|"All the prophecies StarClan had sent since he had become a medicine cat had told him to do one thing: bring the five Clans together to keep them strong. And now StarClan had gone to extraordinary measures to bring them this message—they must save ShadowClan. But ShadowClan couldn't survive without a savior, and if Rowanclaw wasn't up to the job, who would be?"|
|— Alderheart's thoughts in Darkest Night, chapter 23|
Darkest Night is the fourth book in the A Vision of Shadows arc. Bramblestar is the cat depicted on the left of the cover, while Hawkwing is depicted on the right.[blog 3] It features Alderheart, Violetshine, and Twigpaw as the main protagonists. Tree is featured in the prologue, while Nettlesplash is the protagonist in the bonus scene.
- Special thanks to Cherith Baldry
- Erin Hunter's #1 bestselling Warriors series continues! Discover more epic adventures in the fourth book in this sixth action-packed story arc. Each hardcover also includes a double-sided jacket with a bonus poster!
- SkyClan has returned to its rightful place among the other four warrior Clans, hoping to find a new territory to call home. But not every cat is convinced that this is where SkyClan belongs. The careful balance around the lake is more fragile than ever before—and the fate of all the warrior Clans remains uncertain.
- With more than twenty million copies sold, the Warriors series has been flying off the shelves for fourteen years and counting. The latest series, A Vision of Shadows, is the perfect introduction for readers new to the Warriors world, while existing fans will be thrilled to return to the days of Bramblestar and ThunderClan, after the events of Omen of the Stars.
- Each hardcover in the Vision of Shadows series will also include a double-sided jacket with a bonus poster!
Detailed plot description
Looking for a shorter overview? Find one here!
- An unnamed yellow tom is sitting on rocks, reflecting on his life. Needletail appears to him. He is happy to see her, but can tell something is wrong. Needletail tells him that she trusted the wrong cat and needs to make things right. She asks for his help, and the yellow tom immediately says he'll help in any way he can. He notices the glow in Needletail's body and realizes she is dead.
- ShadowClan has returned to their camp, but RiverClan and SkyClan are still staying with ThunderClan. The camp is overcrowded, which causes tensions to rise within it. Ivypool tells Twigpaw that it's time for her assessment, and she is excited. However, the apprentice then questions if she really wants to stay in ThunderClan.
- Alderheart and Leafpool check over Tinycloud, who is expecting kits. Alderheart comments that her kits will be the first SkyClan cats born by the lake, which causes Leafpool to pull him aside and tells him that he shouldn't have said that, as they do not know if SkyClan will be staying. Alderheart is shocked by this, and Leafpool reminds him that not every cat likes having SkyClan around, and the Clans are unlikely to be willing to give up territory for them. Alderheart insists that StarClan brought them here, and no cat could think territory is more important than StarClan. Leafpool questions this, looking to Sparkpelt in particular. Alderheart is reluctant to believe that his sister wants SkyClan to leave.
- On the way to the Gathering, Alderheart casually asks how she feels on the matter. Sparkpelt tells him that only the real Clans should live by the lake, and SkyClan should go back to where they belong, as Darktail is gone and the gorge is free. Alderheart is taken aback by this, and asks if StarClan and his visions mean anything to her. Sparkpelt believes that StarClan wanted them to find SkyClan, but never said they needed to move into their territory. Alderheart joins Leafpool, who tries to comfort him. She tells him that whatever the Clans decide about SkyClan, he must accept it. Alderheart refuses. As they settle, the other cats are all very uneasy. Leafstar remains on the ground with her Clan rather than join the other leaders in the tree.
- The cats below question if Rowanstar should even be up there and blame him for Darktail and the losses they suffered. They ask if ShadowClan is even a Clan anymore. Rowanstar tries to defend himself by listing the warriors his Clan has lost, including the many that disappeared with unknown fates. A RiverClan warrior, Lakeheart, comments that they probably went with the rogues. Rowanstar is furious at this suggestion and says it's true that Sleekwhisker, Yarrowleaf, and Spikefur left with them, but the others were killed trying to escape Darktail. Other cats support this argument, and Violetpaw calls out that Needletail died for her and her Clanmates. The cats below start yowling that they will never forgive ShadowClan, and Rowanstar has no right to be leader.
- Harestar points out that Onestar was the one who brought Darktail's vengeance to the Clans, and Darktail is responsible for his actions, no one else. He asks that instead of blaming others, they remember the cats they have lost. Harestar concludes that they can remember Onestar for facing his past and giving his last life to kill Darktail, his own son. This changes the mood very quickly, and the cats become solemn. Mistystar comments that WindClan chose well in making Harestar leader, as he did well at calming the angry cats down.
- She then announces that this will be RiverClan's last Gathering for a while, as they will be closing their borders to take the time to recover. The RiverClan cats start to leave. When questioned about her opinion about letting SkyClan stay, Mistystar says the other leaders can decide, but should be careful about allowing more strange cats to live by the lake. Leafstar joins the other leaders on the Great Oak and tells them about how Darktail took over the gorge. She recounts how they were driven out, and then made the journey here. Tigerheart speaks for Rowanstar and offers SkyClan a piece of their territory, which Leafstar gratefully accepts.
- The next day, Twigpaw has passed her assessment. SkyClan is preparing to leave to settle in the territory ShadowClan gave them, with Leafstar in the lead. Violetpaw is going with them so she can be with Hawkwing. Twigpaw decides to go with them as well, which surprises many ThunderClan cats. Alderheart feels sad that she's leaving, and knows he'll miss her.
- That night, Violetpaw dreams she is in the place where Alderheart and Needletail secretly brought her and Twigpaw as kits. She sees Needletail running and starts chasing her, begging her to stop. Needletail pauses and asks why she is chasing her, as she has made her choice. Violetpaw wakes up in the new SkyClan camp with Hawkwing and Twigpaw. Violetpaw feels that she let Needletail die and is afraid to tell Hawkwing.
- The next day, Hawkwing goes hunting with Twigpaw and Violetpaw. Twigpaw asks about Pebbleshine, much to her sister's annoyance. Hawkwing says it's okay, and wistfully tells them about their mother. He says that they both remind him of her, and that he's glad to have his family together. Violetpaw is happy and feels like she belongs somewhere at last.
- Twigpaw is out collecting twigs for the camp with Dewpaw and Finpaw, and it is incredibly windy. A branch breaks off and falls toward Finpaw, but Twigpaw pulls him out of the way and it ends up falling on his tail and traps him. While Dewpaw runs back to camp to get cats to lift the branch, Twigpaw goes to ShadowClan to get Puddleshine. They are unable to lift the branch, so Puddleshine gets a sharp rock to cut Finpaw's tail free, as he would go into shock if his tail was not freed. Finpaw's condition leaves Twigpaw to worry unconditionally about him, as she stays next to him and comforts him.
- As time passes, Alderheart continues to miss Twigpaw. Fernsong tells Ivypool that he wants to have kits, but she says she is not ready. She wants to continue being able to hunt and patrol, and knows she can't do both. Fernsong offers to move into the nursery in her place, and she could only come when she has to feed the kits. Ivypool is surprised at the offer and says she'll think about it.
- After discussion with Hawkwing, Leafstar decides to send a patrol back to the gorge to search for their missing Clanmates. She sends Hawkwing, Violetpaw, Rabbitleap, and Blossomheart. They ask ThunderClan if they could send anyone as well, and Bramblestar agrees. Molewhisker agrees to go, stating that he knows the route from his previous journey. Twigpaw decides to stay behind because she wants to look after Finpaw. The patrol leaves and she wishes them well.
- The medicine cats go to their Moonpool meeting. Mothwing and Willowshine do not attend, due to RiverClan closing their borders. They share a dream with StarClan. Firestar tells them they must bring RiverClan back. Echosong arrives and delivers a prophecy - that the dark sky must not herald a storm. Leafpool decides to join SkyClan as their temporary medicine cat upon Jayfeather's suggestion.
- Hawkwing's patrol crosses a Thunderpath. Violetpaw freezes in the middle of the road and causes a monster to crash into another. That night, Violetpaw dreams of Needletail again. She wakes up and sees her spirit. She runs to her and asks if she is dead. Needletail says she is and turns away, leading her deeper into the forest. Violetpaw thinks she wants her to follow her. Needletail disappears, and Violetpaw returns to the others.
- Twigpaw and Dewpaw are collecting moss for the dens. She thinks that Finpaw's tail is healing well, but his spirits are low. Plumwillow stays with him until he asks her to leave, and now refuses to have visitors. Dewpaw asks if Twigpaw likes Finpaw, as her fur twitches when she talks about him. The gray she-cat insists they're just friends. She decides to visit Finpaw, even though he tells her to leave. He is very down about losing part of his tail. They start talking about Dewpaw's snoring, and a vigil for his tail, and this cheers him up. Leafpool comes to dress his wound, and Finpaw begs her to let Twigpaw stay, as her companionship distracts him from the pain.
- Alderheart is frustrated because Bramblestar will not act on the prophecy until they fully understand its meaning. Rowanstar believes that the dark sky means SkyClan will cause trouble, and has increased border patrols. Harestar thinks it means the current situation will get worse, and done the same. The medicine cats go to Leafstar to get her opinion, but she says SkyClan is too busy settling to think about prophecies. Alderheart sees Twigpaw, and is surprised that she is quick to dismiss him, as she is playing with Finpaw. The medicine cats go to RiverClan to deliver the prophecy, but a border patrol refuses to let them speak with Mistystar or her medicine cats.
- The SkyClan patrol reaches Barley's farm. They reunite with Barley, Cherrytail, and Cloudmist. Barley invites them to hunt, surprised by their visit. Hawkwing asks his kin to come back to the lake with them, as they had decided to stay with Barley when leaving the gorge. Cherrytail and Cloudmist hesitate, noting that they have a good life here. They decide to give their answer on their way back from the gorge.
- Sandynose is teaching Twigpaw to climb trees, but she keeps daydreaming about Finpaw. She falls from a tree and hits her head. Twigpaw is taken to the medicine den, and Finpaw sits with her. When Leafpool leaves, they talk and both decide they feel fine. The pair sneaks out of camp to go to the place where Twigpaw and Violetpaw met as kits. They end up spying on Tigerheart and Dovewing meeting secretly, talking about how Tigerheart may need to take Rowanstar's place. Tigerheart promises they will work this out.
- Alderheart is collecting herbs by the lakeshore, and Willowshine runs over to tell him about a vision she had with a six toed cat. She is nervous, not having supposed to sneak out of camp. He convinces her that this needs to be shared, and they go to the other Clans to tell the other medicine cats. In ShadowClan, after giving the news, cats begin to argue. Willowshine and Alderheart watch in horror as Scorchfur and Tawnypelt break into a fight, quickly leaving.
- The SkyClan patrol reaches the gorge, and they find Mintfur, Nettlesplash, and their kits, Gravelpaw, Palepaw, Nectarpaw, and Fringepaw, as well as Fidgetpaw, the lost medicine cat apprentice. They go back to their makeshift cave and share prey. The cats tell them that Frecklewish has been captured, and lives in a Twoleg hive. Hawkwing agrees to assist the rescue so they can return to the gorge.
- In SkyClan's territory, there is a border dispute. Fallowfern crosses the border when collecting herbs for Leafpool. Finpaw and Twigpaw go hunting together. He is upset because he cannot hunt right with half a tail, and Twigpaw comforts him and claims he will be the best warrior in SkyClan. Later, Twigpaw accidentally chases a squirrel over the ThunderClan border and runs straight into Ivypool. She tells her that she saw Dovewing meeting with Tigerheart, and Twigpaw realizes that she misses ThunderClan.
- Alderheart sneaks off to the Twolegplace to look for a six toed cat. He meets Zelda, Loki, and an aggressive cat named Jasper, but the kittypets are unable to help. As Alderheart makes his way back, he gets attacked by Jasper, but Sparkpelt appears to fight off the kittypet. She reveals that she had been following Alderheart, and as they talk, she confesses that she really likes Larksong, admitting she had been very focused on him lately. On their way back, the two are attacked by a dog, and it bites Sparkpelt's leg. Alderheart attacks the dog and drives it away, leaving Sparkpelt to be impressed by his bravery.
- During a large rainstorm, the lost SkyClan cats' nests are washed away. They take this as a sign that they need to leave and go to the lake. Nettlesplash leads the SkyClan search patrol to Frecklewish's Twoleg nest, and call out to her from a tree. They convince her to jump out the window of her apartment and over a fence. From there, she escapes by racing across a series of ledges. She lands safely, and the Twoleg tries to come after her. The cats run away as it begins to rain, losing their pursuers.
- Back in SkyClan, Sandynose asks Twigpaw to stay away from Finpaw because she's distracting him from his training. She's angry at the request, but agrees, which satisfies her mentor. A ThunderClan patrol arrives and reveals that Dovewing has gone missing. Back in ThunderClan, many cats don't say much about Dovewing's disappearance, as they know how much time she and Tigerheart spent together when he stayed with them. Ivypool is worried that they think she's a traitor, but Fernsong assures her. Meanwhile, a rockslide unexpectedly occurs in ThunderClan's camp, sending panic throughout the Clan. Falling rocks land on Snowbush as the cats evacuate, and he breaks a hind leg. Infection sets in while the Clan shelters near the lakeshore and it kills him.
- On the way back, the SkyClan patrol stops at Barley's farm. Cherrytail and Cloudmist decide to return to SkyClan with them. When they almost reach the lake, Violetpaw sees Needletail again. She leads him to Tree, who is sleeping in his nest. Needletail tells Violetpaw that she is not in StarClan or the Dark Forest, she just finds herself with Tree whenever she opens her eyes. She believes she is stuck with Tree because he is important to the Clans. She asks Violetpaw to take him back to the lake with them. She believes if she does this for the Clans, she will be able to find StarClan.
- Violetpaw is in the forest, and she finds Tree sleeping. He wakes up and talks to her, and she tries to explain what Needletail told her. He returns with her to the patrol, much to their surprise. They are suspicious of him and don't know whether to trust him or not. However, after hearing Violetpaw's explanation, they agree to bring him back to the Clans.
- While training, Sandynose asks Twigpaw to go hunt on her own. Finpaw runs to her, and she tells him that Sandynose told her to stay away from him because she's affecting his training. Finpaw insists that she had helped him a lot. Twigpaw says they can hang out when they're warriors. Finpaw thinks she will not want to because he will be so clumsy with half a tail. Twigpaw promises she will and nothing can keep them from being apart. She admits he's special to her. She wonders if she will ever have the same respect from others in SkyClan as she did in ThunderClan, as Sandynose does not trust her.
- At the Gathering, all Clans but RiverClan is present. Rowanstar announces that Tigerheart has gone missing. Rowanstar says that he believed that with Tigerheart, ShadowClan could be strong again. He feels he can no longer hold the Clan together, and confesses he can no longer lead his Clan. He offers SkyClan all of his territory if they will allow he and his Clanmates to join SkyClan. Leafstar agrees. Every Clan objects to this, saying there must be five Clans.
- The SkyClan patrol returns to camp with their missing Clanmates. They are shocked and confused to find ShadowClan moving in. Hawkwing asks what's going on, and Leafstar is summoned from her nest. Leafstar is about to turn away Tree when Puddleshine notices that he has six toes, and is the cat in the prophecy. She agrees to accept him here, due to the words of her medicine cats. After, Leafstar tells Violetpaw and Twigpaw that it is time they became warriors.
- Twigpaw leaves the camp to get some air, feeling overwhelmed. Finpaw joins her to make sure she is alright. They return to camp, and Leafstar holds the naming ceremony. She names Violetpaw Violetshine, and is about to give Twigpaw her name when Twigpaw interrupts her. She says that she does not belong in SkyClan, and she wants to return to ThunderClan. Leafstar is angry with her for making the decision at this time. Sandynose of all cats defends Twigpaw's decision, saying he is proud she had the courage to decide, and Hawkwing feels the same. Violetshine is angry with Twigpaw for abandoning her again. Hawkwing comforts her, and Twigpaw promises she will always love her and Hawkwing.
- Twigpaw heads out of the camp, and Finpaw follows, saying he is coming with her to ThunderClan. He states that he does not care what Clan he is in, as long as he is with her. She is warmed by this, and allows him to follow her. At ThunderClan's camp, Bramblestar has not decided if he will accept Twigpaw and Finpaw, due to the possibility of swerving loyalties and fickleness, but Alderheart believes he will.
- The medicine cats, Tree, and the remaining ShadowClan cats meet by the lakeshore, in the place where Needletail died and many other ShadowClan cats were drowned by Darktail. Leafpool tells them that Tree has the power to bring dead cats from the darkness so that they can be seen. Tree has been born with this gift to sense the dead and sometimes make them appear.
- Tree then summons many spirits who rise from the lake, including Needletail, Dawnpelt, Beenose, Mistcloud, Lioneye, and Birchbark. Needletail promises Violetshine she was never angry with her, and they will always be sisters. The spirits tell Rowanstar that for ShadowClan to be saved, he must fight for them and find his missing Clanmates. Rowanstar refuses, saying he failed his Clan and his kin, and asks to be called Rowanclaw from now on. The spirit cats disappear. Alderheart wonders what is left of ShadowClan, and if they have enough time to be saved.
- Nettlesplash is out hunting, and thinks about his young kits. He decides to visit the gorge before returning to his den, but comes across a rogue named Dragonfly on the way. She tells him to get off of Darktail's territory, and asks if he is a SkyClan cat. Nettlesplash lies in order to keep his kits safe, telling her that he doesn't know what she is talking about. He informs her that tansy will help her cough, and then quickly leaves. Nettlesplash wants to assist, but decides that the safety of his kits is more important.
- Later, Nettlesplash sits and watches his kits play. Palekit and Gravelkit play with a leaf, and Nectarkit sneaks up behind them. Meanwhile, Fringekit is sharing tongues with her mother, Mintfur. The she-kit is shy, but tentatively leaves her mother and inches closer to her littermates. Palekit tackles her, bringing her into the game. Mintfur and Nettlesplash are content, and proud of how much their kits have grown. Suddenly, Nectarkit sits up, commenting that she can hear a strange moaning noise.
- Mintfur tells the kits to go inside the den. Nettlesplash goes into the forest and finds Dragonfly, who is very sick. He and Mintfur decide to help her, and she heals in a quarter moon. She shares her catch with the family, and Fringekit snuggles into her side. Nettlesplash is warmed as he watches the rogue lick the kit's head. He and Mintfur invite Dragonfly to live with them permanently, and she tells them that they'll find out her decision in the morning. However, in the night, she returns to Darktail's group.
- Later, Nettlesplash plays with his kits, but slumps down, tired. The kits argue over what kind of prey is best, and Fringekit says that she liked the pigeons Dragonfly hunted for them. Moments later, a rabbit runs across the clearing. Nettlesplash realizes that some cat is chasing it, and orders his kits to hide. Darktail and Dragonfly enter the clearing, and Nettlesplash tells them that he is the only one there, having lost Mintfur and his kits after the battle.
- As punishment for yowling when the rabbit raced by, Darktail declares that Nettlesplash must catch three pieces of prey for his camp. Dragonfly protests, saying that Nettlesplash has already suffered enough. Darktail agrees, and the two rogues leave. Mintfur and Nettlesplash agree that they must leave. Nettlesplash hopes SkyClan returns soon, as they might not survive on their own with Darktail around. He is content knowing that his kits are safe for now.
- A reprint occurred in December of 2017, attributing the actual author (Kate Cary), rather than Cherith Baldry, who the first copy is dedicated to. This was a mistake on the grounds of the editors.
- A compiled list of the errors present in Darkest Night can be found here.
- Darkest Night (EN), HarperCollins (Hardcover), 7 November 2017
- Darkest Night (EN), HarperCollins (Library), 7 November 2017
- Darkest Night (EN), HarperCollins (e-Book), 7 November 2017
- Darkest Night (EN), HarperCollins (paperback), 6 November 2018
- Den mørkeste natten (NO), Juritzen Jr. (paperback), 2 April 2018
- 黯黑之夜 (ZH), Morning Star (paperback), 1 July 2018
- Dunkelste Nacht (DE), Beltz & Gelberg (hardcover), 20 August 2018
- Synkin yö (FI), Art House (hardcover), 10 February 2022, translated by Nana Sironen
- Synkin yö (FI), Art House (e-book), 15 June 2022, translated by Nana Sironen
Notes and references
|Darkest Night 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 • Bonus Scene|