|"Leaders have stepped down before and handed leadership to their deputy if it's what is best for the Clan. I will support you if you wish to take my place. I can see that you are strong and wise, despite your youth. If you are ready to lead, I won't stand in your way."|
|— Rowanstar to Tigerheart in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 76|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eight of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 8 (of 35)
- Page Numbers: 74-80
- Tigerheart is in his nest, having hunted all night, and caught three mice and two shrews, although thinks to himself that while his Clanmates will find the flesh sweet and soft, they won't taste the bitter resentment that had driven him to hunt. He notes that Scorchfur and Snowbird were patrolling the borders. He closes his eyes, not wanting to sleep and listen to Grassheart and Stonewing snore. He notices two shapes move outside Rowanstar's den, and it is revealed to be Tawnypelt and Rowanstar. Tawnypelt encourages her mate to go and talk to Tigerheart. Rowanstar approaches his son, and Tigerheart straightens up. Rowanstar tells him he should not have interfered. Tigerheart sees the anger burning in his father's gaze, and apologizes, explaining he didn't want anyone to get hurt, adding that after all they suffered with Darktail, he didn't want to see anymore cats wounded.
- Rowanstar flinches at Darktail's name. He tells Tigerheart that he is a good warrior, but leading a Clan that had been torn apart by rogues is hard enough, but leading a Clan when his son and deputy publicly challenges you is impossible. Tigerheart tells his leader that he didn't mean to undermine him, and wanted to do what's right. Rowanstar holds his son's gaze, and tells him that his plan worked, as SkyClan promised to return what they stole. The leader glances at the muddy earth for a moment, and then looks into Tigerheart's eyes. Rowanstar tells his son that he is proud of him, and that he knows he will make a great leader, but it was to be eclipsed.
- Tigerheart feels sympathy swell in his chest, knowing that Rowanstar wants to do what is best for ShadowClan. Tigerheart asks Rowanstar how he knew he wants to be a leader. Rowanstar blinks at him, and admits that he wasn't sure he did, until Blackstar made him deputy, and he realized the differences between being a leader and a warrior. Rowanstar pauses, and Tigerheart leans forward, and Rowanstar goes on, saying that a warrior's loyalty and heart lie with his leader. Tigerheart thinks to himself that his father is telling him to trust him, but how could he know better.
- Rowanstar asks Tigerheart if he wants to lead the Clan, and catches Tigerheart off guard. Tigerheart stammers he would when his time comes, but that there's no need to think of it now. Rowanstar tells him that he meant now, and tells him leaders have stepped down before and let their deputies take over if it is best for the clan. Rowanstar continues, saying that he will support him if he wants to take his place, and can see that Tigerheart is strong and wise, despite his youth. If he was ready to lead, he wouldn't stand in his way. Tigerheart, astonished, asks now, and he feels his breath being taken away. knowing that every cat would look to him for guidance, and he would never be able to join Dovewing and meet his kits. He attempts to say something, but Rowanstar cuts him off, gently saying that he isn't ready, noting that he is still young and it took experience and courage to lead. Tigerheart tells him that he wasn't scared, he just had other things to think about.
- Rowanstar didn't seem to hear him, and tells his deputy that if he doesn't wish to lead, he must learn to follow. He lifts his chin, and tells him that when he makes a decision, he must obey. No arguing, no contradicting, and follow him without question. Tigerheart nods and tells his father that he can do that. Rowanstar adds that he hopes he can, and he leaves Tigerheart alone, with Tawnypelt following him, and the two mates disappear into Rowanstar's den. Tigerheart exits the den, and Snowbird and Scorchfur pad into the camp. Scorchfur carrying a rabbit. The warrior drops it, and explains that SkyClan left it at the border. Snowbird notes that the argument seems to have settled. Scorchfur tells the deputy that he was right to stop the battle, and showed SkyClan that ShadowClan deserves respect without bloodshed.
- Snowbird agrees with her mate, saying that Rowanstar would have let them fight, and that Puddleshine would be treating their wounds, but instead, they have a rabbit because of Tigerheart. Scorchfur nods, and tells him that ShadowClan wouldn't be in the state it was now if he were leader. Tigerheart stiffens, and tells him that it wasn't true, and that Rowanstar wasn't to blame; Darktail was. Snowbird argues that if they had a strong leader in the first place, Darktail wouldn't have taken over. Scorchfur adds that Rowanstar didn't know how to lead, and that from now on, he and Snowbird would only be taking orders from Tigerheart.
- The deputy feels his belly tighten, as he just promised his father that he wouldn't try to undermine him. He tries to tell the older warriors that they can't do that, but the two already began walking off. Tigerheart thinks to himself that while he's not leader, he must still lead, without Rowanstar knowing. He feels trapped by the need to help his clanmates while still trying to honor his father. He thinks of Dovewing, and wonders if he is destined to be alone, separated from Dovewing and their kits.
Notes and references
|Tigerheart's Shadow chapters|
|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 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Manga|
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