River of Fire
River of Fire was released April 10th, 2018. It is the fifth book in the Vision of Shadows arc.
- In StarClan, a group of former ShadowClan cats sit by a pool, talking about their sorrow and dismay of the disbanding of ShadowClan. As the cats argue about whose fault it is that ShadowClan was destroyed, Shadowstar jumps in, stopping the argument. She warns them not to pass blame so easily, and says that if ShadowClan isn't saved, the Clans will come to an end, including StarClan itself. Needletail says that they'd better get to work crafting a message to send to the Clan cats.
- Twigpaw and Finpaw make their trek to the ThunderClan camp after leaving SkyClan. They encounter Sparkpelt at the border, and she demands to know what's wrong and asks if SkyClan is being attacked. Twigpaw explains that she is going back to ThunderClan and Finpaw is coming along with her, but to her surprise, is harshly told off by Sparkpelt. Twigpaw ultimately convinces her to bring them to the ThunderClan camp so they can speak to Bramblestar. Upon entering camp, many cats are surprised to see the gray apprentice. The ThunderClan leader lets Twigpaw rejoin the Clan, with the provision that she'll continue her apprenticeship. Finpaw declares his wishes to join as well, and after discussion, is allowed in as well. While most cats support the two apprentices, some do not. Bramblestar insists that both have an apprentice ceremony and go through their apprentice training, even though Twigpaw has had one already. Much to her dismay, Sparkpelt is assigned as Twigpaw's mentor, whilst Finpaw is given Larksong.
- Meanwhile, Violetshine is out in the forest collecting bedding, and asks Tree if he'll help. He says no, and she is annoyed by his laziness; and she also knows that others in the Clan aren't happy with it. Leafstar requests to speak with the yellow tom, and implores that he needs to start contributing. She questions whether the role of warrior would fit him, but he is unsure. Eventually, he is assigned to try being a medicine cat apprentice for a while. Tree watches as Frecklewish and Puddleshine disagree about how to dry herbs, and the yellow tom tries to make peace between them. Violetshine and Hawkwing meet in the clearing, where Leafstar assigns Rowanclaw to collect bedding at ShadowClan's old camp. Cats protest at such a duty being given to the former leader, but she explains that he knows the territory well. Rowanclaw agrees to it, and Hawkwing, Violetshine, and Tawnypelt go with him. They walk out into the forest, but Violetshine gets nervous as she listens to Rowanclaw talk, and worries about Tree leaving SkyClan.
- ThunderClan needs watermint, but is unable to find any by their border with WindClan, as it has all been picked by Windclan. Bramblestar gives his permission, so Alderheart goes and asks RiverClan for watermint with Sparkpelt and Twigpaw. They join with a WindClan patrol, and start to pick herbs at the border. They are confronted by two RiverClan cats, Shimmerpelt and Havenpelt who demand to know what they're doing. Alderheart offers to go to their camp and talk to Mistystar, and they agree. Once they arrive, the medicine cat explains the situation, and the blue-gray she-cat agrees to let them take the herbs. However, she says that they can't come back, so they quickly gather as much as they can.
- Later, Twigpaw is frustrated with her basic training, due to her being taught at the same level as Finpaw. When she returns to camp, there isn't any prey left, so she goes hunting with Finpaw. However, she falls into the border stream, and is rescued by a WindClan patrol. They escort her back to camp and tell Bramblestar, who chastises the she-cat. She admits her training issues with Sparkpelt, and also her concerns of the prophecy. The next morning, however, Sparkpelt has fallen ill and so Twigpaw trains with Larksong. She later goes back to camp and talks with Lilyheart, who reassures her doubts. Finpaw comes back with his first catch, and he and Twigpaw share it together.
- While on a border patrol, Sandynose, Tree and Violetshine discover Yarrowleaf and Sleekwhisker in ShadowClan's old camp. The pair question where ShadowClan is, and are told that the Clan has merged with SkyClan, much to their dismay. They express their desire to rejoin a Clan, so Violetshine and Tree bring them to Leafstar. The leader refuses to let them stay as SkyClan cats on the grounds of crimes committed during their time with Darktail. As they're escorted out of camp, many former ShadowClan cats protest, but Tawnypelt silences them. Violetshine feels conflicted about the decision, but Tree comforts that they did the right thing.
- Later, during the medicine cat half-moon meeting, Willowshine and Mothwing do not attend. The cats there discuss the prophecy, and Alderheart receives a vision from Needletail. He thinks it means nothing, but the other medicine cats report having similar dreams. They walk back to camp, still talking about what the prophecy might mean. Just after the meeting Twigpaw sneaks to the Moonpool, even though it's only for medicine cats. She waits until every cat leaves, and then approaches the starry water. When she touches her nose to the water, she receives a vision of a camp burning with fire. Yellowfang tells her she shouldn't be here, so the she-cat sprints away. She goes back to camp, and decides against telling any cat what she saw.
- Meanwhile, Leafstar attempts to get Tree to contribute to SkyClan. Violetshine offers to take the tom hunting, and the warrior shows him a hunting crouch. In return, Tree shows her his method of hunting, and she finds it very funny. They see Juniperclaw sneaking around, and follow him to ShadowClan's old camp to find Yarrowleaf and Sleekwhisker there. The queen is scared, but both Tree and Violetshine agree that this needs to be reported back at camp. Yarrowleaf and Sleekwhisker are taken to Leafstar, who is angry that they've returned. She implores to know who was in on this scheme, and several of the former ShadowClan cats admit they've been helping. They pledge to be loyal from this point forward, but it doesn't seem to affect the leader. Tree proposes that the pair be allowed to stay until Yarrowleaf's kits are born and weaned. The leader reluctantly agrees, but puts Tree in charge of them. As the two cats are led away to their dens, Violetshine notices many cats are unhappy with the decision.
- At the next Gathering, Leafstar announces that Yarrowleaf and Sleekwhisker are staying with SkyClan temporarily. Many cats express their discontent, but Bramblestar soothes their concerns, revealing the vision of approaching shadows received by the medicine cats. However, Alderheart feels that they've got the interpretation wrong, and there's a storm coming. Afterwards in camp, Twigpaw asks the medicine cat about the prophecy, and if they should be doing more. He says no, and she is disappointed. She sneaks off to meet with Violetshine, and pitches her idea of talking to a ShadowClan cat to be leader. Twigpaw tells her sister about the vision she received, and Tree approaches. The yellow tom agrees with her statements, and Violetshine meows that Tawnypelt might make a good leader.
- Twigpaw suggests they bring the idea to Leafstar, so the trio go back to SkyClan's camp. They meet with the leader and Hawkwing, and Violetshine explain what they want to do. Leafstar gets very angry, saying that she's worked very hard to merge the two Clans only to have them separated again. She starts to leave, but once Tree calms her down and Frecklewish reminds her of the prophecy, she reluctantly agrees that they can go talk to the ShadowClan cats about getting a leader. However, she insists that the constant shuffling of cats is a waste of resources, so she'll never accept any other cats into SkyClan after this. They leave the den and approach Rowanclaw and Tawnypelt, and the she-cat says she might consider it if Puddleshine and StarClan approve. Sleekwhisker and Yarrowleaf overhear and agree as well, and the queen gives birth to her kits shortly after.
- A storm begins to rage outside, and so Briarlight is moved to the tunnels as a precaution. The nursery roof flies off as the storm gets worse, and Alderheart sees a strike of lightning start a fire. Bramblestar sends two warriors to investigate it, and they bring back to kittypets seeking shelter. Velvet and Fuzzball explain how the fire affected their homes, and the leader agrees that they can stay until it's safe to return. Alderheart brings them to the medicine den and treats their wounds, and assigns Fuzzball to help a sick Jayfeather. Velvet helps the tom with some herbs, and he learns more about where she came from. When they go outside to start helping other cats, however, the storm starts again and they dart back inside. A flash of lightning strikes, and another fire starts in the direction of WindClan and RiverClan.
- A ThunderClan patrol headed by Bramblestar goes to aid whichever Clan the fire has hit. On their way around the lake, they join some WindClan cats, and can now see that the affected area is RiverClan's camp. While initially hesitant due to the Clan's borders being closed, they decide to assist.The cats work together to make a log bridge, which allows for Mistystar and several of her cats to escape to safety. They thank the rescuers, and the RiverClan leader gathers her surviving cats together. However, Softpaw struggles to cross, so Twigpaw helps her across. The ThunderClan she-cat is burned and falls in the stream when trying to rejoin her Clanmates, and is pulled out by some RiverClan cats.
- Meanwhile, in SkyClan's camp, Leafstar orders her cats to bunker down for the storm. The roof of the apprentices' den is blown away, so they're moved to the warriors' den. Tawnypelt challenges her, saying that they must help, going against orders. Hawkwing agrees as well, noting that he wants to check on Twigpaw. Leafstar gives up the argument, putting her deputy in charge. SkyClan sends a patrol to RiverClan, and they meet with Willowshine and Reedwhisker. They recount how much damage has occurred, still in shock from what's happened.
- The group of cats meet with Mistystar and the rest of their Clanmates, and Hawkwing offers them shelter in ShadowClan's old camp. They travel back to SkyClan, and once Leafstar is informed of the situation, she agrees as well. RiverClan is escorted away to ShadowClan's old camp, and Mistystar says they are thankful and won't abuse their hospitality. The SkyClan leader then turns to Tawnypelt, insisting that she can't keep undermining her authority. The warrior agrees, though many of her ShadowClan Clanmates are unhappy about this.
- At the next Gathering, RiverClan rejoins the other Clans, and requests help to rebuild. Though some cats are wary of the timing, each Clan leader pledges their assistance. Leafstar announces that she has given the role of mediator to Tree, and Bramblestar proposes the yellow tom will be given a trial period, which pleases most cats. Days after, Alderheart peels the poultice off Velvet's wound to find it healed. He visits the nursery to check on the kits, but finds Briarlight is ill and has her moved back to the medicine den. However, even though she is given treatment, the she-cat is dying by morning. Her family is gathered and she says goodbye before passing away. They sit vigil for her through the night, and bury her the next morning. Afterwards Velvet pushes a tired Alderheart to sleep, saying she'll care for him.
- Violetshine enters SkyClan's camp and that Yarrowleaf's kits are missing. She finds that the queen has been drugged with poppy seeds, and both conclude that Sleekwhisker has taken the kits. The two she-cats, along with Rowanclaw and Macgyver, follow the yellow tabby's scent trail through the forest. They meet Jacques, who leads them to where Yarrowleaf's kits and Tawnypelt are. Sleekwhisker holds Rowanclaw responsible for everything bad that happened during Darktail's reign, and announces that she's going to have her revenge by killing Tawnypelt. She says that if anyone tries to stop it, the kits will die. Nettle offers that Rowanclaw can sacrifice himself for his mate, and the former leader agrees, looking pathetic. Moments later, however, he springs up to attack Nettle, screeching to grab the kits. Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf do so, while Violetshine and Macgyver prevent the rest from giving chase. They are driven off, but Rowanclaw dies as a result of his wounds. Rowanclaw tells Tawnypelt that Tigerheart will return as he has seen him in dreams. When asked if she'll lead ShadowClan, Tawnypelt says no, and that this is the end of her Clan.
- Meanwhile, Alderheart and Velvet sit in the medicine den, and Jayfeather says that it's time for the kittypet to move out of the medicine den. They begin to pad over to the apprentices' den, but see Ajax in the clearing. Velvet and Fuzzball greet their kittypet friend, who tells them that they can return to Twolegplace now. Bramblestar says they may stay here the night, and return in the morning. The cats then disperse to eat, and Alderheart shares a mouse with Velvet. Later that night, he can't sleep, and so he and Jayfeather talk outside the den. Alderheart reassures the blind tom that he's not leaving ThunderClan, and is only wondering how to say goodbye to Velvet. The next morning, he says goodbye to the gray kittypet, knowing that it has to be this way.
- Twigpaw has her warrior assessment, and catches a large amount of prey in the forest. Her last catch is a rabbit caught with Finpaw's help, which both mentors praise. They head back to camp, and Ivypool and Lilyheart wait to congratulate Twigpaw. She is very happy they came, and is thrilled when she discovers Violetshine and Hawkwing are here as well. Bramblestar holds the warrior ceremonies, naming Twigpaw as Twigbranch, and Finpaw as Finleap. Moment after, Grassheart and Strikestone demanding that Hawkwing come with them, because Tigerheart has come back. The deputy and Violetshine go with them, along with Alderheart. They arrive at Moonpool to see that a group of cats has returned with a dead Tigerheart, some new to the Clans. After a long stretch of time, Puddleshine and a newly named Tigerstar emerge. Leafstar says she won't cross StarClan, but that ShadowClan needs to get off SkyClan's land. The new leader agrees, and leads his cats away.
- Alderheart asks if Dovewing will come visit ThunderClan one more time, even if she's staying with ShadowClan now. She agrees, and they go to camp, where she is greeted warmly. Dovewing introduces her kits to Ivypool's, whom are much smaller. However, after expressing that she doesn't intend to stay, the excitement fades, and dims even moreso when she says Tigerstar is the father of her kits. The queen seems sad when Bramblestar says she can't come and visit often, but leaves camp without complaint, with her kits following. The next morning, Alderheart wakes and decides to visit Velvet to return her toy. In Twolegplace, he comes across Fuzzball, who takes him to her den.
- Velvet greets him warmly, and gives him a thyme plant in goodwill. They say their final goodbyes, and Alderheart quickly makes his way to the medicine cat half-moon meeting. Jayfeather and Leafpool question where he's been, but he brushes off their concerns, saying he visited Twolegplace. In his Moonpool vision, Cinderpelt appears to him, admitting that she'd loved Firestar, but chose her duty as a medicine cat over it. He murmurs that he understands, but that it's hard. She tells him that ThunderClan needs him for the coming challenges ahead, and that he's a good medicine cat. As the vision fades, he feels content, but wonders what challenge the Clans will have to overcome next.