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Fire and Ice: Warriors #2    by Erin Hunter order for
Fire and Ice
by Erin Hunter
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This series is growing on me and it's not just because I love cats. The first episode, Into the Wild, transformed kittypet Rusty into apprentice ThunderClan warrior Firepaw and then, after many adventures, into full warrior Fireheart. At the end of the episode, he also learned of the treachery of renowned ThunderClan warrior Tigerclaw.

The sequel opens on remnants of WindClan (previously attacked by ShadowClan) as they find refuge near the Thunderpath (a highway). Fireheart musters the courage to warn his Clan leader Bluestar of Tigerclaw's treachery, but is not believed. He dreams of cats wailing close to the 'roar and the stench of a Thunderpath', and Bluestar sends him and his best friend Graystripe on a mission to find the missing WindClan. They are successful in this venture and delighted to meet an old friend again.

Then everything begins to fall apart. The Clan suffers the 'whitecough' and the dreaded 'greencough'; Fireheart yearns for his blood family, especially his sister; and Graystripe forms a Romeo/Juliet type of attachment to Silverstream, a RiverClan tabby. This strains his loyalties and his friendship with Fireheart, who reluctantly covers for him. Fireheart is given a very special apprentice of his own to train, while enmity grows between the Clans, and an old enemy fights back. A very spirited new kittypet named Cloudkit joins the Clan, adding to the fun.

Erin Hunter builds the suspense during this episode, making us wonder to what extent Tigerclaw is the villain of the piece and what action he will take. Fireheart receives a StarClan warning that 'A battle is coming ... Beware a warrior you cannot trust' and the four Clans end up in conflict. The friendship between Fireheart and Graystripe is tested but survives, and Tigerclaw's enmity continues. I enjoyed Fire and Ice even more than the first episode, and am anxious to see events unfold in #3, Forest of Secrets.

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