|"You don't think I believe this load of fox dung, do you?" […] "Every cat knows that Tallstar practically handed our Clan over to Firestar before he left the forest. He's always felt more loyalty to ThunderClan than they ever deserved. And now Firestar tells us that his friend Onewhisker is to be leader! Did any other cat witness this convenient change of mind?"|
|— Mudclaw after learning the truth in Starlight, page 124|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter seven of Starlight. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 7 (of 23)
- Page Numbers: 123-136
- Firestar calmly explains to Mudclaw that Tallstar has just died, and Webfoot says that he's their new leader now. His Clanmates agree, but Mudclaw, despite understanding, is furious at Firestar for telling WindClan news. The latter begs him to listen, and formally announces that Tallstar appointed Onewhisker as his deputy in his final few moments of life. As Brambleclaw wonders why Firestar isn't revealing that Tallstar used an incorrect ceremony, Mudclaw screeches what in utter disbelief while a few WindClan cats protest. Brambleclaw watches uncomfortably, thinking that Onewhisker would make the better leader, but knowing how Mudclaw must feel to have leadership snatched away from him.
- Onewhisker asks Mudclaw to be his new deputy, citing his experience, but the already angered tom instantly refuses. He mentions that Tallstar practically gave Firestar all of WindClan, and has showed more loyalty to ThunderClan than his Clan. Stepping forward, Brambleclaw reluctantly backs up Firestar, saying that he was there when Tallstar died. At once, he finds himself as an apprentice searching the elders for ticks in the forest. He hears One-eye talking to Dappletail about the time when Bluestar appointed Fireheart as her deputy, and recalls that Tigerclaw had just been exiled for his treachery. Bluestar delayed Fireheart's deputy ceremony and instead appointed him at moonhigh, breaking the warrior code and making the Clan doubt if he was worthy of the position.
- Returning to the present, Brambleclaw begins to believe that Firestar defended Onewhisker because of the way his own deputy ceremony panned out. Mudclaw is furious that another ThunderClan cat has come forward, and Brambleclaw works to keep himself calm as Firestar angrily demands why their word is being doubted. Mudclaw turns to his own Clanmates, challenging if they want ThunderClan to pick their leader and follow Onewhisker. Crowfeather says that Brambleclaw doesn't lie, and that he is happy to serve under Onewhisker, calling him Onestar. While some WindClan cats cheer his name, others are uncertain, and Blackstar and Leopardstar appear to find the situation amusing.
- Onewhisker thanks Crowfeather, but embarrassingly says that he shouldn't be called by his new name yet, for he has not received nine lives. Mudclaw growls that he never will be receiving them, and as the mottled tom prepares to fight, Barkface commands for him to stop. He rasps that he has gone against the will of Tallstar's spirit by fighting, and ThunderClan is right about the last-minute deputy switch. Mudclaw gives up the argument, but spits that he will never be Onewhisker's deputy before preparing Tallstar's body for his vigil. Firestar whispers to Onewhisker that he needs to appoint a new second-in-command immediately, and while Brambleclaw briefly thinks that he'll choose Crowfeather, realizes that he'll pick a more experienced warrior instead.
- Onewhisker then makes his choice, using the correct ceremony and appointing Ashfoot as his deputy. Brambleclaw spots the gray she-cat moving forward, stunned, and he remembers that she's Crowfeather's mother. Ashfoot touches noses with her future leader, and Onewhisker tells her that she will make WindClan strong instead of wanting it only for power. He thanks Firestar, and in turn, he tells him that it must have been unbelievable to Mudclaw that he wasn't going to lead. Onewhisker then wonders how he'll obtain his nine lives, wondering if he should go back to Highstones, but Firestar urges him to stay. Brambleclaw feels uneasy looking at Mudclaw, thinking that the issues with him aren't over. Despite Ashfoot's reassurance that there will be another Moonstone, Onewhisker still feels uncertain, as his leadership won't fully start until he gets nine lives and approval from StarClan.
- Tallstar's vigil begins, and Brambleclaw notes that it won't even be a full night, as the Clans must move to their new homes. Firestar tells him that Onewhisker chose wisely with Ashfoot, but the dark brown tabby can't find a way to respond knowing that his leader hasn't picked a new deputy since Graystripe's disappearance. Firestar, somehow reading his mind, reminds him that there's no evidence that Graystripe is dead, and adds that it's different compared to Hawkfrost's temporary deputyship. Since Graystripe was taken by the Twolegs, there is still a chance that he can escape and return, making Firestar hopeful that he will come back. He walks away to stand near Tallstar's body, and Brambleclaw is visibly frustrated, as he wants to be deputy.
- Suddenly, a voice tells him to remember Tigerstar, and he thinks that he is nothing like his father. He notices Squirrelflight and Firestar side-by-side near Tallstar's body, and Brambleclaw feels jealous because he has no one to share affection to like the ginger cats. The dark brown warrior inwardly questions why he has to constantly prove himself, and while he is momentarily tempted to talk with Hawkfrost, knows he cannot due to the Clans parting ways. He feels hurt not being deputy, and as he begins to feel hungry, wishes Squirrelflight and Firestar will trust him.
|Ashfoot's deputy ceremony|
Notes and references
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23|
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