Friday, December 16, 2022

RA RA READ: Warriors Read-Alikes

Popular animal fantasy series have come and gone, but Warriors remains forever. The key elements of this fantasy series seems to be animals, a complicated story with endless characters and groupings, and lots of adventure and drama. There's not a lot of requests for read-alikes, since you can pretty much read the Warriors until the end of time, but occasionally a really voracious reader will actually manage to make it through all of them and want something else similar.

The Warriors
Erin Hunter is actually a group of several writers, which explains why they are able to turn out so many books. I love blowing kids' minds with this information. There are multiple series within the Warriors series and they generally have six books in each arc. The series include:
  • The Warriors
  • New Prophecy
  • Omen of the Stars
  • Power of Three
  • Dawn of the clans
  • Vision of shadows
There are also a number of stand-alone super editions, a slew of graphic novels (most of these are stand-alones or trilogies) and various companion volumes.

Additional animal series by Erin Hunter
  • Seekers (bears)
  • Survivors (dogs)
  • Bravelands (African animals)
  • Bamboo Kingdom (Asian animals)
The second big author who's really into the "epic quests with animals" is Kathryn Lasky. Being only one person, she's not as prolific as the six authors that comprise Erin Hunter. Her series start with Guardians of Ga'Hoole, which features owls. There are 15 books, a prequel, and a movie, which had really poor reviews and passed rapidly into obscurity. More popular than the Guardians series is her Wolves of the Beyond which is complete with six books. She also wrote Horses of the Dawn.

For readers looking for more fantasy in their epic animal quests, Tui Sutherland's Wings of Fire features a complex fantasy world where all the protagonists are dragons. This appeals to a wide range of kids, not just Warriors fans. The series has also branched out into a secondary series, Wings of Fire: Legends, and graphic novel adaptations. Sutherland also has a more traditional fantasy series, The Menagerie, which features magical creatures although humans are the main protagonists (as an interesting side note, Sutherland is one of the Erin Hunter writers).

Readers who are really voracious and can handle longer and heftier books will enjoy the classic animal adventure series Redwall by Brian Jacques. These are shelved in the teen area, due mainly to length not content. They are challenging reads because every animal has a different (British) accent or dialect and they are, to put it mildly, wordy. They feature a wide cast of different animals and their adventures all over their medieval-like fantasy world. They do make awesome audiobooks, for kids who can't handle that difficulty of reading level. They were originally written as radio broadcasts for a school for the blind, which is why they're so heavy on description.

Other titles that may appeal to Warriors fans:
  • Shark Wars series by E. J. Altbacker (I bill this as Warriors...but with BLOOD)
  • Poppy and Friends series by Avi (more cozy)
  • Tygrine Cat by Inbali Iserles (Iserles is another Erin Hunter author)
  • Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel (features bats, but is longer and more YA)
  • Varjak Paw by SF Said
  • Nurk by Ursula Vernon (more quirky and humorous)


Ms. Yingling said...

AAAAAAH! Warriors books are NOT my favorite, but I do try to keep in top of the new titles because the readers are so devoted. I have one student who finally finished the REdwall series... it took him two years. I think you've hit all of the read alikes, although the only talking animal books I liked were A Cricket in Times Square and Mrs. Frisby. Oh, and The Rescuers. You might want to look at the new Mouseheart book.

Ms. Yingling said...

Forgot Mull's Spirit Animals series and Lasky's Horses of the Dawn. Not quite like Warriors, but close.

Jennifer said...

I read a bunch of the Redwall books, but I tried a Warriors book once and Just, NO. I loooove the original Rescuers books but it's hard to imagine any kids falling in love with the real Miss Bianca, who wrote 18th century verse in her spare time. Sigh. Hmmm, I didn't think of Mouseheart - I didn't buy it.
I did have Lasky's Horses of the Dawn! I had to go back and check though (-:) Spirit Animals you think? I had them in the 39 Clues read-alikes post.

Charlotte said...

Also the Foxcraft series (second book about to come out) by Inbali Iserles....