|"Just be careful. I've got my eye on you—both of you."|
|— Tigerclaw warning Graystripe and Fireheart in Forest of Secrets, chapter 20|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty one of Forest of Secrets. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 21 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 202-211
- Fireheart asks Brackenpaw where the enemy Clans are and how many warriors are with them. Brackenpaw signals to the deeper forest and says they are over there, but doesn't know how many, but they are creeping through the undergrowth. Fireheart orders the apprentice to go back to camp and warn Bluestar and Tigerclaw. Brackenpaw obeys and rushes back towards the ravine. Fireheart investigates and smells WindClan and ShadowClan, but springs into a tree as a bird startles him.
- The ginger warrior hears cats poking through the undergrowth, and spots Nightstar, the ShadowClan leader, emerge. The leader commands the other cats to follow him, which makes Fireheart grow tense as he sees many cats, including Tallstar, Cinderfur, Deadfoot, Stumpytail, Wetfoot, and Onewhisker there. Fireheart recalls how not long ago ShadowClan had driven WindClan out of their home, and now both of them were united against ThunderClan, for taking Brokentail in. Fireheart knows he will have to fight them, even though he united with them once. He hears Tigerclaw's battle cry, and feels relieved even though he hates the deputy.
- The battle begins and Tigerclaw and Nightstar wrestle, while Darkstripe has a WindClan warrior pinned down. Mousefur screeches and flings herself on top of the ShadowClan deputy Cinderfur. Morningflower rakes her claws down Longtail's back and sends him tumbling down the slope.
- Fireheart gets angry, but can't help remembering how he had helped Morningflower carry her kit back to the WindClan camp after Brokenstar had driven them out of their territory. She leaps around just as Fireheart lands on her, and is about to claw him when she realizes who he is. For a few heartbeats, the two cats stare at each other. Morningflower's eyes are filled with sorrow, and she backs away into the crowd of fighting warriors, away from Fireheart.
- A cat slams into Fireheart and knocks him to the ground. He struggles against his attacker and notices it is the ShadowClan warrior, Stumpytail. The tom bites Fireheart's shoulder, and he batters Stumpytail's stomach in return. Stumpytail rears in agony and backs away, so the ginger warrior stands up and notices that ThunderClan is outnumbered. He wonders where Bluestar is, but then he sees her with Whitestorm and Dustpelt on the other side of the clearing. Onewhisker and Wetfoot run over to them and Wetfoot springs at Bluestar. Fireheart races up the ravine and remembers that Bluestar is on her last life -- meaning that if she died now, ThunderClan would have Tigerclaw as their leader. Fireheart tears into the tunnel and grabs Wetfoot by his neck, dragging him back. Many fighting cats, including Fireheart, fight against their enemies. Fireheart slashes and claws around, not knowing who he is fighting.
- He hears Bluestar command that the enemies are trying to get into camp and that ThunderClan has to keep them from doing so. Fireheart realizes the gorse is too prickly to fight in so he rushes inside camp and notices Sandstorm, Willowpelt, and Runningwind rushing to guard the nursery. Longtail and Brackenpaw guard the medicine cat den where Brokentail is, and Fireheart can scarcely believe they are being attacked for the sake of such a cruel and murderous cat.
- Nighstar and Onewhisker are the first to break through the tunnel and they run into the camp and over to Brokentail's den. Tallstar joins them and many other invaders break through too. Fireheart yowls to stop them because they want Brokentail. He throws himself on top of Nightstar, and bites into the leader's shoulder. The dark tom writhes and pins Fireheart down, but all of a sudden, he lets go as Brackenpaw springs on his back. He wrestles and Brackenpaw falls, crushed by the ShadowClan leader's greater weight. Fireheart slashes at Nightstar, claws outstretched, but Tallstar thrusts between the two and Fireheart feels himself being thrown backward.
- Tigerclaw suddenly appears and he swipes a massive paw at Tallstar, sending the WindClan leader scrambling away. More ThunderClan cats appear such as Whitestorm, Mousefur, Runningwind, and Bluestar herself. They drive the attackers back, and the battle is over. Fireheart notices Brokentail lying in the medicine den, his head low as he unseeingly stares at the ground. He'd made no sound during the battle, and Fireheart wonders if Brokentail knows what his adopted Clan risked for him.
- Close by, Brackenpaw stands up, wounded. Fireheart tells him he fought like a warrior, and the apprentice's eyes glow from the praise. Meanwhile, the rest of ThunderClan crowds around Bluestar, breathing heavily. None of them seem triumphant for their victory,and Darkstripe starts yowling at Bluestar. The dark warrior blames her for the attack as she had ordered them to protect Brokentail. He asks what would've happened if one of them died, and Bluestar calmly tells him that she never thought it would be this way, but they had to do what they believe is right. Darkstripe retorts contemptuously that he would've killed Brokentail himself for a couple of mouse-tails, and a few other warriors meow in agreement.
- Tigerclaw shoulders himself towards Darkstripe and warns him that he must show respect to his leader. Darkstripe glares at them both for a second, but bows his head. Bluestar orders Fireheart to bring Yellowfang, but she and Cinderpaw were already pacing forth and checking the warriors for any serious injuries. As Fireheart waits for his turn, he notices a cat appear inside the camp. It is Graystripe - with no battle wounds but instead with a couple pieces of prey in his jaws. Tigerclaw breaks away from where Cinderpaw treats him and growls at Graystripe, questioning him where he's been. Graystripe looks bewildered and meows that he was hunting and asks what's happened in the camp. Tigerclaw explains that WindClan and ShadowClan invaded, trying to get Brokentail. He queries again where was Graystripe was during the attack.
- Fireheart guesses that Graystripe's been with Silverstream, and thanks StarClan that the gray warrior had managed to get prey for a valid excuse. Graystripe gets annoyed and protests how he'd know a battle would happen, questioning if he needed the deputy's approval every time he steps out of camp. The ginger warrior winces, thinking guilt was making his friend reckless. Tigerclaw growls that he and Fireheart are away too much for his liking. The ginger warrior replies that he was here today in the battle, commenting that it isn't Graystripe's fault he wasn't. Tigerclaw growls that he has his eyes on both on of them, and stalks back to Cinderpaw. Graystripe retorts that he does not care, while he goes to deposit his catch in the fresh-kill pile. Fireheart limps over to the medicine den to have his wounds looked at.
- Yellowfang meows that if any more of Fireheart's fur had been torn out, he would be as bald as an eel. She states that none of the wounds are deep, so he'd live. Cinderpaw pads over with a cobweb which she applies onto the scratch above Fireheart's eye. She gently touches his nose to his and says he was very brave. The ginger warrior meows that they all did what they had to. Yellowfang rasps that it wasn't easy, as she'd been in many battles and knew what is was like. Bluestar comes into the den and the medicine cat turns to face her leader. She thanks her for protecting Brokentail at any cost, but Bluestar shakes her head and says there is no need for 'thanks', as Brokentail deserves their compassion now. Yellowfang bows her head and softly apologizes for Brokentail bringing so much danger to her adopted Clan. The blue-gray she cat moves closer and comfortingly licks the medicine cat's shoulder, like a mother soothing a fretful kit.
- A picture comes into Fireheart's mind of Bluestar padding through the forest the night of the Gathering, recalling the way the moonlight shone on three coats: Bluestar, Mistyfoot, and Stonefur's. The ginger warrior gasps, wondering if he'd really seen three cats so identical. He remembers that they were brother and sister, and Graypool had said they were born of ThunderClan. Fireheart ponders if it's possible that Bluestar's kits hadn't died, but lived on in RiverClan instead.
- Bluestar 
- Yellowfang 
- Cinderpaw 
- Tigerclaw 
- Graystripe 
- Brokentail 
- Tallstar 
- Morningflower 
References and citations
|Forest of Secrets 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|