|"I'm so proud of you, Crowfeather. Proud that you're finally listening. No cat can be a good warrior, or loyal Clanmate, with a closed heart. Now you have opened yours... and WindClan is better for it."|
|— Ashfoot to Crowfeather in Crowfeather's Trial, page 408|
- Special thanks to Cherith Baldry
- A WARRIOR CAUGHT BETWEEN CLAN AND KIN.
- WindClan warrior Crowfeather has always fought bravely to defend his Clan. But in the aftermath of the great battle with the Dark Forest, Crowfeather is struggling to forgive the Clanmates who betrayed them—including his own son, Breezepelt.
- Onestar, WindClan's leader, is determined to put the battles of the past behind them, but tension is rising among Crowfeather's fellow warriors. Then an unusual threat strikes from within the heart of WindClan's own territory, putting the Clan in terrible danger.
- The time for doubt is over. Crowfeather must balance his duty to his kin and his duty to his Clan—and retake his place as a true WindClan warrior.
Detailed plot description
Looking for a shorter overview? Find one here!
- In a flashback, Crowfeather, then Crowpaw, finds himself on a crevice. He cries in horror as he looks at Sharptooth, and is shocked that he would die like this, after all the journeying cats had been through. He hears Feathertail, who says she can hear voices, to his confusion. He and Stormfur watch in horror as Feathertail leaps at a pointed stone on the roof of the cave, which falls down with her, killing Sharptooth. They rush to her side, confirming she is alive. Crowpaw worries that her job was only to fulfill the prophecy and that she may die. He touches noses with Feathertail begging her to wake up. When she opens her eyes, she tells him to not to let her save him again, asking him whether he thought he had nine lives. Prior to dying, she promises that she would never leave him. Crowpaw looks back at Sharptooth's body and lets out a wail. He then wakes up from the dream beneath a thornbush in the then-present with Leafpool. Crowfeather reflects on how he thought he would never love again after Feathertail's death, but managed to fall in love with her. Suddenly, Leafpool wakes up, saying that they needed to go back to the Clans. Crowfeather agrees, thinking that they could never abandon the Clans for real and races back with her, reflecting on how love only ended in pain and loss for him and vows to never love again.
- In the present, Crowfeather is sitting in a circle with his Clanmates after The Great Battle, as Onestar lets the new deputy Harespring set down the last stone for Ashfoot on the memorial pile that represents all of WindClan 's fallen Clanmates. Crowfeather's gaze falls on Breezepelt , and he remembers having to stop him from killing his half-brother Lionblaze. Crowfeather feels slightly guilty that he didn't raise his son like he should have. He thinks of how Onestar forgave and even promoted the former Dark Forest warriors. After the ceremony, he overhears a couple of cats talking about the Dark Forest warriors and how they would be better off without Breezepelt. Crowfeather goes on a hunting patrol with Harespring, Featherpaw, Slightpaw, Hootpaw and his former mate Nightcloud.
- They hunt near the ThunderClan border, where there have been reports of weird scents and scarce prey. The trip is successful, though Nightcloud ignores Crowfeather throughout. The cats then go to investigate the tunnels, where Hootpaw is scared by what he claims is a white ghost cat in the tunnels, though the others speculate it may be something else, with Crowfeather having seen a tail vanishing down the tunnel. They return to the camp and report to Onestar, who asks to talk to Crowfeather privately afterwards. He tells Crowfeather that he should be more friendly with Breezepelt, and that he did not choose him to be deputy partially because he wanted the Clan to forgive the cats that trained in the Dark Forest, but also because he thinks Crowfeather cares more about his personal thoughts and feelings than what's for the better of WindClan.
- Crowfeather snaps that he had to sacrifice so much to stay loyal to WindClan, but Onestar points that a truly loyal warrior wouldn't have let it happen in the first place and would be over it by now. Onestar then dismisses him and Crowfeather eats by himself. Crowfeather dreams of hunting, but a rabbit leads him into the tunnels and he loses it. He sees Ashfoot, and tries to follow her only to lose her in the tunnels. He hears her screech and wakes up in the warrior's den, wondering if what Hootpaw saw was Ashfoot's ghost before reasoning that it couldn't be her. During the early morning, Onestar calls a Clan meeting to discuss a vision Kestrelflight had had. During the vision, Barkface came to him and showed him dark water gushing out of tunnel entrances, initially being kicked back by a wild wind, before it relented and the water swallowed everything with a second huge wave. As the Clan speculates what this could mean, Hootpaw reveals what he saw in the tunnels, which unnerves the Clan. Onestar decides to send a patrol to explore the tunnels comprising Breezepelt, Nightcloud, Crowfeather, Furzepelt, and Heathertail.
- Once in the tunnels, the patrol splits into three groups. Two of the group's meet back up, having found nothing. Breezepelt suddenly comes racing out of a side tunnel, pursued by a large group of white stoats. The cats manage to fight off the stoats, but then they realize that Nightcloud is not among them. The patrol returns to camp, where they report the situation to Onestar. Shaken, Breezepelt explains he thought Nightcloud was behind him while he was fleeing from the tunnels. His Clanmates share suspicions on how truthful he is, believing he abandoned Nightcloud, but Onestar defends the warrior, and expects all of WindClan to agree.
- The cats attention shift to Harespring, who asks if they should warn ThunderClan, and Onestar answers they’ll keep the problem to themselves, they can solve it without ThunderClan getting involved. The next day, a patrol being led by Crowfeather is sent to search the tunnels for Nightcloud. Despite their attempts, they are ambushed by stoats and fail to find Nightcloud, and nearly lose Heathertail in the process. The patrol returns to camp, leaving Crowfeather and Breezepelt to search the tunnels together. They end up getting attacked by stoats on ThunderClan's side and are rescued by a patrol from the rival Clan, consisting of Berrynose, Spiderleg, Cinderheart and Rosepetal. Berrynose starts questioning them as to why they were in the tunnel, and accusing them of spying on ThunderClan. Spiderleg says that they should be taken to Bramblestar, but Cinderheart argues against it, and the two WindClan cats are allowed to return to their territory.
- The day after, Crowfeather tells Onestar that they need another patrol to check ThunderClan's side of the tunnels, saying that if Nightcloud made it out, she would have taken one of those exits. Onestar doesn’t fully agree, saying that he doesn’t want to look on ThunderClan territory, but will be fine anywhere else. Onestar then decides that Nightcloud won’t need a patrol at all, saying that she will come home in her own time. Later that morning, Breezepelt returns from the dawn patrol and asks Crowfeather when will they leave to find Nightcloud. Crowfeather is caught off guard, and hints that Onestar is reluctant to involve ThunderClan. Breezepelt asks what Onestar is going to do and Crowfeather doesn’t know how to explain the truth. To avoid answering the question, Crowfeather yells at Hootpaw and Featherpaw to stop having a mock battle. Featherpaw apologizes, asking if they would be leaving soon. Breezepelt realizes that Crowfeather has no intention of going on a patrol to find Nightcloud anytime soon. He storms off, and Crowfeather is left with the apprentices.
- Crowfeather later has a dream where he is back in the tunnels and finds Ashfoot. When he asks why she is not in StarClan, his mother answers that she cannot leave him yet, there are tasks she needs to do and that he may lose everything. Ashfoot gestures to the other side of the cave that they are in and Crowfeather turns, finding a pool of blood spreading from a heap of fur. He realizes that he is looking at the dead body of Nightcloud. He wakes, tense and worried about his former mate. Knowing his dream meant something, he slips out of camp alone and searches on ThunderClan's territory, where he finds her blood soaked into the ground and the strong reek of fox in the air, which he assumes killed her. He returns to camp and breaks the news to Breezepelt, who blames the stoats and wants to kill every last one of them. Crowfeather assures him they will get the stoats out and prevent Kestrelflight's vision from becoming a reality, but Breezepelt claims he doesn't care about the vision and just wants them dead, which promotes Leaftail to assume this means he is disloyal, and initiates an argument. Crowfeather knows his son has been loyal to the Clan since the Great Battle and wonders how long he is expected to pay for his mistakes. Worry threatens to overwhelm him, however, he doesn't know how to reach out to Breezepelt.
- Onestar holds a Clan meeting after he learns of Nightcloud's death, and Crowfeather worries about that stoats and Kestrelflight's vision, and he wonders if another Clan will need to be involved to help. As night falls and Nightcloud's vigil nears, Breezepelt tells Crowfeather he's not attending it, as he knows his Clanmates don't trust him. During the vigil, a few of his Clanmates verbally attack Breezepelt, however, they stop after being reminded they are at a vigil honoring one of their fallen. When it is Crowfeather's turn to speak, he speaks for himself and on behalf of Breezepelt.
- On his way to a Gathering, Crowfeather mulls over his dream with Ashfoot from the night before, who told him she couldn't go to StarClan until she has given him a message. He asked what is was, and her only response was love. Crowfeather had said that every cay he's loved he lost, and Ashfoot told him that shouldn't have made him close his heart. Crowfeather wondered who he was supposed to love, since Nightcloud was dead, and he began to say something about Breezepelt, but woke before he had the chance to finish. After he woke, he had wondered what he had been going to say about his son. At the Gathering, Onestar announces the death of Nightcloud to the other Clans, and cats begin to throw accusations at Breezepelt and suspicions toward the former Dark Forest trainees, almost causing a physical fight.
- Kestrelflight shares his vision, and Bramblestar wishes to work together with WindClan to drive out the stoats, but Onestar is uncooperative. Back at camp, Onestar sends Breezepelt, Heathertail, and Weaselfur to watch the tunnel entrances to see if they could learn anything from the stoats. That night, Crowfeather has a dream of the events from the Great Battle, of Hollyleaf's death and her murderer, Hawkfrost, and of Breezepelt and Lionblaze fighting each other. He pulls Breezepelt away from who brother, who blinds him. He discusses his dream with Kestrelflight, and expresses how he still has a difficult time trusting his son. They talk about Kestrelflight's vision of a wind pushing back the water, and Crowfeather wonders if the wind could be a breeze, representing Breezepelt, and that he may play a role in saving the Clan.
- Wesealfur and Heathertail return with Breezepelt severely injured after he attacked the stoats, and Crowfeather watches over him until he wakes, and promises they will avenge Nightcloud. An attack is planned and the WindClan cats prepare. The apprentices show up just before the fight begins, despite being ordered to stay at camp. Featherpaw is injured, and Crowfeather blames himself, since he told the young cats to be bold. He is berated by Sedgewhisker and Emberfoot, and he Clanmates are shocked that he would do such a thing.
- Crowfeather believes they must turn to ThunderClan for help, which is met with outrage from Onestar. He watches over Featherpaw for Kestrelflight and dreams of Ashfoot and Feathertail. Feathertail tells him to accept Breezepelt for who he is and be true to himself. Crowfeather promises to try, but keeping the Clan safe is most important. At his mother's and Feathertail's words, he decides to go behind Onestar's back and go to Leafpool to see if she could convince Bramblestar to help with the stoats. He travels to the border, where he finds Berrynose and Thornclaw, who bring him Jayfeather instead of Leafpool, and his son agrees to talk to Bramblestar about it. When Crowfeather returns to camp, he confesses to Onestar he asked for ThunderClan's help and his Clan leader is furious.
- When a patrol arrives at their camp, Onestar refuses to cooperate and raises hostilities between the two Clans. After ThunderClan leaves, Onestar warns Crowfeather not to take another paw out of line. He is ordered to escort Kestrelflight to the Moonpool. On the way, Kestrelflight says he will look for Nightcloud in StarClan, to have her tell the truth of her death and that Breezepelt was innocent. After the meeting, he reveals to Crowfeather that he found Barkface, who said there was no sign of her in StarClan. This information, along with a recent dream from Ashfoot, leads Crowfeather to believe she must still be alive. He tells Breezepelt the news, and they request permission from Onestar to search for her. Onestar agrees they can, but only after the stoats have been dealt with and explains the newest plan; block off the tunnel entrances so they are forced to hunt on ThunderClan's side. Crowfeather harshly criticizes the plan, which infuriates Onestar, who was already short with him. He banishes Crowfeather from the Clan for a quarter moon. Heathertail and Breezepelt attempt to get him to come back and apologize to Onestar, but Crowfeather refuses to grovel to the leader.
- He travels on through the snow and tries hunting, but falls down a hill and is knocked unconscious. He wakes in a dream, finding himself in the Dark Forest, the evil spirits trying to coax him into joining them. Crowfeather refuses and Ashfoot appears, scaring the Dark Forest cats off. She tells him he should be helping his Clan and needs to convince Onestar to take Kestrelflight's vision seriously, as the stoats are a forerunner of a greater threat. Crowfeather wakes, with a cat named Yew treating his injuries, who reveals he had seen Nightcloud. Yew says that her injuries were too much for him to fix, so she went to Twolegplace for help. Crowfeather decides to go back to WindClan to get Breezepelt to find her, and ends up leaving to search for her with a whole patrol in secret, consisting of Breezepelt, Heathertail, Gorsetail, and Hootpaw. They travel into Twolegplace and find Nightcloud in a Twoleg nest, successfully freeing her. Nightcloud explains that she got wounded and lost when the stoats attacked her, and she ended up on ThunderClan territory, where three foxes chased her towards Twolegplace, and she took Yew's advice and got help from Twolegs.
- They return to camp, discovering the stoats had attacked that night in their absence. Onestar furiously scolds them and reveals he lost a life. However, he is happy to see Nightcloud back and allows Crowfeather to return to WindClan for bringing her back. Kestrelflight becomes overworked and Crowfeather convinces Onestar to allow them to seek help from ThunderClan's medicine cats. He goes to ThunderClan with Harespring and they travel back with Leafpool. A stoat attacks and Crowfeather is badly wounded. He is treated by Leafpool, who gives him advice on his relationship with Nightcloud and Breezepelt. Crowfeather talks with Nightcloud, apologizing for treating her badly, and they agree to be friends. When he sleeps, Ashfoot visits him, saying he has taken the lessons of his dream to heart, finally, and he must reopen it and be a father to Breezepelt, and adds on that she's proud of him, before fading away.
- At the next Gathering, Onestar accepts Bramblestar's offer to help WindClan deal with the stoats. The two leaders gather their warriors by the border to come up with a plan; block off the tunnel entrances and have some cats go in and lure them into an ambush outside. Breezepelt and Crowfeather volunteer to be the ones to go in and lure them out. During the battle, Breezepelt helps Lionblaze fight off some stoats and the two toms make peace with each other. The plan works and they successfully defeat the stoats, but Breezepelt is gravely injured.
- He takes a turn for the worse, and Kestrelflight fears he won't make it, unless he can get burdock root, but his supply is out, and Crowfeather travels to ThunderClan to get the herb. Jayfeather is reluctant to give Crowfeather the herb, holding a grudge against him and Breezepelt, but he ends up letting him take it because it's his duty to save cats. Breezepelt begins to recover after treatment, and Crowfeather sees Ashfoot, who has joined StarClan. She tells him that she's proud and will always be with him. At the Gathering after the battle, Onestar thanks ThunderClan, and gives a special thanks to Crowfeather for his devotion to WindClan, and to the former Dark Forest trainees who fought in the battle. Crowfeather later has a dream where he happily plays with Breezepelt and Heathertail's kits. He sees Ashfoot looking down at him from the clouds and thanks her for teaching him everything he needed to learn.
- In the manga adventure, while hunting with Breezepelt, Crowfeather reflects how life has been hard since Onestar's death and all of the reasoning behind Darktail's actions, and the damage he caused to the Clans. Crowfeather asks Breezepelt who he thinks Harestar will chose as his deputy, and Breezepelt says it doesn't matter to him. Crowfeather thinks he hears resentment in his voice, since Harestar isn't likely to pick him, then wonders if he's just tired of all the change. Crowfeather thinks Harestar will probably want a younger cat as his deputy and wouldn't be choosing him, which he understands, and he's only happy that his family is doing well. Breezepelt spots a squirrel and Crowfeather compliments him on his sharp eyes. Breezepelt thanks him then catches his prey, and Crowfeather thinks how he's letting go of his anger and he might have a good future in the Clan after all.
- They talk about the damage Darktail inflicted on the Clans, and Breezepelt worries that with so many cats having trusted the evil cat, it will prevent the Clans from ever trusting the Dark Forest warriors. As they walk, they pass a ThunderClan patrol with Lionblaze on it. He and Breezepelt give each other respectful nods, and Crowfeather is happy and relieved they have made peace. He notes how Breezepelt hasn't talked much and wonders if he thinks his Clanmates don't trust him, if he'll start driving them away and make them think he doesn't belong. He promises he won't let that happen. When they return to camp, every cat stares at them and Crowfeather worries they're going to reject Breezepelt, until he realizes the cats look happy. Harestar calls Crowfeather over and names him as his deputy. He hesitates, worried Breezepelt will resent him, but his son is supportive, and Crowfeather accepts. He thinks how his family and Clan are at peace and wonders if he deserves it. As Harestar officially makes Crowfeather his deputy, he silently swears he will be the best deputy he can be.
- A compiled list of the errors present in Crowfeather's Trial can be found here.
- Crowfeather's Trial (EN), HarperCollins (Hardcover), 4 September 2018
- Crowfeather's Trial (EN), HarperCollins (Library), 4 September 2018
- Crowfeather's Trial (EN), HarperCollins (e-book), 4 September 2018
Notes and references
|Crowfeather's Trial chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Manga|
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