad-tempered loner Yellowfang. ThunderClan maintains an uneasy truce with the three other packs in the woods until militant ShadowClan lays claim to hunting rights in all territories, a demand they swiftly back up with murderous force. Such a threat serves the dangerously ambitious ThunderClan warrior Tigerclaw well-until Tigerclaw notices young Firepaw standing in his way. This is no charming tale of sweet moggies; despite a touch of mysticism, Hunter ruthlessly rejects any hint of sentimentality. Snapping bones, flowing blood, and sudden death abundantly demonstrate how these cats walk on the thin edge of survival. But Hunter also clearly conveys the exhilaration of freedom, the stimulation of the hunt, and the strength and comfort that comes from the clan's mutual loyalty. Teen readers will readily identify with Firepaw's strenuous efforts to fit into the group, applaud his courage to follow his own convictions, cheer his eventual recognition by ThunderClan, and rejoice at the promised sequel. (Fantasy. 11+)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Warriors Series, #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.57(d)
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Warriors #1: Into the Wild (summer reading)

Chapter One

It was very dark. Rusty could sense something was near. The young tomcat's eyes opened wide as he scanned the dense undergrowth. This place was unfamiliar, but the strange scents drew him onward, deeper into the shadows. His stomach growled, reminding him of his hunger. He opened his jaws slightly to let the warm smells of the forest reach the scent glands on the roof of his mouth. Musty odors of leaf mold mingled with the tempting aroma of a small furry creature.

Suddenly a flash of gray raced past him. Rusty stopped still, listening. It was hiding in the leaves less than two tail-lengths away. Rusty knew it was a mouse—he could feel the rapid pulsing of a tiny heart deep within his ear fur. He swallowed, stifling his rumbling stomach. Soon his hunger would be satisfied.

Slowly he lowered his body into position, crouching for the attack. He was downwind of the mouse. He knew it was not aware of him. With one final check on his prey's position, Rusty pushed back hard on his haunches and sprang, kicking up leaves on the forest floor as he rose.

The mouse dived for cover, heading toward a hole in the ground. But Rusty was already on top of it. He scooped it into the air, hooking the helpless creature with his thorn-sharp claws, flinging it up in a high arc onto the leaf-covered ground. The mouse landed dazed, but alive. It tried to run, but Rusty snatched it up again. He tossed the mouse once more, this time a little farther away. The mouse managed to scramble a few paces before Rusty caught up with it.

Suddenly a noise roared nearby. Rusty looked around, and ashe did so, the mouse was able to pull away from his claws. When Rusty turned back he saw it dart into the darkness among the tangled roots of a tree.

Angry, Rusty gave up the hunt. He spun around, his green eyes glaring, intent on searching out the noise that had cost him his kill. The sound rattled on, becoming more familiar. Rusty blinked open his eyes.

The forest had disappeared. He was inside a hot and airless kitchen, curled in his bed. Moonlight filtered through the window, casting shadows on the smooth, hard floor. The noise had been the rattle of hard, dried pellets of food as they were tipped into his dish. Rusty had been dreaming.

Lifting his head, he rested his chin on the side of his bed. His collar rubbed uncomfortably around his neck. In his dream he had felt fresh air ruffling the soft fur where the collar usually pinched. Rusty rolled onto his back, savoring the dream for a few more moments. He could still smell mouse. It was the third time since full moon that he'd had the dream, and every time the mouse had escaped his grasp.

He licked his lips. From his bed he could smell the bland odor of his food. His owners always refilled his dish before they went to bed. The dusty smell chased away the warm scents of his dream. But the hunger rumbled on in his stomach, so Rusty stretched the sleep out of his limbs and padded across the kitchen floor to his dinner. The food felt dry and tasteless on his tongue. Rusty reluctantly swallowed one more mouthful. Then he turned away from the food dish and pushed his way out through the cat flap, hoping that the smell of the garden would bring back the feelings from his dream.

Outside, the moon was bright. It was raining lightly. Rusty stalked down the tidy garden, following the starlit gravel path, feeling the stones cold and sharp beneath his paws. He made his dirt beneath a large bush with glossy green leaves and heavy purple flowers. Their sickly sweet scent cloyed the damp air around him, and he curled his lip to drive the smell out of his nostrils.

Afterward, Rusty settled down on top of one of the posts in the fence that marked the limits of his garden. It was a favorite spot of his, as he could see right into the neighboring gardens as well as into the dense green forest on the other side of the garden fence.

The rain had stopped. Behind him, the close-cropped lawn was bathed in moonlight, but beyond his fence the woods were full of shadows. Rusty stretched his head forward to take a sniff of the damp air. His skin was warm and dry under his thick coat, but he could feel the weight of the raindrops that sparkled on his ginger fur.

He heard his owners giving him one last call from the back door. If he went to them now, they would greet him with gentle words and caresses and welcome him onto their bed, where he would curl, purring, warm in the crook of a bent knee.

But this time Rusty ignored his owners' voices and turned his gaze back to the forest. The crisp smell of the woods had grown fresher after the rain.

Suddenly the fur on his spine prickled. Was something moving out there? Was something watching him? Rusty stared ahead, but it was impossible to see or smell anything in the dark, tree-scented air. He lifted his chin boldly, stood up, and stretched, one paw gripping each corner of the fencepost as he straightened his legs and arched his back. He closed his eyes and breathed in the smell of the woods once more. It seemed to promise him something, tempting him onward into the whispering shadows. Tensing his muscles, he crouched for a moment. Then he leaped lightly down into the rough grass on the other side of the garden fence. As he landed, the bell on his collar rang out through the still night air.

"Where are you off to, Rusty?" meowed a familiar voice behind him . . .

Warriors #1: Into the Wild (summer reading). Copyright (c) by Erin Hunter . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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