A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cat Classics in Print: Warriors Book 1: Into the Wild

classic cat books

Old SoLT has been wanting to read this series since it first started in 2003, but somehow she has never gotten around to it before now. We sort of wondered if the first Warriors book, Into the Wild, can truly be considered a classic when it’s only 15 years old, but considering the sheer number of novels, novellas, “super editions,” manga, and guides it has spawned (not including box sets, we count well over 50 books on the Warriors website; we can’t be more accurate because we lost count twice and didn’t want to start over again), we decided Into the Wild is definitely a classic. And worth waiting for.

The plot

Warriors: Into the Wild, by Erin Hunter
Into the Wild introduces the world of the Warrior Cats through the eyes of a young housecat—or “kittypet,” as the wild cats call them. Rusty ventures from his home with the Twolegs (humans) into the nearby woods and has his first encounter with Clan cats. He performs well in the ensuing fight, and he ends up being invited to join ThunderClan as an apprentice. He takes up the challenge and soon enough is living a tough and exciting new life with a new name—Firepaw.

Firepaw learns to hunt and fight and follow the warrior code. But all is not well in the territory of the four Clans. Each Clan has its own territory where they can hunt, but lately ShadowClan has been up to no good, demanding that the other Clans allow its cats to hunt basically wherever they want. They have already forced one clan into an agreement and pushed another clan off its territory, and now they’re eyeing ThunderClan’s forest. A big fight is brewing, and it will not be pretty.

Meanwhile, the leader of ThunderClan has taken in a disgraced former medicine cat from the hated ShadowClan. But this cat brings with her a reputation for being dangerous. Will she betray her new Clan when the battle comes?

And where should Firepaw put his loyalty? He soon learns that danger doesn’t always come from outsiders.

Our verdict

We raced through this book, repeatedly saying “Just one more chapter” until we were saying, “Almost done! Might as well keep going now.” We will tell you up front that Into the Wild is about a cat learning to be a warrior, so of course there is fighting between cats. Some of the cats are treacherous and cruel, and some cats die. But the book is written for the 8-to-12-year-old set (thus hitting old SoLT’s mental age perfectly!), so nothing is horribly graphic. We found it dramatic but not upsetting (okay, that is a lie—the part where one of our favorite cats died was upsetting, but we have recovered). We know some of you are especially sensitive to any sort of violence involving animals, though, and we wanted to be clear about the content.

Probably our favorite thing about this book is the richness of its world. Having spent just a little time in that world, it is easy to understand how the series has grown and grown. The Clans have their own history, mythology, and traditions. They have ways of honoring the dead, of seeking guidance from StarClan (when a cat dies, he or she goes to join StarClan in the night sky). Their medicine cats know what plants to gather to heal wounds and illness. Yes, it would be easy to get so caught up in the Warriors series that you’d need a guidebook to keep track of everything.

By the way, if you’re wondering (as we were) how in the world author Erin Hunter has managed to write so many books in less than two decades—she does it by actually being six people. It was quite a relief to learn that, because we’d imagined some kind of super-writer who never sleeps.

We recommend Into the Wild 100%! Just be prepared to be sucked in to a whole new world.

Two Paws Up! A Great Read

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!


  1. I have so many of these books on my shelves. I don't know what I'm waiting for to start reading them!

  2. So many books, so little time! I'm probably too sensitive for these though!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets