Book title: Fire and Ice
Author: Erin Hunter
Series: Warriors, #2
Publisher: Avon Books (Harper Collins Publishers)
Release date: June 2004
Format: Paperback, 317 pages
Deep in the heart of the forest, four clans of warrior cats coexist in uneasy harmony — but uncertain times are upon them, and dangers threaten the precarious balance of the forest.
Fireheart is a ThunderClan warrior cat now, but his troubles are far from over. As the chill of winter sets in, the cats of rival RiverClan grow restless, while WindClan is weak and facing threats from all sides.
As tensions build to an explosive climax, Fireheart faces not only imminent battle, but betrayal from within his own Clan.
Fire and Ice is the second book in the Warriors series. It picks up immediately after Into the Wild ends, with Firepaw and Graypaw newly named warriors of ThunderClan: they’re Fireheart and Graystripe now. I think I actually prefer book 1 over book 2 for its complete nostalgia and the lovely introduction to the Warriors universe, but Fire and Ice does improve on a ton of things, like any sequel should.
This book focuses on the very high tensions among the four Clans. WindClan returns home after being driven out by ShadowClan prior to book 1. ShadowClan is reinstating themselves as the most powerful and dangerous Clan, and has formed an alliance with the also ambitious RiverClan. Both ShadowClan and RiverClan want more hunting territory, and they’re not afraid to battle WindClan or ThunderClan for it. Meanwhile, Tigerclaw, ThunderClan’s deputy, is acting more and more menacing — but only Fireheart seems to have any idea of what Tigerclaw is hiding. I could just smell Tigerlcaw manipulating cats during everything else going on in order to slowly move toward his hidden agenda. *Shudder.*
I’ve read almost 30 Warriors books, and the original arc at least twice, but it’s been years since I read these books. And I totally forgot one of the big plot twists that happens in Fire and Ice. I was thrown off the scent when it was probably very obvious if I’d been thinking about something that happened back in book 1. I was absolutely terrified for Fireheart and the others when said twist happened, even though I knew how it played out once my memory was jogged. As a kid I don’t think I was as affected by some of the dark parts of these books. But now that I’m older and totally know what’s going on, it’s really scary what with the fighting and evil plotting.
To talk about all the character development… Fireheart still makes (understandable) mistakes, and is continually learning what it really and truly means to be a completely loyal warrior to ThunderClan. Graystripe becomes a fool in love with a she-cat from RiverClan, which breaks Clan law — cats from different Clans are not allowed to form more than cordial friendships. Fireheart and Graystripe’s awesome friendship really takes a turn due to both of them keeping things from each other, but mainly from Graystripe’s refusal to listen to Fireheart’s warnings about breaking Clan law. It’s painful to see them argue with and ignore each other, especially after all they’d been through together in book 1. I missed Graystripe’s humor and comic relief so much!
Tigerclaw is the series’ villain, and his plots are seemingly getting darker and more dangerous. Fireheart is the only cat who suspects anything of him and believes Ravenpaw’s words that Tigerclaw killed Redtail (one of the previous ThunderClan deputies) back in book 1. I hated how Bluestar didn’t believe Firestar’s warning when he told her his suspicions about Tigerclaw. It was so frustrating how every cat seemed to be completely oblivious to Tigerclaw’s actions that seemed so obvious to Fireheart.
Bluestar herself, while a very wise leader, did show some harsher, colder sides to her personality. I’ve read her Super Edition novel, Bluestar’s Prophecy, so I know her entire back story. Therefore, it made a lot of sense when she was being difficult and less than welcoming here in Fire and Ice. I understood her reactions and knew why she sometimes acted the way she did. But I was still like, Bluestar! You’re smarter than this! Sigh.
Sandpaw is brought into the story some more, which was nice, and you can see her and Fireheart’s friendship start to take shape. Yellowfang is grumpy as usual, but she’s a bit more friendly now that she has a purpose as ThunderClan’s new medicine cat. Fireheart also gets his own apprentice in this book: Cinderpaw! Cinderpaw is a wonderful ball of energy (SPOILER ALERT!) and it was even more tragic reading about her injury now that I’m older and understand the weight of all these events (END OF SPOILER). Cloudkit, Fireheart’s nephew who he brings to join the Clan, is the BEST! Cloudkit is one challenging little fluff-ball but he’s adorable and funny and brave and such a personality despite having only a few brief scenes in the book. It’s amazing to see his humble start in Clan life.
I’ll admit that a few of the less-exciting scenes I skimmed over. Once you’ve read one, you’ve read all those hunting and training scenes. I like how detailed the Erins (because there were three authors behind “Erin Hunter” at the time of this first series) make Clan life, but it’s really the plot and the characters that are the best part about these books. I can’t wait to reread book 3, Forest of Secrets! ♦
Have you read Fire and Ice?
How about any of the Warriors books?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
Who’s your favorite fictional cat?
(Ooh, I love Gigi from Kiki’s Delivery Service!)
Comment below letting me know!
And, as always, happy reading!