Recently, I’ve both been rereading old novels in the Warrior Cats series and reading some of the new novels that came out this year. If you haven’t heard of Warrior Cats, essentially it is a series about feral cats who live in Clans. They forge friendships and occasional alliances, but also must defend their territory from the other Clans. They follow a series of rules known as the Warrior Code, worship their warrior ancestors who guide their pawsteps with prophecies, and some cats are trained to use herbs as Medicine Cats.
There are now many Warrior Cats novels, as well as novellas, guidebooks and manga books, but the first series, the one which started it all, begins with Into the Wild, in which a young pet cat named Rusty joins one of the four Clans, ThunderClan. ThunderClan’s leader, Bluestar, has received a peculiar prophecy which states that ‘Fire alone can save our Clan’. She’s naturally confused as to what this means, considering the fact that forest fires are very dangerous to animals. However, she later spots Rusty and in the light his ginger fur shines like a flame. Could this stranger, this household cat, save ThunderClan from destruction? Rusty is scorned by some members of ThunderClan for the fact that he has kittypet roots and is not forest born. He must struggle to prove them wrong, to develop the battle and hunting skills necessary for a Warrior’s survival, to find and stop the evils that threaten ThunderClan, and to fulfil the prophecy.
I first read Into the Wild when I was about eight, and I found it exciting, enveloping and enchanting. I found the Warrior Code and the life of the Clan cats fascinating, and I loved all the characters. Each character was well-developed and striking, there was lots of drama, and the world-building was original and fun. The novel was like nothing I had read before, and I finished it desperate to read more. Luckily, the authors wrote six books of that first series, then six books of another, then another, then another… meaning lots of Warrior Cats novels for me to read and enjoy. I have now been reading the Warrior Cats books for a decade, which actually means that I have spent more of my life reading Warriors books than I have not reading them!
Although Warrior Cats is targeted at eight-to-twelve year olds, there is something in the series for everyone, and getting older hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the books. It still gives me great joy to read them. This series has been a big part of my life and is connected to many of my memories. I love reading new Warrior Cats books – and this blog post
is going to contain a review for the most recent one, which came out on Kindle last week and publishes soon in Hardback – but I also love rereading the old books. Some of my books in the series are starting to fall apart because I have reread them so much. The most wonderful thing of all is that each time I reread the Warriors books, I get something new out of them or I see a character or storyline in a different way. I have just as much fun rereading them as I did reading them for the first time. Revisiting all the characters feels like being reunited with old friends.
The Warrior Cats novels are truly epic. Over the years, there have been massive twists in the storylines, moving scenes, fulfilled prophecies and great journeys. We have followed the growth and character development of specific cats, as well as of whole Clans, and we have followed multiple generations. I have both laughed and cried with the books.
If you haven’t yet read the Warrior Cats books, I would definitely recommend that you do so. There’s so much to enjoy in the series, and I think that if I had to go and live on a desert island and take only one novel series with me, I’d take the Warriors (Although it is sort of cheating as there are so many books!).
Warrior Cats is written by multiple authors and I am sincerely grateful to each of them for giving me so many fantastic books to read and bringing me so much joy over the past ten years.
Read on for a review (spoiler free) of the latest Warriors novel, Hawkwing’s Journey….
Hawkwing’s Journey by Erin Hunter
Rating: * * * * *
Series: Warrior Cats Super Edition (can be read as a standalone but is best read after The Apprentice’s Quest and Thunder and Shadow, before Shattered Sky)
Publication Date: Nov 1st 2016 for Kindle edition; Dec 1st for Hardback
An epic stand-alone adventure in Erin Hunter’s #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series! Set just before the events of the books in A Vision of Shadows, this Super Edition follows Hawkwing, deputy of SkyClan, on a journey that will change the fate of all five warrior Clans.
The cats of SkyClan are facing a darkness unlike any they have seen before—and their only hope is to seek out the kin of Firestar, the cat who once brought their Clan back from obscurity. But even if they find the other four warrior Clans, SkyClan’s time in the gorge territory may truly be at an end….
Join the legion of fans who have discovered the epic adventures, fierce warrior cats, and the thrilling fantasy world of the mega-bestselling Warriors series. This stand-alone entry is perfect for new readers and dedicated fans alike.
Hawkwing’s Journey also includes an exclusive ten-page Warriors manga adventure!
Having really enjoyed the first two novels in the new Warriors series, which is set after the events of the battle with the Dark Forest, I was very excited to read this new adventure about what happened to SkyClan. I am thrilled to say that I wasn’t at all disappointed: Hawkwing’s Journey proved to be one of my very favourite Warrior Cats books to date!
I always particularly enjoy the Super Edition novels as they provide an opportunity to see a specific character grow, develop and learn. We see them discover their path and we get very attached to them. The Super Editions are also usually slightly longer than the novels of the main series, which means getting to spend more time in the Warriors world – that’s also a bonus!
This Super Edition, as the title makes clear, focuses on Hawkwing. Hawkwing makes an excellent main character – he’s brave, smart and very likeable, but he also is not above making mistakes or being flawed, which makes him identifiable. His courage, survival instincts and leadership skills mean that he is up there in the ranks of Firestar, Bluestar, Squirrelflight, Graystripe and Brambleclaw, who are some of my favourite Warrior cats. Hawkwing suffers much in this Super Edition and his suffering really moved me, which demonstrated how attached I had grown to him and how much I liked him as a protagonist. I’m very much looking forward to hopefully seeing more of him soon.
Hawkwing is joined by many other wonderful characters. Even though the cast of characters is large, each character is well-developed and I got a clear sense of all of their individual personalities, which made them very vivid for me.
As well as having great characters, Hawkwing’s Journey has a fantastic plot. The opening is immediately gripping, as we learn about the mysterious new prophecy and a fire occurs. The exciting storyline continues all the way from the beginning to the end of the novel: there are many twists and turns, and I could not predict what was going to happen. There are romances, friendships, battles, emotional scenes, humorous scenes, and bucket-loads of action…what more could you want? Additionally, I love the way that the storyline links to The Apprentice’s Quest – it’s made me even more eager for the next book, which comes out next year!