Warriors: Into the Wild (The Prophecies Begin #1)

by Erin Hunter

Conditional Recommendation: A house cat joins a clan of wild cats and becomes a part of their traditions, opposing threats from neighboring clans, and their battle for survival.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Warriors: The Prophecies Begin, Book One
Pages: 272
Published: 2003

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

As a fan of fantasy, I was immediately drawn to this series that filled so much space on the library shelves. I was curious to discover how a story about cats could be good enough to have SIX series (and counting) for a total of thirty-six books! What were these books all about? I was intrigued from the first chapter and hooked in by the second. This book is a fun and engaging fantasy read!

Summary from the Publisher

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger, and 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 house cat named Rusty…who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

Conditional Recommendation

The wild cats are vicious and there’s violence, injuries, death and grieving in this book. It is a book of warrior training and clan wars after all. There’s also elements of mysticism such as a mystical stone the clan leader sleeps by that connects them to their ancestors and gives them nine lives, divine wisdom, and prophecies.

Goodness and Truth

In this book you’ll find these good things: every life has worth, defending your friends against lies and harm is good and honorable, violence and death are treated with appropriate severity and grief, the dead are honored, children are valued and protected, elders and authority figures are respected, showing mercy and care for the poor and suffering is right, and serving others before yourself is a part of the warrior code.

Language Well-Used

Erin Hunter created some wonderful language to further draw the reader into the world of her wild cats. I was delighted with the names of the cats—it makes an otherwise laughable concept become serious and important. These cats are fighting for their lives after all! Anyway, I think she did a create job of being discreet with descriptions of unpleasant things and of pulling the reader into this fantastical world of cats through her use of language.

Well-Conceived Plot

The premise is so creative. I think this excerpt from the author bio puts it best, “Erin enjoys creating rich mythical explanation for animal behavior…” I absolutely love the imagination put into the world and plot of this book. There’s suspense, mystery, power struggles, and conflict. Once the reader delves into the story, the plot will keep them interested and wanting more!

A Lasting Experience

Suspenseful and full of adventure, this book is a fun read and I am not above recommending a book just because it’s fun! Have you ever seen kids play animals? Have you done it yourself? As a kid, my cousins and I would pretend to be lions, have prides, need to defend our territories, travel, etc. It was a game of the imagination and it was a blast! Reading a book like this takes me right back to those experiences. This book appeals to the kid in all of us that has a rich imagination and a taste for adventure.

Books Like This: Redwall series by Brian Jacques, The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Where to Find this Book: Amazon* or your local library!

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