A DANGEROUS PATH By Erin Hunter Book Chat | Did things really have to go in this direction?
Hello and welcome to the fifth Warriors book chat!!!
It’s hard to believe that I’m only five book into these series because so many things happened in between page one of the first book and now. Rusty’s decision to become a Warrior feels like it happened years ago, and this story has progressed into something much more darker and heavily themed than I had anticipated first going into this rereading this series.
(And Tigerclaw is scary, guys. I think he might be one of the scariest villains I have read about. *shiver* 😣)
Even the titles of the series have gotten scarier and darker. The first book was called Into the Wild, which sounds pretty nice. It could be the title of a serene painting of an overgrown, abandoned garden, or perhaps the name of a perfume.
Then you have Fire and Ice, which doesn’t sound quite as serene, since it hints at some contrast and resulting conflict, but it’s not a title that makes you think of darkness and devastating events.
Forest of Secrets sounds very mysterious, but not as peaceful and pretty as Into the Wild. The color scheme of the cover combined with the title gives it an eerie and mysterious feel that sorta reminded me of the feeling you get when you’re in the dark and you can’t see anything around you — but it’s nothing scary. It almost has this sense of impending doom, which leads to our fourth title, Rising Storm.
Rising Storm was the turning point in terms of the book getting darker, in my opinion. A lot of heavier themes were addressed in the story, which I talked about in my last Warriors book chat.
But then we have A Dangerous Path (the word “dangerous” is in the title! Doesn’t that just scream “IMPENDING DOOM!” to you???) and the last book is called The Darkest Hour.
What exactly is going to happen at the darkest hour, I’m not sure… but I do know that this series has been going into very unexpected places these past few books.
What do I mean by unexpected places? If you’re curious, then…
Let’s get started with this book chat!
How are the Clans going to get rid of the dogs?
I have to admit — the prologue really freaked me out. Dogs??? In the forest??? Where all the Clans are???
Right from the beginning, the suspense was set up perfectly. I knew that something bad was going to happen, but I didn’t know exactly how the dogs would play into the story. There were so many ways these dogs could be used in the book to cause even more conflict than there already is.
I found it interesting that, according to the dialogue of the dogs, they don’t seem to be able to communicate that well. The dogs seem to only be able to speak at most two words per sentence, and their dialogue — “Free! Pack free! Free soon!” — makes them sound much wilder and uncontrolled than the cats, which definitely works in making them the feared animals of this story.
Meanwhile, the cats are all graceful, skilled Warriors that can speak eloquently and in complete sentences, and I as the reader am already on their side because of the previous four books I’ve read about them as the protagonist. Overall, Erin Hunter did a brilliant job describing and writing about the wild dogs in a way that makes readers see them as powerful, scary, and slightly crazy characters that are very unpredictable and brutal.
I mean, seriously. Just read this line at the end of the prologue.
The whole of the forest was theirs, and in their minds, there was a single instinct. “Kill! Kill!” (4).
Terrifying. Simply Terrifying. 😣
Fireheart seems to be getting less smart…
One thing I’m looking forward to in terms of finishing this series is that I won’t have to read from Fireheart’s POV anymore. He’s been getting more and more annoying as the series goes on due to the fact that he seems to be getting a lot less intelligent than he was before.
I think it’s been established that Cinderpelt is a very wise character in the book, and Fireheart relies on her even more now that Yellowfang is gone. However, when Cinderpelt tells Fireheart about a dream she got from StarClan about “voices calling — harsh voices, in a language that wasn’t cat” (38) Fireheart proceeded to make the decision to ignore her.
Bounding across the clearing towards Sandstorm, he wondered briefly what the dream could have meant. It didn’t sound like an attack from another Clan, and he couldn’t think of anything else that might be a threat. As he tucked into the vole that Sandstorm had saved for him, he managed to put Cinderpelt’s dream out of his mind. (40)
Wow. Wow. Why would you put something as important as a medicine cat’s dream out of your mind? Cinderpelt clearly went to him thinking that Fireheart would help her decode the dream, as he would have done in the past… but instead, Fireheart brushes it off. By saying “he couldn’t think of anything else that might be a threat,” Fireheart is basically admitting that he doesn’t care that much about Cinderpelt’s dream and would rather focus on other things.
Alas, if only Fireheart had payed more attention to Cinderpelt.
Right after Fireheart witnessed Tigerclaw killing Graypool and Graystripe asks what happened to Graypool, guess how Fireheart responds?
No, he doesn’t tell the truth and spread the news that Tigerclaw has murdered cats from ThunderClan and RiverClan, which would cause an uproar throughout all four Clans and drive Tigerclaw out of the forest — nope.
Instead, this happens:
In an instant, Fireheart decided to keep quiet about Tigerstar. Any mention of the ShadowClan leader would risk exposing the truth about Bluestar’s kits, and Fireheart knew Graypool would never want that, not even within her own Clan. (76)
Now, I do understand that this was a difficult decision for Fireheart, because he wanted to protect Bluestar’s secret. However, he doesn’t know for sure that Tigerstar knew about Bluestar’s secret, and once he revealed RiverClan that Tigerstar murdered Graypool, do you really think RiverClan would actually listen to Tigerstar’s word? They would care more about ridding the forest of Tigerstar. I think the risk of Tigerstar further carrying out his plans to destroy the peace within the Clans was more than the risk of revealing Bluestar’s secret.
And why did Fireheart even bother with not telling anyone about Bluestar’s kits if he’s just going to shout it out later?
“Stop!” Fireheart yowled. “You can’t harm Bluetsar — she’s your mother!” (189)
Good job, Fireheart.
By screaming that in the middle of a battle between ThunderClan and RiverClan, you just revealed the secret that you wanted to protect this entire time. I’m not sure if the other RiverClan cats heard him (there was no mention of that afterwards) but I’m also not sure whether Mistyfoot and Stonefur will withhold the information or share it with their Clan. It seems to me that they’re more loyal to their Clan than to Bluestar.
When Fireheart discovered that Darkstripe brought Tigerstar’s kits to the border between ThunderClan and ShadowClan to see Tigerstar, Fireheart decided to not tell Bluestar or anyone from the Clan right away. Why is that? Why is he withholding this information when it’s so utterly important for the Clan to know?
I noticed throughout reading this book that a lot of important moments and situations were downplayed, such as this scene in which Tigerstar meets with his kits. I felt like this perhaps was a way for Erin Hunter to show how much Fireheart often downplays important moments within his mind — especially when it relates to Tigerstar — in order to feel better about not telling people about Tigerstar or taking action against Tigerstar right away.
Snowkit = A huge lost opportunity
When Snowkit was first introduced into the story, I got really interested. By Fireheart’s first descriptions of Snowkit, I knew that Snowkit was going to be yet another cat that will have to deal with not being able to become a Warrior.
Snowkit did seem slow and unresponsive compared with the other kits. He was much older than Goldenflower’s litter, but nothing as well developed. (48)
Once it was officially confirmed that Snowkit was deaf, I was excited to see how Erin Hunter would expand upon the idea that not every cat born into the Clan was meant to be a Warrior. We already had Ravenpaw, who decided he was happier living at the Twoleg farm with Barley, and also Cinderpaw, who found happiness and fulfillment as a medicine cat. How would Snowkit find happiness if he can’t be a Warrior?
But then… Snowkit got carried away by a bird, and disappeared from the story. I felt like Snowkit’s death — though it wasn’t stated that Snowkit died, I think it was pretty clear that he was food for the bird — was a huge lost opportunity for the series. Not every single kit is born healthy and able to become a Warrior, and since Snowkit was deaf, Erin Hunter could have found a way to explain how a deaf cat can possible contribute to Clan society. Instead, Snowkit was conveniently thrown out of the story… and I was left very disappointed with that thread of the plot.
Cloudpaw’s questioning of StarClan
Cloudpaw has brought so much chaos to the story — and I love it. In this book, he began questioning the validity of StarClan in the most outright and hilarious way possible. He doesn’t care who hears him and just states his mind, which got him into a lot of trouble in this last book, but this time, Bluestar shares his lack of belief in StarClan.
Oooooh — interesting. 😯
I can tell that pairing is going to be a very interesting one, but I have no idea how it’s going to wrap up in the one last book of the series…
“I think [Bluestar’s] right about the rabbits, and who cares what a stupid old tradition says about keeping the peace at the Gatherings?” meowed Cloudpaw. “Let’s face it, StarClan was just thought up by some leader to scare the other cats into being obedient.” (114)
When I first started rereading this series, I did wonder how StarClan came to be, and how the Clans verified that StarClan existed. I’m also starting to wonder if the others cats within the Clan are so uneasy about Cloudpaw’s declaration that StarClan doesn’t exist because he’s voicing their doubts about StarClan, and whether Cloudpaw’s words are also making the younger kits and apprentices question StarClan as well.
“We did all the fighting. I didn’t notice any StarClan warriors on our side[,” Cloudpaw said.]
Bluestar turned her head at that and fixed an intent gaze on the white apprentice, her eye narrowed. Fireheart expected her to rebuke him, but her expression showed interest rather than anger. She gave a little nod but said nothing. (196)
Again, I’m not sure if Cloudpaw’s opinion will change, and if it does, I can’t wait to see how Erin Hunter successfully addresses that in the last book!!!
In fact, I’m really excited for everything that will happen in The Darkest Hour. This series has grown so much and has gotten so complex, and I’m definitely ready to see how this story wraps up, and how Erin Hunter manages to pull every thread together and ties the story off in a way that is satisfying to read about — or it might be disappointing. You never know.
That’s it for this book chat! Have an awesome day, and I will cya next time!