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"Down here I can feel the evil growing. The forest is dark with it, and StarClan cannot help us. It's up to us. [...] What happens tomorrow can determine the very future of our Clan."
Cinderpelt warning Fireheart in A Dangerous Path, page 279

A Dangerous Path is the fifth book in The Prophecies Begin arc, formerly known as the Original arc.[5] Bluestar is the cat depicted on the reprinted cover.[6] It features Fireheart as the main protagonist.


To the real Bramblepaw
Special thanks to Cherith Baldry


Fire Alone Can Save Our Clan...
ShadowClan now has a dark new leader, but will he be satisfied with his power now - or does his desire for revenge burn even more strongly? Fireheart fears that there is a connection between the rise of Tigerstar and the terrible dreams of danger that haunts his nights.
Meanwhile, a mysterious threat has invaded the forest, placing every cat's life in peril. Fireheart's beloved leader has turned her back on their warrior ancestors, and Fireheart can't help but wonder if she's right. Has StarClan abandoned them forever?

The praise

"Spine-tingling. Sure to appeal to followers of Brian Jacques' ongoing Redwall series."[3]
-ALA Booklist
"Hunter's world keeps getting more finely drawn and her characters more complex. Fans will be on edge for the next title."[3]
-Kirkus Reviews
"The saga continues in the fifth book in the Warriors series as the cat Fireheart, now deputy leader of Thunderclan, finds himself taking on even more responsibility because clan-leader Bluestar is both physically and mentally ill. Add to that the dangerous machinations of treacherous Tigerstar, the head of Shadowclan, and a pack of renegade dogs. Bluestar becomes certain that all the members of her clan, including Fireheart, have betrayed her; the ancestral StarClan cats have abandoned her; and Windclan is hunting in Thunderclan's territory. After Bluestar declares war, it's up to Fireheart to find a way to avoid the battle. Hunter maintains the established characterizations of his sentient cats, who still retain their feline natures. With compelling intrigue and fast-paced actions, this is one of the most exciting books in the series--and, happily, there's another volume to come."[3]
-Sally Estes, ALA Booklist
"A fast-paced animal adventure. Recommend this series to fans of animal fantasies such as Redwall or Dark Portal."[3]
-Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
"A good, suspenseful adventure story that urges readers onward."[3]
-ALA Booklist
"The stage is set for more action-packed adventure. Certain to please any young reader who has ever wondered what dreams of grandeur may haunt the family cat."[7]
-Publisher's Weekly
"In the style of classics by Tolkien or Jacques. You’ll never look at your plain old tabby the same way again."[8]
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Brilliantly written by someone who knows what children like to read. Inspired."[9]
-The Gateway
"Another fabulous book in the excellent series! Plenty of twists and turns. Any 9 to13 year old should have these books!"[9]

Detailed plot description

Looking for a shorter overview? Find one here!

Ferocious guard dogs escape the Treecut place and their owners and run wild in ThunderClan territory. They are referred to as The pack, and led by the Pack leader.
During a Gathering, the Clans learn that ShadowClan has a new leader, Tigerstar, the exiled former deputy of ThunderClan . He accepts several rogues into ShadowClan, many of which are former cats of ShadowClan who were driven out with Brokentail, including former deputy Blackfoot, and promises that he will make the Clan great. After the Gathering is over, Fireheart, the ThunderClan deputy, tells the rest of the Clan about Tigerstar, and all the cats are shocked. They fear an attack from ShadowClan, but the days pass, and everything is peaceful. Bluestar has taken the news very hard, and believes that the other Clans are aligning themselves against ThunderClan. ThunderClan is surviving, but all the warriors are overstretched; they spend a lot of time hunting, patrolling, and rebuilding the camp after the recent fire.
Meanwhile, a mysterious threat has invaded the forest. Cinderpelt , the ThunderClan medicine cat, hears the words "pack, pack" and "kill, kill" in a dream. There are also reports of dog scent on ThunderClan territory, but Fireheart dismisses them, believing that it was only a Twoleg walking their pet. Soon after, they find more traces of dogs, and Fireheart concludes that a dog is loose in the forest, living at Snakerocks.
Bluestar slips further into dementia, thinking that StarClan has abandoned her, and refuses to appoint make the apprentices warriors. Her misgivings are enhanced by the various hardships they meet: the recent fire, the scarce prey, the death of Snowkit by a hawk and the unknown evil menacing the Clan. Most of the leadership duties are fulfilled by Fireheart.
When the patrols find scraps of prey, obviously hunted by dogs, Bluestar claims that it was WindClan stealing prey from ThunderClan, and plans to attack them. However, the other cats know that this is not true. Fireheart tries to prevent the battle, even if it means he has to disobey his leader, going against the warrior code. He arranges a meeting between Bluestar and Tallstar, and the battle is averted, but Bluestar becomes angry at Fireheart and states that he betrayed her. She punishes him by doing nothing, so there would be a traitor leading ThunderClan. Bluestar believes most of ThunderClan are traitors at this point.
At the Gathering, it is revealed that Crookedstar has died, and that Leopardstar has risen to the rank of RiverClan leader. During the Gathering, Bluestar accuses WindClan cats of prey-stealing, and she also acts strangely friendly towards Leopardstar and RiverClan.
Leopardstar's first action is to try and retake Sunningrocks due to the debt ThunderClan owes them since they sheltered them from the fire in the previous book, but the ThunderClan cats drive RiverClan out. Graystripe is exiled from RiverClan, as he helped Fireheart during the battle and refuses to fight him, and rejoins ThunderClan. Fireheart reveals to Mistyfoot and Stonefur that Bluestar is their mother during the battle when they are attacking her. Stonefur is initially skeptical of Fireheart's claims but Mistyfoot believes him and convinces her brother that Fireheart speaks the truth.
Cloudtail is made a warrior, but Bluestar refuses to promote any other apprentices because the rest do not lack faith in StarClan, like Cloudtail does. Swiftpaw and Brightpaw are offended, and plan to go to Snakerocks and find out who is stealing prey, hoping that they would become warriors after their brave actions. The Pack of dogs attacks them; Swiftpaw is killed and Brightpaw is seriously injured, losing an eye. Bluestar gives her the name Lostface at her dying apprentice ceremony, to show the Clan what StarClan took from Lostface. She later recovers, but cannot recall anything about the attack except the words "pack pack, kill kill."
Meanwhile, Tigerstar's kits are apprenticed, and are named Bramblepaw and Tawnypaw. Fireheart decides to mentor Bramblepaw, and gives Tawnypaw to Brackenfur . Fireheart has Brackenfur mentor Tawnypaw because he is afraid of what Tigerstar will do to claim his kits. He doesn't want to put Sandstorm in danger, despite the fact Brackenfur was less experienced than her. Tigerstar claims that his kits should be in ShadowClan, and asks Darkstripe to bring them to him, but Fireheart stops them each time. Sandstorm is angry with Fireheart, as she wasn't chosen to mentor Tawnypaw, and their friendship suffers. Fireheart later tells Sandstorm that he loves her and she admits that she loves Fireheart as well.
The dogs are finally sighted by Longtail. He reports that there are several enormous dogs living at Snakerocks, not just a single dog as they initially believed, and that he saw Tigerstar feeding them a rabbit. Fireheart thinks that Longtail is lying and is plotting with Tigerstar, but after consolation from Cinderpelt, he listens to him. Tigerstar plans to use the dogs to take revenge on ThunderClan; he lays a trail of rabbits to the ThunderClan camp, with Brindleface's dead body at the end of the trail. The ThunderClan cats notice it in time, and Fireheart forms a plan to take the dogs to the gorge, and lure them over the edge. He chooses some warriors and apprentices to lead the dogs, while the rest of the Clan go to Sunningrocks.
Fireheart is the last in the line of cats that lure the dogs to the gorge, and he almost succeeds, but Tigerstar appears and pins him down until the dogs catch up. The pack leader grabs Fireheart by his scruff and shakes him, but Bluestar comes out of nowhere and drives the leader down the gorge where he dies, and the rest of the dogs scatter. However, Bluestar falls in the river as well. Fireheart jumps down to save her, and is helped by Mistyfoot and Stonefur. The two RiverClan cats recognize Bluestar as their mother, and forgive her. Bluestar reconciles with StarClan, and names Fireheart as her successor, appointing him the leader of ThunderClan while revealing that he was the fire that would save ThunderClan.



A compiled list of the errors present in A Dangerous Path can be found here.

Publication history

  • A Dangerous Path (EN), HarperCollins (hardcover), 1 June 2004[5]
  • A Dangerous Path (EN), HarperCollins (paperback), 24 May 2005[5]
  • Опасная тропа (RU), OLMA Media Group (hardcover), 17 June 2005, translated by Veronica Maximova[10]
  • 위험한 길 (KR), Kyobo (unknown binding) 5 February 2007, translated by Kim Yi Seon[11]
  • A Dangerous Path (EN), HarperCollins Children (paperback), 2 April 2007[12]
  • Sur le sentier de la guerre (FR), Pocket Jeunesse (paperback), 16 August 2007, translated by Cécile Pournin[13]
  • ファイヤハートの危機 (JA), Komine Shoten (hardcover), 10 September 2007, translated by Yukako Takabayashi[14]
  • 危險小徑 (ZH), Morning Star (paperback), 1 December 2008, translated by Gao Mei[15]
  • 险路惊魂 (ZH), China Children's Publishing (paperback), 1 March 2009, unknown translator[16]
  • ファイヤハートの危機 (JA), Komine Shoten (hardcover), 20 May 2009, translated by Yukako Takabayashi[17]
  • Gefährliche Spuren (DE), Verlagsgruppe Beltz (hardcover), August 2009, translated by Klaus Weimann[18]
  • Gefährliche Spuren (DE), Verlagsgruppe Beltz (audiobook), November 2009, translated by Klaus Weimann, narrated by Marlen Diekhoff[19]
  • Gevaar (NL), Baeckens Books (hardcover), 1 April 2011, translated by Huberte Vriesendorp[20]
  • Vaarallinen polku (FI), Art House (hardcover), April 2011, translated by Vesa-Matti Paija[21]
  • Opasan put (HR), Znanje (paperback), 2012, translated by Sandra Kalogjera[22]
  • En farlig sti (DK), Sohn (hardcover),17 August 2012, translated by Gabriela Lundbye [23]
  • Un sentiero pericoloso (IT), Sonda (hardcover), 19 June 2013, translated by Maria Milano[24]
  • Huellas peligrosas (ES), Salamandra (paperback), 4 July 2013, translated by Begoña Hernández Sala[25]
  • Gevaar (NL), Baeckens Books (paperback), 11 March 2014, translated by Huberte Vriesendorp[26]
  • A Dangerous Path (EN), HarperCollins (paperback; reprint), 17 March 2015[5]
  • Vaarallinen polku (FI), Art House (paperpack), June 2014[27]
  • Gefährliche Spuren (DE), Verlagsgruppe Beltz (paperback), 14 March 2017[28]
  • Niebezpieczna ścieżka (PL), Nowa Baśń (paperback), 18 April 2017, translated by Katarzyna Kowalczyk[29]
  • 险路惊魂 (CN), China Children's Press (paperback), 1 September 2017, translated by Zhao Zhenzhong[30]
  • A Dangerous Path (EN), HarperCollins (audiobook), 10 October 2017[5]
  • 위험한 길 (KO), Garamchild (paperback), 10 June 2019, translated by Seo Nayeon[31]
  • Niebezpieczna ścieżka (PL), Nowa Baśń (audiobook), 2 July 2020, translated by Katarzyna Kowalczyk, narrated by Maciej Kowalik[32]
  • 위험한 길 (KO), Garamchild (e-book), 10 June 2020, translated by Seo Nayeon[33]
  • Niebezpieczna ścieżka (PL), Nowa Baśń (paperback; reprint), 18 March 2022, translated by Katarzyna Krawczyk[34]


See more

External links

Notes and references

  1. Revealed on the dedication page of A Dangerous Path
  2. 2.0 2.1 Revealed on the inside right flap of A Dangerous Path
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Revealed on the back cover of A Dangerous Path
  4. Revealed on Audible.com
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Revealed on HarperCollins.com (backup link)
  6. Revealed on Facebook messenger with the Erin Hunter marketing team.
  7. Information from harpercollins.ca
  8. Information from amazon.com
  9. 9.0 9.1 Information from amazon.co.uk
  10. Information from ru.wikipedia
  11. Information from libro.co.kr
  12. Information from amazon.co.uk
  13. Information from Pocket Jeunesse
  14. Information from Komine Shoten
  15. Information from cn.wikipedia
  16. Information from Xinhua Books
  17. Information from Komine Shoten
  18. Information from beltz.de
  19. Information from beltz.de
  20. Information from [1]
  21. Information from tietosanoma.fi
  22. Information from kgz.hr
  23. Information from gucca.dk
  24. Information from amazon.it
  25. Information from amazon.com
  26. Information from [2]
  27. Information from tietosanoma.fi
  28. Revealed on beltz.de
  29. Revealed on empik.com
  30. Revealed on amazon.cn
  31. Revelated on blog.naver.com
  32. Revealed on storytel.com
  33. Revelated on blog.naver.com
  34. Revealed on Nowa Baśń's Instagram