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“Keep your eyes open, Fireheart. Keep your ears pricked. Keep looking behind you. Because one day I'll find you, and then you'll be crowfood,” Tigerclaw. –Forest of Secrets
Forest of Secrets
by Erin Hunter
Tigerclaw has become clan deputy, but Fireheart distrusts him more than ever. Suspicious circumstances surround the death of the former deputy, Redtail. Fireheart wonders if Redtail was really killed by an opposing clan or if Tigerclaw somehow killed him. Fireheart’s quest to investigate Redtail’s death might teach him that some secrets are better hidden.
Meanwhile, a food scarcity causes stress to build between the clans. With tensions high between all four clans, allegiance begins to shifts, leaving Fireheart wondering who he can trust. Even his best friend seems to be hiding secrets. Are there hidden threats that Fireheart knows nothing about? Is his own clan’s deputy working against him?
Hunter continues the beloved Warrior saga, picking up after the battle with ShadowClan and RiverClan. The clans still aren’t on friendly terms, which adds to the suspense. To help readers keep track of the changing allegiances and many characters, the book has a chart of allegiance. The third installment of the Warrior series, Forest of Secrets, must be read after the first two books in order to be understood.
Forest of Secrets contains a forbidden love, in which two cats from a different clan risk everything to sneak away from their camps to be together. The secret relationship adds excitement and suspense. Readers will also enjoy a gratifying end to the book as Tigerclaw’s true intentions are finally revealed. Readers who have read the previous books will be drawn into the drama of divided loyalties and will enjoy watching Fireheart grow as a brave leader.
- When asked about a past battle, a cat explained, “Oakheart came out of nowhere. He sank his teeth into Redtail’s scuff and pulled him off Stonefur.”
- While Fireheart and his friends were out, a badger attacked them. “Fireheart raked his claws down the badger’s side, and the huge beast rounded on him with a roar, jaws snapping. It was fast; it might even have caught Fireheart if Brackenpaw hadn’t leaped from the side, clawing for its eyes.”
- ShadowClan wants Brokenstar, their former leader, to be executed, but ThunderClan doesn’t think it’s right to kill a cat in cold blood. Fireheart and his clanmates have to fight to protect Brokenstar. A fight breaks out. “He pinned Nightstar down, his teeth buried in the lead’s bony shoulder. Nightstar writhed under him and then heaved upward. Fireheart lost his balance and suddenly found that he was trapped—the warrior, though old, was still ferociously strong. Nightstar bared his fangs, his eyes gleaming. All of a sudden he reared back, letting Fireheart go. Shaking blood from his eyes, Fireheart saw that Brackenpaw had leaped at the ShadowClan leader and was clinging to his back with all four paws. Nightstar tried vainly to shake him off and then rolled over, crushing Brackenpaw against the ground. The apprentice let out a furious howl.” The fight goes on for three pages.
- Tigerclaw shows up to try to kill Bluestar and take over the camp. “Graystripe was wrestling a rogue with a pale coat, the two of them rolling over and over as they tried to get ahold with teeth and claws. Brindleface and Speckletail were fighting against a warrior twice their size. Near the warriors’ den, Mousefur dug her front claws into the shoulder of a tabby, while her back claws shredded his flank. Then Fireheart froze with shock. At the other side of the clearing, Brokentail had pounced on his guard, Dustpelt, fastening his teeth in the younger cat’s throat. Dustpelt was struggling furiously to free himself. Though Brokentail was blind, he was still a formidable fighter, and he hung on. . . He was bowled over by a rogue cat. His flank stung as claws raked down it. Green eyes glared a mouse-length from his own. Fireheart bared his fangs and tried to bite down into the enemy’s shoulder, but the rogue cat battered him away.” The fight goes on for five pages.
- Tigerclaw tries to kill Bluestar, but fails when Fireheart finds out.
- Brokenstar’s mother gives him death berries, which kill him.
Drugs and Alcohol
- When angry, the cats occasionally call each other terms such as mouse dung, crowfood, furball, and mouse brain. For example, Bluestar got angry and said, “What a mouse-brained fool.”
- While the cats are arguing, Tallstar said, “You’re willing to give shelter to that . . . that heap of fox dung!”
- When a cat said something stupid, another said, “That’s the most mouse-brained thing I’ve ever heard.”
- Tigerclaw made a mistake and said, “Mouse dung!”
- StarClan is the heavenly tribe of dead warrior cats that watches over all the cat clans. Cats that die go to StarClan and can come back in dreams to share visions or prophecy. StarClan can help shape fate because they can see the future.
- When the cats got into an argument, a cat said, “He’d find fault with StarClan.”
- When Fireheart was dreaming, Spottedleaf, the dead medicine cat, came to him and said, “Remember, Fireheart, water can quench fire.”
- When they were talking, he said, “I swear by StarClan.” Twice.
- Spottedleaf came to Fireheart in a dream to give him hope.
- While Fireheart and Graystripe were in the river, Fireheart muttered, “StarClan help us.”
- After they got out of the river, they said, “Thank StarClan.”
- While a cat was complaining, another said, “He’d complain if StarClan descended from Silverpelt themselves to bring him bedding.
- When the cats were trying to go to the gathering, they said, “StarClan would be angry if we didn’t try.”
- While they were arguing at a Gathering Bluestar said, “Would you risk the wrath of StarClan?”
- At the warrior ceremony to get your warrior name, the leader has to say, “Then by the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior name.”
- Medicine cats have to go to highstones in order to share tongues with StarClan. When there, they can talk with them and receive advice.
- When a cat said that she didn’t do enough, another cat told her, “Oh? StarClan told you that, did they?”
- A cat died and to comfort his friend, Fireheart said, “She hunts with StarClan now.”
- A cat was trying to kill another cat and said, “Remember me to StarClan.”
- Spottedleaf came in Fireheart’s dream and said, “StarClan is calling you, Fireheart . . . Do not be afraid.”
- Fireheart was thinking, “He could go on from this moment, guided by his leader, and with Spottedleaf and StarClan watching over him.”
by Paige Michelle