Erin Hunter isn’t her real name, though: Erin Hunter is the penname under which a small group of authors write. It was the ‘head’ Erin I met, Vicky, thanks to these delightful books.
The story is about Rusty, a house cat who craves a different life, something with more...adventure. One day, while poking around the nearby forest, he discovers a clan of wild cats living together, and he is intrigued. Rusty eventually earns membership with the clan, and the story follows his adventures as he learns and grows in this new world.
But oh, the story is so much more than that! What if I told you that there are actually six books to the series? Impressive, right? Now, what if I told you that there are, at the time of writing, FIVE series, each with six books? And then there are the extra-long Super Edition books, the field guides, one-offs, and comic books? The Warriors series is an empire, a vast universe that spreads well, well beyond its humble origins of Rusty.
I started reading these books as some background research into Tick, and if you read the Warriors series you will quickly see where I draw my inspiration. But I kept reading. These books are my reading equivalent of comfort food: they are easy to read, straightforward adventures, yet with a vast world to dig deep into like a bowl endless ice cream.
Not that any of it is dull. These are not cutesy cuddly cats living in the woods. Ooh no. Think of Warriors as a feline Game of Thrones. You have warring clans, shifting allegiances, and Erin is not shy of killing off her characters. They fight. They back stab. They conspire. They bleed. They starve to death. Erin has taken wildcats as far away from anthropomorphic as you can, stopping just short of taking the dialogue away!
So even though the Warriors series is a kind of...cozy book series to me, there is always this underlying tension, bursting into frenetic and excellent action set-pieces. And remember, it's a very long book series. You can grow attached to characters you've known for over dozens of books. Revelations and deaths can really hit you hard.
It might seem strange that little ol' me here is pushing you all to go and read the novels of someone who has already topped the New York Times bestseller lists, but I really do love this series that much. If you're looking for a massive series to dig your claws into, you can do no better.