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“Power is neither good nor evil, but its user makes it so.” —Erin Hunter.
The Darkest Hour
by Erin Hunter
After the battle with the dogs, the dust settles. There is only one casualty—Bluestar, the leader of ThunderClan. Since Fireheart was the deputy, he must now receive his nine lives and new name from StarClan. Everything seems to be flowing smoothly at the beginning of Firestar’s rule. Prey is good; there have been no fights with other Clans, and Tigerstar has been quiet so far, even though he was the reason the dogs attacked. Firestar works with his apprentice and helps the Clan recover, but he is haunted by a new prophecy.
Soon Tigerstar announces that RiverClan and ShadowClan are merging, and that they will be forming TigerClan. When TigerClan attacks WindClan, it becomes clear what will happen if ThunderClan and WindClan don’t accept the new order. Is there any way the clans can work together to bring peace to their home?
As Tigerheart tries to unite the other clans, he shows his cruelty. Unlike previous books, The Darkest Hour doesn’t focus on floods, fires, or storms. Instead the clans fight each other and the intense battle scenes are often described in detail, which will cause an emotional reaction because of the graphic descriptions. The book transitions smoothly from the clan’s life to the battles; the battle scenes and the epic climax will leave the readers’ hearts pounding.
The final chapter in the Warrior series, The Darkest Hour, will not disappoint! As the six-story arch ends, readers will feel an emotional connection with the clans’ cats and will be surprised by unexpected and shocking events. Young readers love the Warrior series because of the well-developed characters, the descriptions, and the nonstop action. The Warrior series has turned many youngsters into avid readers because the series takes the reader into the lives of wild cats, who soon feel like friends. Warriors fans will forever remember Fireheart, who will leave his paw marks on their hearts.
- Tigerstar commanded Stonefur to kill two cats, and when Stonefur refuses, Darkstripe attacks him. “The two warriors were a clawing, screeching knot of fur on the floor of the clearing. The rest of the cats scrambled backward to give them space, still keeping the same eerie silence. . .” They fight for two and a half pages. Stonefur eventually dies in the battle.
- Firestar was in his camp when he heard wailing. Firestar watched as “limping out of the tunnel was a cat that was almost wounded beyond recognition. Blood dripped from a long gash in his flank. His fur was matted with sand and dust, and one eye was closed . . . The newcomer was Mudclaw, barely able to stand from pain and exhaustion.” Mudclaw announced that TigerClan was attacking their camp. When a patrol goes to their camp, Onewhisker “was lying on his side with deep wounds to his throat and shoulder. Barkface, the WindClan medicine cat, was pressing cobwebs to them, but the blood still oozed out sluggishly.” Onewhisker told them that Gorsepaw had been killed. Onewhisker said that Tigerstar “pinned him down in the center of the clearing, with his warriors around him so none of us could get close enough to stop him. He . . . he said he was going to kill him to show the rest of us what we could expect if we refused to join him.”
- Tigerstar attacked Scourge. As they were fighting, Tigerstar “fell on his side, exposing his belly, and Scourge’s vicious claws sank into his throat. Blood welled out as the smaller cat ripped him down to the tail with a single slash. A desperate scream of fury erupted from Tigerstar, then broke off with a ghastly choking sound. His body convulsed, limbs jerking and tail flailing . . . The dark red blood kept on flowing, spreading across the ground in a ceaseless tide. Tigerstar let out another shriek.” This fight lasted one page.
- During a major battle with BloodClan, Scourge attacked Firestar. As Scourge attacked Firestar, “Agony exploded in his (Firestar’s) head as the reinforced claws struck down. Flame washed over his eyes, fading to leave nothing but darkness. A soft, black tide was rising to engulf him; he made one final effort to get up, but his paws would not support him, and he fell back into nothingness.” Firestar died, but because he had nine lives from StarClan, he was brought back to life. After he was brought back he killed Scourge, and the battle was over. The battle is sixteen pages long, and many lives were lost.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Firestar’s friend called him a “Stupid furball.”
- Firestar called a cat a “mouse-brain” because they jumped into a battle and almost fought the wrong side. The phrase mouse-brain is used six times.
- Blackfoot called some cats “half-Clan crowfood.”
- Darkstripe called someone “fox-dung.”
- Cats that die go to StarClan and can come back in dreams.
- Cats go to the moonstone, “a gleaming rock, which glittered as if it were made from countless dewdrops,” to share dreams with StarClan and gain answers.
- StarClan shared a prophecy that said, “only fire can save the Clan.”
- A clan leader can be granted nine lives from StarClan, which means they can die eight times and return to life.
- Cats are granted their warrior name, “by the powers of StarClan.”
- Fireheart said that it was the will of StarClan that Bluestar died, and that she made peace with StarClan before she died.
- Firestar received a prophecy from StarClan saying, “Four will become two. Lion and tiger will meet in battle, and blood will rule the forest.”
- Ravenpaw said that StarClan made a good choice making Firestar leader.
- Firestar tried to reach out to Spottedleaf, the dead medicine cat, in a dream. Firestar wanted help making a decision, but Spottedleaf wouldn’t help him, and she told him that it was his decision.
- Firestar said that, “Tigerstar behaves as if he’s never heard of StarClan.”
- Sandstorm said, “It’s in the paws of StarClan.”
- Tallstar swore on StarClan.
- Bramblepaw started arguing with his father and he said, “then at least I’ll go to StarClan as a loyal ThunderClan cat.”
- Right before all the cats went into battle, they said, “And may StarClan be with us all.”
- Cats think the stars represent each member of StarClan, so when one cat saw some stars at dawn, he thought, “a few early warriors of StarClan looked down at him.”
- After Firestar was killed, he lost one life, met with StarClan, and then he came back to life.
- A cat said, “Thank StarClan.”
- Firestar asked his medicine cat if they had received any messages from StarClan.
- Firestar said that they are in the forest, “by the will of StarClan.”
- As Whitestorm died, he said, “I go to hunt with StarClan.”
- After they won the battle, Firestar said, “Thank you, StarClan.” He then received a vision from Spottedleaf.