"When Hawkfrost and I were kits, our littermate drowned. I saw how you and the other medicine cats saved Blackclaw today, and I thought…maybe he didn't have to. I want to save other cats from dying if I can."
A new medicine cat's path to her ultimate destiny.
Detailed plot description
Mothwing struggles to fall asleep in the RiverClanwarriors' den, despite others hushing her. She reflects that she misses her mother, Sasha, despite choosing to stay in the Clan with her brother Hawkfrost. Mothwing fitfully falls asleep, quickly becoming absorbed in a nightmare. As a kit, she recalls herself, Hawk, and Tadpole searching the Twolegplace for Sasha's former owner, Ken. After getting lost, the trio run into a group of rogues that scare them into hiding in a Twoleg nest, which floods due to a burst pipe, and ends in Tadpole drowning. Mothwing grumpily wakes in her nest, promising to herself that she will remain with her living brother forever. The next day, she returns from a hunting patrol, where Hawkfrost reminds her why they need to prove they are good warriors due to their heritage.
Days later, Mothwing participates in an watermint gathering patrol but is sent back to camp when Mistyfoot notices she is tired. Hawkfrost chastises Mothwing for this, and they soon notice that Cinderpelt, ThunderClan'smedicine cat, has come to visit Mudfur. The golden she-cat is interested in their conversation, but is distracted from it when Hawkfrost starts a play-fight with her. Heavystep rushes in, reporting that Blackclaw is stuck in the river mud. Leopardstar rescues him, while Mudfur and Cinderpelt are able to get the mud out of the warrior and save his life.
Mothwing is awed, and later goes to see Mudfur, asking to be trained as a medicinecatapprentice. Mudfur agrees to talk to RiverClan's leaders about it, but needs a sign from StarClan, as well, which leaves her befuddled until he explains. Mothwing later begins healing her Clanmates unofficially, and though Hawkfrost is displeased, Mistyfoot offers encouragement. Though cats at the Gathering are unhappy with Mothwing and Hawkfrost, Leopardstar sticks up for them. Mothwing struggles with whether she believes in StarClan or not, wanting not to displease her Clan.
Mothwing continues her training under Mudfur, and Hawkfrost warms to the idea of his sister becoming a medicine cat to cement their position in RiverClan. Mudfur continues to hold out for a sign from StarClan about her, which he believes is a moth's wing he finds outside his den. Mothwing is initiated as a medicine cat apprentice, but upon her return from Highstones, learns that the sign was fake. She reluctantly concurs not to tell Mudfur at Hawkfrost's goading.
Moons later, Mudfur has fallen ill, and Mothwing cares for him. She talks with Hawkfrost, who reports that Sasha was on RiverClan territory today, and had admitted to Firestar that they were Tigerstar's kits. Mothwing is shocked, but is soon distracted as Mudfur starts to struggle for breath. She calls for help, and receives Leopardstar's permission to get Cinderpelt's help. Mudfur recovers slightly after receiving help from the ThunderClan cats, though it soon becomes apparent he is dying. After he dies, cats comfort her, though swiftly prepare for the coming journey. As the cats leave on their journey, Sasha inquires whether her kits would like to leave with her. They decline, with the encouragement of others to stay, though Mothwing does so reluctantly.
After settling into their new home in the lake territories, Mothwing grieves Heavystep's death from greencough. She instructs her apprentice, Willowpaw, to gather cobwebs in case they're needed. Mothwing worries about Willowpaw's StarClan training, but is soon distracted by Hawkfrost visiting her. Hawkfrost explains his concerns with Stormfur and Brook, who had recently rejoined the Clan, because he wants to be deputy in place of the former when Leopardstar dies. He pressures her into constructing a false vision to say that the pair should leave RiverClan. After the pair leave due to a confrontation, Mothwing is angry at Hawkfrost for what he did.
Mothwing takes Willowpaw to the Moonpool, where her apprentice is presented to StarClan. She recalls that Leafpool is assisting in Willowpaw's training, after she'd told her peer the truth. Mothwing continues helping her apprentice learn, and they help Voletooth when he gets stung by bees. She struggles with her lack of belief in StarClan, and with not talking to Hawkfrost anymore. However, she concludes that she has a job to do, and tries to focus on that.
A moon later, Swallowtail is treated for a cut in the medicine den by Mothwing. A ThunderClan patrol soon comes bearing Hawkfrost's body home, claiming he died in a fox trap. Mothwing beseeches Leafpool for the truth, and is told that her brother had tried to kill Firestar. The RiverClan medicine cat is heartbroken, but can't deny that it is possible. She grieves for moons, reflecting on Hawkfrost's death even after Mistystar has become leader and Willowshine earns her full medicine cat name. RiverClan prepares for the battle against the Dark Forest as Mothwing watches them. As cats from other Clans come to their Clan to fight, ThunderClan's visiting patrol bursts into camp, announcing that the Dark Forest has arrived.
Mothwing cares for the injured during the battle, horrified and astonished that it is actually happening. She is doubly hurt that Hawkfrost is fighting against the Clans, and doesn't listen to her pleas for him to stop injuring her Clanmates. Mothwing sees StarClan cats arrive to help the Clans, thinking that they may be real now that she sees them. She talks with Mudfur, her mentor, who clarifies why StarClan did not interfere until now. Mothwing concludes that StarClan exists, but that it does not always have the Clans' best interests in mind.
The next newleaf, Mothwing reflects on the relative peace the Clans have had recently. When Petalfur is injured by a dog, she and Willowshine treat her. While still holding doubts about StarClan, she respects that other cats are comforted by the thought. Petalfur is stabilized and moved to the medicine den with the help of her mate, Mallownose. Mothwing feels that she is meant to be in RiverClan, and focuses on saving every cat she can.
Mothwing's Secret (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 7 April 2020
A Warrior's Spirit (EN), HarperCollins (paperback) (included within), 7 April 2020
A Warrior's Spirit (EN), HarperCollins (eBook) (included within), 7 April 2020
End of spoiler warning
English Language Edition Released in North America & United Kingdom
↑The exact timeframe during the book's last chapter is unclear; the Great Battle took place in the chapters prior and Petalfur is still alive as Mothwing is treating her injuries. This means the final chapter of Mothwing's Secret takes place sometime after The Last Hope and sometime before Petalfur's death in Shattered Sky.