|"Every leader faces difficult choices. And yours will be the most difficult of all."|
|— Thunderstar to Pinestar in Pinestar's Choice, chapter 8|
- Discover what drove Pinestar, once leader of ThunderClan, to abandon the warrior code, betray his Clan, and become a kittypet.
Detailed plot description
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- Mistpelt shows her apprentice, Pinepaw, around the Twolegplace. She shows him the fence, and he questions if Twolegs had built it to keep the forest cats out. Mistpelt replies no, but they must respect it as a border. Pinepaw walks up to the fence, and sees a kittypet glaring at him from the other side. Mistpelt leaps up and scares it off, and tells her apprentice he'll see more one day. They approach a Thunderpath, and hear Twolegs yowl with orange lights shining near them. Mistpelt says that they'll have to go around them, and hurries him forward as they turn back to camp. They stop at the river so Mistpelt can wash her paws, and then return to the ravine. Pinepaw is very happy, and is smothered by Oakstar and Sweetbriar as soon as he enters camp. He and his mentor make plans to join a training session tomorrow with the other apprentices.
- A moon after, Pinepaw is on a hunting patrol when he spots ShadowClan intruders. He warns his patrol, and is told to go fetch help from camp. Pinepaw decides to stay, and soon, both patrols begin to attack. ShadowClan retreats, and the ThunderClan cats chase them back to the Thunderpath tunnel. Mistpelt and Doefeather praise him for his fighting, and Pinepaw feels proud. Later, Pinepaw sits and listens to Nettlebreeze, who is telling the story of Mapleshade. Fallowsong walks in, saying the apprentices are due to come on a hunting patrol with him. They go out of camp, and head towards Treecutplace. Pinepaw tracks a scent, but it turns out to be fox cub scent, and the mother chases him away. A ginger and white kittypet scares off the fox, while he jumps on the fence. He is shocked, and she tells him to be careful, but that not all house cats are cowards. Pinepaw decides to tell no one about what happened, but belatedly thinks he didn't tell the she-cat thank you.
- Moons later, Pinepaw sits in the elders' den, and uses mouse bile to take a tick off of Seedpelt. As he leaves, Mumblefoot races into camp, bringing news of meddlesome kittypets. Speculations begin to fly, so Oakstar authorizes a nighttime attack on the Twolegplace to show these kittypets to stay out of ThunderClan territory. Pinepaw and Mistpelt go with the patrol, though the apprentice is slightly reluctant. Doefeather breaks the cats into groups, and they begin issuing warnings to each kittypet. Mistpelt and Pinepaw are together, and the warrior tells his apprentice to check out a small wood den. He leaps down, but discovers the kittypet who'd saved his life. Pinepaw notices that she has kits now, and informs her of what's happening. The kittypet's kits pop out and say thank you, and they slink back into the shadows. Pinepaw rejoins his mentor and they find the patrol, where Doefeather announces that this is a highly successful mission. Back in camp, Pinepaw receives his warrior name of Pineheart, due to his bravery.
- Pineheart is now deputy, and returns with his hunting patrol. He reminisces on the past hungry moons, Goosefeather's failed plan, and the many deaths. The deputy thinks that it'll all get better now, and brings a squirrel to Doestar's den. She is hesitant to eat it, but Pineheart convinces her every cat already has enough. The deputy leaves the den, and breaks up a squabble between two apprentices, telling them to take the rest of the day off. Pineheart finds Cloudberry, and asks her how Doestar is. The medicine cat informs him that the leader is sick, and may lose her last life soon. He is shocked, and goes back to her den. Doestar stirs as Pineheart enters, and he tells her about how well the apprentice are doing. She says she'll make them warriors tomorrow, and states that she's glad he'll be leader after her. Pineheart tries to convince her that she'll be okay, but eventually agrees that he'll do his best to protect ThunderClan and their borders come newleaf. Suddenly, Doestar slumps in her nest, but Cloudberry enters and says she's okay. The medicine cat says she needs rest, so Pineheart leaves.
- Days later, Pineheart stares at Doestar's body, with only Cloudberry next to the slumped figure. The deputy thinks that at least she'd been strong enough to welcome some new warriors into ThunderClan before her death. Pineheart leaves with Goosefeather to go the Moonstone and receive his nine lives. They arrive, and the tom awakens in a vision with Doestar and several other StarClan cats. One by one, Pineheart receives a life from many of his former Clanmates. He wakes up, telling Goosefeather that he's now the leader of ThunderClan, but the speckled tom doesn't respond, and just pads away.
- A quarter moon after, Mumblefoot is chosen as deputy, and the leader is happy with his decision. Pinestar talks with Squirrelwhisker, and then leaves camp, and settling near a Twoleg fence. He is awoken by Jake, and the leader realizes that they've met before. Pinestar tells him about Clan life, and in turn, Jake tells him that his mother is Crystal, and littermates are Ferris and Whiskers. Pinestar tells him how Crystal saved his life, and the tom is intrigued. The kittypet leaves, and the leader thinks that he might talk to Jake again, if only to pass the time.
- During a battle, Pinestar is fighting with a WindClan warrior, and looks around at his struggling Clanmates, regretting his decision to attack. He sees Stonepelt and Moonflower enter the medicine den, and prepares to call a retreat. Hawkheart kills Moonflower, and he orders his warriors to stand back. They leave WindClan's camp, and Pinestar feels guilty for the she-cat's death. After a short timeskip, Pinestar and Jake talk about the attack. The kittypet reassures him that it's not his fault, as he's supposed to trust his medicine cat. Pinestar wonders whether he can trust Goosefeather, but relaxes when Jake starts kneading his flank. He thinks about all he's told Jake, and remembers the ginger tom asking after Talltail. They make small talk, and soon, Shanty joins them. The she-cat begins to talk about Tyr and how annoying he is, while Pinestar relaxes. The leader feels very content, like he belongs.
- Smallear and Pinestar sit together, with the warrior commenting on how he's been with Leopardfoot a lot recently. The leader is uncomfortable, and instead thinks about the recent battles, which have resulted in him only having two lives left. Smallear leaves, and Pinestar wonders about whether he'd have kits with Leopardfoot, and whether he'd mentor one. The leader slips out of camp, heading towards the Twolegplace. He realizes that it doesn't scare him anymore, and he feels quite comfortable wandering around. Pinestar meets Shanty, who tells him that Jake is with Quince today, but offers to show him around her den.
- He accepts, and later lets Shanty's female Twoleg stroke him. He tells her about a warrior's life, and asks how she can live like this. Shanty explains that she does have honor and loyalty, and values her Twolegs. He apologizes for judging her so quickly, and they both doze off together. Pinestar meets Doestar in a dream, and the she-cat is concerned with his lack of care about Sunningrocks. She reveals to him that Leopardfoot is expecting his kits, but that a tom will be born with the power to destroy ThunderClan, and must be raised right to overcome the shadow on his destiny. Pinestar is shocked, and wakes up to Shanty shaking him. He tells her that he needs to go, and races back to camp, wondering how to protect ThunderClan against something he helped create.
- Pinestar walks to the Twolegplace, thinking about how Shanty had convinced him not to try and take Sunningrocks from RiverClan. Later, when Leopardfoot's kits are coming, he says it'd be better for him to stay out of the nursery. The day drags on, and he insists that every cat must eat and not worry about the kitting. This earns him a glare, and he knows he's being cold and uncaring, but can't shake Doestar's warning. Bluefur announces that two she-kits and a tom have been born, and dread pools in Pinestar's belly. Later that night, he runs to the Twolegplace. Pinestar sees Shanty from across a road, and tells her about his kits being born, sinking to the ground with a moan. She gasps and springs toward him, but a monster approaches.
- Pinestar tries to save her, but fails and loses a life himself. He recovers, but wakes to find Shanty dead. Shanty's Twolegs come out and grieve for her, and the leader does too, before walking away into the night. He wanders around the forest until dawn, thinking about his friend. Pinestar returns to camp, and visits his kits. Leopardfoot says that she waited all night for him, and the tom apologizes for his absence. She tells him that she's named the litter, and he shudders when the queen reveals his son's name as Tigerkit. He leaps backwards when the tom looks at him, and Leopardfoot tells him to be more careful, and insists he pray that their litter survives.
- Pinestar has a dream of him sitting in the nursery, and watches in horror as Tigerkit grows in size, and blood laps at the leader's paws. Voices chant for him to kill his son, but he says he won't. Pinestar awakens in his den, and Goosefeather confronts him, informing the leader of Sweetpaw's death. He is shocked, and the medicine cat tells him that his dream matters, and that StarClan has told him exactly what's going on. He goes into the clearing, and talks with Tigerkit. The kit asks him if he'll play moss ball, but he says no, and pads out of camp. Pinestar pads to Jake's den, but Tyr informs him that the ginger tom is with Quince today. When Jake's Twoleg approaches, he lets her stroke him, and then eats the kittypet food pellets. However, Lionpaw arrives, telling the leader that RiverClan is invading and he needs to come.
- Pinestar freezes, thoughts of battle racing through his head, and both Thunderstar and Doestar's warnings. He wonders if now is the time to take a different path, and tells Lionpaw he won't come. The apprentice is shocked, but Pinestar explains that the Twoleg likes him, and that he's too tired to go on leading the Clan. He asks the apprentice to tell ThunderClan he is dead, but Lionpaw says no. Lionpaw insists that it's okay for him to leave, but he needs to face it and tell the Clan. The apprentice races away, and leaves his leader thinking about the future. He later enters camp, asking if ThunderClan won. Sunfall says yes, and asks where he was. Pinestar then addresses the Clan, saying he's leaving to become a kittypet. This sends the Clan into shock, but he insists Sunfall will make a fine leader after him. The Clan begins to say their goodbyes, and he walks towards the camp's exit. Leopardfoot asks him about their kits, but he says they'll be fine. Pinestar turns to Tigerkit, meowing that he should grow to serve his Clan well, and then walks out the gorse tunnel.
- Pinestar pads through the woods, to the Twolegplace. He jumps over a fence and into a garden, and think about his life. The tom crosses a small Thunderpath, thinking about Shanty, who was killed there. He approaches his friend's den, and hears her Twolegs speaking softly, but they stare at him as he comes closer. The male Twoleg wants the brown tom to leave, and Pinestar shrinks back. The female Twoleg moves forward, and asks her parents something. Then she coos at him, letting her pet him. They invite him into their nest, and he enters hesitantly. He is shown Shanty's food bowl, toys, and a bed which he curls up in. Pinestar eats the chunks of meat they give him, but leaves the nest after his meal. He meets Jake, and tells him he left ThunderClan. The ginger tom is impressed, and Pinestar reveals he'd like to be called Pine from now on. Jake greets Pine by his new name, welcoming him home.
- A compiled list of the errors present in Pinestar's Choice can be found here.
- Pinestar's Choice (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 11 April 2017
- Legends of the Clans (EN), HarperCollins (paperback) (included within), 11 April 2017
- Pinestar's Choice (EN), HarperCollins (paperback; reprint), 10 April 2018
Notes and references
|Pinestar's Choice chapters|
|Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10|