FOREST OF SECRETS by Erin Hunter Book Chat | How is this series going to end???
Welcome, everyone, to the third book chat of the Warriors series! ?
Today I’m going to be talking about Forest of Secrets by Erin Hunter, which is by far my favorite book of the Warriors series reread — but then again, this is only the third book in a six book mini series. And then there are a million other Warriors books I’ve yet to read.
But from what I remember, Bluestar’s Prophecy was my favorite Warriors book when I first read these books in elementary school, and the more I immerse myself into this world, the more I so want to just skip ahead and read Bluestar’s Prophecy again. Bluestar’s story is definitely one that should be told and remembered — but alas. I must read the Warriors according to the order of publication to make sure I don’t miss any part of the story. 😊
Part 1: Cover Judging!
I love how dreamy the original cover for Forest of Secrets is. I’m assuming it’s Fireheart on the cover, and the moonlit-background with the cats stealthily moving across the rocks create this sort of eerie, suspenseful-yet-serene feel for the scene. The emotion this particular cover evokes has to be my favorite out of the first three books in the Warriors series so far.
Part 2: Now let’s discuss the actual content!
“Water can quench fire…”
Okay, at the beginning of the book, Spottedleaf comes to Fireheart and tells him that “water can quench fire” (41). This entire phrase was scattered throughout the book, but it isn’t necessarily solved or decoded by the end.
I have to wonder, though, why does Spottedleaf keep appearing in Fireheart’s dreams? Why not another StarClan cat? I feel like when Spottedleaf was alive, Fireheart didn’t form a strong enough bond with her to lead into all these dreams with cryptic messages.
(Also, I know that if cats dream about StarClan cats, it usually will be of Clan leaders, medicine cats, or other significant members of the Clan. Would it be possible for cats to dream of old friends or kin or just other ordinary cats that died? I’ll make sure to look out for that when I read the other Warriors books 👍)
“I think you of all cats might understand, Fireheart. Sometimes there are no right choices.” (235)
RIGHT WHEN GRAYPOOL (Mistyfoot and Stonefur’s mother) told Fireheart that the kits Oakheart brought into RiverClan many moons ago were actually ThunderClan kits, I knew they had to be Bluestar’s kits. Fireheart had consistently mentioned how he was surprised how longingly Bluestar always stared at the kits within the Clan, so I was surprised that it took him nearly the entire book to figure it out…
Then again, maybe my mind had stored this information in a little nook when I first read this book in elementary school and it suddenly popped out into my consciousness whilst reading this novel, which would explain this shocking occurrence of me actually predicting something right in a book. 😆
Either way, knowing this about Bluestar makes me even more excited to read the Special Edition novel on Bluestar. Her story must be told and heard because it’s too tragic and wonderful and deep and insightful to be hidden from view.
“[Graypool] said that… that they had the scent of ThunderClan kits. Could that be true? Were kits ever stolen from our camp?”
For a few heartbeats he thought Bluestar had not heard him, she was so still. Then she rose on her paws and padded forward a couple of paces until she stood almost nose to nose with him. “And you listened to this nonsense?” she hissed. (76)
Watching his leader and the RiverClan queen walking step for step, Fireheart couldn’t help thinking how their blue-gray fur shone almost identically in the moonlight…. Stonefur, coming up behind, was a copy of his sister, with a silver sheen to his coat and enviable deftness of movement. (198)
Was it possible that Bluestar’s kits hadn’t died all those moons ago? Could it be that Mistyfoot and Stonefure were the ThunderClan leader’s lost kits? (211)
Bluestar had also mentioned how “if a queen does not wish to tell [who the kits’ father is], that is her choice” (232). I thought this aspect was interesting because it gives more insight into the complex dynamics within the Clan society. I’ve noticed that mothers take care of their kits, and keep close relationships with them as the kits grow up, while fathers don’t seem to be a part of that process. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that (disparity in the way different genders are treated? I mean, Bluestar is the only female leader, and all the deputies of the Clans are male).
I guess I’ll see later in the series if that changes. If not, I shall discuss this matter thoroughly!
Cinderpaw is now a medicine cat!
I love how Cinderpaw ended up being Yellowfang’s apprentice. I thought that was such a sweet solution for her after she thought she could be of no use to the Clan once her leg was injured.
I have to say, though, every single Clan cat is expected to become a Warrior. The entire creation and maintenance of the Clans relies on the ability of kits to become apprentices and eventually Warriors that can help mentor kits to go through the same process again. Even Queens within the society once were Warriors, as well as the elders and medicine cats.
But what if a cat didn’t want to become a Warrior? That would be a rare occurrence, but Bluestar mentioned before how it was best for Ravenpaw to stay out of the Clan because not all cats are suited for Warrior life. Would the only solution be for a cat who doesn’t want to become a Warrior to a) be a medicine cat, if there is a position open, or b) leave the Clan and live as a kittypet or rogue?
There doesn’t seem to be any other option for the cat who doesn’t want to be a Warrior like everyone else in a Clan, and this bothered Cinderpaw at the beginning of the novel. She even mentioned how she felt like she was worthless to the Clan because she couldn’t fight when her Clan got attacked, and that emotion of feeling like a worthless outsider within such a close-knit Clan made me feel so much sympathy for Cinderpaw.
But everything worked out perfectly — she’s now a proper medicine cat apprentice, and I can’t wait to see where her story goes in the next three books of this series. 😊
Fireheart felt a wave of relief that [Cinderpaw] seemed to be over her despair after Silverstream’s death, and was looking forward to her new life as a medicine cat. Her eyes had recovered all their old sparkle, but there was a new wisdom and thoughtfulness in their blue depths now. (261)
Should the Clans really be rivals?
When Fireheart brought the news to ThunderClan that the river has flooded part of their territory, one of the elders, Patchpelt, said, “I remember the last time the river overflowed, many moons ago. Cats from all Clans drowned. Prey drowned, too, and we went hungry even though our paws stayed dry. This is not just RiverClan’s problem” (117).
I absolutely love this piece of dialogue because I think it’s just a start of many future realizations of how the Clans are better off working together and being friendly and more compassionate than viewing each other as “rivals.” That would be the simple and easy answer — but I know there’s more complexity to the Clan dynamics, and that a “Let’s all just be friends!” solution won’t work.
Bluestar mentioned in a past book (yes, another Bluestar quote — she’s just so wise 😆) that Clan loyalty helps the cats survive in the forest. Without the loyalty each cat has to their Clan, they will not be able to function as Warriors. Some cats would get less food than others, and cats would stay with their own family and friends rather than work as a collective community (that’s my own interpretation of what Bluestar said about loyalty to the Clan), which makes sense, right?
But one has to wonder — they can’t all be rivals throughout the entire book. There has to be a moment where all four Clans have to arrive at a common ground and work together to solve something — and I do believe that moment is coming soon.
I can’t wait when that happens!!!
TIGERCLAW IS DEAD.
But… now what?
Wasn’t the entire point of the story stopping Tigerclaw???
HOW IS THIS SERIES GOING TO END?
Actually, better question: WHERE IS THIS SERIES HEADED?
Aaah… these books are fantastic. No wonder there’s like fifty of them out there.
And I guess Graystripe’s officially a RiverClan cat now…
The most heartbreaking thread within this novel was Graystripe’s story.
His friend did not respond. Fireheart picked up the kit with his teeth, and left Graystripe beside the cat he had loved more than his Clan, more than honor, more than life itself. (224)
The entire story ended SO BITTERSWEETLY, with Graystripe deciding to leave ThunderClan to join RiverClan with his kits and leaving Fireheart alone… I mean, I didn’t even know a cat could do that. I thought Yellowfang was this special, one-time Clan-switch cat. How are the RiverClan cats going to accept Graystripe? More importantly…
Is Graystripe going to learn how to swim???
But the half-ThunderClan and half-RiverClan kit will bring a really interesting theme into the story: how will the Clan cats accept these “kits that were neither one Clan nor the other” (226)? How will these kits see view the Warriors world around them if they grow up not surrounded by love from their Clans, but disdain and disrespect?
Will they grow up to be broken, or stronger than others due to their experience?
That’s it for this book chat! To wrap it up, let’s end with a lovely quote from Yellowfang:
“Of course I mean it,” Yellowfang growled. “I don’t talk for the pleasure of hearing my own voice, unlike some cats.” (175)
Thanks for reading this book chat! Tell me your thoughts on the Warriors series below, and I will cya next time! ?