|"The life that she had known was over; if she couldn't be a warrior, then she would dedicate every beat of her heart to avenging the deaths of her kits."|
|— Mapleshade about her kits in Mapleshade's Vengeance, page 62|
- In this novella from the world of Erin Hunter's #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series, discover the sinister past of one of the most treacherous cats in the Dark Forest.
- Long before she troubled the dreams of Crookedstar or Tigerclaw, Mapleshade was a warrior of ThunderClan. But then the Clans cast her out as a traitor—and she vowed to seek her revenge...
- For the members of FacebookClan, with great affection
- Special thanks to Victoria Holmes
Detailed plot description
- At a Gathering, Mapleshade treads on the WindClan warrior Swiftflight's tail and apologizes when he hisses in pain. As Mapleshade passes RiverClan, they snarl with hostility, reminding Mapleshade of their recent defeat on Sunningrocks. Mapleshade silently recalls the battle, where a RiverClan warrior, Appledusk, had shoved the ThunderClan warrior Birchface so hard that he fell into the river. Birchface's apprentice, Flowerpaw, had jumped after him, and both she and Birchface drowned as they tried swimming back to ThunderClan.
- Mapleshade is interrupted by Appledusk, the RiverClan warrior. He warns that them together is too risky, but Mapleshade is happy to see him and demands to know where he was during the past few moons. Appledusk replies that patrols had doubled, and he was unable to sneak out of the camp. He promises that he would see her again. Mapleshade asks him why he had to kill Birchface of all cats, because he was the son of Oakstar, ThunderClan's leader. Appledusk claims it was an accident. Mapleshade reveals that she is expecting Appledusk's kits. Appledusk is surprised, yet delighted, and Mapleshade tells him to not see her until she has given birth. A RiverClan warrior, Reedshine, calls Appledusk away and Mapleshade hides quickly. When she sees the two cats padding away, heads close, she silently tells Reedshine to leave Appledusk alone, as she has her kits to prove that Appledusk is hers.
- The next morning, Mapleshade is woken up by Nettlepaw, who tells her that Beetail wanted her on the dawn patrol. When Mapleshade stumbles out of her nest, Nettlepaw asks why she is so slow, and Mapleshade teases him, asking him what he thought Deerdapple would do to him if he had spoken to her like that. Embarrassed, Nettlepaw admits that she would probably make him search for ticks for a moon. When Beetail beckons Mapleshade to join the patrol, Mapleshade tells him she is expecting kits, and Beetail excuses her from patrols, congratulating her awkwardly. After hearing the news, Frecklewish runs up to Mapleshade and asks her about the kits. When she asks if Birchface was the father, Mapleshade doesn't reply, and Frecklewish enthusiastically tells Mapleshade that she is happy that her brother would live through Mapleshade. Mapleshade lies down in her nest and Frecklewish lies down beside her, promising that she will care for Mapleshade. Mapleshade reminds herself that she never said Birchface was the father of her kits, and that it was Frecklewish who insisted on the idea, but Mapleshade is grateful for the excuse. Frecklewish promises Mapleshade that these kits will be the best thing that has ever happened to the Clan. Mapleshade declares that she will not raise these kits alone now.
- Mapleshade endures a successful labor - two healthy sons and a daughter, thanks to the aid of Ravenwing. The whole time, she wants Frecklewish to go away, but is too weak to tell her. Mapleshade expresses to Ravenwing how these kits are a gift to her, and Ravenwing comments that the kits are also a gift to the Clan as well. Three sunrises after, Mapleshade introduces her kits to Oakstar. Oakstar is deeply touched by these kits, reminding them that he's not just their leader, but their kin, as Birchface was his son. Little did Oakstar know, that they aren't actually related to him, as Birchface is not their biological father. As Frecklewish approaches Mapleshade, Mapleshade introduces the name of her kits - Larchkit, Patchkit, and Petalkit. Frecklewish is disappointed and asks why Mapleshade didn't name any of her kits after Birchface, and Mapleshade explains that she didn't want her kits to be an echo of a warrior that had been gone before, but instead wants her kits to be their own warrior. Oakstar is shown to understand, and Mapleshade asks that Frecklewish tells Appledusk about the kits, in order to show him that the Clan is stronger than ever before. Oakstar vows revenge on Appledusk, declaring that there are three new warriors that will avenge Birchface's death. Mapleshade points out that warriors must show mercy, but Frecklewish retorts that Appledusk didn't show mercy to Birchface or Flowerpaw. Mapleshade wants to tell the two that their death was an accident, but can't let Frecklewish know that she felt any sympathy for Appledusk - at least, not yet.
- When the kits are two moons old, Larchkit and Petalkit play with each other while Mapleshade asks Patchkit if he'll join. He refuses, wanting to stay with Mapleshade forever, even when he is an apprentice. Noticing Petalkit has ruined Larchkit's game, Rabbitfur, an elder suggests a new game of jumping to a stone. Larchkit and Petalkit complain it's too far, but Rabbitfur snorts Birchface could leap twice that distance. Both kits try but fail to jump onto the stone, jumping far too short with Larchkit almost landing on Rabbitfur. The elder could not believe the kits of Birchface would be bad jumpers. Mapleshade insists that is from her, but Rabbitfur thinks she is a good jumper. Mapleshade angrily hisses that she doesn't want her kits judged before they have proved anything, and takes all three out to the forest. Larchkit and Petalkit talk about badgers, but Patchkit stresses he'll be eaten by a badger. Mapleshade promises not to let anything bad happen to him. Outside the camp, the kits look even tinier among the trees as Mapleshade leads them to the river. Larchkit stumbles and falls over, and Mapleshade can't deny that they are clumsy for ThunderClan cats. When they reach the river, the kits are surprised and dazzled at the sight of the river. Petalkit asks where the river comes from, then asks to go to the gorge. Mapleshade promises to show her one day. Patchkit, who is usually the last to try something new, steps in first confidently and swims perfectly. Larchkit and Petalkit join him, swimming just as well and Mapleshade knows they are half-RiverClan for sure. As Patchkit reaches a floating branch and stops to rest, a RiverClan patrol appears wondering what a kit is doing there.
- Appledusk is part of this patrol, and goes to fetch Patchkit while Mapleshade calls her other kits back. They are worried that they are in trouble and if Patchkit is alright, but Mapleshade reassures they are all okay. Appledusk steadily guides Patchkit back to shore, and tells Mapleshade she took a risk bringing them to the river. Mapleshade explains she wanted to show them the river. Appledusk reveals how proud he is of his kits, and how confident swimmers they are. He demands to not see the kits anywhere near the river again, but his eyes say otherwise. He heads back across the river with his Clanmates calling out threats to Mapleshade, reminding her of Birchface's and Flowerpaw's deaths. As she and the kits head back to camp, Patchkit, Larchkit and Petalkit are bounding with excitement as their fur dries quickly. Ravenwing, who watched the scene the whole time, confronts Mapleshade. He reveals he had an omen of three water reeds washing into his den. Water reeds don't belong in ThunderClan territory, and Ravenwing thinks that these reeds are Patchkit, Petalkit and Larchkit. He deduces that Birchface isn't the father of these kits, but Appledusk. Mapleshade begs that now is not the right time for the truth, but Ravenwing snaps that he cannot lie to his Clanmates. He insists the truth must come out, and their Clanmates deserve to know. He says he is sorry for Mapleshade, but even sorrier for her kits as they will suffer for what Mapleshade has done. Ravenwing immediately returns to camp.
- Mapleshade drags her kits back to camp to see the whole Clan has gathered for a Clan meeting. Oakstar demands Mapleshade to tell the truth on the father of her kits. Frecklewish questions as to why he is asking, and Oakstar says that she let him believe it was Birchface, and cannot believe one of his warriors would lie like this. Mapleshade states that any Clan will be proud to have these kits, but Ravenwing asks even if they were half-Clan. He demands that they deserve the truth, and reveals that Appledusk is the father of these kits. Enraged by this revelation, Frecklewish attacks Mapleshade, slashing her cheek, but is pulled off by her Clanmates. She tells Mapleshade she doesn't deserve to be called a warrior and nor do her kits, calling them half-Clan creatures. The kits cower at her words. Frecklewish hates them because their father killed her brother. Mapleshade is confused at the rage, and says she has given fine kits and three future warriors. Oakstar reminds her that Appledusk killed his son, and asks why she had to choose him of all cats. He states she cannot expect his forgiveness, and announces she has betrayed the warrior code and her Clanmates. He banishes all four cats. Despite Mapleshade's protests, her Clanmates, including Mapleshade's former mentor, Bloomheart, agree with him, so Mapleshade is forced to leave with her kits.
- Mapleshade reveals to her kits that Appledusk is their true father and explains that's why ThunderClan is mad at them, but says when they see reason, they'll return. The kits are confused and distraught, but obediently follow Mapleshade. She plans to shelter in RiverClan with her kits until ThunderClan accepts them back. The tortoiseshell queen takes her kits to the river to cross to RiverClan, but the river is flooding, and the kits are hesitant to go in. Mapleshade promises they'll be fine and she'll be right behind them. The kits jump in with Patchkit leading, but all three are washed away by the rushing water. Mapleshade jumps in and tries in vain to save them, but is rescued by Appledusk instead. Mapleshade begs for the RiverClan patrol he's with to rescue her kits. Realizing how much trouble young kits are in the flooded river, they rush to save them but only recover their bodies. Mapleshade shrieks at their bodies and urges them to wake up. She remembers the promise she made to Patchkit, and wails her apologies. Appledusk asks what's going on, and she reveals to Appledusk that they were driven out, and the patrol takes them all to RiverClan camp for their leader Darkstar to sort out. Appledusk does not, even once, stop to talk to Mapleshade about the kits anymore, not even their kits' names.
- Appledusk explains to Darkstar, Reedshine and the Clan about what happened, and his relationship with Mapleshade. He calls it a mistake, and makes it sound like its Mapleshade's own fault that the kits died. Appledusk begs for forgiveness from a confused Reedshine, who looks at him with concern and love. He begs for forgiveness from Darkstar, who says the loss of any kit is a loss to the Clan, but asks Appledusk how they can trust him again. Reedshine defends Appledusk, saying there is no one more loyal and if she can trust him again, then Darkstar can. After some hesitation, Darkstar agrees that Appledusk can stay, but warns him the Clan will be watching him as he works to earn back their trust. Appledusk thanks her, seeming very grateful and relieved. Darkstar beckons to some of her Clanmates to bury the kits and Mapleshade asks to stay with them. Darkstar refuses, only banishing her as she believes like Appledusk, she's been punished enough by the loss of her kits. Mapleshade begs Appledusk for help, but he refuses, blaming her for the kits' deaths. Reedshine hisses at Mapleshade that she has caused enough trouble and to get out. Mapleshade says she cannot leave her kits as they are everything to her, but Appledusk growls that they are dead. He tells her to be thankful they have shown some mercy and to get out before they make her leave. Mapleshade feels cold and empty and hisses at Appledusk that he told her he loved her, she went through the agony of bearing his kits, and he now treats her worse than prey. She promises he'll regret this day forever, and flees the territory to a barn, where she sees her kits' deaths over again in her mind.
- A kittypet named Myler nurses Mapleshade from her injuries and fever, but Mapleshade refuses a mouse, and insists she doesn't need help. She sees the death of her kits again, regretting she couldn't save them and keep her promise. She thinks she has done nothing wrong but lost everything. Mapleshade flees the barn towards ThunderClan territory, insisting to herself the river was too strong and it wasn't her fault her kits are dead. At the ThunderClan border, she remembers Ravenwing, and thinks that it's his fault that her kits are dead. She walks along the border until she could no more, and collapses. Nettlepaw finds her, and after learning of the kits and seeing how sick Mapleshade looks, he gives her some herbs. He reveals Frecklewish was following Mapleshade and her kits before, making sure they left the territory and saw them struggle in the river. Frecklewish claims that she thought they would be okay as RiverClan cats were on the other shore. Nettlepaw is called away and Mapleshade is left still fuming over Ravenwing. She figures that Nettlepaw probably won't tell about Mapleshade, at least not admitting he gave herbs. As the herbs strengthen Mapleshade, she plans to go to Moonstone as the medicine cats gather for the half moon and confront Ravenwing once and for all.
- She catches a rabbit that was being chased by WindClan warriors on WindClan territory, climbing up a tree much to the confusion of the patrol. She eats the rabbit and hopes wherever her kits are that they are warm unlike her. She reaches the Highstones and waits for the half-moon to rise. She waits for Ravenwing to enter the mothermouth before following. Ravenwing suspects someone is following and turns to call out, but Mapleshade keeps silent so he keeps going. At the Moonstone, Mapleshade lunges at Ravenwing, much to his shock. Mapleshade states that if she could kill him three times over she would, but thinks that there is nothing to say to the dark tom, so bites into his throat and kills him. His fellow medicine cats find him but Mapleshade hides behind the Moonstone. Larkwing and Sloefur drag Ravenwing's body to the surface where they bury it. Mapleshade remembers the cold dirt of RiverClan territory her kits are buried in, and uncovers Ravenwing's body, leaving it for a hawk. Exhausted, she collapses and closes her eyes, and sees the faces of Patchkit and Petalkit. She realizes she cannot see Larchkit, and thinks that only one kit has been avenged. She remembers what Nettlepaw has told Mapleshade about Frecklewish at the river, and instantly thinks she needs to pay for the death of her kits as much as Ravenwing has. She plans to use the adders at Snakerocks to punish Frecklewish.
- She goes near ThunderClan territory and finds a patrol, but none of them are Frecklewish. She finally finds Frecklewish, and lures her to Snakerocks by dragging a dead mouse along the ground. She removes the stones that are meant to block the adders so they can get to Frecklewish. Mapleshade leaps at Frecklewish, blaming her for her kits' death. Frecklewish threatens to get a patrol, but Mapleshade teases she'd rather watch kits drown then fight. Frecklewish reveals she thought they would be saved, and spits she wishes Mapleshade is dead as she betrayed her brother's name. She lunges at Mapleshade, but instead stumbles and is bitten by an adder. Frecklewish begs for help as she goes blind, but Mapleshade refuses to help and hides as a patrol comes to help Frecklewish. They try to save her eyesight even though they are without a medicine cat. Mapleshade realizes that even if Frecklewish survives, she'll be blind forever, so flees the territory. Mapleshade only can hear the wails of Patchkit now, and is ready for the last cat to die for her kits. She goes to RiverClan territory to kill Appledusk, certain he could have saved her kits and instead let them drown. She doesn't know the habits and patrols of RiverClan, so plans to watch them and learn. She doesn't need to though, as Appledusk arrives below Mapleshade's tree with his apprentice. He gives Perchpaw a hunting lesson before Reedshine arrives, and it is revealed she is carrying Appledusk's kits. Mapleshade is furious, hardly noticing two of her claws snapping off. The three RiverClan cats wander away eventually, and Mapleshade is even more determined to avenge Patchkit.
- Mapleshade falls asleep, but wakes up to find Perchpaw playing around instead of collecting moss like he should be. Mapleshade grabs him and holds him down until Appledusk comes in search for him. Perchpaw threatens that he is a RiverClan warrior, but Mapleshade says that he is just a stupid apprentice, and forces him to stay quiet. When Appledusk finally arrives searching for his apprentice, Mapleshade reveals herself and insists to Appledusk that he killed their kits, and he must pay. Appledusk however says that Mapleshade killed their kits, making them cross the river and threatens to call for a patrol. Mapleshade says he can have Perchpaw back, but challenges him to a fight. Appledusk refuses and at that same moment, Reedshine walks in. Mapleshade leaps at her, screeching Appledusk is hers and the queen and her kits must die. Appledusk jumps in front of her and Mapleshade claws his throat, killing him. Perchpaw jumps on Mapleshade and bites her neck, but slides off quickly. Patchkit stirs at Appledusk's body, and announces that he and his siblings are free before disappearing. Mapleshade staggers forward, begging for him not to leave but Reedshine threatens her. She says that she has not won as Appledusk will live on in his kin and his kin's kin. His spirit will not die but live forever.
- Growing weaker, Mapleshade claims she will haunt his kin and says her vengeance is not finished, and that it will never be finished. She flees and Perchpaw tries to follow, but Reedshine says to let her go and die alone. Mapleshade doesn't feel pain as she makes her way to the barn again. She closes her eyes, waiting for her kits to come and thank her for what she has done for them but it was only darkness. She thinks she can see Patchkit's face but it's only Myler again. Myler drags Mapleshade to warmth and asks if a Clancat did this, Mapleshade nods weakly in response. Myler tries to stop the heavily bleeding wound Perchpaw gave to her with some damp moss, but there is too much blood. Knowing there is no chance for Mapleshade to survive, Myler offers to stay with her, but Mapleshade refuses, saying she doesn't need anyone. Myler thinks she is wrong, but leaves Mapleshade alone. Mapleshade dies of her wounds, and finds herself in the Dark Forest. A voice, who refuses to show themselves welcomes her, and states she is to walk alone in her blood-soaked memories. Mapleshade is not distressed but triumphant. She was there because she endured, and there would be others like her. She plans to train them to punish the Clans she left behind. She thinks from the Place of No Stars, she can make more suffering than ever, and punish Appledusk's kin. As Mapleshade promised to Reedshine, her desire for vengeance will never sleep.
- This is the first e-book to take the new design of the forest territories.
- Despite taking place not long after SkyClan's exile, there is no mention of SkyClan or of Birdflight, Spottedpelt, or Gorseclaw.
- A compiled list of the errors present in Mapleshade's Vengeance can be found here.
- Mapleshade's Vengeance (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 24 March 2015
- Shadows of the Clans (EN), HarperCollins (paperback) (included within), 26 January 2016
- Mapleshade's Vengeance (EN), HarperCollins (paperback; reprint), 10 April 2018
Notes and references
- ↑ Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Information from HarperCollins.com
- ↑ Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
- ↑ Revealed on Kate's blog
- ↑ Revealed on the cover of Mapleshade's Vengeance
- ↑ Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
- ↑ Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 496
- ↑ Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed on HarperCollins' website
- ↑ Revealed on edelweiss.plus
|Mapleshade's Vengeance chapters|
|Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9|
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