|"The two of you are destined to rule the whole forest, and every cat will do as you command."|
|— Tigerstar to Hawkfrost and Brambleclaw in Sunset, page 262|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eighteen of Sunset. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 18 (of 23)
- Page Numbers: 261-270
- Brambleclaw is racing through the Dark Forest, bursting with energy. He is preparing to tell Hawkfrost and Tigerstar about how Firestar and StarClan made him deputy.
- Arriving in the clearing, he announces to Tigerstar and Hawkfrost his news. Hawkfrost disbelievingly replies that he became a deputy without an apprentice, looking jealous. Brambleclaw proudly replies that StarClan chose him themselves, but Tigerstar scolds him and says that they don't speak of StarClan there. Tigerstar tells him that he became deputy through the skills he had taught him, and yet when the power had been in his paws he almost threw it away. He asks why he reminded Firestar he hadn't had an apprentice. Brambleclaw replies that he'd been so shocked he couldn't believe what he was hearing. Tigerstar nods and says that now none of his Clanmates can accuse him of seeking power unfairly. He then tells Hawkfrost that his time would come. Hawkfrost comments that Leopardstar and Mistyfoot would seem to live forever. Tigerstar tells him that no son of his would admit defeat.
- Tigerstar changes the subject, saying that his sons would rule all the Clans, and they would do everything they say. Hawkfrost's eyes gleam with excitement, but Brambleclaw steps back in surprise. He starts asking how that is possible, but Tigerstar silences him, and says that Hawkfrost will take over ShadowClan and RiverClan, and that ShadowClan will welcome him because Tigerstar led them once and Hawkfrost is Tigerstar's son, while Brambleclaw will take over WindClan. Brambleclaw protests, saying that Onestar leads WindClan, and that ThunderClan and WindClan have been allies for seasons. Tigerstar says that's why taking over WindClan will be easy, because they're so used to taking orders from ThunderClan, so they wouldn't notice a difference. Brambleclaw insists that there have always been four Clans, and Tigerstar reminds him that that had been the old forest, and now that that had changed, the number of Clans would change, too, if he had the strength.
- At first, Brambleclaw lets himself picture Tigerstar's idea for the Clans, and knows he could lead the Clans well. Hawkfrost says that they have strength, and at the next Gathering would start making friends from other Clans to gain their trust when they take over. Brambleclaw does not support this, however, because he already has friends in WindClan, and they would think he betrayed them if he took over. Hawkfrost looks at him, waiting for Brambleclaw to respond, and he murmurs something. In reality, he doesn't want to agree to anything until he had time to think it through. Hawkfrost keeps talking about power, and how when he and Brambleclaw are leaders, they could choose the strongest cats to go to the Gathering, and Tigerstar interrupts, saying that they'd bring cats who would carry out orders without question. Hawkfrost then says they'd kill the ShadowClan and WindClan leaders at a Gathering, and take over the Clans while they're stuck on the island. Brambleclaw can't believe his ears, and disbelievingly cries they'd do it at a Gathering. Hawkfrost explains it's clever, because no one would be expecting trouble. Tigerstar adds that the two strongest warriors would be guarding the tree-bridge, and that'd be all they'd need.
- Brambleclaw steps back, asking how they could suggest killing at a Gathering, and commenting on how StarClan would never forgive them if they broke the truce. Hawkfrost says that at the last Gathering, StarClan was angry when the fighting broke out, "or so Barkface said", and that no one got hurt. Tigerstar growls that everything is possible. He tells Brambleclaw that he'd never be a powerful leader if he kept cringing to StarClan, or was afraid to get blood on his paws. Brambleclaw retorts that he wasn't afraid of anything, but wouldn't kill at a Gathering. Hawkfrost tells him to keep his fur on, and that it was only an idea, and that there were other ways. Brambleclaw replies that there'd better be.
- Hawkfrost suggests meeting with Brambleclaw when they're awake, and Brambleclaw agrees, thinking that talking with Hawkfrost without Tigerstar listening, he'd be able to get this straight in his mind, and possibly convince Hawkfrost that leading their own Clans would be enough without taking over the others. Brambleclaw asks where they should meet, and Hawkfrost says Brambleclaw's territory, since it'd be harder for Brambleclaw to leave his territory since he's deputy. Brambleclaw suggests by the lake, just beyond ShadowClan's territory. Hawkfrost says they'll meet in two days, since Brambleclaw will need a full day to get used to being deputy. Tigerstar agrees and tells them to leave. Hawkfrost asks Brambleclaw to not forget the meeting, who assures his half-brother that he won't. Tigerstar gives him some parting words, and they leave the Dark Forest.
- Brambleclaw wakes up with Squirrelflight standing over him. She asks if he was going to sleep until leaf-bare, telling him that he had to appoint patrols. Squirrelflight reminds Brambleclaw that he's deputy. Standing up, he decides he would lead the dawn patrol, with Squirrelflight, Cloudtail, and Rainwhisker. The deputy chooses Sandstorm to lead a hunting patrol, and when she comments that there should be two patrols, Brambleclaw suggests Dustpelt to lead the other. Sandstorm picks up the uncertainty in his voice, and tells him that he doesn't need to worry about giving them orders; he's the deputy. Brambleclaw thanks her, then adds that he'd be loyal to his Clan as long as he had enough breath to fight. Repeating these words mentally, he walks to the ShadowClan border, and realizes it is true, and that nothing matters more to him than the well-being of ThunderClan. He is suddenly upset that there's still another half-moon before he gets to sit on the roots of the Great Oak with Mistyfoot, Ashfoot, and Russetfur.
- Upon reaching the ShadowClan border, Brambleclaw half-hopes that there will be a patrol there so he can brag about being deputy, but it is all quiet. Feeling so desperate to tell the news to another cat, he believes that if a mouse crossed its path, he would inform it that it was about to be eaten by the ThunderClan deputy.
- He gets back to camp and tells the apprentices to take the prey from the hunting patrols to the elders, Firestar, and Leafpool, and continues assigning more patrols for the day. Berrykit runs from the nursery and asks to be part of a patrol, and Brambleclaw tells him not until he's apprenticed, and Berrykit brags that he'd be the deputy's apprentice.
- Squirrelflight teases him playfully by telling him that Ferncloud can't do dawn patrol and a hunting patrol, and Brambleclaw tells Ferncloud to hunt with Dustpelt, and that he'd find someone else for dawn patrol. Squirrelflight tells him to eat, then embarrasses him by playfully asking if deputies eat instead of just doing their duties. Brambleclaw wonders if Squirrelflight would look at him with the same affectionate glow in her eyes if she knew he was going to meet Hawkfrost. But he knows the answer: he'd lose Squirrelflight forever. He remembered Tigerstar being stripped of his deputyship in ThunderClan when Firestar uncovered his plot to kill Bluestar, and wonders if the same would happen to him. Brambleclaw tries to tell himself that that no cat could uncover his secret, and that he's not planning to kill anyone.
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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