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"The son! When the son is strong, the shadows are strong."
— Narrator in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 50

Below contains in-depth information for chapter five of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 5 (of 46)
Page Numbers: 47-51

Chapter description

Tigerheart reaches where Dovewing told him to meet her, and he realizes the glade is empty, and he painfully realizes that his mate left without him. Grief sears his heart, and rain begins to fall, starting out light, but quickly turning into a more heavier fall. The deputy stands numbly, and he feels the ache in his head where he had hit the tree growing sharper, and feels heat behind one ear.
Confused, Tigerheart begins walking forward. He scents for Dovewing, and to his relief, the scent was strong, but then he realizes that she must have waited for some time for him, but knows that if he hurries, he can catch up with her. Tigerheart follows his mate's trail, and skirts between the border between SkyClan and ShadowClan, before cutting straight through ShadowClan territory. Tigerheart realizes Dovewing was headed for the Thunderpath. Tigerheart wonders if Dovewing knew were she was going, and tries to remember where she said she would be heading. He recalls what she had said, but wonders if she knew where the huge Twolegplace was. The throbbing at the back of his head continues and dulls his thoughts, but Tigerheart forces himself to continue following the ThunderClan cat's scent.
The deputy continues on his journey. The rain grows heavier, thundering on. Tigerheart sees monsters on the Thunderpath ahead, lighting up the thick rain with the burning eyes. Tigerheart hangs back, and notes that the Thunderpath had more monsters on it then usual, and curiously wonders if the Monsters were migrating, like geese heading south for the winter. The monster are leaving him no gap to cross. He tries to glimpse a gap, but the speeding monsters make cause Tigerheart to feel disoriented, and he backs away. The ShadowClan deputy feels his heart seemingly crack open with loss and frustration, asking silently why Dovewing didn't wait for him. He feels the world darken around him, and hears the Monster's growls slowly fade as he collapses into unconsciousness.
Tigerheart dreams, and sees Puddleshine stand beside him as the sun rises over the ShadowClan camp, and Tigerheart instantly realizes that he was in the medicine cat’s vision. Tigerheart sees the sun burn beyond the trees, casting black shadows in stripes across the camp's clearing. He sees Juniperclaw, Tawnypelt, Snowbird, and Whorlpaw padding from their dens, while Grassheart yawns in the middle of the clearing as a shadow falls over her. Rowanstar moves beside the rock near his den, and sees his father's eyes flashing in the light. Tigerheart blinks in the fierce sunshine, half-blinded until it suddenly begins to fade, and Tigerheart realizes he is seeing what Puddleshine had seen. The deputy glances towards his father, and wonders if the ShadowClan leader would fade with the shadows. Rowanstar stands beside the rock, obviously unaware of the changing light.
Suddenly, the sun brightens, and Tigerheart thinks that Puddleshine didn't mention this part of his vision. Tigerheart narrows his eyes as the suns reddens and intensified until it looks like flames at the edge of the forest. The sun darkens once more, casting his clanmates into a shadow. Tigerheart sees himself at the edge of the clearing, his outline carved from darkness by the intense sunshine. He sees his own pelt shimmer in the fierce light, and notes that the shadow he cast was longer and darker then any other, while across the clearing, Rowanstar dissolves into a milky light.
Puddleshine's words; "When the sun is strong, the shadows are strong" rings across the clearing, and a chill grips Tigerheart's fur and he snaps awake. The deputy sits up, and notes the rain was still falling, and the Thunderpath lay empty. The tom still feels groggy, his head still aching. Puddleshine's words keep repeating in Tigerheart's head. Suddenly, Tigerheart realizes that it meant the son, not the sun. He feels understanding burst through him like starlight. Tigerheart realizes that Rowanstar wasn't the sun that would make ShadowClan strong, only the son could keep ShadowClan from disappearing.
He feels his headache fade, and energy fizzle beneath his pelt, and knows he has to get back to ShadowClan. He begins heading back towards the camp, and feels guilt jab at his belly. Tigerheart solemnly apologizes to Dovewing, and tells himself that if his mate truly needed him, she would have waited. Tigerheart reaches the ditches and crosses them, his belly feeling more hollow with every leap, and feels grief in his heart. The deputy then sees the bramble wall of the camp loom ahead, and tells himself that Dovewing would have to take care of herself now, as well as their kits. Tigerheart ignores the shame that claws at his belly, and assures himself that if ShadowClan were to survive, he needs to be there.





Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Revealed in Tigerheart's Shadow, chapter 5