|"No need. Blackstar will back us once he understands which way the winds are blowing. He's always been a...practical cat. [...] Have faith, Mudclaw. My plan will make us both stronger. And once you've appointed me deputy, well...RiverClan will never see us coming."|
|— Hawkfrost about his grand plan to Mudclaw in Winds of Change, pages 156-157|
- The warrior cats leap off the page in this full-color graphic novel adventure—a stand-alone story set in the world of Erin Hunter’s #1 bestselling Warriors series.
- Forced out of the forest that had been their home for generations, the four warrior Clans are about to settle into their new homes around the lake.
- Some cats see their new beginning as a chance for the Clans to live together in peace and friendship, but WindClan's deputy Mudclaw believes the other Clans cannot be trusted. And as he prepares to take the ailing Tallstar’s place as leader, he is determined to do whatever it takes to secure the future of his Clan—no matter the cost.
- Set during the events of Warriors: The New Prophecy, this action-packed, stand-alone adventure is perfect for longtime Erin Hunter fans and new readers alike.
Detailed plot description
- The Great Journey has ended with the Clans finally arriving at their new home by the lake. Mudclaw, deputy of WindClan, reflects about the hardships WindClan suffered in the past and how best to secure his Clan's future in their new home. Tallstar, WindClan's leader, is frail, much to Mudclaw's worry. Before the Clans settle into their new homes, they stay in close proximity with each other at the horseplace. Tallstar asks Mudclaw to represent WindClan in an upcoming leader meeting, and he orders Mudclaw to keep the peace between the Clans, but Mudclaw wishes to firmly establish WindClan's territory. As he leaves, Barkface confides with Mudclaw that he should prepare to become leader soon. At the meeting, Onewhisker scolds Mudclaw for overstepping Tallstar's position, but Firestar silences his friend by explaining that Mudclaw is merely doing his duty. Mudclaw wonders why Onewhisker is so angry when Mudclaw is simply fulfilling his role as deputy, and why Firestar is concerned with WindClan's business.
- The leaders meet again and decide to send one warrior from each Clan to scout the new territories. Before they leave, Mudclaw reminds Crowfeather, WindClan's representative, that WindClan comes first. Tallstar witnesses their exchange, and encourages Mudclaw to reconsider peace and friendship with the other Clans, especially with ThunderClan. However, Mudclaw insists Firestar has always treated WindClan as his own Clan. The scouting patrol returns with news of perfect territory for each Clan, but Mudclaw is displeased to learn that WindClan will be sharing a border with ThunderClan. That night, Mudclaw and Tornear overhear Mistyfoot arguing with Hawkfrost about RiverClan's new camp location, and the two brothers reminisce how Hawkfrost used to be RiverClan's deputy when Mistyfoot was missing. Tallstar dies in the night, and Mudclaw's Clanmates greet him as WindClan's new leader. However, Firestar announces that Tallstar renamed Onewhisker as his deputy before he died, much to Mudclaw's bewilderment. Onewhisker, now leader, asks for Mudclaw's support as his deputy, but Mudclaw angrily challenges ThunderClan's involvement in WindClan's affairs. Barkface orders Mudclaw to adhere to Tallstar's choice, and Mudclaw relents, though refuses Onewhisker's offer to remain as deputy.
- The Clans part ways to settle into their new homes, and Mudclaw grumbles about his position in the Clan and what he did wrong for Tallstar to rename his successor. Webfoot and Nightcloud agree that Onewhisker isn't their proper leader without his leader name or nine lives. The next morning, Barkface and Mudclaw search for herbs to cure Morningflower's and Darkfoot's stomachache. After they find juniper berries, they learn that Leafpaw, ThunderClan's medicine cat apprentice, has arrived with herbs to help their elders. At camp, Onewhisker grants ThunderClan a portion of WindClan's woodlands as thanks for their aid. Mudclaw angrily challenges Onewhisker for giving away territory without a fight, though Onewhisker insists WindClan has no proper use for the forest. After Mudclaw cools off, he tries to convince Onewhisker the importance of firmly establishing borders that will be fought over in the many moons to come. However, Onewhisker insists that setting good relations with the other Clans is more important.
- Before the Gathering near the horseplace, Hawkfrost approaches Mudclaw with rumors of trouble in WindClan. The Gathering is disrupted by two foxes, and Hawkfrost asks for Mudclaw to meet him at the island the following night. At the island, Hawkfrost insists that Onewhisker is acting as a puppet leader through Firestar, and they must find allies who also dislike Firestar's grasp for power. Mudclaw relents that Hawkfrost might have a point, and informs some of his Clanmates the following morning. Tornear warns his littermate to be careful of the path he's purposing. Later, Onewhisker orders Mudclaw to teach Weaselpaw and Owlpaw how to defend against foxes despite Mudclaw's dismissal. Mudclaw orders Owlpaw to knock Weaselpaw off his paws, and encourage Weaselpaw to pretend his opponent is a large cat like Firestar. Onewhisker furiously interrupts the training session and accuses Mudclaw of filling the apprentices' heads with his own personal bias. Frustrated by Onewhisker's favoritism towards ThunderClan, Mudclaw approaches Cedarheart of ShadowClan as an ally, and hesitates when a fox nearly kills Onewhisker in camp. Tornear cuts ties with his brother for his jealousy over Onewhisker.
- When Leafpaw discovers the Moonpool, the Clans' physical connection with StarClan, and the possibility of Onewhisker gaining his nine lives grows nearer, Hawkfrost, Mudclaw, Webfoot, Nightcloud, Cedarheart, Rowanclaw, and Oakfur meet in secret on the island. Hawkfrost believes that Firestar is attempting to overtake the Clans through Onewhisker just like Tigerstar did, and is convinced that Onewhisker must die for Mudclaw to gain power. Mudclaw agrees, and as the others leave, Hawkfrost lets it slip that he intends to become WindClan's deputy after Mudclaw becomes leader. He insists that they'll then take over RiverClan and Blackstar, ShadowClan's leader, will follow in suit. Mudclaw realizes that Hawkfrost is planning to do the exact same thing he's accusing Firestar of, but resolves that WindClan must come first and they deserve a proper leader. However, an unknown cat overhears them and flees before Hawkfrost and Mudclaw can catch them.
- Mudclaw and Hawkfrost's supporters attack the night the medicine cats leave for the Moonpool, and they launch their assault on WindClan's camp. However, Firestar and his warriors arrive with reinforcements, ruining Mudclaw's plan. Mudclaw attacks Onewhisker but Firestar throws him off. Mudclaw and Webfoot pin Firestar down when more ThunderClan warriors arrive, and Mudclaw's followers flee. As they realize they are outnumbered, Hawkfrost and Mudclaw flee towards the lakeshore, with Hawkfrost determined that Mistyfoot was the one who spied on them. Brambleclaw follows them, and Mudclaw is prepared to kill the ThunderClan warrior when Hawkfrost stops him, insisting he cannot let Mudclaw kill his brother. He lies that Mudclaw was the one who persuaded him to kill Onewhisker and take over RiverClan, but Mudclaw calls him a liar and flees. Mudclaw is bewildered by Hawkfrost's betrayal and suddenly realizes in horror what else the RiverClan warrior lied about. As he realizes his mistake, lightning strikes a tree on the island and it crushes Mudclaw to death on the shore.
- Mudclaw wakes up in StarClan and is greeted by Tallstar. Tallstar apologizes for not properly preparing Mudclaw for the future, and Mudclaw finally accepts that Onewhisker is meant to be WindClan's true leader. He questions what he did wrong to fault Tallstar, but his former leader elaborates that WindClan needs a different leader, a kind one who'll lead the Clan in peace, cooperation, and trust, in order to survive the challenges ahead. He also explains that Mudclaw deserves a place in StarClan because he thought he was doing the right thing for WindClan, and that the tree that killed him will serve as a bridge to the island as the Clans' proper Gathering place. While Mudclaw isn't impressed with his rebellious legacy, Tallstar takes him to the Moonpool where Onewhisker is prepared to receive his nine lives and offers for Mudclaw to participate. Mudclaw grants Onewhisker a life for determination to lead WindClan in his own way and apologizes for what he did. Onewhisker insists he's already forgiven, and Mudclaw vows they'll do their best to keep WindClan safe.
- Winds of Change (EN), HarperCollins (hardcover), 1 June 2021
- Winds of Change (EN), HarperCollins (paperback), 1 June 2021
- Winds of Change (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 1 June 2021
- James Barry confirmed that Rowanclaw and Oakfur are the dark ginger tabby cat and the light brown cat respectively who joined Mudclaw's rebellion.[blog 1] He also confirmed the appearances of Mousefur, Thornclaw, Ashfur, Sootfur, Rainwhisker, and Sorreltail in the battle as well.[blog 2]
- A compiled list of the errors present in Winds of Change can be found here.
Notes and references
- Revealed in the title pages of Winds of Change
- Revealed on the back cover of Winds of Change
- Revealed on HarperCollins.com