Reviews for Into the Wild


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 February 2003
Gr. 6-9. For generations, four clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to laws laid down by powerful ancestral clans. But now things are changing: ShadowClan has banished WindClan and is threatening RiverClan and ThunderClan by insisting on hunting rights within their territories. What's more, each year the TwoLegs encroach further into the forest, and prey is becoming scarce. A prophecy reveals, "Fire alone can save [the] Clan." Into this dangerous situation wanders a "kittypet," a young, bright orange tomcat whose courage earns him, despite objections by some, a place as an apprentice ThunderClan warrior and the new name of Firepaw. In this first spine-tingling episode in the planned Warriors series, Firepaw learns the ways of the wild life, facing many dangers and treachery both within and without his new clan. Intelligence notwithstanding, the cat characters are true to their feline nature, making this sure to appeal to fans of Clare Bell's long-popular Ratha's Creature (1983) and its sequels and also to followers of Brian Jacques' ongoing Redwall series. ((Reviewed February 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
When Rusty--later renamed Firepaw and then Fireheart--leaves his life as a house pet to join one of the clans of wild cats that live in the woods, he must overcome the disdain that the other ThunderClan cats feel for pets and prove his worth as a warrior and as a friend. Filled with details about warrior life and populated with interesting characters, the series may draw in some Redwall readers. [Review covers these Warriors titles: [cf2]Fire and Ice[cf1] and [cf2]Into the Wild[cf1].] Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 January #1
Hunter debuts with a suspenseful animal adventure that will leave readers eyeing Puss a bit nervously. House kitten Rusty is restless, bored with his safe, bland existence; no wonder he jumps at an invitation to join the feral cats in the woods. Now called Firepaw, he relishes his lessons in fighting, hunting wild prey, and above all becoming one with the close-knit, ferociously loyal ThunderClan. Although some scorn his "kittypet" origins, he gains the friendship of the other apprentice kittens, approval from the wise leader Bluestar, and a peculiar bond with the battered, bad-tempered loner Yellowfang. ThunderClan maintains an uneasy truce with the three other packs in the woods until militant ShadowClan lays claim to hunting rights in all territories, a demand they swiftly back up with murderous force. Such a threat serves the dangerously ambitious ThunderClan warrior Tigerclaw well-until Tigerclaw notices young Firepaw standing in his way. This is no charming tale of sweet moggies; despite a touch of mysticism, Hunter ruthlessly rejects any hint of sentimentality. Snapping bones, flowing blood, and sudden death abundantly demonstrate how these cats walk on the thin edge of survival. But Hunter also clearly conveys the exhilaration of freedom, the stimulation of the hunt, and the strength and comfort that comes from the clan's mutual loyalty. Teen readers will readily identify with Firepaw's strenuous efforts to fit into the group, applaud his courage to follow his own convictions, cheer his eventual recognition by ThunderClan, and rejoice at the promised sequel. (Fantasy. 11+) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 December #5
In the first exciting installment of the Warriors fantasy series, debut novelist Hunter creates a cat world shared by four tribal clans, drawing on the habits of feral animals and also inserting valuable themes regarding family, friendship and responsibility. Rusty, a young tomcat, forsakes the soft world of the "Twolegs" for the riskier life of the wildcat clans that rule in the woods, beyond the Twolegplace. When Rusty tries to snare a mouse in what proves to be ThunderClan territory, he meets Bluestar, the leader of the Clan, who invites him to learn "what it is to be a real cat. The strength and the fellowship of the Clan will always be with you, even when you hunt alone." Becoming "Firepaw," a warrior-cat-in-training, the once pampered pet adapts quickly to the tribal rules, bonds with his fellow apprentices and with the old she-cat Yellowfang, who is on the run from ShadowClan. When the merciless leader of ShadowClan drives out WindClan and demands to share ShadowClan's hunting territories, the stage is set for more action-packed adventure. (The second Warriors novel, Fire and Ice, is due out in June.) Certain to please any young reader who has ever wondered what dreams of grandeur may haunt the family cat. Ages 10-up. (Jan.) #

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 May
Gr 5 Up-Rusty, a young "kittypet" (house cat), yearns for adventure. When he's offered the chance to join the ThunderClan, one of the gangs of feral cats in the area, he doesn't hesitate. Renamed Firepaw, he becomes an apprentice and begins to train as a warrior. After rescuing Yellowfang, ex-medicine cat for the ShadowClan who has fled for her life, Firepaw and the other ThunderClan members find themselves in the middle of a turf war against the rival gang, led by the nefarious Brokenstar. There's a traitor in their midst, though, and Firepaw must learn more than just hunting and fighting to survive. The author has created an intriguing world with an intricate structure and mythology, and an engaging young hero. The supporting cast of players is large and a little confusing, but there are standouts who give dimension to the tale. The difficult life of a feral cat is described in some detail, and a fair amount of violence is included. The ending is left ambiguous-there is definitely more to come. This is not as elegantly written as Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series (Philomel), but it's another option for fans of animal adventure/fantasy stories.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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