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Warriors: Into the Wild Review

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Warriors: Into the Wild is the first book in the Warriors series, published in January 2003. It follows a house cat named Rusty, who dreams of something other than his soft pampered life. He wanders into the woods where he is attacked by a forest-dwelling cat. This cat is named Graypaw, and he is a ThunderClan apprentice training to be a Warrior.

Rusty instinctively attacks the cat, while Graypaw’s mentor Lionheart, and ThunderClan leader Bluestar watches. They are impressed with his fighting skills. Since they need new Warriors, they invite him into ThunderClan, part of a group of four Clans of wild cats. These Clans include ThunderClan, WindClan, RiverClan, and ShadowClan, and each have Warrior cats that fight for them.  After he thinks it over, he decides to go and meets up with them to go to the Clan.Most of the Clan is unwelcoming at first, on account he was a house cat. They believe since he is not clan-born, he will not be a good Warrior. This means he must work extra hard to prove himself to the Clan. Later he is given his apprentice name, Firepaw.

Soon there is turmoil within the Clan. Redtail, the ThunderClan deputy has supposedly been killed by the RiverClan leader, Oakheart, who was killed by an ambitious ThunderClan Warrior called Tigerclaw. Or so he says… Another apprentice, Ravenpaw spills the beans when telling the story to other cats at a Gathering of the Clans. He says that Tigerclaw actually killed Redtail. Tensions rise when ShadowClan has driven out WindClan from their territory, and demand hunting rights from the other Clans. RiverClan gives them the rights, but ThunderClan does not. This causes further tensions in the Clans, and Tigerclaw is after Ravenpaw, and tries to kill him by giving him dangerous tasks. Firepaw and Graypaw decide it is too dangerous for Ravenpaw, so they take him to a loner cat named Barley to live with, and tell the rest of the Clan he’s dead.

ShadowClan attacks ThunderClan, and kills their medicine cat Spottedleaf, so they make their ShadowClan ex-medicine cat  prisoner Yellowfang take over the job. ShadowClan also killed the deputy of ThunderClan Lionheart, which makes Tigerclaw the deputy. ShadowClan has stolen some kits, so a group of ThunderClan warriors and Firepaw and Graypaw infiltrate their camp and steal them back. They also drive out their tyrannous leader Brokenstar and his followers. The bravery that the apprentices showed in the battle earn them Warrior status, and new names, Fireheart and Graystripe.

This story was very well written and very descriptive. While they were a lot of characters, most had well defined personalities. This is a story of trying to earn acceptance and respect. Firepaw (Fireheart) needed to earn the trust and respect of the other Clan members because he was a “kittypet”, and he needed to prove himself worthy of the Clan. In the end, he proved that he is loyal and worthy of being a Warrior. This is a great book if you want something quick to read. It is relatively short (272 pages) The series however, with over 40 books, is a commitment. You might not read the entire series, but I do recommend the first three books, for a good adventure.

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