|"Firestar gave me a message for the Clans. He said we must turn toward StarClan, not away."|
|— Squirrelflight to the Clans in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 415|
- Special thanks to Kate Cary
- A thrilling stand-alone adventure in Erin Hunter’s #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series!
- The five Clans are finally settled into their new territories around the lake—but not every leader is satisfied. And when the other Clans pin their frustrations on a group of rogue cats discovered just beyond Clan boundaries, Squirrelflight is caught between her duty as ThunderClan’s deputy and her desire to do what’s right.
- Bonus! Also includes an exclusive Warriors manga short story.
Detailed plot description
Looking for a shorter overview? Find one here!
- Squirrelpaw and Leafpaw are about to go on their first venture out of camp as apprentices. Their new mentors are Dustpelt and Cinderpelt respectively. Squirrelpaw hopes to become leader of ThunderClan together with her sister as her medicine cat. Firestar and Sandstorm congratulate their daughters and are proud of them, and Squirrelpaw and Leafpaw promise to always be together.
- Many moons later, Squirrelflight is deputy of ThunderClan beside the lake, and she goes on a border patrol with Eaglewing, Plumstone, and Bumblestripe. They spot a WindClan patrol close to the border and head over to check it out. The new borders are strange for the ThunderClan cats, but they mark the strip of moorland as their territory nonetheless. Eaglewing notices that WindClan hasn’t marked the new border yet, but Squirrelflight points out that they may be busy because Whitetail died recently. The patrol manages to catch a rabbit, but Squirrelflight knows that her Clanmates are more comfortable hunting in the forest.
- That night, Squirrelflight and Bramblestar are going to a meeting between Clan leaders and deputies on the Gathering island. Emberfoot had come to the ThunderClan camp earlier saying that Harestar wanted to talk, but hadn’t told them what it was about. As they travel, Squirrelflight and Bramblestar reminisce about their youth, and Squirrelflight longs for another litter of kits. They reach the island and see that Leafstar, Hawkwing, Mistystar, Reedwhisker, Tigerstar, Cloverfoot, Harestar and Crowfeather are already there. Mistystar, Harestar, and Tigerstar reveal that they are unhappy with the new borders drawn for SkyClan. Bramblestar and Leafstar don’t want to change the borders again, but Tigerstar is happy to give RiverClan their marshland back if he gets the forest he gave to SkyClan. Squirrelflight proposes that they give SkyClan the land beyond the abandoned Twolegplace. Leafstar and Hawkwing are skeptical, but the other leaders agree to the plan. However, before Squirrelflight can convince the SkyClan cats, they leave the meeting.
- Afterward, Bramblestar takes Squirrelflight aside and berates her for disagreeing with him as he doesn’t think SkyClan should move, which frustrates Squirrelflight. Bramblestar tells Squirrelflight that as his deputy, she has to back him up or they look weak. The conversation moves on to kits, and Squirrelflight mentions how she wants to have another litter. Bramblestar says that he wants to have kits too, but Squirrelflight knows that he really doesn’t. They pad back to camp in silence, and when they arrive, Larksong, Birchfall, and Lionblaze cluster around Bramblestar without acknowledging Squirrelflight. Sadness swamps Squirrelflight as she realizes that Bramblestar will outlive her and maybe even take another mate, and she goes to the warrior’s den to sleep in her own nest.
- The next day, Squirrelflight has been avoiding Bramblestar all morning, knowing she overreacted. She starts thinking about the previous night and all they had talked about, but pushes the thoughts away. She overhears Thriftpaw, Flippaw, Bristlepaw and Dewnose talking about how Mousewhisker was injured by a weasel. Squirrelflight goes to the medicine den to check on him and asks him about the territory beyond Twolegplace, which Leafpool overhears. After Mousewhisker leaves, Squirrelflight confides in Leafpool about the territory situation. Leafpool agrees with Bramblestar that SkyClan shouldn’t move. Squirrelflight asks her sister if she can speak with StarClan at the next half-moon meeting, but Leafpool says that StarClan has been silent recently. The medicine cat adds that she knows Squirrelflight and Bramblestar argued and asks about it, and Squirrelflight confesses that she wants to have more kits, but Bramblestar doesn’t. Leafpool is sympathetic and comforts her sister. After their talk, Squirrelflight thinks about the meeting and decides to speak with Leafstar.
- Squirrelflight goes to the border with SkyClan, where she encounters Palesky and Tree, who take her to SkyClan’s camp. It is revealed that Violetshine has given birth to Tree’s kits, Needlekit and Rootkit. Squirrelflight talks to Leafstar and Hawkwing, and manages to convince Leafstar to come look at the territory with her, even though she let slip that she was going behind Bramblestar’s back. Leafstar and Squirrelflight cross ThunderClan territory on the way to explore the potential land, and Squirrelflight hides Leafstar when she smells a ThunderClan patrol approaching. Sparkpelt and Larksong appear and Squirrelflight tries to distract them, but Leafstar is revealed. Squirrelflight explains what she’s doing and asks the ThunderClan warriors not to tell anyone, which Sparkpelt warily agrees to do. Leafstar and Squirrelflight continue on and reach the territory, where a group of rogues led by a huge gray she-cat surround them.
- Squirrelflight and Leafstar explain what they’re doing there, and the gray she-cat introduces herself as Moonlight and her group as the Sisters. The rogues calm down and Moonlight explains that they will leave the territory once her kits are born. Knowing the Clans’ impatience when it comes to land, Moonlight decides to keep Squirrelflight and Leafstar prisoner in the Sister’s camp until the rogue she-cats are ready to move on. Leafstar is hostile, but Squirrelflight agrees to stay. The two Clan cats are treated well; the Sisters bring them prey and Moonlight introduces Squirrelflight and Leafstar to the other members of her group, and Leafstar and Squirrelflight are given a den to themselves to sleep in. However, that night, Leafstar tries to escape, but she is caught by Snow and wounded. Squirrelflight realizes that escape will be difficult and they may have to wait for their Clanmates to rescue them.
- A couple days later, Squirrelflight is settling in to the Sister’s way of life. The rogues treat Squirrelflight and Leafstar like they’re part of their group, and even the hostile Snow brought Leafstar herbs for her injury. Sparrow, Flurry, Tempest and Hawk have all treated Leafstar’s wound, and Squirrelflight learns that all the Sisters are taught basic knowledge in herbs. Creek, Snow, Grass and Stone work to build Moonlight’s birthing den, and Squirrelflight asks to help as she has been treated like a Clan elder during her stay and wants to stretch her legs. As she works on the den, Moonlight tells her that the Sisters prefer to live without toms, and when they mate, they can choose to live with the tom or leave him and stay with the Sisters. Squirrelflight asks what will happen to the two toms, Grass and Stone, and Moonlight informs her that they will soon leave their mother, Tempest, to wander the land, which all toms have a duty to do. Squirrelflight also learns that all the Sisters are descended from a single family of kittypets. That night, the ‘Claw Stars’, which the Sisters seem to use to tell if it’s time to perform a ceremony, are pointed in the right direction, and the Sisters and Squirrelflight gather and send off Grass and Stone.
- The next morning, Squirrelflight wakes to see that ThunderClan and SkyClan have come to rescue them. Bramblestar, backed by many warriors, aggressively faces the Sisters in the clearing. Moonlight and Squirrelflight explain to Bramblestar why the Sisters were keeping the Clan cats prisoner, and the two groups relax. Bramblestar apologizes for not seeing that Moonlight is expecting kits, but insists that Squirrelflight and Leafstar are coming home now. As Moonlight hesitates, Tree emerges from the crowd and bitterly reveals that Moonlight was the mother who abandoned him. Squirrelflight explains how the Sisters will leave once Moonlight’s kits are born, and Leafstar says she’ll allow the Sisters a moon or two to stay if they let her and Squirrelflight go. Moonlight relinquishes the deputy and leader, and SkyClan and ThunderClan leave with their cats. Bramblestar angrily berates Squirrelflight for going behind his back, and although Squirrelflight argues that she’s solved the problem with SkyClan’s territory, he doesn’t agree with her. Bramblestar tells Squirrelflight that she has to run every decision by him from now on, leaving Squirrelflight feeling frustrated and confused.
- Back at the ThunderClan camp, all Squirrelflight’s Clanmates are talking about her time with the Sisters and how weird the rogue she-cats are. Squirrelflight plans to choose the cats to go on the dawn patrol in the morning like she has always done, but Bramblestar tells her that from now on, she has to tell him which cats will go on the dawn patrol the next morning every night. Squirrelflight is frustrated at the mouse-brained rules he’s making up to feel in charge, and Bramblestar retorts he doesn’t trust her because she went behind his back.
- Sparkpelt interrupts her parents' argument to tell them that she’s expecting Larksong’s kits. Squirrelflight and Bramblestar mask their irritation at each other to congratulate their daughter. After Sparkpelt leaves, Bramblestar tries to talk to Squirrelflight about having kits, but Squirrelflight storms away and goes to the medicine den to confide in her sister. Leafpool and Squirrelflight head out of camp to talk, and Squirrelflight confesses all her worries to Leafpool. Leafpool comforts her, and it is revealed that StarClan is still silent.
- Later, Squirrelflight, Larksong, Blossomfall and Mousewhisker are on a hunting patrol when Snow appears and asks Squirrelflight if a medicine cat can come help Sunrise, who is badly injured. The patrol decides to investigate and Snow takes them to where Hawk, Tempest and Sunrise are waiting. Squirrelflight realizes that Sunrise needs urgent care and takes her back to the ThunderClan camp, even though it means bringing the other Sisters as they refuse to leave their campmate. On the way to ThunderClan’s camp, Snow tells Squirrelflight that she, Sunrise, Hawk and Tempest were attacked by two Clan toms near the ShadowClan border, and that Stonewing managed to slice open Sunrise before fleeing. At the camp, Leafpool tries to treat Sunrise, but Bramblestar forbids her from doing so. The Clan argues about whether they should treat Sunrise. Bramblestar announces that StarClan will decide, and tells Jayfeather and Alderheart to travel to the Moonpool to speak with their ancestors. Squirrelflight is frustrated and dismayed, but Bramblestar refuses to give Sunrise more than the bare minimum treatment in fear of upsetting Tigerstar. Hawk, Tempest, and Snow are confined to a corner of the camp and forbidden to speak.
- Leafpool attempts to keep Sunrise alive until Jayfeather and Alderheart return, but Bramblestar prevents her from doing much. The Clan is divided on what to do about the rogues in their camp; some cats want to drive them out, some want to wait for StarClan’s approval, and others want to treat Sunrise immediately. Bramblestar speaks with Squirrelflight and Sparkpelt in his den, angrily asking his deputy why she keeps putting him in difficult positions and undermining him. Sparkpelt and Squirrelflight explain what happened and why they did what they did, but Bramblestar argues that bringing cats who attacked ShadowClan into ThunderClan’s camp will disrupt the peace between the Clans. As her parents argue, Sparkpelt’s belly suddenly cramps up and she gasps in pain. Her parents are concerned, but Sparkpelt informs her that it happens when she gets upset, which makes Squirrelflight feel guilty. Squirrelflight remembers how she felt when she was pregnant with Alderheart and Sparkpelt, and for a moment she and Bramblestar calm down. But Bramblestar’s gaze instantly hardens again when Squirrelflight asks him if he’ll let Leafpool treat Sunrise. Bramblestar stalks out of the den, and Squirrelflight tells Sparkpelt to stay and rest before emerging into the camp. She checks on Sunrise as Twigbranch and Thriftpaw build a nest around the injuried she-cat. Squirrelflight asks Leafpool to check on Sparkpelt while she stays with Sunrise.
- That night, Jayfeather and Alderheart return to ThunderClan with a message from Hollyleaf: “Clouds from the mountains will make it difficult to tell friend from enemy. But if the Clans stay united, the way forward will be clear.” The Clan cats argue about what the sign means, and Leafpool, fed up, heads for the medicine den to get herbs and treat Sunrise. However, before she can get there, Bramblestar leaps in front of her. Squirrelflight frustratedly approaches Bramblestar and growls that Sunrise must be treated. Bramblestar asks her why she must undermine him, but Squirrelflight stands her ground, and Bramblestar finally allows Leafpool to treat Sunrise in the medicine den and sends the rest of the Sisters to the elder’s den.
- A few days later, ThunderClan attends the Gathering. Bramblestar has decided not to tell the other Clans that they took in Sunrise and her campmates, and the rest of ThunderClan begrudgingly obey their leader. As soon as the Gathering starts, Tigerstar interrupts Bramblestar to demand that they drive out the Sisters, and reveals that Strikestone was injured so badly in the border skirmish that he permanently lost hearing in one ear. Harestar and most of RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan agree with Tigerstar, although Leafstar and Squirrelflight try to defend the Sisters. Tigerstar is especially suspicious of ThunderClan, accusing them of knowing more than they’ll let on about the Sisters. Bramblestar lies and says that they haven’t seen the Sisters since they gave Squirrelflight and Leafstar back, and suggests that they send Tree to negotiate with the Sisters, but the yellow tom objects to ever speaking with his mother again. Bramblestar insists that they need the approval of StarClan before they do anything, and Tigerstar relents to waiting for a sign from their ancestors. The Gathering is dismissed, and Bramblestar decides that Sunrise and her campmates must leave that night.
- More Coming Soon
- The working title of the book was Squirrelflight's Kin.[blog 3]
- Squirrelflight's Hope (EN), HarperCollins (hardcover), 3 September 2019
- Squirrelflight's Hope (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 3 September 2019
Notes and references
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