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"I know you think I've never forgiven Brambleclaw for stealing you from me, but you're wrong, and so is every cat that thinks so. My quarrel is with you, Squirrelflight. It always has been."
Ashfur's confrontation with Squirrelflight during the fire in Long Shadows, page 273

ThunderClan's fire took place in Long Shadows and damaged ThunderClan's camp.[4] While escaping, Lionblaze, Hollyleaf, and Jayfeather discover that their parents aren't Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw.[3]

Summary

Premise

Ashfur and Squirrelflight were formerly in a relationship, but it broke up when she chose to be with Brambleclaw instead. Despite many moons having passed, there is still tension between all three. Ashfur seems to take out his anger on Squirrelflight's kin at different intervals, but either doesn't succeed or it isn't something big enough to notice.[5] Before the fire, the air gets heavier and hotter, but no cat can distinguish what it is. They interpret the coming storm to mean good, since rain will help clear the air. [1]

Overview

During a storm, lightning bolts start come down from the sky, catching the camp on fire. Cats begin to evacuate, planning to later regroup. Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, and Lionblaze try to leave, but get trapped in camp. Squirrelflight helps them escape through another route, but are then stranded on the edge of the cliff.[1] The dark ginger she-cat tries to help them escape across a branch, and Ashfur pushes it into place. However, when Lionblaze tries to cross, the gray warrior blocks his way. He turns to Squirrelflight, who's standing next to him, and tells her that he never forgave her after she left him for Brambleclaw. He wants her to suffer the same pain he feels.[1] She says that he cannot hurt her that way, because they are not her kits. Ashfur lets them live, having no quarrel with the trio since they aren't related to Squirrelflight. The three escape, and Squirrelflight tries to make amends with them, but they don't want to talk to her.[6] The trio begin to doubt whether they really are the Three the prophecy speaks of. Ashfur is confronted by Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, Lionblaze, and Squirrelflight, to prevent him from revealing their secret,[7][8] but is later found dead in a stream.[9] The three are secretly relieved that their secret is now safe, and vow to keep it that way.[10]

Description

A hurried escape

A storm starts to form, and it begins to rain. A lightning bolt crashes down from the sky, quickly catching the camp on fire. Firestar orders every cat to evacuate, and cats begin to scatter. More bolts of lighting crash down, sending a burning branch flying into the clearing. Warriors emerge from their dens, planning to meet at the old Twoleg nest and regroup. Hollyleaf helps Jayfeather away from the medicine den, and they prepare to leave from the tunnel along with Lionblaze. However, before they can reach it, the entire thorn barrier is hit by lightning and bursts into flames. The tunnel disappears in a wall of fire, leaving them trapped in camp.[1]

Secret exit

The trio begin to panic, wondering where to go since they're now trapped. Squirrelflight beckons them over to a section of the hollow wall, saying it's another way to escape. They quickly scale the path and reach the top of the cliff. From there, Squirrelflight manages to escape, but Hollyleaf and her littermates remain trapped on the edge of the cliff. As the fire comes nearer, they struggle to huddle on the crumbling rock. Squirrelflight calls out that she's going to push a branch through to them, so they can get out. However, because she's still injured, the she-cat struggles to move it.[1]

Ashfur's vengeance

Lionblaze contemplates whether he can jump across to help her, but Hollyleaf holds him back. Ashfur appears and shoves the branch across to them, and Squirrelflight thanks him. However, when Lionblaze tries to cross, the gray warrior blocks his way. Squirrelflight begs him to let them through, and do whatever he likes to her. However, he tells her that he never forgave her after she left him for Brambleclaw and reveals he was the one who helped Hawkfrost set the trap for Firestar. Ashfur meows that this was show her the pain he feels each and every day. The warrior insists he will now kill Hollyleaf, Lionblaze, and Jayfeather so she can suffer as he has.[1]

Secrets revealed

Squirrelflight says that he cannot hurt her that way, because they are not her kits. She explains explains how she kept the secret from Brambleclaw and the whole of ThunderClan. Ashfur lets them live, not having any quarrel with the younger cats. However, he threatens to tell her secret, and she is shocked that he will betray her like this. Ashfur leaves, still in shock, leaving the three littermates to escape across the branch. They do so, and Squirrelflight tries to make amends with them. Hollyleaf and Lionblaze refuse to speak to her even when she says that she couldn't have loved kits of her own more, but refrains from telling them who their parents are.[6]

Mending what's broken

The trio begin to doubt whether they really are the Three the prophecy speaks of, due to it referencing Firestar's kin. When the fire fades, cats return to camp for repair work. Ashfur requests to go to the Gathering, but is confronted by Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, Lionblaze, and Squirrelflight to prevent him from revealing their secret. [11] [8] However, later on the way to the Gathering, ThunderClan's patrol to the meeting finds Ashfur dead in the WindClan stream. [9] The three are secretly relieved that their secret is now safe, and vow to keep it that way.[10]

Characters

Squirrelflight

Squirrelflight is a warrior of ThunderClan, who is the mate of Brambleclaw, but had previously been in a relationship with Ashfur. When ThunderClan's camp catches fire, she, along with Lionblaze, Jayfeather, and Hollyleaf, are trapped in the camp. She shows them secret way out of camp, but the three remain trapped on the edge of the cliff. Squirrelflight tries to push a branch through to them, and Ashfur helps. However, he doesn't let them escape, intending to let them die to hurt her. Ashfur wants her to feel the pain he feels after she picked Brambleclaw over him.[1] Squirrelflight reveals that Jayfeather, Lionblaze and Hollyleaf aren't her kits. Ashfur threatens that he will tell everyone the truth, but leaves. The three ask her if she was lying to him to save them, but she confirms what she said.[6] They are angry at her, but she and the littermates are relieved when Ashfur is found dead, because it helps keep their secret hidden.[10]

Ashfur

Ashfur is a warrior of ThunderClan, who was previously been in a relationship with Squirrelflight.[5] When ThunderClan's camp catches fire, he helps Squirrelflight push a branch through to Hollyleaf and her littermates, but doesn't let them escape. He intends to let them die so she feel the pain he feels after she picked Brambleclaw over him.[1] Squirrelflight reveals that Jayfeather, Lionblaze and Hollyleaf aren't her kits. Ashfur threatens that he will tell everyone the truth, but leaves.[6] Later, Ashfur is found dead, and the four cats involved are relieved because he won't be able to reveal their secret.[10]

Jayfeather, Lionblaze, & Hollyleaf

Jayfeather is one of ThunderClan's medicine cats, and Lionblaze are Hollyleaf are ThunderClan warriors. They were raised as Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw's kits. During a storm, lightning catches the camp on fire. Jayfeather, Hollyleaf and Lionblaze are trapped in camp, but Squirrelflight helps them escape. When then stranded on the edge of the cliff, she and Ashfur push a branch into place for escape.[1] However, the gray warrior blocks their way, wanting her to suffer.[1] She says that he cannot hurt her that way, because they are not her kits. Ashfur lets them live, and Squirrelflight tries to make amends with them once they escape.[6] The trio begin to doubt whether they really are the Three the prophecy speaks of. Ashfur is confronted by Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, Lionblaze, and Squirrelflight, to prevent him from revealing their secret,[7][8] but is later found dead in a stream.[9] The three are secretly relieved that their secret is now safe, and vow to keep it that way.[10]

Characters involved in the fire


Quotes

"Your quarrel with Brambleclaw has to stop. Too many moons have passed. You have to accept that I'm Brambleclaw's mate, not yours. You can't keep trying to punish Brambleclaw for something that was always meant to be."
—Squirrelflight to Ashfur Long Shadows, page 272


"...I can't believe you didn't know how much you hurt me. You are the blind one, not Jayfeather. Who do you think sent Firestar the message to go down to the lake, where the fox trap was? I wanted him to die, to take your father away so you'd know the real meaning of pain."
—Ashfur to Squirrelflight Long Shadows, page 274


Squirrelflight: "Enough, Ashfur. Your quarrel is with me. These young cats have done nothing to hurt you. Do what you like with me, but let them out of the fire."
Ashfur: "You don't understand. This is the only way to make you feel the same pain you caused me. You tore my heart out when you chose Brambleclaw over me. Anything I did to you would never hurt as much. But your kits.... if you watch them die, then you'll know the pain I felt."
Squirrelflight: "Kill them, then. You won't hurt me that way. If you really want to hurt me, you'll have to find a better way than that. They are not my kits."
—Ashfur and Squirrelflight Long Shadows, pages 274-276

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 Revealed in Long Shadows, chapter 22
  2. Revealed in River of Fire, page 170
  3. 3.0 3.1 Revealed in Long Shadows, page 276
  4. Revealed in Long Shadows, page 274
  5. 5.0 5.1 Revealed in Long Shadows, chapter 21
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Revealed in Long Shadows, chapter 23
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Long Shadows, pages chapter 24-25
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Revealed in Long Shadows, chapter 25
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Revealed in Long Shadows, chapter 26
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Revealed in Long Shadows, chapter 28
  11. Revealed in Long Shadows, chapter 24
Events in the Warriors series
The Prophecies Begin Battle for SunningrocksBrokenstar's TyrannyPlan to divert the dogsBloodClan's invasion
The New Prophecy Finding MidnightA new homeWindClan civil warAmbush of the badgers
Power of Three A Tribe in needAssault on ThunderClanFireTracking a killer
Omen of the Stars Saving the lakeDrought in the lake territoriesFight for the borderWar with the Dark Forest
A Vision of Shadows Alderpaw's questYellowcough epidemicThe Kin's campaignShadowClan's downfallWatermint shortageFireBattle for the stolen kitsShadowClan versus SkyClan
Dawn of the Clans The first battleFollowing the sun trail
Super Editions Talltail and Jake's excellent adventureSkyClan's revivalA storm of epic proportionsBlood, water, and badgersBattle of the gorge
Novellas A predicted starvationRavenpaw's travels
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