Warriors Series

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Warriors Series Book Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Cat clans mirror human issues in exciting fantasy saga.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 28 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 299 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers of the Warriors series mainly encounter fictional cats and their fantastical world, but they may learn a little about forest creatures and gain a general understanding that some types of forest plants are safe and enjoyable to eat (catnip), some are poisonous, and still others have medicinal properties. Kids (possibly with some guidance) may also be able to draw parallels between the different cat clans and human cultural differences that they've studied or observed. For example, the Riverclan cats learn to catch and eat fish because they live near water, the same way some human cultures rely on the sea for their livelihood.

Positive Messages

The cat characters in the Warriors series devote considerable effort to preventing war between clans. The books generally suggest that war is destructive to society. Issues between the different cat clans also illustrate the damage caused by baseless prejudice.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters such as Firepaw (who later becomes Fireheart and then Firestar) and Graypaw (later Graystripe) set a nice example by helping cats in other clans accomplish tasks that their clans weren't trained to do. For example, Greystripe and Fireheart hunt for food for the cats in Riverclan when the fish supply is poisoned. Firepaw and Graypaw are also among the most vocal in opposing war.


Cats engage in battles and wars, fighting with claws and teeth. Some cats are left wounded and bleeding; some die. These books are appropriate for a middle-grade audience, but some sensitive children -- especially major cat lovers -- might find the books too violent or sad.


There are romantic relationships and attraction between cats, such as Firestar and Sandstorm; cats display affection by licking (not in a sexual way) and admiring each other, but there's no explicit sex. Kittens are born, but conception is never witnessed or explained.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Just catnip.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the original series of Warriors books, first published in 2003, has grown to spawn four spin-off series of novels (The New Prophecy, Power of Three, Omen of the Stars and Dawn of the Clans), as well as other limited series and one-offs. If your child is into these books, they offer years' worth of reading to enjoy. All of the books take place in a world of cat characters that belong to different "clans" that have different talents, abilities, and loyalties. Parallels can be drawn between the clans (which think and feel like humans) and human cultures, making these books an excellent point of departure for discussion about cultural differences and prejudice. Cats engage in wars and battles, fought with claws and teeth, in which some characters are wounded or killed. There are descriptions of cuts and injuries that are tempered for middle-graders, but some sensitive cat lovers could find them too scary. It should also be noted that this series walks a line between opposing war and using violent battle to engage the reader.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byTara B. November 22, 2017

Spurs discussion about the current political climate and social norms

When my son turned 7 we realized that the bedtime books that we were reading to him were short and not very sophisticated. We decided to get into chapter books.... Continue reading
Adult Written byFlufballs January 7, 2015


Hello readers,
You may think that warriors is a gory book with all sorts of guts and blood, but once you get into it it's about cats trying to survive and... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKitten-Nerd_11 November 14, 2015

Incredible series, but...

I have been reading this series since I was eleven, and I have always found these books really interesting to read and analyze. However, when I introduced my b... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byWildAnatolian July 2, 2013

Warrior Cats

This series is AMAZING, by all means read it. Erin hunter created the cat world so vividly, but created the cats with the feelings and personalities that humans... Continue reading

What's the story?

The original series of Warriors books, first published in 2003, has expanded with four main spinoff series of novels (The New Prophecy, Power of Three, Omen of the Stars and Dawn of the Clans), as well as other limited series and one-offs. All of the books take place in world of cat characters, which belong to different "clans" that have developed different talents, abilities, and loyalties. Though the cats do not display human physical abilities, they think and feel the way humans do, harboring feelings of love, loyalty, and prejudice toward members of other clans. They engage in numerous wars and battles, and develop friendships and romantic relationships. The books explore ideas concerning nature vs. nurture, prejudice, and the dubious merits of war/violence.

Is it any good?

The extensive Warriors series of fantasy books provide almost limitless entertainment for middle graders. While the writing is not of the highest literary standard, the characters are engaging, the cat world is well realized, and the situations are compelling. Like many of the best book series for this age group, the novels include strong male and female characters, and storylines designed to appeal boys and girls. Also, the situations involving cross-communication and relationships between members of different clans create a made-to-order opportunity to speak with kids about cultural differences and prejudice.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the clans iin the Warriors series. Which ones adapted to their surroundings? Which seem like human cultures you've learned about? Can you think of some examples of people who eat fish because they live near water?

  • Do you like reading books that are part of a series? What other series have you enjoyed?

  • What do you think the authors want readers to understand about war and fighting?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and adventure

Themes & Topics

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