Into the Wild (Warriors)
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|Cover artist||Wayne McLoughlin|
|January 21, 2003|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||272 (depending on edition)|
|LC Class||PZ7.H916625 In 2003|
|Followed by||Fire and Ice|
Rusty was an ordinary house cat who dreamed of living in the wild, catching his own prey and sleeping under the stars. One night, he decided to explore the nearby forest but was warned by his friend, Smudge, that the forest was filled with dangerous, wild cats. Rusty continued into the forest anyway and meets with the leader of ThunderClan, Bluestar leader of one of the four wild cat clans living in the nearby forest. He decides to accept her invitation to join her clan and becomes Firepaw, an apprentice of ThunderClan. The other Clan cats are initially reluctant to accept Firepaw because of his kittypet origins, but he earns a place in the Clan as he is a natural fighter, hunter,and a truly loyal member of ThunderClan.
Firepaw quickly becomes best friends with the apprentices Graypaw and Ravenpaw, and falls in love with the Clan's medicine cat (a Clan healer with spiritual abilities, forbidden to have a mate or kits) Spottedleaf. He continues his apprenticeship and learns to hunt, fight, survive in the wild and about Clan traditions. He finds another great friend, Yellowfang, an old, grumpy but very profound medicine cat who was exiled from ShadowClan and later accepted into ThunderClan and taken care of by Firepaw.
The cats have no natural enemies in the forest, but the Clans occasionally fight with each other to occupy hunting grounds, to settle dissensions, or even to drive each other out from their territories. In an earlier battle to re-occupy a region known as sunning rocks, the ThunderClan deputy (second in command) Redtail loses his life. This happens shortly before Firepaw arrives. Firepaw later learns from Ravenpaw that the deputy was not killed by the enemy Clan but by Tigerclaw, an ambitious ThunderClan warrior. Expecting to be named deputy, he is disturbed when Lionheart is made the new deputy just after Firepaw arrives. Firepaw and Graypaw help Ravenpaw escape the forest to live on a farm as Tigerclaw plans to kill him for knowing about his secret....
After driving out WindClan for more hunting territory, ShadowClan tries to drive out ThunderClan, leading to a battle. Lionheart is killed during the fight, and Tigerclaw is named deputy. After this, Clawface of ShadowClan kills Spottedleaf and steals some ThunderClan kits. Everyone leads to suspect that it was Yellowfang who took the kits, considering she disappeared the moment they revealed Clawface's murder. Firepaw, along with Graypaw, follow Yellowfang's scent to ShadowClan territory, to find out the truth about Spottedleaf and the missing kits. Together, with some help from within ShadowClan, they drive out Brokenstar, the villainous leader of ShadowClan. Yellowfang, having proved her loyalty, becomes ThunderClan's new medicine cat, while Firepaw and Graypaw are made warriors and receive their warrior names, Fireheart and Graystripe.