Warriors Wednesday – Fire and Ice, by Erin Hunter

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Publication date – May 20, 2004

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Book Two of WARRIORS continues Fireheart’s quest to be a true warrior, when he finds new danger lurking in the woods as the chill of winter sets in.

WindClan is missing, and hostilities between the remaining three clans place all the cats in peril. Illness and tragic accidents weaken the camp, and ThunderClan needs all its warriors to defent itself – but Fireheart suspects that certain cats may not be as loyal as they appear.

Thoughts: Firepaw has become Fireheart, a full warrior in Thunderclan. Book 2 picks up only a few hours after the first book finished, jumping back into the story immediately.

You can really start to see what the series is going to become when you read this book. The first book of the series was something of a coming-of-age tale, in a sense, with a good introduction to how things work without bogging you down in too much information. Here there are still some explanations, but it’s clear that the author expects you to have remembered plenty from before, and doesn’t go nuts with repetition about the practicalities of Clan life and how Fireheart is now expected to live.

You also get to see the plot really start to pick up. Tigerclaw starts to become far more suspicious than he was previously, Fireheart has to suffer from multiple divided loyalties, Graystripe breaks the warrior code and falls in love with a cat from another Clan, and Fireheart also gets his first apprentice. And danger, illness, and injury are always lying around the next corner. There’s plenty of action, intrigue, and detail to keep any reader interested. Characters do a lot of evolving and growing up as the story goes on, and it’s interesting to see such dynamic character design while still keeping everyone the same familiar cats we got used to in the first book of the series. I do enjoy books where characters grown and learn and change where circumstances dictate it, especially in mid-grade a YA books.

The big failing in this book comes from reading it when you’re not exactly in the book intended age range, however, and it’s a failing that spans the entire series. Fireheart’s introspection, and ending practically every chapter with a question. “Could so-and-so really be what they seem?” “Could he have made a mistake?” “Was it that this thing really was that thing in disguise?” I understand that these books were written for a younger audience, and the cliffhanger-as-question thing is a good way to get kids to keep turning pages, but it does get a little tedious when  you’re reading these books as an adult.

But in spite of that, a good story is still told, and in such a way that this series has hooked countless readers of all ages. I still contend that this is a series worth checking out.

And with that being said, just wait until the events of the third book, where everything you expect about a kids series just gets blown right out of the water!

The starting of Warriors Wednesday

Recently, I was struck by the urge to reread Erin Hunter’s Warriors books. As much as they’re not the usual fare for this blog (I did review one of them here once, though), I still very much enjoy the series, and definitely think that they’re more interesting than a lot of people give them credit for. And they do have a fantasy bent to them. It isn’t a strong one, but there are definitely supernatural elements at work in the world that was created around clans of feral cats.

And since I’m so behind on my reading goals this year, rereading (and finally properly reviewing) this series will help a lot. But to keep this blog from being inundated with posts about the series (they’re short books, and I can get through a few of them in a day if I’m not doing much else), I’m going to start a new feature here. Warriors Wednesdays, which will continue until I’ve reviewed all the books in the series.

Or at least all of the ones that I have.

And so if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and write up the first review. Expect it here in an hour or so.