|"He'd gone to the Moonpool to find clarity. And he had, but not in the way he'd expected. Certainty sat like a rock in his belly. The voice, which had told him to cure Bramblestar by letting him die and had shown him the codebreakers, belonged to a spirit that knew the Clans. But he knew now, with a sureness that filled him with horror, that the voice had never been the voice of StarClan."|
|— Shadowsight's thoughts when he learns of the truth in The Silent Thaw, page 217|
The Silent Thaw is the second book in the The Broken Code arc. Rootpaw is depicted on the cover. It features Bristlefrost, Shadowsight, and Rootpaw as the main protagonists. The ghost of Bramblestar serves as the protagonist for the prologue.
- Special thanks to Kate Cary
- Erin Hunter's #1 bestselling Warriors series continues! Discover more epic adventures in the second book in this seventh action-packed story arc.
- ThunderClan's leader, Bramblestar, has been behaving erratically after losing one of his nine lives, and suspicion is quickly spreading across Clan borders. And when a strange apparition sparks unrest in SkyClan and ShadowClan, each warrior must decide where their allegiances lie—with their Clan, or the warrior code itself.
- Packed with action and intrigue, this sixth Warriors series is the perfect introduction for readers new to the Warriors world, while dedicated fans will be thrilled to discover the new adventures that unfold after the events of A Vision of Shadows.
Detailed plot description
Looking for a shorter overview? Find one here!
- Bramblestar gazes at his body from the frozen moor, dimly reflecting that he has died. He watches his medicine cats fret over him, and other cats ask how long it will be before he wakes up. Bramblestar wonders how long it will take for his next life to begin as time stretches past. Jayfeather declares that Bramblestar is dead for good, but Bramblestar tries to say that isn't so. He sees his vigil and panics, and upon watching his body regain life, knows that isn't him. Bramblestar watches his Clanmates greet whoever's in his body, and races off to find Tree, since he can see dead cats, and can perhaps fix this.
- Bramblestar's ghost chases Rootpaw through the forest, begging for help. He runs and trips, and then convinces himself he must have imagined it. Dewspring reprimands him for being late for training, and he apologizes. Rootpaw works his way onto a border patrol heading to the lakeshore, hoping for the chance to see if ThunderClan cats will reveal Bramblestar has died again. They mark the border, and Rootpaw's loud meows bring a ThunderClan patrol by. He is reassured that Bramblestar is okay, and then trains with Needlepaw for the rest of the day. The ghost reappears as Rootpaw settles to eat, and he realized with dread he's the only one who can see it.
- Bristlefrost and some other warriors assist in repairing the elders den as they wait for patrols to be assigned. She notes that lately, Squirrelflight has been almost constantly with Bramblestar. Some cats grow tired of waiting and leave to hunt, while Squirrelflight comes out and assigns the patrols. Bramblestar questions why the elders' den is being repaired, and refers to Dewnose as Dewtail. He snaps at both the warrior and his mate when both try to correct him on camp occurrences. Bristlefrost disagrees with her companions that what is happening is bad, and offers her help to Bramblestar. He assigns her to give out patrols, despite Squirrelflight's reservations.
- A little after, Shadowpaw sits in the ShadowClan medicine den shredding chervil. Puddleshine urges him to get going, as his Clanmates are waiting to see him off to the Moonpool to receive his full medicine cat name. Shadowpaw is unsure he is ready for the position, and voices his concerns. However, he is reassured by Puddleshine, so he leaves with the well wishes of his Clan. Shadowpaw and Puddleshine meet with the other medicine cats at the Moonpool, and the apprentice is given his new name of Shadowsight. They then approach the Moonpool and attempt to share with StarClan in the newly thawed water, but they do not appear, which worries the medicine cats.
- Rootpaw attends the next Gathering with Needlepaw, who attempts to get him to enjoy himself. However, his thoughts continually stray to Bramblestar's ghost. Rootpaw and Bristlefrost greet each other, and inform each other about how their lives have been. The Gathering is started by Tigerstar, who announces Shadowsight's new name. Bramblestar announces Thriftear and Flipclaw's warrior names, and makes a comment about young warriors taking responsibilities. Rootpaw sees Bramblestar's ghost and becomes distracted as the Gathering continues, moving on to the topic of codebreakers. The ghost becomes angry, and Rootpaw flees the island, falling in the lake. His mentor is angry with him and his explanation for leaving, but the apprentice resolves to speak with the ghost.
- Bristlefrost goes on a hunting patrol with her Clanmates, and Rosepetal praises her for her work in assigning patrols. They manage to catch a good haul, and she suggests that they thank StarClan out loud. The other warriors are wary, but agree that it must be part of the warrior code for a reason. Bristlefrost and the patrol return to camp, where Rosepetal details the idea to Bramblestar. He is pleased with her, and agrees that it will be done. He invites her to take on another special task, which is to be his eyes and ears in the Clan. This alarms Squirrelflight, though Bristlefrost accepts. As she leaves to eat, she notes that they have been arguing a lot recently.
- Shadowsight crafts a nest for an injured cat in the ShadowClan medicine den, but is distracted. Shadowsight attempts to get Tigerstar's permission to tell the other Clans about the codebreakers, but the leader wishes to keep it quiet. Snowbird is escorted to camp by her patrol after injuring her paw, and Shadowsight and Puddleshine treat her. She is informed it's broken, and asks for the bone to be set quickly despite the pain. Shadowsight goes to look for Lightleap and Flaxfoot, who are fetching sticks, but upon returning to camp sees three cats have been injured by a falling branch. Stonewing and Scorchfur are injured, Antfur is knocked unconscious, and Shadowsight goes to treat Dovewing's torn ear.
- Rootpaw wakes up late and eats some prey with Needlepaw, though his thoughts wander to the ghost. It continues to pursue him, knowing Rootpaw can see, and pleads for help. Needlepaw comments on his shiftiness, but he brushes her off. Rootpaw learns his mentor Dewspring is laid up with a sprain, and helps Fidgetflake gather herbs for the day. He asks the medicine cat clarifying questions about dead cats and ghosts. Tree comes and takes Rootpaw to learn his hunting technique of being a bush, but also talks of leaving the Clans. The ghost appears, though Tree can't see it, and then he leaves. Rootpaw and the ghost have their first conversation, and thinks about taking a message to Squirrelflight.
- Bristlefrost helps mend structures in camp, and becomes angry with the dissenting of Bramblestar she hears from her Clanmates. Squirrelflight leaves Highledge and attempts to organize some patrols, but her leader insists that Bristlefrost must do it. They argue, but Squirrelflight is then also confined to camp, as he says that a deputy should not be patrolling, but rather be in camp supporting him. A hunting patrol returns and the leader insists leader and deputy eat before elders, despite her protests. Cats are concerned with the prey rule, but Bristlefrost organizes the patrols and brushes it off.
- The next day, Bristlefrost hunts with Spotfur and Lionblaze, who catch a rabbit on WindClan land, and reports this to Bramblestar. The pair defend themselves to the leader, and Spotfur mentions that every cat, including Squirrelflight, has broken the code. He commands no cat to talk to Spotfur for a quarter moon and banishes Lionblaze for the same time. Lionblaze begrudgingly leaves, but days later, Bristlefrost catches Stemleaf talking to Spotfur. She warns them not to, despite not turning them in. They concur that Bramblestar is wrong, and insist that sometime soon choices need to be made.
- In ShadowClan, Shadowsight cares for Antfur, who wakes up confused. Though he does seem better, the young medicine cat wants to keep an eye on him. However, Antfur convinces Puddleshine and Tigerstar that he can patrol and leaves to hunt. However, the patrol returns later that day with a dead Antfur, reporting that he got dizzy and fell out of a tree. Shadowsight feels guilt, thinking he should have done more to stop it.
- Rootpaw returns from a hard training session with his mentor, who is displeased with his performance. Leafstar also reprimands him, and she and Dewspring leave to talk about him. He says he's sorry and will try harder, but wasn't mooning. Rootpaw tells Tree about the ghost, who then appears. He goes to ThunderClan to talk to Squirrelflight with the ghost, but gets caught by a patrol on the way there. Bristlefrost and her patrol take Rootpaw to camp, where he attempts to make excuses for being there. He shows the Clan that their leader has forgotten who the Sisters are, but eventually tells that he came to see Bristlefrost. She is furious, and he tells her about Bramblestar's ghost and how his body's been stolen, though she doesn't believe him. Rootpaw is escorted out, and Bristlefrost tells Squirrelflight the ghost's message, though she dismisses it.
- Shadowsight visits the Moonpool with the other medicine cats, who are overjoyed that it has thawed. He tells them about his vision of the codebreakers, which causes arguments. After he returns to camp, he informs his parents that the other medicine cats now know about his codebreakers vision. Tigerstar is angry, but Dovewing is accepting, commenting that they raised their son to be honest. She says that she would accept punishment for her actions, despite her mate's protests, and Shadowsight hopes she won't have to.
- Rootpaw cleans dens, but then goes to a Clan meeting, where Fidgetflake and Frecklewish detail the codebreakers vision they heard from Shadowsight at the Moonpool. SkyClan cats largely brush it off, as none of their cats have been named. Tree notes he is suspicious of Bramblestar, to the ghost's pleasure. Rootpaw promises Violetshine he won't attempt to see Bristlefrost again. A half moon later, Rootpaw attends the Gathering and is ill at ease with Bramblestar's codebreaker talk of punishment, and watches him argue with Tigerstar. After the Gathering ends, he manages to inform Squirrelflight that his vision is true, and give her the ghost's proof. Rootpaw is invited to a secret meeting by Spotfur and Stemleaf, and the ghost makes him agree to go.
- Bristlefrost works on dens in camp, but is startled when Squirrelflight suddenly tells her she too believes Bramblestar is an impostor. The younger warrior brushes her off, and the deputy hurries away. Their leader calls Bristlefrost over and praises her, but also notes that they could do better. She admits that Sparkpelt didn't catch as much prey as she should have, and Bramblestar sends her as punishment to collect catmint. Lionblaze returns to the Clan, and is let in, though he, Jayfeather, and Twigbranch have to swear an oath. Sparkpelt comes back severely injured, but Bramblestar seems unconcerned. Bristlefrost checks the old Twoleg den, and upon seeing it coated in prey blood as some sort of trap, wonders if he tried to kill his daughter.
- Shadowsight collects herbs in the forest, where Dovewing talks with him. She reassures him that Bramblestar has a burr in his pelt, and that ShadowClan won't be punished. He worries that his Clanmates are unhappy with him, but Dovewing insists he did what he thought was best. Shadowsight hurries back to the medicine den to find Pouncestep is hurt, having fallen from a tree. He and Puddleshine treat her, and then talk about his vision. Shadowsight concludes that his vision did not come from StarClan.
- Rootpaw sneaks out of camp to go to the secret meeting, though Tree finds and joins him. They are welcomed for coming, and also notice that Blossomheart and Frecklewish have come. They discuss what to do about Bramblestar, and Tree reveals that the current Bramblestar is an impostor, and that he has seen the real one's ghost. Bristlefrost shows up at the meeting, and rushes to affirm that she is not a spy. She suggest enlisting Squirrelflight's help to get rid of the impostor, and also tells of how the impostor had tried to kill Sparkpelt. When they return to camp, Squirrelflight agrees to spread the message, and leaves under the guise of atoning for codebreaking.
- Shadowsight returns to camp, and finds that Dovewing has left for three days to atone for her codebreaking. Cloverfoot and others also come in to camp, and he finds it curious they were out so early. Shadowsight reveals to Tigerstar and Puddleshine about StarClan's silence, and they leave to find Dovewing. They travel towards the Twolegplace and locate her in a grimy meadow. After telling her what is happening, they return to camp together.
- At the Gathering, Frecklewish and Rootpaw attempt to speak to Shadowsight, but are unable to. Bramblestar starts the meeting, and riles cats in favor of punishing codebreakers. Rootpaw realizes that those who realize something is wrong are very outnumbered. Shadowsight attempts to say that his vision may not have been from StarClan, but is hushed by Bramblestar. The leader continues to silence dissenters as others look on glumly, and calls for codebreakers to atone continue. Chaos erupts as accusations fly, and Tree agrees to atone for three days.
- In ThunderClan's camp, Bristlefrost picks at her prey. She hears an argument start between Squirrelflight and Bramblestar's impostor, and heads to their den to bring them prey while also eavesdropping. Squirrelflight repeatedly says she atoned at the horseplace, but Bramblestar accuuses her of lying and drags her out of the den. As the Clan watches, Bumblestripe confirms that the deputy went to SkyClan, and not the horseplace. Bramblestar banishes Squirrelflight, and she is escorted out of camp. Bristlefrost is distraught, but cats concur nothing can be done to stop it.
- Shadowsight treats Yarrowleaf for a bee sting, and Tree comes to visit camp. Tigerstar swiftly ejects him from camp, but Shadowsight sees that Rootpaw tries to signal to him, to pass on a message. They tell him that Bramblestar is an impostor, and how that lines up with who may have been talking to him. Rootpaw and Tree summon Bramblestar's ghost as proof, and he beckons them back to camp. They return, but see Squirrelflight asking for sanctuary, as she explains how Bramblestar kicked her out. Rootpaw and Tree reveal what they know of the ghost, and cats convince Tigerstar to let ShadowClan help. Squirrelflight is granted sanctuary, and Rootpaw feels hopeful.
- Bristlefrost observes ThunderClan's camp, noting that Berrynose is now deputy. Twigbranch and Finleap continue their punishment of digging up a thornbush, which the new deputy makes harder. Their leader invites Bristlefrost to talk to him, and where he thanks her for her loyalty as they talk of the code, but also warns her. She worries about the discovery of the secret meeting, but he soon dispatches her to track Squirrelflight. Bristlefrost leaves, but goes to SkyClan instead, and tells Rootpaw what has occurred. He points her to ShadowClan, where she goes and meets Squirrelflight, and informs her of the news. Bristlefrost returns to ThunderClan and lies to her leader, insisting Squirrelflight was found in the Twolegplace, passing through.
- Shadowsight prepares to leave for the Moonpool to tell the other medicine cats about Bramblestar's impostor. Rootpaw and Tree arrive, and though Dovewing and Tigerstar attempt to stop him, the young medicine cat insists on going. They travel, but hear the screech of a cat in need of help. The group rushes the sound, but Shadowsight hangs back to get some cobwebs for injuries. He is separated from them and attacked, but can't break free. The attacker aims for his neck, and Shadowsight's vision fades.
- A compiled list of the errors present in The Silent Thaw can be found here.
- The Silent Thaw (EN), HarperCollins (hardcover), 29 October 2019
- The Silent Thaw (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 29 October 2019