|Cover artist||Wayne McLoughlin|
|21 January 2003|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||272 (depending on edition)|
|LC Class||PZ7.H916625 In 2003|
|Followed by||Fire and Ice|
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 (previously known as Rusty for a short time, then, for most of the book, Firepaw).
The series began in 2003 when HarperCollins requested Holmes to write a book on feral cats. After creating one storyline Holmes brought in Kate Cary to finish writing the book as Holmes went behind the scenes to edit and supervise the details. Holmes has compared the style of the book to a different language as the books are written by three separate authors. She feels that Erin Hunter must have a consistent voice the entire series. The story uses a lexicon with words such as "Twoleg" substituted for "human" or "new-leaf" for "spring". The style has been compared to the Harry Potter series, J.R.R. Tolkien and Brian Jacques. Themes include family, loyalty, death, courage, and survival. Into the Wild was critically well received. Booklist believed the book would appeal to followers of Brian Jacques' Redwall series. Among other awards, it claimed third place in the 2006 Young Reader's Choice Awards program of the Pacific Northwest Library Association.
|Feral cats seemed like an excellent compromise between regular domestic pussycats and a truly wild animal: they have all the freedom and independence of living in the wild, but they would be instantly recognizable to readers as the pet lying on their lap.|
|— Victoria Holmes answering how the idea for Warriors began. |
In 2003, HarperCollins requested Victoria Holmes to create a fantasy series about feral cats, but, being more interested in dogs and not a reader of fantasy, she was less than enthusiastic.  She "couldn't imagine coming up with enough ideas".  Nonetheless, she worked with the concept, expanding the storyline with elements of war, politics, revenge, doomed love, and religious conflict. Although the original plan was a stand-alone novel, enough material was created for several books, and the publisher decided upon a six-volume series.  Holmes then enlisted the help of another author, Kate Cary whom Holmes had previously edited for and knew she loved cats.  The first volume, Into the Wild, was written by Kate Cary under the pseudonym Erin Hunter, and completed in about three months.  Holmes continued to act behind the scenes editing and supervising details. Afterwards, Holmes began to like the idea of using cats since she realized how they can be leading private lives without any humans realizing. 
With four authors at the time Holmes decided to have a pseudonym since having four authors would place the books at different places at libraries, confusing and possibly scaring off potential readers. The last name Hunter was chosen since it put the books next to the similar Redwall series. 
Into the Wild was first published as a hardcover by HarperCollins on 9 January 2003 in Canada.  The book was released on 21 January 2003 in the United States,  and in February 2003 in the United Kingdom.  Into the Wild was released as a paperback in the US on 6 January 2004.  On 4 September 2007, the book was released as an eBook,  and on Amazon's Kindle.  The book was one of the first to be in HarperCollins' "Browse Inside" program where twenty percent of the novel is available online. For a limited time, the complete novel was also available online.  The paperback version sold 150,637 copies in 2008. 
The novel has been released and translated in twenty countries  including Germany, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Portugal, Hungary, Brazil, Norway and Greece. In Germany, the book has also been released as an audiobook.  The Chinese version was released on 31 October 2008, with a 3-D card of Firepaw. 
Into the Wild follows the integration of a house cat named Rusty into a group of feral cats living in a fictional forest inspired by the real world locales of New Forest,  the woods about Loch Lomond, the Forest of Dean, and the Scottish Highlands.  The group of cats are called ThunderClan, and share the fictional forest with three other groups of feral cats called RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan.
The novel opens with a battle between ThunderClan and RiverClan over a territorial dispute. ThunderClan is outnumbered and forced to retreat. In the aftermath, ThunderClan's medicine cat Spottedleaf receives a prophecy from StarClan, the spirits of the cats' deceased ancestors, telling her that "fire will save our Clan", which she shares with ThunderClan's leader Bluestar.
When he ventures into the forest near his home, Rusty, a flame-coloured housecat, encounters Bluestar, ThunderClan apprentice Graypaw, and ThunderClan warrior Lionheart. They invite Rusty to join ThunderClan. However, due to Rusty's domesticated past, some members of the Clan are hostile towards Rusty upon his arrival in ThunderClan's camp. The hostility culminates in Rusty fighting one of ThunderClan's warriors, Longtail, losing his collar in the process. Bluestar then halts the fight and announces that Rusty has earned his apprentice name, Firepaw. Shortly after, ThunderClan's deputy Redtail is revealed to have died, and Bluestar names Lionheart the new deputy of ThunderClan.
Firepaw forms a strong friendship with Graypaw, and Ravenpaw, who is the apprentice of Tigerclaw, an ambitious ThunderClan warrior who wishes to become clan leader. When Bluestar, Tigerclaw, Ravenpaw, Firepaw, and Graypaw travel to the Moonstone, a sacred site to the ThunderClan cats, ShadowClan cats attack ThunderClan's camp, killing Lionheart. Tigerclaw is subsequently named deputy in his place. A few days later, Spottedleaf is murdered, and several ThunderClan kittens are abducted by ShadowClan. With the exception of Firepaw and Graypaw, all of ThunderClan suspects the perpetrator of these events to be Yellowfang, a former and exiled ShadowClan medicine cat whom Firepaw had taken prisoner for ThunderClan earlier.
Firepaw learns from Ravenpaw that Tigerclaw is a traitor to the ThunderClan, having murdered Redtail in hopes of becoming deputy. Firepaw and Graypaw lead Ravenpaw to a new home in a barn away from ThunderClan territory in order to protect him from being killed by Tigerclaw for knowing too much incriminating information. Firepaw then successfully leads a rescue party with Yellowfang to rescue the abducted kittens from ShadowClan, leading to the exile of Brokenstar and his followers from ShadowClan. For their heroism in rescuing the kittens, Firepaw and Graypaw are promoted to warriors by Bluestar, who gives them their warrior names, Fireheart and Graystripe. Having proven that she is not helping ShadowClan, Yellowfang is accepted as ThunderClan's medicine cat, replacing the murdered Spottedleaf.
|"Into the Wild did occasionally remind me of the Harry Potter books, both in writing style and content. Rusty forms a firm friendship with an apprentice (warrior in training, more than six months old) called Graypaw, a longhaired solid grey tom. Graypaw adds the laughter to what is, when you really think about it, a rather gritty story. This friendship reminded me strongly of Harry and Ron when they first met in the Philosopher's Stone. Cats such as Bluestar and Yellowfang form the older authority figures. These two characters reminded me of Dumbledore and Snape (though not too closely)."|
|—A review from Fantasy Book Review comparing Into the Wild and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  Kate Cary describes the voice as their natural writing style.  |
The story is told in a third person point of view following the protagonist Firepaw. The narration stays with Firepaw until the next series, Warriors: The New Prophecy , in which the point of view alternates between cats since the authors felt that "we'd really told Firestar's story, and so we wanted to get a fresh viewpoint". 
The style of the book has also been compared to the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. A reviewer for The Plain Dealer wrote that the book "is patterned in the style of classics by J.R.R. Tolkien or Brian Jacques".  While School Library Journal recommended the book to Redwall fans, the reviewer still felt the style wasn't as elegant. 
The book has a lexicon of special terminology. A Children's Literature review noted the words "kittypet" and "twoleg" which mean housecat and humans respectively. In the book, instead, of using "said", Cary uses the word "mewed". This was criticized with the reviewer writing "that 'he mewed', 'she purred', and 'the warrior mewed', which pass for cat talk, grows old fast".  In response to a question at the Q&A section of the forum Holmes explained that the names come "in two parts, either or both of which can reflect something about the cat's appearance, personality, or habits". However, they must also be part of the world they know; Holmes originally gave Tigerclaw the name Hammerclaw until one of the editors pointed out the cats wouldn't know what a hammer is.  For the names, Kate Cary says that she takes in inspiration for the names from "sight, sounds and scents the cats would experience". At the same time, more names become available as the cat's world becomes more diverse. 
Harper Collins originally requested that Holmes write a "fantasy story on feral cats". Though troubled on what to write about at first, Holmes realized she could add human themes and issues into the book such as "war, politics, revenge, doomed love, religious conflict".  An interviewer has described the plot as "Shakespearian: a mad leader, intra-clan betrayal, war, star-crossed lovers, death".  Reviews have also called the story an "animal adventure". 
The novel was picked to be part of the young adult fantasy genre due to its increasing popularity. Cherith Baldry feel that the growth of genre is due to the fact that "fantasy is something very deeply rooted in the human mind, not just for children". Fantasy stories are able to deal with human emotions helping readers to deal with them in the real world. Another Erin Hunter, Kate Cary felt that fantasy books such as Harry Potter "is a sign of a deepening need for fantasy to brighten our lives". She describes how as a child she was far less restricted than today's children whose days are structured and scheduled. Cary feels that fantasy stories help kids "escape into the world of the imagination, because it's the only place they can be really free and un-judged". 
Publishers Weekly noted that themes such as family, friendship and responsibility are also taught in the warrior code, the set of rules that the clans must follow.  Holmes has said that one of her favorite things about writing the series is being able to add in themes that apply to us all such as family, loss, honor, bravery, death, loyalty, and following rules. Other themes include "death and spirituality and family and relationships".  She also added in human themes such as "starting at a new school (Rusty joining ThunderClan), falling in love with the wrong person (Graystripe and Silverstream) and being bullied by someone who should look after you (Tigerclaw bullying Ravenpaw)".  To a reviewer for Kirkus Reviews, the human theme of fitting in was easily found and applauded when Rusty succeeds. 
Another theme found throughout the book is the hardship of life in the wild. Reviews have noted how the story does not cover up the hardships of clan life. School Library Journal commented on how the story describes the hardships and difficulties of a feral cat's life in detail and how there is no sugarcoating of the violence.  Fantasy Book Review also wrote "Erin Hunter does not spare the reader from the grim realities of living in the wild".  Kirkus Reviews noted that doing so shows how the clans are on the brink of survival. 
Into the Wild received generally positive reviews. Booklist thought the novel "spine-tingling" and noted that "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."  Publishers Weekly praised the excitement and also added that the book would please any person who "has ever wondered what dreams of grandeur may haunt the family cat". The review also praised the world of the cats and themes put into the book.  Although School Library Journal thought the book not as well written as the Redwall series, it did note that the novel presented an "intriguing world with an intricate structure". The review also felt that there was too many supporting characters, but "there are standouts who give dimension to the tale". The amount of violence was also noted in the review.  Kirkus Reviews joked the book would have cat owners look at their pets nervously before writing how Hunter doesn't have "any hint of sentimentality. Snapping bones, flowing blood, and sudden death abundantly demonstrate how these cats walk on the thin edge of survival". The review noted how teens would see how hard it is for Firepaw to fit in.  Washington Times notes the tension rising between Tigerclaw and Firepaw and praised the scene where Longtail challenges Firepaw's right to be in the clan. 
Into the Wild claimed third place in the 2006 Young Reader's Choice Awards of the Pacific Northwest Library Association.  The novel was listed on Booklist's Top 10 fantasy books for youth in 2003,  and was a Book Sense 76 Pick. 
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.
Kate Cary is an author, most well known for her work on the Warriors series.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dawn is a children's fantasy novel, the third book in the Warriors: The New Prophecy series. Dawn was written by Kate Cary under the pen name of Erin Hunter. It was published on 27 December 2005 by HarperCollins. The book follows the adventures of the four warrior cat Clans after five questing cats return to the forest with a grave message to find a new home. Together, the Clans cross a mountain range and meet another group of cats, the Tribe of Rushing Water. At the end, a new territory is found beside a lake.
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.
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.
Firestar's Quest is a volume in the Warriors novel series by Erin Hunter.
Warrior's Return is an original English-language manga volume written by Erin Hunter as part of the Warriors series. It is the third and final in a trilogy following Graystripe, a fictional wild cat trying to find his Clan. It was released on 22 April 2008. It is drawn by James L. Barry.
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.
The Quest Begins is the first novel in the Seekers series. It was written by Erin Hunter, which is a collective pseudonym used by authors Cherith Baldry, Kate Cary, and Tui Sutherland and editor Victoria Holmes. The novel details the adventures of four bears, Toklo, Kallik, Lusa and Ujurak, who are stranded together in the wild and must learn to survive. The declining environment around the bears is a theme explored throughout the novel. The development of the Seekers series began as a result of a request from HarperCollins for another series about animals to the authors who wrote the Warriors series about feral cats under the name of Erin Hunter. The novel was published on 27 May 2008. The book sold well and had generally positive critical reception with reviewers suggesting the series would appeal to fans of Warriors.
A Clan in Need is one of three entries in a spin-off original English-language manga series based on the Warriors novel series. The book was published by Tokyopop on 23 March 2010 and drawn by James L. Barry under the pen name Erin Hunter.
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.
Hunter debuts with a suspenseful animal adventure that will leave readers eyeing Puss a bit nervously.