While it has been said that the first arc of Warriors was amazing and the others were bad, I respectfully disagree. The first two books were notoriously clunky, with the laws of the Clans not meshing well with later iterations of The Verse
. The earlier books feature lots of other flaws: a perfect hero, too much angst (I'm looking at you, A Dangerous Path
) and several poorly thought out plots (like the whole GrayXSilver arc). That's not to say the early books are bad, because they still contain plenty of compelling characters like the morally-conflicted Yellowfang, classical anti-hero Cloudtail, and Genki Girl
turned snarky medicine cat Cinderpelt. It also has many amazing scenes, like Firestar's final battle with Scourge, which remains one of my favourite Warriors
However, the later arcs and Expanded Universe
greatly improve on all aspects of the series. Tigerstar, Brokenstar, and Scourge, the villains of the first arc were all Complete Monsters
, and while the series doesn't try to justify their actions, it gives them complex backstories and reasons for doing what they did. It also adds grayer and more interesting villains, such as Thistleclaw, who provided a twist on Warriors
villains by being an antagonist who wasn't evil, and the enigmatic Sol, who is always one step ahead of the heroes.
The protagonists grow deeper and more interesting as well. Characters like Jayfeather start off selfish, but over the story grow and mature into true heroes. Meanwhile, Hollyleaf deconstructs the notion of a Classical Hero, and has one of the best character arcs ever.
The series also has a deep mythos, with hidden connections between the groups of characters, and motivations which stretch far into the past.
That's not to say the later material is without faults. Due to the multiple authors, the books are riddled with errors that range from easy to ignore/overlook (pelts changing colour), to utterly astounding (Hollowpaw's amnesia). There's also the problem of the nostalgic flashes back to what the older heroes are doing often being overdone, leading to the feeling of the new heroes getting shafted.
However, if you can get through the first arc and overlook a few flaws and some Fridge Logic
is a truly amazing book series that that's deep enough to remain entertaining throughout multiple rereads.