"[Fireheart] knew Tigerclaw could kill him, but in spite of that he felt strangely free. The lies and the need for deceit were over. The secrets—Bluestar's and Tigerclaw's—were all out in the open. There was only the clean danger of battle."
— Narrator in Forest of Secrets, page 276

Forest of Secrets is the third book in The Prophecies Begin arc, formerly known as the Original arc. The cats depicted on the bottom of the cover are Fireheart and Graystripe,[6] while Graystripe is depicted on the reprinted cover.[7] It features Fireheart as the main protagonist.


To Shrödi, hunting with StarClan,
and to Abbey Cruden,
who has met the real Fireheart
Special thanks to Cherith Baldry


Fire Alone Can Save Our Clan...
Tensions are still high among the warrior Clans that roam the forest, and as allegiances shift, it becomes harder than ever to know whom to trust.
Fireheart is determined to find out the truth about the mysterious death of the former ThunderClan deputy Redtail. But as he searches for answers, he uncovers secrets that some believe would be better left hidden. . .

UK book blurb variation

The warrior cats are hungry, waiting for a thaw in the snow. Tensions run high and friends become enemies overnight. Fireheart is determined to find out the mysteries that lie at the heart of his adopted Clan. But as he searches for answers he discoverers an ugly truth that some cats are willing to kill to get what they want.


"Hunter adds to the mix a devastating flood, shifting alliances between clans, treachery within and without ThunderClan, and attempted murder - a combination that makes for another dynamic episode sure to please series fans."[5]
- Sally Estes, ALA Booklist
"This exciting book is not for the faint of heart as it is often violent. It is reminiscent of Greek drama, with its huge cast of characters (a chart of allegiances is included), intrigues, divided loyalties, star-crossed lovers, and parents murdering their offspring. Fans of the series will lap it up while impatiently awaiting the next entry."[5]
- Sharon Rawlins, School Library Journal
"The author deftly balances the major conflicts with descriptions of daily life as a forest-dwelling cat. This third book in the series is as engaging as the first two."[8]
- Horn Book Review
"Hunter moves forward with a sure hand in the third installment of this fast-moving series. The story is suspenseful; the feline characters are engaging."[9]
- Voice of Youth Advocates

Detailed plot description

Looking for a shorter overview? Find one here!

A reddish-brown tom, Oakheart, is guiding two kits to the RiverClan camp. Both kits struggle because of the cold, snowy night. When they arrive, the kits are taken to the nursery, where Oakheart asks a queen named Graypool to take care of them. When Graypool asks where he found them, Oakheart responds by saying he found the kits abandoned in the forest. Graypool is doubtful and slightly disbelieving of what he says, but he ultimately convinces her. Once Oakheart leaves and Graypool agrees to nurse the kits, she smells them and can identify the scent of ThunderClan, although she doesn't believe Oakheart would steal kits from another Clan.
Fireheart still does not trust Tigerclaw, the fierce ThunderClan deputy, and decides to uncover the truth about him. He and Graystripe visit Ravenpaw in his barn to ask him about the battle at Sunningrocks, and Ravenpaw recounts the events he witnessed, confirming once more that Redtail was killed by Tigerclaw, not Oakheart. Ravenpaw tells Fireheart that when Redtail attacked Stonefur, a RiverClan warrior, Oakheart proclaimed no ThunderClan cat would ever harm Stonefur. Redtail then sprung on Oakheart, knocking them both off a cliff into the path of a rock slide, which buried Oakheart alive. Ravenpaw says Redtail later emerged and ran straight into Tigerclaw, who pounced on him and killed him. Ravenpaw says Oakheart's death was an accident, and he was not killed by Tigerclaw as Tigerclaw had claimed.
In order to be certain, Fireheart sneaks over to RiverClan for more answers. He alerts Silverstream, who gets Mistyfoot, Oakheart's daughter. She confirms that Oakheart was crushed by collapsing boulders. However, when Fireheart asks the significance of Oakheart's words that Stonefur would not be harmed by a ThunderClan cat, Mistyfoot is at a loss.
Thinking through what has been revealed to him, Fireheart begins to suspect Cinderpaw's accident was the result of a trap for Bluestar set by Tigerclaw. On another RiverClan visit, when Fireheart again questions Oakheart's words about Stonefur, Graypool, a RiverClan queen, reveals to Fireheart that Stonefur and his sister Mistyfoot are not her own, despite all of RiverClan believing they are. Oakheart claimed to find the two kits in the forest, she says, and asked her to care for them. Graypool tells Fireheart how she sniffed them and knew they were ThunderClan kits. Graypool strictly warns Fireheart never to tell Stonefur or Mistyfoot that she is not their true mother, as they do not know.
In the midst of continuing his investigations, Fireheart must also carry out his warrior duties, help keep Graystripe and Silverstream's meetings a secret, supervise Brackenpaw's training due to Graystripe's constant absence, put up with his disobedient nephew Cloudkit, and face Tigerclaw's continuous hostility. Newleaf soon arrives, and the snow begins to melt. The river floods, and two of Mistyfoot's kits are swept away by the water. They are rescued by Fireheart and Graystripe, who return them to RiverClan. The two warriors learn that RiverClan is in trouble, having been forced to leave their camp due to the flood and having nothing to eat since the fish are poisoned. Fireheart and Graystripe offer to hunt for RiverClan and begin to give them prey in secret but are caught by Tigerclaw and punished by Bluestar.
At the next Gathering, Nightstar announces that ThunderClan is sheltering Brokentail, causing an uproar with ShadowClan and WindClan declaring war on ThunderClan. The next day, the two Clans invade the ThunderClan camp, but they are soon forced to retreat. Allegiances are steadily forming among the Clans, with WindClan siding with ShadowClan and ThunderClan siding with RiverClan.
Graystripe soon finds out Silverstream will be having his kits. When the kits arrive early, Graystripe, Fireheart, and Cinderpaw rush to her aid. Despite Cinderpaw's determined efforts to save her, Silverstream dies while kitting. The two kits survive and are taken in by ThunderClan. Goldenflower agrees to nurse the kits, even though Speckletail is disgusted by the thought of the two kits and their mixed bloodlines. Tigerclaw, who has witnessed the kitting, reveals Graystripe's affair to ThunderClan, causing the Clan to distrust Graystripe. RiverClan demands the kits for themselves while Bluestar is hesitant to surrender them. Bluestar admits to Fireheart that Mistyfoot and Stonefur are her own kits and that she gave them away to RiverClan so she could become deputy instead of Thistleclaw, an aggressive warrior who would have led the Clan to endless bloodshed.
Cloudkit, now Cloudpaw, is apprenticed to Fireheart. They are on a hunting mission when they notice Tigerclaw leading a band of rogues to attack ThunderClan's camp. Fireheart runs back to the camp, but the rogues arrive before him. Most warriors are away on patrols, leaving ThunderClan badly outnumbered. During the battle, Tigerclaw corners Bluestar in her den and tries to kill her, but Fireheart arrives just in time to save his leader. A RiverClan patrol arrives and helps ThunderClan defeat the rogues. Brokentail is revealed to have been in on the ambush, having been plotting with Tigerclaw to attack the camp with his gang of rogues. Bluestar is deeply shocked and shaken by Tigerclaw's mutiny, although she manages to announce his betrayal to the Clan. Fireheart reveals the events surrounding the battle at Sunningrocks – it was Tigerclaw who killed Redtail and Oakheart's death was an accident. He also reveals his suspicion that Cinderpaw's accident was actually a trap set for Bluestar by Tigerclaw, and that Tigerclaw had planned the attack to make it look like a rogue killed Bluestar, therefore becoming leader de facto. Tigerclaw is exiled, and he swears to have revenge on ThunderClan. Meanwhile, Yellowfang kills Brokentail by feeding him deathberries, taking away his last life.
Bluestar announces Fireheart as the new Clan deputy, although she does this after moonhigh, breaking the warrior code. An omen of a piece of fresh-kill turning to crow-food makes Fireheart wonder if it means Bluestar's leadership is rotting away.
At the end of the book, Bluestar agrees to surrender Silverstream's kits. Because he wishes to be with his kits and because he is no longer trusted by ThunderClan, Graystripe decides to join RiverClan. Fireheart is left heartbroken as he recalls the adventures he and Graystripe had been through together and thinks about how lonely he will be with his best friend gone. Fireheart returns to the ThunderClan camp as their newly appointed Clan deputy, with more responsibility that he had ever hoped for.


Interesting facts

Author statements

  • Victoria Holmes stated that Forest of Secrets was the book that made her become genuinely attached to the characters and their world.[11]


A compiled list of the errors present in Forest of Secrets can be found here.

Publication history

  • Forest of Secrets (EN), HarperCollins (hardcover), 14 October 2003[5]
  • Forest of Secrets (EN), HarperCollins (paperback), 5 October 2004[12]
  • Лес секретов (RU), OLMA Media Group (hardcover), 19 September 2005, translated by Veronica Maximova[13]
  • Forest of Secrets (EN), HarperCollins Children (paperback), 3 April 2006[14]
  • Bí Mật Trong Rừng (VI), Da Nang (unknown binding), December 2006, translated by Huong Lan[15]
  • 비밀의 숲 (KR), Kyobo (unknown binding) 31 January 2007, translated by Kim Yi Seon[16]
  • ファイヤハートの戦い (JP), Komine Shoten (hardcover), 19 April 2007, translated by Yukako Takabayashi[17]
  • Forest of Secrets (EN), HarperCollins (e-book), 4 September 2007[18]
  • Titkok Erdeje (HU) Egmont Pannónia (paperback), 2007, translated by Andrea Márton[19]
  • Les mystères de la forêt (FR), Pocket Jeunesse (paperback), 6 March 2008, translated by Aude Carlier[20]
  • 秘密之森 (ZH), Morning Star (unknown binding), 1 November 2008, translated by Gao Mei[21]
  • Paslapčių miškas (LT), Garnelis (unknown binding), 2008, translated by Danguole Žalytė[22]
  • ファイヤハートの戦い (JP), Komine Shoten (hardcover), 20 February 2009, translated by Yukako Takabayashi[23]
  • 疑云重重 (ZH), China Children's Publishing (paperback), 1 March 2009, unknown translator[24]
  • Geheimnis des Waldes (DE), Verlagsgruppe Beltz (hardcover), April 2009, translated by Klaus Weimann[25]
  • Geheimnis des Waldes (DE), Verlagsgruppe Beltz (audiobook), November 2009, translated by Klaus Weimann, narrated by Marlen Diekhoff[26]
  • Salaisuuksien metsä (FI), Art House (hardcover), April 2010, translated by Vesa-Matti Paija[27]
  • Geheimen (NL), Baeckens Books (hardcover), 1 June 2010, translated by Huberte Vriesendorp[28]
  • I segreti della foresta (IT), Sonda (hardcover), 3 October 2011, translated by Maria Milano[29]
  • Hemmelighedernes skov (DK), Sohn (hardcover), 20 April 2012,translated by Gabriela Lundbye[30]
  • El bosque de los secretos (ES), Salamandra (paperback), 11 October 2012, translated by Begoña Hernández Sala[31]
  • Tajna šuma (HR), Znanje (paperback), 2012, translated by Sandra Kalogjera[32]
  • Geheimen (NL), Baeckens Books (paperback), 11 July 2013 , translated by Huberte Vriesendorp[33]
  • Salaisuuksien metsä (FI), Art House (paperpack), June 2014[34]
  • Forest of Secrets (EN), HarperCollins (paperback; reprint), 17 March 2015[35]
  • Las tajemnic (PL), Nowa Baśń (paperback), 11 July 2016, translated by Katarzyna Krawczyk[36]
  • Geheimnis des Waldes (DE), Gulliver von Beltz & Gelberg (paperback), 21 November 2016, translated by Klaus Weimann[37]
  • Les plný tajemství (CZ), Albatros (paperback), 12 April 2017[38]
  • 疑云重重 (CN), China Children's Publishing House (2nd edition paperback), 1 September 2017, translated by Zhao Zhenzhong[39]
  • Las tajemnic (PL), Nowa Baśń (audiobook), 1 May 2020, translated by Katarzyna Krawczyk, narrated by Maciej Kowalik[40]


Notes and references

  1. Revealed on the Dedication page
  2. 2.0 2.1 Revealed on the back cover
  3. Revealed on The Warrior Cats Forums
  4. Revealed on amazon.com
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Information from amazon.com
  6. Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
  7. Revealed on Facebook messenger with the Erin Hunter marketing team
  8. Information from dclibrary.org
  9. Information from harpercollins.com
  10. The only two book published earlier than Forest of Secrets are Into the Wild and Fire and Ice, which are both written by Kate Cary, as revealed on the dedication page of each book.
  11. From an interview on writerunboxed.com
  12. Information from amazon.com
  13. Information from ru.wikipedia
  14. Information from amazon.com
  15. Information from vinabook.com
  16. Information from libro.co.kr
  17. Information from Komine Shoten
  18. Information from amazon.com
  19. Information from libri.hu
  20. Information from Pocket Jeunesse
  21. Information from cn.wikipedia
  22. Information from garnelis.lt
  23. Information from Komine Shoten
  24. Information from Xinhua Books
  25. Information from warriorcats.de
  26. Information from beltz.de
  27. Information from tietosanoma.fi
  28. Information from cosmox.nl
  29. Information from amazon.it
  30. Information from gucca.dk
  31. Information from amazon.es
  32. Information from lgevak.hr
  33. Information from boekhandelpardoes.be
  34. Information from tietosanoma.fi
  35. Revealed on HarperCollins.com
  36. Revealed on empik.com
  37. Information from amazon.de
  38. Revealed on Albatros
  39. Revealed on amazon.cn
  40. Revealed on storytel.com
Warriors books
The Prophecies Begin Into the WildFire and IceForest of SecretsRising StormA Dangerous PathThe Darkest Hour
The New Prophecy MidnightMoonriseDawnStarlightTwilightSunset
Power of Three The SightDark RiverOutcastEclipseLong ShadowsSunrise
Omen of the Stars The Fourth ApprenticeFading EchoesNight WhispersSign of the MoonThe Forgotten WarriorThe Last Hope
Dawn of the Clans The Sun TrailThunder RisingThe First BattleThe Blazing StarA Forest DividedPath of Stars
A Vision of Shadows The Apprentice's QuestThunder and ShadowShattered SkyDarkest NightRiver of FireThe Raging Storm
The Broken Code Lost StarsThe Silent ThawVeil of ShadowsDarkness WithinThe Place of No StarsA Light in the Mist
Super Editions Firestar's QuestBluestar's ProphecySkyClan's DestinyCrookedstar's PromiseYellowfang's SecretTallstar's RevengeBramblestar's StormMoth Flight's VisionHawkwing's JourneyTigerheart's ShadowCrowfeather's TrialSquirrelflight's HopeGraystripe's VowLeopardstar's Honor
Novellas The Untold Stories (Hollyleaf's StoryMistystar's OmenCloudstar's Journey)Tales from the Clans (Tigerclaw's FuryLeafpool's WishDovewing's Silence)Shadows of the Clans (Mapleshade's VengeanceGoosefeather's CurseRavenpaw's Farewell)Legends of the Clans (Spottedleaf's HeartPinestar's ChoiceThunderstar's Echo)Path of a Warrior (Redtail's DebtTawnypelt's ClanShadowstar's Life)A Warrior's Spirit (Pebbleshine's KitsTree's RootsMothwing's Secret)A Warrior's Choice (Daisy's KinBlackfoot's ReckoningSpotfur's Rebellion)
Field Guides Secrets of the ClansCats of the ClansCode of the ClansBattles of the ClansEnter the ClansThe Ultimate GuideThe Warriors Guide
Graystripe's Adventure The Lost WarriorWarrior's RefugeWarrior's ReturnGraystripe's Adventure
Stand-alone graphic novels The Rise of ScourgeA Shadow in RiverClanWinds of Change
Tigerstar and Sasha Into the WoodsEscape from the ForestReturn to the Clans
Ravenpaw's Path Shattered PeaceA Clan in NeedThe Heart of a WarriorRavenpaw's Path
SkyClan and the Stranger The RescueBeyond the CodeAfter the FloodSkyClan and the Stranger
Short stories, plays, and essays After Sunset: We Need to TalkAfter Sunset: The Right Choice?Beyond the Code: Brightspirit's MercyThe Elders' ConcernSpottedleaf's Honest AnswerThe Clans DecideWhy is Jaypaw Blind?Tigerstar: Heart of Evil?The Death of Bright Stream

Forest of Secrets chapters
PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11Chapter 12Chapter 13Chapter 14Chapter 15Chapter 16Chapter 17Chapter 18Chapter 19Chapter 20Chapter 21Chapter 22Chapter 23Chapter 24Chapter 25Chapter 26Chapter 27Chapter 28Chapter 29Chapter 30
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