Series: Warriors Super Editions #1
Published by HarperCollins (8.21.2007)
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 510 pages
There is peace at last between the warrior Clans, and Firestar is proud of the strength and unity of the cats he leads in ThunderClan. All four forest Clans are thriving, training new warriors and keeping their boundaries without conflict.
But Firestar's dreams are haunted by wailing cats fleeing a terrible disaster. With unexpected help from an old kittypet friend, he discovers a shocking secret: StarClan, the warrior ancestors who guide his paw steps, have lied to him.
Firestar is faced with the hardest decision of his life. Can he really turn his back on the forest that has become his home and embark on a perilous quest to discover a dark truth--one that has been buried beyond the memory of living cats? Whatever he finds at the end of his journey, he knows that nothing can ever be the same again.
I didn’t love this as much as I thought I was going to. I adored Squirrelflight’s Hope, even though I don’t usually care for side stories when I already know the outcome, so I was really hoping to love this one too. I mean, Firestar is an old fave and will always be special, so I was looking forward to being back in his head for a bit.
And I did enjoy it, but it was extreeemely slow paced. Almost nothing happened for a good 40% of this whole book and I was rather bored. Even when things started happening, there weren’t really any stakes (which was my main complaint about everything I read in between The Prophecy Begins and Broken Code, which I just finished) – the fight with the rats just felt really meh to me. View Spoiler »Don’t get me wrong, it sucked really bad that Rainfur died right after deciding to stay in SkyClan with his recently emancipated mate and kits; and it also sucked that Firestar lost a life, but other than that, « Hide Spoiler it never really felt dangerous or harrowing like the fights in Prophecy Begins or Broken Code.
I think the main issue here is that for me to get super into a side story like this, I have to really love the character. And while I adore Firestar and always will – he’s special and a Warriors OG – I don’t LOVE him like my top favorites. I’m hoping because Graystripe and Yellowfang are my absolute favorites that those side stories will work better for me.
I did enjoy meeting the side characters of SkyClan, though! Cherrytail was my favorite. She was so fierce and never gave up! I like that Clovertail became a badass warrior at the end too, after seeming really lazy and cowardly in the beginning. I loved meeting Leafdapple, View Spoiler »before she became the SkyClan leader, « Hide Spoiler who was awesome in Broken Code.
The other thing that stood out to me was that I felt bad for Sandstorm and her battle with jealousy over Spottedleaf. Poor baby! Firestar was kind of a dummy in the beginning. I’m glad they made up!
Yellowfang's Secret by Erin Hunter
Series: Warriors Super Editions #5
Published by HarperCollins (10.9.2012)
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
One secret could destroy them all. . . .
Yellowkit is a ShadowClan cat through and through and she can't wait to become a fearless warrior. Then Yellowkit trains as an apprentice and finally receives her warrior name, Yellowfang—and much to her surprise, she realizes that her paws weren't meant to shed blood. Her true destiny lies as a healer, and she takes her place as ShadowClan's medicine cat apprentice.
But Yellowfang's dreams are haunted by a dark prophecy, and every paw step she takes seems drenched in heartache. As she struggles to separate herself from her warrior past, she realizes that the future she faces is bleak and dim—colored by a devastating secret that could destroy the warrior Clans.
This book….ya’ll, this book BROKE me. Yellowfang has always been my favorite character in the Warriors world, even though she was only part of a fraction of the books I’ve read in this universe. I knew this one was going to be difficult emotionally because of the snippets we got in Prophecy Begins, but DAMN, DUDE. Damn.
I am completely heartbroken for Yellowfang and everything she went through. The loss she experienced, all she gave up, all she endured. This book just made me love her even more! She was so fierce and resilient; and she picked herself up and kept going, no matter the hardships she faced. (And also it gives some insight as to why she acts so tough on the outside even though she’s a sweet cinnamon roll on the inside) My poor baby Yellowfang *sobs* It broke my heart to see her give up a future with Raggedpelt to be a medicine cat. She gave up EVERYTHING. And she didn’t have much of a choice, which really killed me – she wanted to be a warrior SO BAD, but because she could literally feel the pain of her injured clanmates, she didn’t have much of a choice.
Right from being a kit, Yellowfang had wanted to be the best warrior she could, to serve her Clan. Now she had to face the fact that she might serve her Clan better by turning her paws onto another path.
I’m happy that she ultimately ended up being okay with being a medicine cat, but it still hurt like crazy. Especially when she told Raggedpelt that she was expecting kits and begged him to take care of them:
“Very well, but on one condition: You must promise to never tell these kits the truth. It is better that they grow up without a mother than knowing that their mother chose to abandon them.”
Yellowfang’s heart cracked a little more as she made the promise Raggedpelt asked for. I will never abandon you, little ones, she whispered to her unborn babies. I will be with you, always.
The scene where she kitted and two were stillborn had me sobbing. Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, she names the ONE surviving kit Brokenkit because she named her son for the feeling in her chest as she left him there, as if her heart were cleaving in two, as if her life had broken down the middle. This. BROKE. Me. I always thought he was named for his broken tail. My heart!! There were a couple passages that had me tearing up again, especially this one:
She felt dazed, sore, and lost without the kits at her belly. My dear daughters, I will always grieve for you. And for you, my son. It was even more painful to think of Brokenkit, knowing that he was alive, but not with her.
“You can be a good force in his life. Don’t give up on him, Yellowfang. You could be his only hope.”
And she never did T.T I felt sick with heartache when Yellowfang was trying to be a friend to Brokenkit and he just rebuffed her. He was treated so poorly by his Clanmates, and seeing how that broke Yellowfang’s heart broke mine, too. So did seeing him turn into a twisted, dark cat so fueled by ambition that he was willing to kill to get what he wanted. Honestly, I’m a little traumatized by how many kittens and too-young apprentices died toward the end before Yellowfang was banished. This book was dark and a bit difficult to read at times. And knowing the final outcome and what Yellowfang ultimately had to do? Made it even more heartbreaking.
All in all, Yellowfang straight up deserved so, SO MUCH MORE. More than Raggedpelt, who was an absolute turd (WHY did she love him so much, his emotions gave me whiplash and she can do better); more than all the pain that she went through losing two kits and giving up the third; more than the way she was treated by her own son. The fact that she faced everything she went through with strength and perseverance, and yet was still able to show so much empathy, just makes me want to squish her T.T
I love that she finally stood up to Raggedstar, after all the mental and emotional abuse her put her through, when he was trying to blame her for Brokentail:
“He’s our son now, is he? I have never been allowed to be his mother! You said you would only keep my secret if I never called him my son. What can I possibly do to change him? Brokentail is your problem, Raggedstar. You have told me too many times that I am nothing more than a medicine cat. I heal my Clan, that’s all. You are responsible for what your warriors do.”
GO YELLOWFANG, GO!
This book made me want to read Prophecy Begins again. I loved seeing Yellowfang’s first meeting with Firepaw through her POV!! SO MANY FEELS IN THIS BOOK. I actually read this whole book in one day (flew through all 528 pages of it in just under 4 hours) – I don’t even remember the last time I did that and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book over maybe 350 pages in one day! I gobbled this up almost in one sitting – the only reason I didn’t read it all in one fell swoop was because I was tired AF and fell asleep on the couch. (I’m getting old, shut up okay)
Squirrelflight's Hope by Erin Hunter
Series: Warriors Super Editions #12
Published by HarperCollins (9.3.2019)
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 464 pages
An epic stand-alone adventure in Erin Hunter’s #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series! Also includes an exclusive ten-page Warriors manga adventure.
In this Super Edition, set just after the events of A Vision of Shadows, ThunderClan deputy Squirrelflight is caught between her conscience and her Clan.
Though all five Clans have settled into equally divided territories around the lake, tensions are rising over the new borders. And when a group of rogue cats move in just beyond Clan boundaries, drawing the Clans’ frustration, Squirrelflight must choose between her duty as ThunderClan’s deputy and her desire to do what’s right.
Join the legion of fans who have discovered the epic adventures, fierce warrior cats, and thrilling fantasy world of the mega-bestselling Warriors series. This stand-alone entry is perfect for new readers and dedicated fans alike.
Oh my GOOOOOODNESSSS. This book was SO EMOTIONAL!! I should have known I was in for heartache with the opening scene and Leafpaw/Squirrelpaw’s interaction:
(Sandstorm) “As long as you have each other, you’ll both stand tall.”
“Leafpaw and I will always stick together.”
“And we’ll always help each other. Nothing will ever drive us apart.”
I’m so glad I read this. I wanted to know more about the Sisters, because they were referred to multiple times in the Broken Code series, so I took a pause in Darkness Within (I’m right at the part where Bristlefrost, Rootspring, and Needleclaw are journeying to meet them; so perfect timing) to pick this one up. And I have no regrets! A lot of times I don’t enjoy books where I already know the gist of what happens, because nothing is a surprise. But this book was a journey worth taking.
I love Squirrelflight to pieces, always have. I liked being in her head for a change – getting deeper into her thoughts and getting to know her better. I love her even more now! She is perseverant and fights for what she believes in, no matter the cost. She stayed true to herself even when it was the most difficult thing she could imagine.
“Being a good deputy doesn’t mean blindly following orders. It means standing up for what I believe, and this time, I believe I’m right.”
The tension between Squirrelflight and Bramblestar in this book was heartbreaking. They were both trying to do what they thought was right and what they thought was best for their Clan, but somehow they were always opposing each other. I was frustrated right along with Squirrelflight when she couldn’t say the right things to Bramblestar to make him see her side of things and the arguments spiraled even farther out of control. I’ve had fights like that and I know how miserable it feels when you feel like communication is broken. It made me so sad!! I’m so glad that conflict was resolved in the end. It had a great message in there, though – cherish what you have, because you never know when you’ll lose it. It took Squirrelflight almost dying for Bramblestar to realize how much he needed her (and her him): “How did we lose sight of what mattered? How did I forget how much I loved her?” And Squirrelflight’s response: “Our love will always be there. Even when we lose sight of it, our love will still be there.”
And that brings me to another relationship: Squirrelflight and Leafpool. Their bond was so strong and their relationship was SO BEAUTIFUL!! Oh my goodness. I love that they stood up for each other and stuck together through thick and thin. (Not sure why you’d be reading this if you haven’t, but if you haven’t read Power of Three, LOOK AWAY.) Even when it meant lying to literally everyone in their lives about the kits to protect Leafpool. Squirrelflight even lied to her mate for her sister. I feel bad for Bramblestar, but damn that is beautiful. I love that Leafpool defended Squirrelflight over that lie:
“Everything she did was out of loyalty to me. I couldn’t wish to have a better sister. She wanted to protect my kits and me, and she was willing to sacrifice everything to keep us safe. If some cat must be punished for what we did, punish me, not her.”
There are two other things that BROKE MY DAMN HEART into a million little pieces (and then threw it on the ground and stomped on it for good measure) that I’m going to talk about in spoiler tags to avoid giving anything away for those who aren’t caught up or haven’t read this.View Spoiler »LARKSONG AND FLICKERKIT OMG. I sobbed when Larksong and Flickerkit died. That scene was SO rough!! Poor Sparkpelt, watching her beloved mate die right in front of her and being helpless. That killed me. And then when Larksong told Squirrelflight when she was in StarClan “I miss [Sparkpelt] so much. If you go back, please tell her that I’ll never truly leave her.” then “If you reach Sparkpelt, tell her I love her. Tell her not to be unhappy. I’ll take care of Flickerkit until she can join us. But she has to be happy. She has to make a life without me. I don’t want her to grieve.” MY HEART. *sobs*
LEAFPOOL OMFGGG. Okay, I KNEW she was dead in the current timeline going into this book. I knew it. But it still sucked hardcore when it happened. And actually, I had forgotten she was dead because I was so involved in this book, until the scene where the kits are trapped in the collapsing cave. As soon as that started happening I realized this was THE SCENE and my heart almost stopped. It was horrible knowing what was coming – I wanted to change it so bad!
(Leafpool)“Death won’t separate us. We promised always to stick together, and it won’t be any different now. If you go back, I’ll watch over you. And one day, we will be together again.”
BRB SOBBING. I also cried during Squirrelflight’s flashback to Leafkit and Squirrelkit as she was leaving StarClan.
The whole interaction with StarClan got me all misty. It was great to see old beloved cats again – Firestar, Bluestar, YELLOWFANG!!! Mousefur, Longtail…but especially Yellowfang. She was always my favorite and I miss her so much!! I love that she stood up for Leafpool and Squirrelflight. YELLOWFANG MY PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. « Hide Spoiler
Okay so onto the Sisters because that was the whole point of my reading this book was to get to know them (and it ended up being about so much more)! I really enjoyed meeting the Sisters and seeing their way of life. I was frustrated with them for being so stubborn about not moving from the land, though. View Spoiler »I’m upset that Moonlight died. And also, the loss of life over some territory when they would be moving anyway is just ridiculous. However, the Sisters naming the kits Leaf, Squirrel, and Moon got me right in the feels! « Hide Spoiler
Graystripe's Vow by Erin Hunter
Series: Warriors Super Editions #13
Published by HarperCollins (9.1.2020)
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
In this Super Edition, set during the events of The Broken Code, respected ThunderClan warrior Graystripe seeks a path to the Clan’s future by returning to his past—and the Moonstone in the Clans’ old forest territory.
Graystripe served ThunderClan for many moons before retiring to the elders’ den. As Firestar’s most trusted friend and deputy, Graystripe promised that he would never abandon his home. But as new tensions strain ThunderClan, Graystripe will need to call on all of his long history, leaving ThunderClan behind in hopes of finding an answer that might save it.
After Yellowfang’s Secret, which broke my heart and earned a 5 star rating from me, I was sure that this book would be a 5 star book too. Graystripe is my second favorite character of the whole series, after all. But alas, I was incredibly disappointed. This book was very slow, to the point that I was actually quite bored at times and skimmed through parts. I think this has been the most boring of the Warrior Editions, which is a huge bummer because Graystripe is the oldest surviving character and the only one left from the first book.
The first half was a struggle, to be honest. It just dragged on and on – this book could have been much shorter and nothing would have changed. Most of the first half was just useless filler. Actually, this book really didn’t bring anything at all to the table, other than casting some light on where Graystripe went on his “wander” and what was going on in his head. There’s really nothing important to the main story line in this book at all. Which breaks my heart! I was preparing for (and expecting, tbh) some emotional wreckage after finishing Broken Code – View Spoiler »seeing as how Graystripe died at the end of that series « Hide Spoiler – but it just didn’t happen. Sure, there were a few moments that made me tear up a bit, but that was it. Namely when Graystripe was remembering Millie – my heart!! And this line got me:
“Heartbreaks and setbacks are like enemies, attacking you out of nowhere. Even when you’re strong enough to fight them, the important thing is not to let them follow you. And the way to do that is to keep moving forward, so that you’re constantly putting the enemies of grief and loss behind you.”
I did find it a bit upsetting that Graystripe felt like an old useless elder and that he had nothing left to give to his clan. He was old and wise and his clan absolutely still needed him! Overall, I wish there had been more emotional value at the end. I feel like it was a missed opportunity. View Spoiler »I guess this came out before the last book of Broken Code when he died, but I wish the end would have had some big phenomenal moment at the end as he lay dying and reflected on his life. Would have given this book a point. « Hide Spoiler
The jumping timelines threw me a little sometimes. Every once in a while I got them confused, but I’m not really sure why. I also didn’t care a whole lot about the past timeline because BloodClan is one of those been-there-done-that old storylines that I am just over at this point. I did like that the main villain was a female for a change, though! I also enjoyed the last 1/3-1/2 or so with the addition of WarriorClan. I loved Monkeystar and her clan of fierce kittypets!