This book is about Rusty, an ordinary housecat who dreams of the wild. One morning, he goes into the forest, ignoring the warnings of his friend Smudge who tells him that there are wildcats in the forest who “sharpen their claws on bones.” When he’s in the forest he fights with Graypaw, an apprentice in Thunderclan, one of the 4 clans of the forest. Graypaw stops fighting and tells him about Thunderclan when Graypaw’s mentor, Lionheart, and Thunderclan’s leader, Bluestar, come. Bluestar then invites Rusty to join Thunderclan because of a shortage of apprentices and warriors. Rusty joins Thunderclan and is questioned by a warrior. He then fights said warrior and loses his collar. He is given the name Firepaw in honor of his flame-colored coat and is now a full apprentice of Thunderclan. After this, a Thunderclan apprentice, Ravenpaw runs into camp, yelling that they lost the battle and his mentor, Tigerclaw, returns with Redtail, Thunderclan’s deputy, dead in his jaws. Three months later, he is attacked by a loner, not a housecat or a clan cat. This loner turns out to be Shadowclan’s medicine cat, Yellowfang, who was driven out by her Clan. Firepaw is charged with taking care of her as she is injured because of their fight. Meanwhile, Ravenpaw is paranoid Tigerclaw is going to kill him because he saw what really happened to Redtail. He saw Tigerclaw kill Redtail at the battle. Firepaw and Graypaw take him to a farm on the other side of Windclan territory. Towards the end of the book, Shadowclan steals kits from Thunderclan and Firepaw and Graypaw lead a rescue, driving Shadowclan’s leader Brokenstar, and deputy, Blackfoot, out of Shadowclan. When they return, Firepaw and Graypaw are given their warrior names, Fireheart and Graystripe.
This is my favorite book in the series because it has a good storyline from start to finish and foreshadows what’s to come as Fireheart and Graystripe start a new journey.