"Has any other cat lost her parents and her entire Clan, been seperated from her sister, and then found a father she thought was dead? I admit I was confused, but I know where I belong now. Haven't I proved my loyalty to ThunderClan by coming back? I'm ready to become a ThunderClan warrior."
Below contains in-depth information for chapter one of River of Fire. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 1 (of 21)
Page Numbers: 6-22
Twigpaw supresses a sigh of exasperation as Finpaw wonders if there are squirrels in an oak tree nearby and balances precariously on a thick, gnarled root. Twigpaw responds that she will not be surprised if there aren't squirrels, trying to push her nerve-racking thoughts of ThunderClan not accepting her away. She then says that they are not hunting and they have to reach ThunderClan territory by dark, and the sun is already starting to go down while bathing the forest in a scarlet light. Finpaw exclaims that he can not wait to go to ThunderClan before running and almost knocking Twigpaw over, who glares at him and says to watch where he is going.
Finpaw apologizes and asks if they will be pleased to see them before veering in front of her, making Twigpaw almost fall over her own paws. Anticipation flutters inside Twigpaw as she thinks about her old Clanmates, wondering how will they react to her return. She replies to Finpaw that she is sure they will. He asks if what Twigpaw had said about ThunderClan is true and they are really bossy. The gray she-cat doesn't know how to reply, as she knows other cats judge ThunderClan, but the true answer isn't simple either. Twigpaw also is wondering how her former Clanmates will react to her and Finpaw walking into their camp. She reassures herself that they will be happy, as they would of surely missed her when she went to live with her father and deputy of SkyClan, Hawkwing.
They scent the ThunderClan borders and Finpaw asks if it's prey. Twigpaw encourages him to come, then takes off running, and makes out a new scent: the ThunderClan warrior, Sparkpelt. The gray apprentice calls for her, yet when Sparkpelt emerges from some ferns, her claws are unsheathed, and her spine is arched. Sparkpelt questions the two young cats, though she's reassured by Twigpaw, who boldly tells her she and Finpaw have come to live in ThunderClan.
The warrior appears unenthusiastic, replying that Twigpaw made her choice, so she has to stay with it, and Finpaw doesn't know anyone in ThunderClan. The gray she-cat is hurt at Sparkpelt's words, believing she was her friend, and owns up to what she did, telling the orange tabby she belongs with ThunderClan. She states that living with SkyClan showed her where she belongs, but the ginger warrior's only reply is a snarl.
Twigpaw requests talking with Bramblestar, hoping he'll take her back, with Finpaw's eager support as he faces Sparkpelt, undaunted by her aggressiveness. He explains happily that he wants to join ThunderClan with his friend, complimenting the Clan as being one of the best; Sparkpelt agrees to take the two to Bramblestar, but irritably. The ginger warrior leads Twigpaw and Finpaw to camp, and as they enter, the gray she-cat feels warmed to see her old Clanmates.
Sparkpelt beckons the apprentices closer, telling them to wait, and she makes off for Bramblestar's den to fetch him. Twigpaw anxiously hopes the exchange will turn out well, and Finpaw reassures her, nuzzling her shoulder. Sorrelstripe alerts the Clan of her and her friend's presence, which brings them crowding around, asking all sorts of questions. Twigpaw informs the surrounding cats about her wishes to return, and is greeted with murmuring, and questions about Finpaw.
Berrynose points out she chose to leave, and asks if ThunderClan can really trust her anymore, when Alderheart appears, defending her with bristling fur. Bramblestar's voice rings out, beckoning for Twigpaw, and she hurries toward him as Alderheart tends to Finpaw. She follows the brown tabby into his den, and he regards her with concern as he recounts her being confused about where she belongs, wakening defiance inside the young she-cat.
She retorts that no cat has lost both her parents, their entire Clan, and their sister, then found out her father is with a dying group of cats. She admits that she was confused, but has now figured out she belongs with ThunderClan. Bramblestar says he doesn't doubt her loyalty to his Clan, but questions where her heart lays if she moves back and forth between Clans. The dark tabby recalls Graystripe's story to Twigpaw, telling her he had a mate, and when she died, the warrior decided living with RiverClan was a way to raise his kits.
Bramblestar states once RiverClan attacked ThunderClan for Sunningrocks, Graystripe couldn't hurt his old Clan, so Leopardstar drove him out of her Clan for good. Twigpaw questions if it turned out well, since Graystripe is a trustworthy cat, and her neck fur bristles as she calls SkyClan battling ThunderClan mouse-brained. Bramblestar agrees that SkyClan won't attack, saying that she shows some loyalty to her kin, for getting angry at the thought.
Twigpaw protests she doesn't belong in SkyClan; Bramblestar sighs, admitting he knows she means it, but hesitates. The gray apprentice urges him to talk, and he tells her she'll need to complete a short apprenticeship to prove her loyalty is to ThunderClan. At first, Twigpaw is mad at the suggestion, but controls herself, since she wants to spend her life in ThunderClan, because Leafstar clearly won't take her back. She accepts, relieved to have Ivypool as her mentor again, before Bramblestar reveals she's in the nursery, and instead, Sparkpelt will mentor her.
Twigpaw is dismayed, recalling how the orange tabby treated her, but accepts, and Bramblestar annouces that she's allowed back in ThunderClan. The tabby turns to Finpaw, asking what they're to do with the small tom. The former SkyClan cat boldly announces that he wants to be a ThunderClan cat, which gains the support from the surrounding cats. However, Thornclaw and Cloudtail are shown to be distrustful, causing Twigpaw to remember Darktail, and the trouble she'd made by bringing SkyClan to ThunderClan.
Brightheart tells Finpaw he needs to be sure with his choice, and he admits that he does want to join ThunderClan. Bramblestar agrees to accept the brown tom, and assigns Larksong as his new mentor, bringing the cheers of his Clanmates. The ThunderClan leader turns to Twigpaw, but she quietly asks if she really needs a ceremony, prompting Sparkpelt to snap at her and say she should listen.
Twigpaw nods to Bramblestar, hoping she didn't make the wrong choice, and the leader appoints Sparkpelt as her mentor in front of the Clan. At the announcement, the ginger she-cat's neck fur bristles, but she seems to know better than arguing, and dips her head, sighing. Bramblestar ends the Clan meeting, so the ThunderClan cats head off, most slipping into the warriors' den. Twigpaw finds herself alone in the clearing, hoping she made the right decision to return and join her beloved home.
Meanwhile, Larksong talks with Finpaw, discussing which duties the apprentice will do, or where they'll tour first. Twigpaw feels flat, not excited, leaving herself wondering why she isn't happier about rejoining ThunderClan.
Twigpaw and Finpaw are accepted into ThunderClan.
Finpaw's ThunderClan apprentice ceremony
"Then, Finpaw, from this time forward you will be a ThunderClan apprentice. Larksong, you are a loyal and commited cat. You will be his mentor and pass on your skills and experience to him."