|"Panic flooded his thoughts until he froze, too scared to move. Something evil was happening to these spirits. He began to tremble, a yowl of anguish rising in his throat. He tried to swallow it back, but it tore out of him, joining the anguished wails of the spirit cats."|
|— Rootspring during the Sisters' ceremony in Darkness Within, page 245|
Darkness Within is the fourth book in the The Broken Code arc. It features Bristlefrost, Shadowsight, and Rootspring as the main protagonists. Leafpool serves as the protagonist for the prologue. Squirrelflight is featured on the cover, with Bramblestar and his impostor below.[blog 2]
- Special thanks to Kate Cary
- Is the warrior code worth a warrior's life?
- Exiled after a battle that left all five Clans devastated, ThunderClan's loyal deputy, Squirrelflight, must bring to light an earth-shattering truth: the identity of the cat ruling ThunderClan while wearing Bramblestar's face. With tensions among the Clans at a breaking point, another battle looms, and even Squirrelflight may not be able to ensure Bramblestar has a body to return to. If he returns at all...
- Exiled after a battle that left all five Clans devastated, ThunderClan’s loyal deputy, Squirrelflight, must bring to light an earth-shattering truth: the identity of the cat ruling ThunderClan while wearing Bramblestar’s face.
- While the fate of his body hangs in the balance, the real Bramblestar’s spirit has vanished. Even Rootspring is powerless to reach him—and with tensions among the Clans at a breaking point, Squirrelflight may not be able to ensure Bramblestar has a body to return to. If he returns at all.
- Packed with action and intrigue, this sixth[note 1] Warriors series is the perfect introduction for readers new to the Warriors world, while dedicated fans will be thrilled to discover the new adventures that unfold after the events of A Vision of Shadows.
Detailed plot description
- Leafpool, Firestar, Bluestar, and Tallstar sit by the pool in StarClan territory. They converse about the current situation and the impostor. Leafpool brings up the daunting idea that StarClan may need a connection to the Clans, and that they might not survive. Firestar turns the idea down, but his eyes betray his disbelief in his words.
- Squirrelflight reveals that she thinks the impostor is Ashfur. Tigerstar concludes that Ashfur might have come back because of his feelings for Squirrelflight, and the Clans agree that he has come back for revenge. The Gathering argues for a bit before deciding that they will follow Squirrelflight's plan. As Bristlefrost follows her Clanmates to ThunderClan's camp, she questions Squirrelflight about how it would help if they know who the impostor is. Squirrelflight responds that the Clans will find comfort in the fact that the warrior is acting alone and that the rest of StarClan is on their side. She gestures to Lionblaze to lead the other cats to camp while she talks with Bristlefrost.
- Squirrelflight explains to the younger she-cat that StarClan will not betray the Clans, and that Ashfur never loved her. She reveals to Bristlefrost that she blames herself for not figuring out that it wasn't Bramblestar in that body, but she reassures her that she has to make it right. Bristlefrost admires Squirrelflight's courage, but she cannot ignore the feeling that something devastating is going to happen.
- Shadowsight is anxious while he waits for the Clans to come to execute Squirrelflight's plan. He asks Mothwing where Tigerstar is, and she replies that he is with Dovewing in his den. He goes to the leader's den, and eavesdrops on their discussion about the identity of the impostor. Tigerstar asks him why he is here, and Shadowsight explains that he wondered what Ashfur looked like when he was alive. After he gets the description, Shadowsight reveals that he may have seen him escape Bramblestar's body when he ate deathberries.
- The next morning, while Shadowsight is working with herbs, Cloverfoot exclaims that the Clans are coming to kill the impostor. Tigerstar assigns roles to his warriors, leaving Shadowsight with the impostor. The two cats talk, making Shadowsight hope that Squirrelflight could get there faster. He sees the ginger she-cat, and Squirrelflight informs the impostor that she loves him, and the impostor reveals himself as Ashfur. He reveals that he tricked Shadowsight into killing Bramblestar, and failed to kill Shadowsight. Tigerstar jumps into the fray and is able to land blows and inflict damage on Ashfur's body, but is held back by Reedwhisker, Hawkwing, and Lionblaze. The ShadowClan leader suggests killing the impostor, but after a heated discussion between the leaders, they conclude that they will send two warriors from all the Clans to guard Ashfur.
- Rootspring, along with the rest of SkyClan, goes to the vigil to honor the warriors who fought and died in the battle instigated by the impostor. Violetshine, Tree, Sagenose, and Rootspring talk about Sandynose and the battle, and Palesky ends the argument. Rootspring notices that there aren't many RiverClan cats there, and hurries over to Harelight and Icewing, the exiles, to discuss this. Harelight is hopeful that Mistystar will let them in soon, while Icewing is bitter and states that they are ShadowClan cats. Mothwing walks toward them, and asks them if they want to come with her to talk to the RiverClan patrol. The exiles say no, while the ShadowClan medicine cat goes to the patrol. Willowshine tries to persuade Mothwing to rejoin her, but she declines. Squirrelflight starts the vigil, and the leaders honor the warriors that fought. Rootspring scans the clearing, looking for ghosts, but he is unable to find any. He worries that without cats going to StarClan after they die, their family would grieve much more.
- The next morning, Rootspring wakes up alongside his kin, and finds Bristlefrost. He sees her with Spotfur, and the yellow tom gives his condolences. Spotfur takes her leave, and the two confide in each other about Spotfur's grief and Stemleaf's death. Rootspring and Bristlefrost return to their separate Clans. While going back to SkyClan camp, Rootspring catches up with Tree, and thanks him for covering up for him when the former saw Bramblestar's ghost. Tree dismisses it and says that Rootspring will realize that any father would do that when he has kits of his own. They encounter a kittypet ghost named Cheddar. Rootspring pounces at this opportunity and asks the ghost if she had seen any other spirits recently, and the she-cat concedes that she has seen some, describing Sandynose.
- Bristlefrost dreams about hunting prey, but is interrupted by an argument. She hurries outside her den to see Lionblaze and Thornclaw face to face. Thornclaw brings up the fact that Lionblaze had just been a regular warrior until his promotion to deputy, and this causes Twigbranch to ask the tabby warrior if he thought he should be acting deputy. Thornclaw dismisses this, but surrounding warriors exchange glances of disbelief. He claims that the only reason Lionblaze is deputy is because he's Squirrelflight's kin, and the deputy retorts in fury that he was the most qualified for the position. Thornclaw ignores this and goes on, stating how ever since Firestar's time, there has been no doubt who the next deputy and leader were going to be. Lionblaze defends ThunderClan's leadership, but Thornclaw pushes it farther, and asks that after Lionblaze becomes leader, he might select Sparkpelt, or even Flamepaw.
- Bristlefrost scans the clearing, spotting Snaptooth, Flywhisker, and her own brother, Flipclaw, agreeing with the senior warrior. This gives Bristlefrost an urge to say something, but she abruptly realizes that every word Thornclaw had said was true. As she is about to say something, Lionblaze asks Thornclaw why he is trying to stir up trouble within ThunderClan. Thornclaw retorts that the Clan should not blindly trust one leader, as they had trusted Bramblestar. After more arguing, Bristlefrost spots Jayfeather and Alderheart exiting the medicine den, and she urges Jayfeather to say something, but he keeps his jaws shut.
- After a moment, Bristlefrost shouts that the two toms should stop, and that Ashfur wanted this to happen. Thornclaw snaps at her to stay out of the conversation. Squirrelflight enters camp, and asks them to explain what is happening. Lionblaze reports that Thornclaw was questioning ThunderClan's leadership. Thornclaw explains his reasoning behind his challenging of authority, and the tabby tom and ginger she-cat exchange words, and after Jayfeather explains that they cannot get in contact with StarClan, Snaptooth crossly questions why their ancestors exist if they only turn up when they want to.
- Flipclaw brings up the point that, without StarClan, they should not follow the warrior code. This causes numerous ThunderClan cats to argue, and after a heated conversation, Flipclaw, Flywhisker, Thornclaw, and Snaptooth decide to leave for a wander. Bristlefrost sees Graystripe approach Squirrelflight, and thinks to herself that Graystripe will encourage her, but is extremely shocked when Graystripe announces he's leaving as well. Squirrelflight, with a shocked face, exclaims that she will give them her good wishes, but if they don't come back in a moon, they are not welcome in ThunderClan.
- In the medicine cat den, Mothwing lectures Shadowsight about how herbs need to be dried. Shadowsight argues with her, internally thinking that she is attached to her RiverClan ways. Scorchfur interrupts their argument, and the medicine cats see that he is limping. The argument continues once more, and Mothwing is able to treat Scorchfur. Scorchfur berates them for not being able to heal their Clanmates, and Cloverfoot comes inside. She hears about what has happened, and orders the ShadowClan medicine cats to Tigerstar's den.
- Once they arrive, Mothwing, much to Shadowsight's surprise, states that she thinks that Shadowsight is too young to heal unsupervised. Tigerstar nods, shocking Shadowsight once more, and he asks for Puddleshine's opinion. Puddleshine comes in, and more politely says the same thing that Mothwing had said. The conversation ends with Tigerstar demoting Shadowsight to temporary medicine cat apprentice duties, but he does let him heal Ashfur unsupervised.
- When Shadowsight arrives to Ashfur's den, the dark warrior guesses that Shadowsight had been demoted. Shadowsight has to stop from getting angry at Ashfur, internally telling himself that he has to act like a medicine cat. Ashfur tells Shadowsight that he thought his Clanmates wouldn't trust him anymore, but Shadowsight retorts that they still do. The medicine cat apprentice asks Ashfur why he chose him, and after a pause, Ashfur states that Shadowsight had true talent, and that Tigerstar would defend his son very stubbornly. Their conversation ends with Ashfur complimenting himself for choosing Shadowsight, stating that Shadowsight truly had talent. Shadowsight is rather surprised by this, and is internally warmed by this.
- In Leafstar's den, Rootspring and Tree report the absence of ghosts at the vigil, their encounter with Cheddar, and what it means. After some confusion, Leafstar finally understands, and declares that the other leaders should learn about this. After the leaders are informed, Tigerstar claims that they should kill Bramblestar's body, since there have been no reports of his ghost. An argument follows, and the leaders decide that the Sisters will be brought to the Clans under some conditions. They decide that Rootspring, Bristlefrost, Spotfur, and Needleclaw are to go on the expedition. Rootspring is excited to spend time with Bristlefrost.
- Bristlefrost feels excited stepping out of Clan territory for the first time. She also feels excited that she was chosen to go on the quest with Rootspring, Needleclaw, and Spotfur. Bristlefrost thinks about how ThunderClan had been lost since Flipclaw, and the other had left for their wander. Bristlefrost tells the others that she can't see any Twolegplaces. Rootspring says he know where the Sisters headed and that they'd probably find them by sunset.
- More Coming Soon
- A compiled list of the errors present in Darkness Within can be found here.
- Darkness Within (EN), HarperCollins (hardcover), 10 November 2020
- Darkness Within (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 10 November 2020
- (Warrior Cats Hub app only)
- (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- This is a typo on the official blurb, not by the wiki itself. The Broken Code is the seventh arc of the series. https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062823731/warriors-the-broken-code-4-darkness-within/