Forest of Secrets

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Forest of Secrets
Warriorsbook3.jpg
First edition cover
Author Erin Hunter
Cover artist Wayne McLoughlin
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Series Warriors
Genre Children's literature
Fantasy novel
Publisher Avon
HarperCollins
Publication date
14 October 2003
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages336
ISBN 978-0-06-052561-3
OCLC 55800667
Preceded by Fire and Ice  
Followed by Rising Storm  

Forest of Secrets is a children's fantasy novel, the third book in the original Warriors series, written by Cherith Baldry under the pen name of Erin Hunter. The plot is about Fireheart, a ThunderClan warrior, attempting to prevent his best friend Graystripe from falling in love with Silverstream, whom Graystripe is not allowed to fall in love with. Silverstream later dies giving birth to Graystripe's kits. When RiverClan claims the kits, Graystripe makes the difficult decision to join RiverClan. Fireheart also becomes deputy after Tigerclaw, the deputy, attempts to kill the leader, Bluestar. The main theme of the book is forbidden love. Forest of Secrets takes place in a fictional forest based on many natural locations.

Contents

The book was first published in the United States as a hardcover on 14 October 2003. It was later published in paperback and as an e-book, and in countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada. It has also been translated into other languages such as Japanese, French, and Russian. The book received positive reviews from trade publications such as Horn Book Review and Booklist , which praised the plot line of divided loyalties, betrayals, trust and the balance between the plot and everyday life.

Development

Holmes remembers that while editing Forest of Secrets, she thought: "Hang on, this is turning into something special". While coming up with the idea of Bluestar giving up her kits to become leader, she remembers "sitting at my keyboard, tapping away to unpeel the layers of emotion that must have led to her momentous decision, and suddenly realizing how real and vital the Clans' world had become to me". After that, Holmes says that the plot seemed to write itself out. [1] HarperCollins requested Holmes to produce a book every three months. Upon hearing this, Holmes invited Cherith Baldry into the team in order to keep up with the schedule. Holmes says she chose Baldry because "her natural writing style was quite close to mine and Kate's, so I knew that Cherith's voice would fit". [2]

Synopsis

Setting

Forest of Secrets is set in the same fictional forest as the previous two books in the series. The forest is home to four Clans of wild cats. The four Clans are ThunderClan, WindClan, RiverClan and ShadowClan. Each Clan has their own territory which they live in.

The forest is based on New Forest in England. [3] The setting was also influenced by Loch Lomond in the Scottish Highlands, and the Forest of Dean. [4] [5]

New Forest, England, which inspired the setting for the series Alder trees beaulieu river fawley ford.jpg
New Forest, England, which inspired the setting for the series

Plot

Fireheart is determined to uncover the truth about the Clan deputy, Tigerclaw, whom he believes is untrustworthy, whilst risking the trust of his leader, Bluestar, and even the possibility that she might suspect Fireheart himself as a traitor.

ShadowClan and WindClan eventually lead an invasion of the ThunderClan camp in an attempt to kill Brokentail whom ThunderClan is sheltering but are driven off.

Meanwhile, Fireheart's best friend, Graystripe, risks the trust of his entire Clan as he continues having a forbidden love affair with Silverstream, who is from RiverClan. Fireheart and Graystripe face danger from Tigerclaw, who has noticed Graystripe missing from camp many times. Silverstream eventually dies while giving birth to Graystripe's kits when they come early. Graystripe is left heartbroken. ThunderClan then learns about his forbidden love with Silverstream and feel that they cannot trust Graystripe anymore.

Later, Tigerclaw leads a band of rogues into ThunderClan camp, pretending to defend the Clan. During the battle, Tigerclaw corners Bluestar in her den and tries to kill her. Fireheart arrives just in time to save her and injures Tigerclaw. Bluestar is deeply shocked and shaken by Tigerclaw's mutiny, though she manages to announce Tigerclaw's exile from the Clan. Tigerclaw then asks Darkstripe, Longtail, and even Dustpelt the dark brown tabby tom if they want to join him in exile, but each cat refuses. With Bluestar having regained her trust over the cat that had exposed Tigerclaw's treachery, Fireheart is made deputy, although the announcement of the position is made after moonhigh, which is against Clan tradition. As a deputy, life is harder for Fireheart and things change rapidly. Fireheart is unsure whether he would be a good deputy, but he is sure that he has not seen the last of Tigerclaw.

At the end of the book, Graystripe, feeling torn between loyalties, heavy-heartedly decides to join RiverClan in order to raise his and Silverstream's kits. Fireheart attempts to have him reconsider, but this later proves to be unsuccessful. Fireheart is left heartbroken with the thought of losing his friend with whom he shared many adventures, and was the first Clan cat he had ever met since his days as a kittypet. He believes he will be lonely without his best friend. Yellowfang also poisons and kills Brokentail with yew berries for the injustices he has caused.

Publication history

Forest of Secrets was first released in the US as a hardcover on 14 October 2003. [6] It was then released as a paperback on 5 October 2004 [7] and an e-book on 4 September 2007. [8] Forest of Secrets has also been published in the UK as a hardcover and paperback [9] and in Canada as a paperback. [10] It has also been translated into other languages such as German, [11] Japanese, French, Russian, and Korean. [12] The Chinese version was released on 30 November 2008 and is packaged with a 3-D trading card featuring Tallstar. [13]

Themes

The main theme in the book is forbidden love. The warrior code, the rules the cats must follow, allows cross-Clan friendship, but not love. In order to meet each other, Silverstream and Graystripe have to sneak away from their camps. As a reviewer noted, "the tragic death of Graystripe's mate as she's giving birth and his betrayal of the Clan by loving a cat from an enemy Clan bring the simmering tensions to a boil as both groups claim rights to the kits." [14]

Critical reception

Forest of Secrets has received positive reviews. School Library Journal compared the book to a "Greek drama, with its huge cast of characters (a chart of allegiances is included), intrigues, divided loyalties, star-crossed lovers, and parents murdering their offspring." The review also commented on the violent battle scenes and how fans would be waiting impatiently for the next book. [15] A review from Booklist also praised the book writing how "a devastating flood, shifting alliances between clans, treachery within and without ThunderClan, and attempted murder" create "another dynamic episode sure to please series fans". [14] Horn Book Review also gave a positive review praising how the author is able to balance the book's conflicts and the everyday lives of the Clan cats. [16] Children's Literature wrote that the book "is filled with intrigue and adventure". The review also recommended it to fantasy and cat-lovers. [17]

Related Research Articles

<i>Warriors</i> (novel series) Series of juvenile fantasy novels

Warriors is a series of novels based on the adventures and drama of multiple Clans of feral cats. The series is primarily set in fictional forests. Published by HarperCollins, the series is written by authors Kate Cary and Cherith Baldry, as well as others, under the collective pseudonym Erin Hunter. The concept and plot of the pilot series was developed by series editor Victoria Holmes.

Erin Hunter is a collective pseudonym used by the authors Victoria Holmes, Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Clarissa Hutton, Inbali Iserles, Tui T. Sutherland, and Rosie Best in the writing of several juvenile fantasy novel series, which focus on animals and their adventures. Notable works include the Warriors, Seekers, Survivors, Bravelands, and Bamboo Kingdom book series. Each of the authors play a different role in the production of the books: Holmes creates the plot for each book, and the others take turns writing the books. Dan Jolley, though not an official Erin Hunter author, also writes the stories for manga published under the Hunter name.

<i>Into the Wild</i> (novel) 2003 novel by a team with the pseudonym Erin Hunter

Into the Wild is a fantasy novel about the lives of fictional cats, written by a team of authors using the pseudonym Erin Hunter. The novel was published by HarperCollins in Canada and the United States in January 2003, and in the United Kingdom in February 2003. It is the first novel in the Warriors series. The book has been published in paperback and e-book formats in twenty different languages. The story is about a young domestic cat named Rusty who leaves his human owners to join a group of forest-dwelling feral cats called ThunderClan, adopting a new name: Firepaw. He is trained to defend and hunt for the clan, becomes embroiled in a murder and betrayal within the clan, and, at the end of the book, receives his warrior name, Fireheart, after a battle with another clan. He must face the evil Tigerclaw. The novel is written from the perspective of Fireheart.

<i>Fire and Ice</i> (Hunter novel) 2003 novel by Erin Hunter

Fire and Ice is a children's fantasy novel, the second book in the Warriors series, written by Kate Cary under the pen name of Erin Hunter. The plot centers around Fireheart and Graystripe, newly promoted warriors of ThunderClan, which is one of the four groups of feral cats living in the wilderness. Fireheart learns that his best friend Graystripe has fallen in love with Silverstream, a warrior from RiverClan, even though it is against the cats' "warrior code".

<i>Rising Storm</i> (novel) 2004 novel by Erin Hunter

Rising Storm is a fantasy novel, the fourth book in the Warriors series, written under the pen name of Erin Hunter. Rising Storm was written by Kate Cary. The series follows the adventures of four Clans of wild, anthropomorphic cats. The plot follows Fireheart, newest deputy of ThunderClan, struggling to complete his duties as deputy, while still knowing that the previous deputy, Tigerclaw, is lurking in the forest somewhere, seeking revenge against Fireheart and his Clan.

<i>A Dangerous Path</i> 2004 novel by Erin Hunter

A Dangerous Path is a fantasy novel, the fifth book in the Warriors series, written under the pseudonym of Erin Hunter. This individual book was written by Cherith Baldry. The story centers around Fireheart, deputy of ThunderClan, as he attempts to keep his Clan safe with the help of his ailing leader, while fighting off outside threats such as dogs and enemy Clans.

<i>The Darkest Hour</i> (novel) 2004 novel by Erin Hunter

The Darkest Hour is a children's fantasy novel, the sixth and last book in the original Warriors series by Erin Hunter, featuring the fictional character Firestar, a cat. The series revolves around a group of wild cats living in four Clans, ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan. It was published on 1 October 2004, by HarperCollins. The story chronicles the events directly after A Dangerous Path and leads to the final battle for the forest.

<i>Moonrise</i> (novel) 2005 novel by Erin Hunter

Moonrise is a children's fantasy novel, the second book in the Warriors: The New Prophecy series. The book, which illustrates the adventures of four groups of wild cats, was written by Erin Hunter, with cover art by Wayne McLoughlin. Moonrise follows six cats, Brambleclaw, Squirrelpaw, Crowpaw, Feathertail, Stormfur, and Tawnypelt, as they return to their forest home from a journey to the ocean. They travel through the mountains, where they meet the Tribe of Rushing Water, a new group of cats first introduced in this novel. The Tribe cats are being attacked by a savage mountain lion called Sharptooth. The Clan cats eventually agree to help the Tribe get rid of Sharptooth. Series editor Victoria Holmes drew inspiration from locations such as the New Forest and the Scottish Highlands.

<i>Starlight</i> (novel) 2006 novel by Erin Hunter

Starlight is a children's fantasy novel, the fourth book in Erin Hunter's bestselling Warriors: The New Prophecy series. The hardback was released on 4 April 2006 and in paperback on 27 March 2007.

<i>Sunset</i> (novel) 2006 novel by Erin Hunter

Sunset is a fantasy novel, the sixth and final book in Erin Hunter's Warriors: The New Prophecy series. The book begins with the group of cats known as ThunderClan rebuilding its camp with the help of its old friends Stormfur and Brook following a badger attack in Twilight. As the book progresses, Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight overcome a previous conflict and fall in love again, but Brambleclaw continues to visit the spirit of his evil father Tigerstar in his dreams. Brambleclaw manages to convince ThunderClan leader Firestar to choose a new deputy to replace the long missing Graystripe and is surprised when he is chosen. Brambleclaw's half-brother Hawkfrost attempts to kill Firestar in order that Brambleclaw might become leader of ThunderClan, but Brambleclaw saves Firestar and kills Hawkfrost, fulfilling the prophecy "Before there is peace, blood will spill blood and the lake will run red".

<i>The Sight</i> (Hunter novel) 2007 novel by Erin Hunter

The Sight is a children's fantasy novel. It was released on 24 April 2007, and it is the first installment of the Warriors: Power of Three series by Erin Hunter. The book was recommended as Children's Summer Reading by the Washington Post Children's Book Club.

<i>Warriors: Power of Three</i> Third arc in the Warriors series

Warriors: Power of Three is the third arc in the Warriors juvenile fantasy novel series about anthropomorphic feral cats. The arc comprises six novels which were published from 2007 to 2009: The Sight, Dark River, Outcast, Eclipse, Long Shadows, and Sunrise. The novels are published by HarperCollins under the pseudonym Erin Hunter, which refers to authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Tui Sutherland and plot developer/editor Victoria Holmes. Power of Three details the experiences of protagonist of the first series Firestar's three grandchildren, initially known as Jaykit, Hollykit, and Lionkit, whom a prophecy foretells will have "the power of the stars in their paws". The arc's major themes deal with forbidden love, the concept of nature versus nurture, and characters being a mix of good and bad. Though the novels have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List and have been nominated for several awards, none of the novels in Warriors: Power of Three have won a significant literary award.

<i>Firestars Quest</i> 2007 novel by Erin Hunter

Firestar's Quest is a volume in the Warriors novel series by Erin Hunter.

<i>Cats of the Clans</i> 2008 book by Erin Hunter

Cats of the Clans is a field guide in the Warriors novel series. The novel itself consists of biographical details and paintings of the most notable cats. The information is given the form of stories told to three StarClan kittens. The narrator is Rock, a mysterious hairless blind cat.

<i>Bluestars Prophecy</i> 2009 novel by Erin Hunter

Bluestar's Prophecy is a children's fantasy novel in the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. This is the second Warriors Super Edition, the first being Firestar's Quest. The book follows Bluestar from birth until her eventual rise to leadership in ThunderClan. It was published by HarperCollins and released on 28 July 2009. It was released in China on 31 July 2010.

<i>Yellowfangs Secret</i> 2012 novel by Erin Hunter

Yellowfang's Secret is a children's fantasy novel written by Cherith Baldry under the pseudonym Erin Hunter. It is the fifth "Super Edition" in the Warriors novel series. Yellowfang's Secret was first released in hardcover on 9 October 2012.

<i>Warriors: The New Prophecy</i>

Warriors: The New Prophecy is the second arc in the Warriors juvenile fantasy novel series about cats, who live in four established clans and follow a code to keep the peace between them from breaking apart completely. The arc comprises six novels which were published from 2005 to 2006: Midnight, Moonrise, Dawn, Starlight, Twilight, and Sunset. The novels are published by HarperCollins under the pseudonym Erin Hunter, which refers to authors Kate Cary and Cherith Baldry and plot developer/editor Victoria Holmes. The New Prophecy details the Clans' journey to a new home when humans destroy their original territories. The arc's major themes deal with forbidden love, the concept of nature versus nurture, and characters being a mix of good and bad. Though the novels have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List and have been nominated for several awards, none of the novels in Warriors: The New Prophecy has won a significant literary award.

<i>Warriors: Omen of the Stars</i>

Warriors: Omen of the Stars is the fourth arc in the Warriors juvenile fantasy novel series about feral cats who live in Clans. It is made up of six novels published by HarperCollins from 2009 to 2012: The Fourth Apprentice, Fading Echoes, Night Whispers, Sign of the Moon, The Forgotten Warrior, and The Last Hope. The novels were written by Erin Hunter, a pseudonym that refers to authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, and Tui Sutherland, as well as plot developer and editor Victoria Holmes. Omen of the Stars details the experiences of Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovewing, who, as part of a prophecy, have special powers. The arc's themes deal with forbidden love and the effect that being different can have on relationships. Though the Warriors series has appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list, none of the novels in Warriors: Omen of the Stars have won a significant literary award.

Warriors: The Prophecies Begin is the first story arc in the Warriors juvenile fantasy novel series about feral cats. The arc comprises six novels which were published from 2003 to 2004: Into the Wild, Fire and Ice, Forest of Secrets, Rising Storm, A Dangerous Path, and The Darkest Hour. The novels are published by HarperCollins under the pseudonym Erin Hunter, which refers to authors Kate Cary and Cherith Baldry and plot developer/editor Victoria Holmes. The sub-series details the adventures of the housecat Rusty, who joins ThunderClan, one of four Clans of feral cats living in a forest which adjoins the human town in which he originally lives. The arc's major themes deal with forbidden love, the concept of nature versus nurture, and characters being a mix of good and evil. Though the novels have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List and have been nominated for several awards, none of the novels in the Warriors sub-series have won a significant literary award.

References

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