Taking place immediately after The Last Hope, this short story follows Dovewing as she comes to the conclusion that life isn't going to be easy after the Great Battle, especially now that she, Lionblaze, and Jayfeather have lost their powers.
In this seventy-page novella from the world of Erin Hunter's #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series, discover what happened to Dovewing after the events of the fourth Warriors arc, Omen of the Stars.
The Dark Forest has been defeated—but Dovewing's powers are gone. Will she able to adjust to life as an ordinary warrior?
Brackenfur is searching for his mate Sorreltail, and Brightheart, another queen, tells her kits to stay in the ruined elders’den. She tells Brackenfur that she saw Sorreltail go to the nursery. Dovewing realizes that her powers are not working and her ears are buzzing. The word no echoes from Brackenfur, and Dovewing finds Sorreltail is dead and her kits are with her body. She urges Lilykit and Seedkit to come with her as the kits think their mother is asleep. Brackenfur hardly notices his kits, and Seedkit asks to go and help him feel better. Dovewing brings them to Brightheart, who immediately tends to them, calling to her mate, Cloudtail, to tell their kits to stay where they are. Dovewing reports to Squirrelflight that Sorreltail is dead, and the deputy is visibly panicking, insisting anyone who’s injured needs to be treated right now. Guiltily, Dovewing goes to see the medicine cat who is too busy treating Foxleap. Leafpool promises to treat the rest of the Clan after she is done with Foxleap, and is shocked that Sorreltail is dead. Squirrelflight seems calmer when Dovewing pads back out, telling Berrynose and Cloudtail to rest before Brambleclaw returns, instead of rebuilding the dens. Dovewing finds a patch of sand to rest on, and thinks it doesn’t feel like they won the battle. She wonders if she’ll ever feel safe again.
The morning arrives and the Clan stirs awake from their cold vigil, although not many rested properly. Purdy asks the Clan to help bury the fallen as there are many fallen and only one elder. The bodies of Hollyleaf, Ferncloud, Mousefur, Firestar and Sorreltail are carried to the burial place, and none of the former Dark Forest Trainees join due to their Clanmates’ rejection. Leafpool leads the group to an old part of the woods where the ground is soft and easy to dig. She stands over each of the fallen and send them on the journey to StarClan, but Dovewing remembers seeing their spirits already on their way. She notices her father Birchfall isn’t there, but Ivypool insists he and the other former Dark Forest trainees do not deserve to join, as they betrayed their Clan. Dovewing points out they switched allegiances because of Ivypool, but her sister thinks she is supposed to be dead instead of Hollyleaf. Dovewing protests Hollyleaf knew what she was doing and is a true warrior. Leafpool finishes her ceremony with a final goodbye to her daughter, and Squirrelflight also joins her. The deputy announces only they know the debt they owe to these cats, and it’s up to them to make sure they do not die in vain. She says a final goodbye to her father.
Purdy gives advice for burying the fallen, and asks to bury Mousefur with a view to the lake. Dovewing, Ivypool and Cloudtail find a place to bury Hollyleaf. As they dig, Dovewing can hear her Clanmates burying Mousefur too. Suddenly, Lionblaze breaks his claw, and both Dovewing and Cinderheart are surprised. Lionblaze isn’t supposed to be injured, and Dovewing wonders if he is just tired from the battle. Afterwards, Purdy checks every burial before the Clan trails back to camp and rest. The former Dark Forest trainees have stocked the fresh-kill pile but still sit away from the rest of the Clan. Brambleclaw, now Bramblestar, arrives in ThunderClan and notices this, so Squirrelflight explains to him. Dovewing tries to listen but Whitewing tells her she shouldn’t be listening, and asks about her powers. Dovewing reassures it was part of the prophecy, and her ears are still buzzing from the battle anyway. Whitewing prompts her to visit Jayfeather instead of being in pain, and Dovewing goes to do so. Foxleap is still in danger of dying from his injuries from the battle. Dovewing sees Jayfeather’s stress and decides to return the next day, wondering what could be scaring the medicine cat. Two sunrises pass and the rebuilding of ThunderClan camp is still ongoing. Blackstar and his deputy, Rowanclaw, arrive, and suggest holding a meeting with the other Clans to decide what to do with the former Dark Forest trainees. Dovewing still cannot hear, and wonders if something is wrong with their powers.
The Three go with the former trainees and Bramblestar to the meeting. Mistystar and Onestar are confident of their Clanmates’ loyalties, but Blackstar isn’t as certain. Bramblestar urges Ivypool to step forward and explain why they were recruited, and she explains to all the leaders and medicine cats that she became a spy after learning the Dark Forest’s true intentions. She explains the other former trainees joined her after she persuaded them. The leaders start arguing and it’s suggested that they go off and make their own decisions when Mothwing of RiverClan suggests that they swear a new oath of loyalty to their Clanmates. All leaders agree with this and head back to camp to do so. Dovewing is angry that Ivypool still has to swear the oath, but she joins in with the other former trainees. Even with Bramblestar’s encouragement, the Clan still distrusts the former trainees. Dovewing tries to listen in to what the distrustful group of Clanmates are whispering, but cannot. She looks to Lionblaze to talk about it when he tries to go on patrol instead of resting his paw, insisting that they need to hunt while the weather’s clear enough. Dovewing offers to go with him, and Cinderheart decides to go too. Ivypool also asks to join. Dovewing hardly notices a squirrel above her head, and her sister starts to suspect that she is losing her powers.
Dovewing only catches a small mouse, feeling guilty about her small contribution. On the way back, she finally talks to Lionblaze privately, asking if he thinks they are losing their powers. Dovewing tells him that it isn’t a battle wound, but something inside her that has changed. Lionblaze tells her to talk to Jayfeather, since he knows more about it, finishing that they are part of the prophecy and he doesn’t see how that can change. Dovewing goes to talk to Jayfeather right away, refusing to wait any longer. Jayfeather is tending to Foxleap, who is still very badly injured with an infected wound. Jayfeather tells Dovewing that Foxleap rarely stirs since he is dosed on poppy seeds, and cannot feel the medicine cat tending to his wound. He asks what is wrong. Dovewing explains that her senses have gone, and Lionblaze injured his paw, so asks if he has noticed anything different about their powers. Jayfeather refuses to talk about it, stating he can’t do anything because she isn’t in pain. He is certain that he cannot let Foxleap die, and Dovewing protests he cannot say that as they won. Jayfeather tells her that it doesn’t feel like it, as he has just been watching cats die. He orders Dovewing to go away as nothing is more important than saving a warriors’ life.
As Dovewing stumbles from the medicine den, Purdy asks her to help with a tick. She finds it quickly and declares to go get mousebile but Purdy wishes for her to stay and keep him company. He talks about missing Mousefur and how she died protecting her Clan, it’s what she would have wanted. Dovewing agrees, but Purdy protests that the Clan is still acting as if they are burying their Clanmates. He asks if they have forgotten they drove out the Dark Forest, and what they have won. He thinks it’s an insult to the fallen cats’ memory. Dovewing agrees with him, and goes to get the mousebile for him. Jayfeather is screeching from the medicine den, revealing that Foxleap has died. In shock, Dovewing screeches that the Dark Forest is not finished with them. For three night is a row, Sandstorm keeps the warriors awake with her coughing. In the morning, Berrynose protests that Sandstorm needs to move dens as they cannot keep up patrols without good nights of sleep. Sandstorm protests about moving to the elders’ den, despite Purdy’s hope for company. Berrynose, Poppyfrost, and their kits Molepaw and Cherrypaw join Purdy instead. Dovewing comments it is a nice thing for them, but Ivypool points out their nests are close to the former Dark Forest trainees’ nests. Sandstorm moves into the apprentices’ den now it’s empty, and Squirrelflight joins her.
Dovewing sees this activity as an omen of the Clan separating apart. Whitewing sees her daughter's distress and goes to fetch moss with her. Dovewing confesses the changes in the Clan, and Whitewing urges all battles leave wounds, especially the unseen ones. She says that wounds take time to heal and tells her daughter to not lose hope. During the night of the first Gathering, Berrynose talks of his disbelief that Bramblestar is bringing two former Dark Forest trainees with them. Toadstep states the other Clans killed most of their ‘traitors’ and thinks they should have done the same. Dovewing snaps at them and almost causes an argument. After being scolded by Squirrelflight, Blossomfall, a former Dark Forest trainee tells Dovewing to not fight for them, it will take time to prove their loyalty. Dovewing protests they did nothing to hurt the Clans during the Great Battle and swore the oath of loyalty. Blossomfall tells her the warrior code means everything and that is how it should be. Dovewing moves to talk to Blossomfall’s brother Bumblestripe, showing signs of growing close to the tom. She trips over a branch and Bumblestripe catches her. Dovewing snaps she is fine, but sees the hurt in his eyes so thanks him for catching her. Bumblestripe murmurs he’ll always be there to catch her.
All the former Dark Forest trainees from the other Clans are present at the Gathering, and seem to be treated better by their Clanmates then ThunderClan is to their former Dark Forest trainees. Dovewing sees Tigerheart with Shrewfoot and as the pretty she-cat gazes at the tom, Dovewing pushes away her jealousy and sits with Blossomfall and Bumblestripe instead. Dovewing manages to sit next to Toadstep, and gives him an annoyed hiss. Mistystar reports of Petalfur’s pregnancy, and a pike eating smaller fish. Blackstar reports of better camp and fresh-kill, and a trouble making fox driving out of their territory. Onestar and Bramblestar’s announcement were just as short and vague, not a single mention of the Great Battle. No Clan stays to share tongues, and Bumblestripe mentions that the Great Battle seems to have changed everything. Dovewing agrees with him, and wonders if ThunderClan will be forever divided by the Dark Forest. Back at camp, Hazeltail is on watch but is coughing and wheezing, so Jayfeather tells Bramblestar she cannot stay on watch. Bramblestar orders anyone who is sick to be treated right away. Toadstep is showing loss of hunger and Cloudtail has a sore throat. Dovewing is immediately afraid of the whole Clan becoming sick.
The next morning, Jayfeather thinks Hazeltail has greencough and upon hearing this, Millie tells Briarlight to move nests so she doesn’t become sick. Briarlight has her sights set on the warriors den, even turning down an offer to rest in the elders’ den. Dovewing offers to go instead, letting Briarlight take her nest. Bumblestripe is alarmed he will miss Dovewing, but Dovewing reassures that she’ll move back soon. She joins a patrol to fetch suitable moss for Briarlight’s new nest, and Briarlight declares she can have duties as she is a warrior after all. Two nights later Toadstep begins coughing, and it’s a struggle for Dovewing to feel sympathetic as he knew it was coming. He is moved to the apprentices’ den to keep from the sickness spreading to the rest of the Clan. Squirrelflight moves back to the warriors’ den, declaring the sick cats can keep themselves awake but shows signs of sickness from her straining eyes. Leafpool tells Dovewing to share a squirrel with Bumblestripe and Purdy, and Sandstorm also joins them. Purdy remembers the time when Firestar sent the sick cats to the old Twoleg den to stop the spread of sickness, and Dovewing wonders if they’ll do it again.
Dovewing spots Blossomfall sneaking out of camp and decides to follow her. Blossomfall catches her, and decides to let her see what she is up to. She reveals catmint, knowing the sick cats need it so has been trying to gather it for the medicine cats. Dovewing feels sympathy for the she-cat, and offers to help her. Blossomfall admits that joining the Dark Forest was the biggest mistake ever made, and probably cannot forgive herself. Dovewing urges they have to move on and find new ways to be strong, and thinks she has to do the same thing with her powers. A quarter moon later, the Clan is busy hunting for prey and searching for medicine while the sick cats recover. Molepaw is playing a game with the kits, encouraging distaste for the former Dark Forest trainees. Dovewing confronts him, and Molepaw points out that they are not united again really. Daisy tells Dovewing that kits play-fight, and no one is hurt. Dovewing scolds at Molepaw, saying he knows what he is doing, and leaves, thinking ThunderClan is never safe if they are divided. The next day, Squirrelflight tells the Clan to form their own hunting patrols while she and Bramblestar check the border. The former Dark Forest trainees are visibly rejected again, so Dovewing takes them all on hunting patrol with her.
The patrol is hunting well when Molepaw and Cherrypaw rush to them and report a scent of fox, the one that ShadowClan probably drove out before. The apprentices rush to let Bramblestar know before Rosepetal, who’s part of their patrol could tell something else. The former Dark Forest trainees decide to take on the fox themselves, and the apprentices encourage them to do so. As they run for the fox, Dovewing tells the patrol to stop and listen for the fox. Dovewing tries to use her powers again, but fails. The patrol instead hears a screaming noise and hurries to the sound. They find the fox threatening them, and a fox trap clamped down on its tail. Ivypool is creeping towards it while the patrols tries to figure out what to do when the fox lurches at her, dragging the fox trap. The patrol immediately attacks against the pain-crazed fox. Dovewing is thrown off the fox during the fight and lands on the ground, dazed. Lionblaze and Cinderheart find them, and the tom immediately helps fight the fox. Cinderheart is worried about his safety but Dovewing tells her that Lionblaze is the bravest warrior of ThunderClan and says to not take that away from him. The patrol kills the fox when Bramblestar’s patrol arrives, surprised at the fox trap.
Dovewing tells they were not told of the fox trap, but the first patrol already knew of the trap. She explains she thinks the apprentices wanted her patrol to find the crazed fox because they feel no loyalty to the former Dark Forest trainees and were willing to send them into danger. Molepaw bursts out they just wanted to scare them, not hurt them. They return to the hollow where Bramblestar calls for a Clan Meeting. He calls up the former Dark Forest trainees one by one, and congratulates them for their bravery, telling the Clan exactly what they did to the fox. Some of the ThunderClan cats visibly look uncomfortable. Bramblestar tells the Dark Forest will win if they do not forgive their former trainees, and forgiveness is more powerful than hatred, and these feelings will give the Dark Forest power. Bramblestar prays to StarClan and thanks them for the courage of the former Dark Forest trainees and asks to honor them always. The apprentices’ approach the former Dark Forest trainees and apologizes for their actions, promising it won’t happen again. They are forgiven, and Dovewing is relieved the Clan is together in peace again. She, Lionblaze and Jayfeather finally meet to talk, and Jayfeather decides to take them all somewhere.
Jayfeather takes Dovewing and Lionblaze straight to the Moonpool, and they lie down to dream. They dream of standing on a mountain against a roaring wind, and are confused. Midnight and Rock come instead, knowing they have questions to ask. Jayfeather explains they have lost their powers and think StarClan can explain why. Midnight states that these powers are not from StarClan but from older forces. She explains they are losing their powers because they are not needed. Dovewing thinks the Clans do not need them anymore, but Rock explains that ThunderClan will always need them, but there will never be a battle they face with their powers needed again. Midnight lumbers forward and tells Lionblaze that battling when injuries are certain is true courage. She tells Jayfeather to care for his Clanmates without walking in their thoughts and dreams. She tells Dovewing that she still has sight and hearing, and they will never be weaker than her Clanmates’ sight and hearing. Rock tells them they will feel lesser warriors without their powers, but they are not. Midnight explains they did not win the Great Battle alone, but every cat of every rank did. She tells them more has been lost than their powers, but the warrior code will last forever. They vanish and Firestar stands before the three before disappearing too. They wake up, feeling better about themselves. Dovewing thinks they won the Great Battle, and will survive the greencough, and the warrior code will last forever.
Vicky has said on her Facebook that this book takes place immediately after The Last Hope.
In the Blurb for Dovewing's Silence, it states that Dovewing has lost her powers, whereas Kate stated that the Three kept their powers after The Last Hope.
End of Spoiler Warning
Dovewing's Silence (EN), HarperCollins (e-book), 4 November 2014
Tales from the Clans (EN), HarperCollins (paperback) (included within), 4 November 2014