|Cover artist||Wayne McLoughlin|
|Genre|| Children's literature |
|1 October 2004 |
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||336 (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||978-0-06-000007-3 (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.H916625 Dar 2004|
|Preceded by||A Dangerous Path|
|Followed by||Ravenpaw's Path|
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.
Firestar is the leader of ThunderClan, succeeding the former leader, Bluestar, when she drowned saving ThunderClan from a pack of wild dogs. As he receives his nine lives at the Moonstone, StarClan gives him a prophecy: "Four will become two, lion and tiger will meet in battle, and blood will rule the forest."
Firestar chooses Whitestorm, a senior warrior who is well admired and respected, as his deputy. During the next Gathering, Tigerstar, ShadowClan’s treacherous leader, tries to unite all the clans as one, claiming that they would be stronger together. Leopardstar, RiverClan’s leader, agrees, but Tallstar, leader of WindClan, and Firestar both refuse to join this alliance, which Tigerstar has named "TigerClan".
Later, Graystripe asks Firestar if he can quickly check on his kits in TigerClan. Firestar agrees, and he and Graystripe, accompanied by Ravenpaw, their old friend, all go to TigerClan. In TigerClan, they find Stormpaw and Featherpaw, Graystripe’s kits, along with Mistyfoot and Stonefur prisoners in TigerClan. The three friends rescue Stormpaw, Featherpaw and Mistyfoot, but Stonefur is killed by two ShadowClan warriors.
In an attempt to force Firestar and Tallstar into joining his clan, Tigerstar introduces BloodClan, a group of rogue cats who live in alleys in Twoleg (human) territory. When ThunderClan and WindClan’s leaders still do not agree, Tigerstar orders BloodClan to fight for him, though the cats do not, for they take orders only from their leader, Scourge. Firestar then reveals the treachery Tigerstar has done, killing ThunderClan’s former deputy, Redtail, for power. Scourge then says that there will be no battle. Tigerstar, enraged, attacks Scourge, but Scourge kills him easily by slicing him from chin to tail with his claws. Scourge then warns the clans that they have three days to leave the forest, or else BloodClan will fight with them. In response, the clans unite as one and form an alliance called LionClan to face this threat.
During the battle, Whitestorm is killed by Bone, BloodClan's deputy, but Bone is killed soon afterwards by a group of Clan apprentices. Graystripe becomes the new deputy of ThunderClan. The battle is won when Firestar kills Scourge, though he loses one of his own nine lives in the process. Without its leader, BloodClan scatters. With the threat of BloodClan gone, the four Clans dissolve their alliance and become independent from one another once more.
The book was first released in the US on 5 October 2004 as a hardcover.  It was later released as a paperback on 4 October 2005,  and as an e-book on 4 September 2007.  The book has also been published in German,  Chinese,  Japanese, French, Russian, and Korean. 
BookLoons notes that the book "stresses the importance of caring and community". This is shown to be true, as the Clans are forced to put aside their differences and squabbles with one another, in order to team up against a greater threat, BloodClan. 
The Darkest Hour received critical acclaim. Hilary Williamson wrote: "The Darkest Hour is the best yet in this thrilling series of feline adventure, that also stresses the importance of caring and community".  A reviewer for Booklist called The Darkest Hour "tension-filled". 
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.
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.
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.
Midnight is a fantasy novel, the first book in Erin Hunter's Warriors: The New Prophecy series. Following The Darkest Hour and Firestar's Quest, and preceding Moonrise, it was released 10 May 2005. The novel centers on a group of feral cats living in four Clans: ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
Code of the Clans is a field guide in the Warriors novel series. Code of the Clans is about the warrior code that guides the Clans in their everyday behavior and decisions.
The Rise of Scourge is an original English-language manga written by Erin Hunter and Dan Jolley, and illustrated by Bettina Kurkoski as part of the Warriors series. The Rise of Scourge is a stand-alone manga that details the rise to power of the BloodClan leader, Scourge.
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.
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: The New Prophecy is the second arc in the Warriors juvenile fantasy novel series about cats, who live in 4 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.
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.