|"Yes, the Blazing Star. To survive, you must grow and spread like the Blazing Star."|
|— Bright Stream to the The Early Settlers in The Blazing Star, page 35|
|The Blazing Star (Book)|
|Cover Artist:||Wayne McLoughlin|
|Publish Date:||4 November 2014|
|Editions:||Hardcover, eBook, Library|
|The first great battle has ended, and each group has agreed to a truce. But merely keeping the peace may not guarantee their survival. When a deadly disease threatens to strike deep into the heart of both camps, the cats must work together to find the only thing that can save them—the mysterious Blazing Star...|
|Preceded by:||The First Battle|
|Followed by:||A Forest Divided|
- To survive, you must grow and spread like the Blazing Star.
- In the aftermath of the first great battle, the grounds of the four trees have been stained with blood and every cat has lost denmates and kin. Now, guided by the spirits of the fallen, the cats from the mountains must figure out how to move on.
- Though each group has sworn to a truce, simply keeping the peace may not guarantee their survival. Having lost Turtle Tail and given up his role as leader to Thunder, Gray Wing is no longer sure where he belongs. Clear Sky is losing his grip on the forest cats to a dangerous one-eyed rogue. And worst of all, a mysterious, deadly disease threatens to strike deep into the heart of both camps—keeping tensions simmering close to the surface. Only one thing can save them: they must seek the Blazing Star. . . .
Detailed Plot Summary
- Gray Wing finds himself crouched on top of a hollow, sitting in the cave behind the waterfall. He is elated to find himself back in the mountains, and comes across Stoneteller. He thinks of Stoneteller as very old, as he cannot count the amount of seasons she has seen. He scans the cave, spotting his mother, Quiet Rain, and Dewy Leaf, who had finally had her kits. He comments on Snow Hare, and how she used to tell wonderful stories. Gray Wing watches as Stoneteller walks into her den, and curiously, Gray Wing follows her. He attempts to make himself not seen, but Stoneteller spots him anyways, asking him why he was following her. Gray Wing, embarrassed, tries to explain that he just wanted to and his intentions weren't bad. Stoneteller reveals to Gray Wing that she invited him into her dream, and Gray Wing is surprised, asking how she can do that if he lived so far away. Stoneteller reminds him that part of his heart will always belong in the mountains, and Gray Wing knows that she is correct.
- The former Ancient cat recalls how much he missed the mountains; the thunder of the waterfall, the sharp peaks outlined against the sky, and the cats that he left behind. He tries to ask Stoneteller why he was sent here, but Stoneteller cuts him off. He notices a spider trying to devour a fly, but Stoneteller leaps towards the spider, ripping its web in half. The spider lets itself fall on a remaining piece of web, and scatters out of sight, his home destroyed. Gray Wing is appalled, asking Stoneteller why she did that. Stoneteller brushes him off, and asks him what the spider did. Gray Wing tells her that the spider saved himself, and Stoneteller agrees, asking him what she will do now. Gray Wing is irritated by these questions, and replies that the spider will build a new web. Stoneteller tells him that wisdom and a long life comes from being flexible, and that one day, Gray Wing will need to be just as flexible. She warns him that he will have to be strong for himself and other cats, and that he knows life will hard but it's about to become harder. Gray Wing, annoyed, asks Stoneteller if she can tell him more than that, if she could be more specific. Stoneteller can't answer his questions, but she tells him that she can't plan out his future, and that she can only give him guidance. Stoneteller advises Gray Wing to make his own decisions, but he will need to be strong. She turns her head, and Gray Wing follows her gaze, seeing his mother, Quiet Rain. Gray Wing feels an ache in his heart, realizing just how much he misses his mother. Stoneteller seems to understand this, and instructs Gray Wing to make his mother proud. She tells Gray Wing to remember who he is, and who he came from, and that she is telling him this information because she knows he is strong enough to listen. She notifies Gray Wing that a great destiny awaits him and his friends, but it won't wait forever.
- Back in the forest, in the aftermath of the Great Battle, Tall Shadow declares that it is time to bury the dead. Thunder reflects on the fact that no cat should be left as food for scavengers - especially not when they have given their lives in such a deadly battle. As the cats examine the amount of dead bodies, Thunder comments that there are so many, and wonders how they can protect them all. Tall Shadow unsheathes her claws, reminding Thunder that claws had spilled blood, but it could make things right as well. Tall Shadow declares that no matter how long it takes, they will dig a hole in the ground, big enough for all of their fallen friends. She states that in life they were torn apart, but in death, they will be united. Thunder recalls back to when the spirit cats had told them to "unite or die", and agrees with Tall Shadow in how they should bury their fellow Tribemates. Gray Wing warns that it will take a lot of effort to dig a hole for every cat, but Tall Shadow insists that it will be worth the effort, as the earth will be the only thing to protect the dead cats from crows and foxes. The cats start to dig holes, but Clear Sky is reluctant to join in. He dips his head when Thunder comes over and explains that he caused this, and it was his anger that created the chaos and that his anger had also brought them into the battle that would eventually end into these's cats demise. Thunder convinces his father to join in with the burial, and as they finish digging the hole, Tall Shadow brings out the bodies and start to drop them into the grave. Thunder finds himself looming over Hawk Swoop, remembering how the orange tabby had cared for Thunder as if he was her own kit. He turns to Rainswept Flower, in which he remarks that she and Clear Sky had known each other since they were both kits - and Clear Sky had ended up killing her. Behind him, Thunder hears Clear Sky apologizing, in which he is truly mourning his dead friend.
- Gray Wing comments that no day will ever be worse than this one, and Thunder realizes that his adopted father is correct. He vows to never let the cats feel grief like this again. Lightning Tail looms over Hawk Swoop, and promises her that he will never forget her. Shattered Ice mourns Jackdaw's Cry, commenting that the hollow will never be the same without him. Cloud Spot adds that he did not die in vain - none of the slaughtered cats did. Cloud Spots promises that they will learn from this terrible day. Tall Shadow yowls that they will never let anything like the battle happen again, and that they must listen to the cats in the stars, to the warning that they had given the living cats. She tells the cats that they must work together peacefully, and that they will visit the clearing at the next full moon to hear more messages from the spirit cats. Clear Sky is relieved that there will finally be cats to tell them what to do. Gray Wing turns to Clear Sky, suddenly understanding why Clear Sky had been so protective and hostile, realizing that his responsibilities had been too much for him - that he had tried to do the right thing, although he had asked too much of himself. Thunder feels hope stirring inside of him, realizing that Clear Sky will get help from the spirit cats, but nothing will make him believe that those cats needed to die. Tall Shadow tells the cats that she wants a promise that all cats will respect each other, and no more fighting over territory will occur. She adds that they all need time to recover, and that any cat who needs help should receive it, no matter who the cat was. Tall Shadow looks at Gray Wing, expecting him to speak, but Gray Wing tells Tall Shadow that Thunder, who had proved himself in the battle, should take his place as leader with her, River Ripple, and Clear Sky.
- Thunder agrees with Tall Shadow, that they should help any cat in trouble. Wind Runner, River Ripple, and Clear Sky all agree as well. Tall Shadow declares that it is time to go home - anywhere, to the forest, the hollow, or the moor. She insists that every cat has the right to choose where they live, and River Ripple offers that any cat who wants to can live with him and in his island home. Cats start to break up into two groups - one group around Wind Runner, Thunder, and Tall Shadow, and another around Clear Sky. Acorn Fur moves over to Clear Sky's group, and Thunder tells Lightning Tail that she won't be far away, and to think of themselves as one big group split into two. Clear Sky says farewell to the other leaders, but promises them that there will be no guards on borders so that they will be able to visit anytime they want. As the moor cats travel back to the hollow, they meet three rogues who introduce themselves as Holly, Mud Paws, and Mouse Ears. The cats ask to join them, explaining how they had seen their bravery and courage in the battle fought underneath the great oaks. Thunder allows them to join, leading them to the hollow.
- Gray Wing runs into River Ripple. They briefly exchange a few words, and River Ripple confirms that he will be at the four trees to hear the spirit cats' second message. In camp, Gray Wing asks Pebble Heart if he happened to have anymore dreams. Pebble Heart tells Gray Wing that he didn't, but Gray Wing is certain that his foster son is lying. Gray Wing is confused, wondering if there was any cat Pebble Heart could trust - it would be Gray Wing. Gray Wing examines his other foster son, Thunder, who he realizes is a born leader. He is confident that he can step back and let him take over leadership responsibilities. Thunder pads up to Gray Wing, asking if he saw Clear Sky or the others while he was out. Gray Wing briefly tells Thunder of his account with River Ripple, and reflects on how he had only seen Clear Sky and his cats from time to time. Thunder comments that it isn't much longer before the next meeting at the four trees, asking Gray Wing if he thinks the spirit cats will appear. Gray Wing isn't sure, but reminds Thunder that they said they would unite or die - so that's what they would have to do.
- They gather at the four trees, and Gray Wing is calmed by the friendly atmosphere between the two groups, remembering how not long ago they had been fighting each other to their deaths. Tall Shadow assumes that the worst is behind them, and Thunder adds that they can start making plans for the future. Gray Wing is relieved to see his brother, who traveled over to him, to be looking relaxed and friendly. Clear Sky wonders if the spirit cats will be pleased with them, and Gray Wing replies with hoping so, as they didn't do anything wrong. River Ripple appears, telling Wind Runner that the spirit cats will appear as she sounds hesitant and uncertain. The spirit cats do appear at that very moment. Rainswept Flower praises the cats, saying that they had done well in observing peace, but a claw still blights the forest. The cats are confused, knowing that they hadn't fought at all. Rainswept Flower tells them that they will realize what it means in time, and Turtle Tail adds on, saying that sometimes, even the sharpest claw can't make a mark. River Ripple comments that if something is meant to happen, that it will. The spirit cats praise River Ripple, telling the others that they should listen to him. Moon Shadow warns them about more work to be done - that the Blazing Star can blunt the claw. Bright Stream informs the cats that they must spread and grow like the Blazing Star, to which all of the settlers are confused about. After the spirit cats disappear, the cats try to figure out what the blazing star might be, and another mysterious cat adds that the claw part of the message might be some sort of riddle. River Ripple departs, saying that he could already foresee a night of bickering between the settlers. The mysterious cat talks to Thunder, telling him that she's been dying to meet him and that she had heard so much about him. The she-cat parts, and Thunder is left watching her, leaving Gray Wing to remember that although Thunder is big and strong, he was still very young.
- Clear Sky runs into Tom once more - the father of Turtle Tail's kits. Tom asks Clear Sky if he can join his group, and after a while of bickering, Clear Sky accepts Tom, but unbeknownst to Clear Sky, he had unknowingly taken in another cat - One Eye. Tom describes One Eye as the perfect addition to Clear Sky's group, but One Eye, not giving Tom a chance to finish, jumps onto Tom and wounds him. Tom is shocked, and One Eye tells Tom that he can speak for himself. Clear Sky agrees with Tom being shocked, and wondering why he's hanging around with a cat like that. One Eye tells Clear Sky that he's offering his services to Clear Sky's group, and that it's not an offer Clear Sky would want to turn down. Clear Sky asks them if they might know what the Blazing Star is, and One Eye replies thoughtfully that it could be a plant. Clear Sky allows the cats to join his camp, although he is unsure of their real motives.
- Gray Wing visits Clear Sky's camp, confronting Clear Sky's decision about taking Tom in. Gray Wing reminds his brother that Tom had stolen Turtle Tail's kits. Clear Sky is shocked, realizing that he hadn't known that it was Turtle Tail's kits that Tom had taken. Clear Sky is furious that Gray Wing humiliates him in front of Tom and One Eye, and he points out that all the grudges were put behind them after the battle. Clear Sky tells Gray Wing that he should've known best about this, as he let Thunder take control of his group as he was no longer up to the task. He adds that Thunder was within all rights to drive Gray Wing out of his camp, due to his illness, and that he should fend for himself - and that Gray Wing should consider himself lucky. Gray Wing is silent and hurt by his brother's words, and Clear Sky regrets losing his temper. Clear Sky tells Gray Wing that it would never come to that, and that he would always give him a home. Acorn Fur tells Gray Wing to join them, but Clear Sky reminds her that Gray Wing has a perfectly good home of her own. As the moor cats leave the camp, Mouse Ear tells Clear Sky that he will regret taking One Eye in, but Clear Sky tells himself that no ex rogue would tell him what to do.
- Back at the moor camp, the returning patrol consisting of Gray Wing, Thunder, and Mouse Ear, inform Tall Shadow about One Eye's residency at Clear Sky's camp. Thunder suggests that they start training in the art of battle, not just to defend themselves from the possible threat of One Eye, but from other threats, such as dogs and foxes. During the battle training, which is led by Holly, Pebble Heart notices a sickly mouse. Pebble Heart reports that it is a sign of sickness that is too powerful for healing herbs. Realizing that Holly, Mouse Ear, and Mud Paws hadn't heard about the spirit cat's message, Gray Wing quickly explains it to them. Cloud Spots suggests that the claw may be the sickness, and Mouse Ear suggests that the Blazing Star is some sort of five pealed plant. Tall Shadow recommends that they go back to the mountains, as she recalls a plant similar to Mouse Ear's description grows there. Several cats have different ideas of what the message means, but Gray Wing allows Mouse Ear to explain what he thinks the Blazing Star is. Mouse Ear reports that they found the Blazing Star growing on the other side of the Thunderpath, and Tall Shadow leads a patrol over there. However, before they reach the Thunderpath, they come across One Eye who is about to bite in a bird that had also been infected with the mysterious ailment. Pebble Heart and Thunder stop One Eye from eating it, and as Clear Sky approaches, Tall Shadow explains to him what they believe the Blazing Star was. Clear Sky offers to join them in the search. After crossing the Thunderpath, they come across the Blazing Star - a small yellow plant with five petals that spread out separately. Although the cats aren't sure of its true purpose, they pick a few flowers anyways. Clear Sky bids them farewell, promising to let them know if he comes up with any ideas about the Blazing Star.
- In Clear Sky's camp, Clear Sky supervises training programs led by One Eye. Unfortunate Sparrow Fur makes a surprise visit to his camp, a perfect opportunity for One Eye to show off his new battle moves. Sparrow Fur refuses to leave unless she has seen her father, Clear Sky hesitantly allows the battle between the two cats to go on. Tom breaks up the rather vicious fight, and Sparrow Fur is nearly ravaged. Clear Sky attempts to treat Sparrow Fur, with Acorn Fur's help. Unknown to Acorn Fur and Clear Sky, as they were treating Sparrow Fur, a vicious fight had broken between Tom and One Eye. When Clear Sky and Acorn Fur finish, they turn around to find Tom slaughtered. Clear Sky is infuriated with One Eye, while One Eye comments that Tom should've known better to attack him, as he had killed much tougher opponents than him. Clear Sky flashes back at him if Sparrow Fur was a tougher opponent, mentioning that he had practically torn her apart, just for fun. One Eye tells him that she had learned a valuable lesson, and when Clear Sky attacks him, One Eye says that he cannot stop him from defending his honor. One Eye snarls at Clear Sky that his rules are a joke, and that no cat cares about anyone but himself, and that pretending otherwise causes heartache and sickness. Clear Sky asks him what he knows about the sickness, but One Eye only tells him that some of the cats in his group are as good as dead, refusing to tell him more as he mentions that he only cares about himself. Clear Sky tries to exile One Eye, threatening to kill him. One Eye pretends to walk away, but then he ambushes Clear Sky by surprise, and then departs again.
- Wind Runner's kit, Morning Whisker, is infected with the mysterious plague, and is given the best, most possible treatment by Pebble Heart and Cloud Spots. After Gray Wing fails to comfort Wind Runner, Owl Eyes tells him that Sparrow Fur had went to find Tom. Gray Wing questions Jagged Peak, who admits that he had let Sparrow Fur go. Jagged Peak warns him not to be so protective, a hidden message about Sparrow Fur and him. Jagged Peak reports that he is having kits with Holly, leaving Gray Wing to comment on Jagged Peak's attitude and how he had seemed so happy. Clear Sky enters the camp, telling the cats about Sparrow Fur's brawl with One Eye and the price Tom had paid for protecting his kit. Gray Wing is furious with Jagged Peak, blaming his brother as he had been the one who allowed Sparrow Fur to go on his own. Jagged Peak and Gray Wing's argument turn to a fight, but it is quickly broken up. Clear Sky tells Gray Wing that he thinks Sparrow Fur should stay in his camp, in case another threat from One Eye emerges. Gray Wing insists on seeing Sparrow Fur, bringing Owl Eyes. Owl Eyes explains to Gray Wing that his sister had wanted to visit Tom as it was hard knowing only half your kin, and feeling like an orphan. Gray Wing is heartbroken to hear this, and Owl Eyes tries to gently explain that he just wanted to know who's blood he carried. Gray Wing solemnly tells the kit that his father, Tom, is dead, and Owl Eyes refuses to go any further, stating that he cannot face Clear Sky after he allowed One Eye into his group. Gray Wing checks in on Sparrow Fur, who is recovering slowly but surely. He departs, thinking that no cat really needs him, and finds that his paws are taking him to the four trees in which his friends were slaughtered mercilessly. River Ripple appears, offering Gray Wing to come to his island with him, and Gray Wing accepts.
- Gray Wing's disappearance worries the cats at the moor, especially Thunder, Owl Eyes, and Pebble Heart. Clear Sky visits the moor cats once again, asking for the cats to share their knowledge of the herbs that are currently treating the sickness, knowing that he will need it if his cats were to get sick. Clear Sky, Tall Shadow, and Thunder arrange a meeting at the four trees to discuss how to stop the sickness from spreading. The illness turns fatal, killing Wind Runner's kit, Morning Whisker. Wind Runner asks for Morning Whisker to be buried underneath the four trees with the other spirit cats. Wind Runner decides to leave the moor cats, saying that she had helped the cats so much but all she had received was grief and heartbreak. Wind Runner takes her kits with her, and Gorse Fur joins her as well. At the meeting, Gray Wing returns with River Ripple. Gray Wing explains to Thunder that he needed some time to be alone, and that he would be staying with River Ripple for a while to let himself think. He adds that he feels that he is getting in the way of Thunder and Tall Shadow's leadership. The meeting officially starts, with each leader reporting signs of sickness in their territory. Gray Wing proposes the idea of splitting into smaller groups, but other cats disagree. They decide to stay in their current groups for the time being, Gray Wing being an exception as they allow him to remain with River Ripple for a little bit. The mysterious cat appears once more and greets Thunder, introducing herself as Star Flower, explaining that she had been named by the white flowers that glow at night with five petals, for if a cat were to gaze closely into her eyes, they would see the five petal shapes. Star Flower repeats that she had heard a lot about Thunder, and is willing to train him to fight with his large paws. She disappears, and Tall Shadow gently teases Thunder. Tall Shadow comments on the beauty of the marshland, and Thunder is worried that she will leave the moorland cats, but Tall Shadow reassures him that she'd be staying for now.
- Alder gets sick, and One Eye emerges from behind Clear Sky and Petal, who had been looking her over, mocking him. Clear Sky realizes that Sparrow Fur is missing, and demands to know what One Eye had done with her. One Eye tells Clear Sky that he doesn't have to worry about that "stupid kit", but Clear Sky is able to see Sparrow Fur, trapped in a barrier that blocks the open to a hollow tree. Clear Sky commands One Eye to let her go, but One Eye claims that it is his territory now. One Eye tells Clear Sky that not all of his followers like him, and Clear Sky realizes that some of them would follow One Eye. One Eye taunts Clear Sky, and attacks Petal. Petal gets back onto her feet, and Clear Sky examines her, realizing that One Eye had made a wound that looked just like an eye. One Eye tells Clear Sky that she now carried his mark, along with Nettle, and that all of his cats would also carry it before night falls. Clear Sky asks him about the sickness, claiming that he was flea brained for opening up a wound while illness was in the forest. One Eye replies that he is strict, and tells Clear Sky to leave. Clear Sky refuses, asking his cats to help fight. Only Acorn Fur and Thorn react, but the others do not - even Petal. Due to Clear Sky's refusal to leave, One Eye allows another group of cats to emerge from the woods, telling Clear Sky that he wouldn't move in without having friends to help him. Once again, the treacherous cat tells Clear Sky to leave, and explains to his followers that they will carry his mark, but they will not be harmed, provided they behave themselves. Clear Sky gets himself ready to leave, but takes the chance to save Sparrow Fur before. Both of them flee the woods, and Clear Sky realizes that he had lost his home and his group of cats - that One Eye had defeated him.
- After having being taught a few hunting lessons by River Ripple, Gray Wing decides that it is time to go home. He comes across Wind Runner, just recently learning about her kit's death and her decision to leave the moor camp. Slate, a member of Wind Runner's group that she had recently established, accompanies Gray Wing home, telling him about Wind Runner's generosity of taking her in after a fox had killed her brother. He reaches the moor camp, and he realizes that he believes that he is happy at the camp for now, but he wonders just how long it'll be good enough for him. Thunder is teaching a hunting lesson with Lightning Tail and a few others, and Star Flower emerges, commenting on the lack of prey that Thunder had caught. Lightning Tail is annoyed at Thunder's fascination with Star Flower, commenting that he doesn't exactly trust her. Thunder sends the other cats back to camp, and joins Star Flower on a short walk to a garden. He asks Star Flower if she knows what the Blazing Star is, and Star Flower tells him that it is a healing herb. Thunder explains to Star Flower his backstory, about Clear Sky and Gray Wing. They watch the sunset together, and Thunder has an unidentifiable feeling in his chest, wondering if he should ask Star Flower to join his group. Thunder returns back to the camp, finding out that Gray Wing had returned home. Clear Sky had also joined the camp again, explaining the issue with One Eye. But Jagged Peak brings out worse news - that Holly has the sickness.
- Thunder reports about the Blazing Star being a healing herb that could help Holly. The cats want to go and retrieve it, but One Eye is a threat, making it unsafe for them to cross the woods to go over the Thunderpath in order to pick the flowers. Clear Sky explains to the cats about One Eye's presence, and Shattered Ice muses that they need a plan to defeat One Eye once and for all. Gray Wing proposes that they go after the Blazing Star without worrying about One Eye, for Holly is in vital need of it. Jagged Peak leads a patrol to pick some of the Blazing Star. Clear Sky joins Jagged Peak on the patrol, and the two brothers are able to make amends and forgive each other for their troubled past. The patrol is able to pick up some of the Blazing Star, and they cross back over the Thunderpath, unknowingly running into One Eye. One Eye does not allow the patrol to take back some of the Blazing Star, and attacks Jagged Peak's patrol. Acorn Fur leaps out to help, but the rest of the patrol flees, unable to rescue Acorn Fur, but also unable to retrieve the Blazing Star that One Eye had taken from them. Jagged Peak explains to Gray Wing the incident, and how he didn't come back with the Blazing Star. Gray Wing tells Jagged Peak that it was good news about One Eye. Gray Wing explains his plan about ambushing One Eye, elaborating that he wants them to attack One Eye in an open space. Thunder concedes that they don't kill One Eye, that they just drive him out of their territory. Star Flower makes a surprise appearance once more, but then departs, seeing as she is not wanted there. Gray Wing returns to explaining his plan, suggesting that they should attack from all sides, and that he would ask the forest cats and River Ripple for help.
- Clear Sky decides that he will be the one to lure One Eye out into the open field on his own, seeing as he had openly challenged One Eye to a one-on-one fight prior to the plan. Clear Sky decides that they will first drive out One Eye, and then tackle the sickness. He realizes that they are uniting against the rogue, which might be what the spirit cats have meant. Gray Wing is on his way to scour the area for the attack on One Eye, but he is ambushed by a fox. The fox almost fatally wounds him, but Gray Wing is rescued by Slate. Gray Wing talks to Slate for a little bit, wondering how he can rely so heavily on a cat he just met, making him feel like he's more than just friends with Slate. Thunder goes out on patrol with Lightning Tail, who confronts him about his trust in Star Flower, hurt by the fact that Thunder assumed that other cats' opinions don't count. However, Lightning Tail still accompanies Thunder to Wind Runner's camp, telling Wind Runner about the plan against One Eye and the news of the Blazing Star. Wind Runner refuses to help them with One Eye, but asks for the flower. Thunder suggests to Lightning Tail that they go to River Ripple with a more friendlier approach, but Lightning Tail doesn't answer. Thunder is exasperated, asking if they're not speaking anymore. Lightning Tail tells Thunder that his loyalty is to the group, and not him anymore. Out of fury, Lightning Tail attacks Thunder, stating that he had fallen straight into Star Flower's trap. Lightning Tail refuses to talk anymore about Star Flower, and both he and Thunder continue to River Ripple's camp. Thunder and Lightning Tail come across River Ripple, explaining their plan about One Eye and the Blazing Star. River Ripple accepts their plea to help join them in the attack, but he warns them that they will have to kill One Eye if they want him to leave them alone. As Thunder and Lightning Tail depart, River Ripple warns Thunder to be careful. Thunder is confused, but River Ripple tells Thunder that he knows what he's talking about, and as he said, he knows everything. Coming back to camp, they see Star Flower talking with Tall Shadow. Lightning Tail is disgusted and walks off, and Star Flower tells Thunder that she had found a patch of the Blazing Star growing near the river. As Star Flower leads Thunder to the spot where she had found the alleged Blazing Star, she reveals to Thunder that she knows One Eye. Thunder tells Star Flower the plan that he and Gray Wing had for ambushing One Eye, if she had really wanted to help...
- The plant Star Flower had found turned out just to be a normal flower, not the Blazing Star. The time arrives for Clear Sky to corner One Eye. Instead of One Eye, Clear Sky is greeted by Acorn Fur. Clear Sky asks Acorn Fur to bring One Eye here, and she agrees. The cats from Tall Shadow's camp watch Clear Sky from outcrops on the moor. One Eye attacks Clear Sky, asking him if he's ready to die. The moor cats leap from their hiding positions, along with River Ripple, Wind Runner, and cats from Clear Sky's camp. Unfortunately, One Eye also has backup, as his rogues appear at the same time as the other cats' allies do. Thunder is shocked, wondering how their plan could have gone so wrong. One Eye laughs, saying that he had help, and Star Flower emerges, revealing herself to be...One Eye's daughter. Star Flower jumps besides her father, and Gray Wing somberly tells Thunder that he had been betrayed. River Ripple leads Gray Wing, Tall Shadow, and more cats through a tunnel that goes back to the moor in order to rescue Clear Sky, who had been separated from them. One Eye's rogues corner Clear Sky and hurtle insults at him, and as Gray Wing and the others reach the moor, they are greeted by Wind Runner and Gorse Fur. They ask Gray Wing what the plan is, and he stops for a moment, thinking, before he tells the cats that they'll use the sun as their aide. He explains that they should get up high in trees and call out to One Eye, so that when he would come he'd be looking up at the sky, but the sun would blind him and he would be unable to see that the tree was full of cats, and that was when they would pounce. The other cats agree, and as they start to get ready, Gray Wing sees Star Flower calmly watching One Eye's rogues attack Clear Sky. Sparrow Fur, who vows revenge for her father, sets the plan in motion, taunting One Eye as she climbed a tree, so that the rogue would look up at the top and be dazzled by the sun. It works, as he is blinded for a moment, and all the cats jump. Most of One Eye's rogues run away, save for one or two. Star Flower attacks Thunder, and Gray Wing, Lightning Tail, and Cloud Spots attack One Eye. One Eye is a formidable opponent, as not even three full-grown cats are able to beat him. But with Thunder's help, the four cats are able to break One Eye's neck, killing him. Star Flower is grief-stricken, but Thunder doesn't allow her to grieve, ordering the cats to drive her out.
- Star Flower pleads for Thunder to let her say goodbye to her father, but Thunder is disgusted, pointing out that she never mentioned that when they were 'together'. Star Flower tries to explain that she did genuinely like him, but after her father had found out about her and Thunder's bond, he had suggested to use their closeness to spy on the other cats. She adds that One Eye had ordered to spy on the camp and listen to what they were planning, and Star Flower confesses that she knew the plant that had looked like the Blazing Star was not it after all, lying to get information. Some of the cats go across the Thunderpath to find the Blazing Star. Thunder orders Star Flower to leave, but Star Flower asks that they at least bury One Eye first. Thunder allows this, saying that they were different from One Eye. The cats bury One Eye, with few words - Star Flower calling him a true ray of light, and River Ripple stating that he will be missed by those who loved him. Cloud Spots goes with Clear Sky to the forest to help him, and Clear Sky thanks every cat. River Ripple tells Thunder that there will be others, but Thunder isn't so sure. Back at Clear Sky's camp, Shattered Ice gently teases him, to the extent where it annoys Clear Sky, in which Shattered Ice apologizes. To the forest cats' dismay, Petal, Alder, and Birch had all become sick. However, Petal is more sick than the others. She tries to tell Clear Sky that she needs to get better, to repay him for all that he had done for her, but it is too late, as her life ends there. Petal is buried, and Clear Sky, still grief-stricken, treats the kits with some tansy, lying to them that Petal had just gone back to camp. When Clear Sky tries to apologize to the others for leaving them, they all forgive him except Snake. Snake attacks Clear Sky, and Clear Sky's followers help him defeat Snake. Clear Sky gives Snake an option to accept him as leader or to leave. Snake chooses to leave, and Tall Shadow comes to Clear Sky's camp with some of the Blazing Star. Tall Shadow tells Clear Sky that Holly's kits are coming early. Her kits are born, safe and healthy, and Holly is responding well to the Blazing Star.
- It is time for the cats to go to the four trees, to listen to the spirit cat's next message. The spirit cats are there, welcoming them. However, they realize that this isn't really what's happening - they're actually in a dream that is being shared by the six leaders, Gray Wing, River Ripple, Thunder, Tall Shadow, Wind Runner, and Clear Sky. Turtle Tail asks what they said the last time they had spoken, and Thunder explains to her that they had united against One Eye and shared the Blazing Star to fight off the sickness, which they believe is what they meant by "unite or die." Gray Wing adds on that they were told to grow and spread like the Blazing Star, and after a flurry of questions, Turtle Tail explains that the Blazing Star has five petals, just as a cat's paw has five claws. They repeat "grow and spread" over until they start to fade, and Thunder, who cries out, calls the dream to a halt. As they wake up, they talk to Tall Shadow and decide to bring the other leaders to the four trees to discuss the message. All of the leaders confirm that they had the same dream, and River Ripple wonders if they should be grateful that they are the chosen ones. They wonder if "spreading" would mean choosing new territories, and Clear Sky comments that they can work together, even if they don't live as one group. River Ripple assures that he will unite with them, pointing out that he had done so since the first day they had come to the mountains. However, the leaders are still confused about what growing and spreading like the Blazing Star means. But Gray Wing might understand.
- Sun Shadow tries to hurry back to the Tribe's cavern, knowing that Sharp Hail would claw his fur off if he was late. He wonders if Sharp Hail, his mother's new mate, would understand his urge to explore, and he knows that his real father would've been so strict, if only he had known him. However, Sun Shadow finds exploring better, and he scours the tunnels and the cave. He comes across bats, which come at him in a flight, and he hears Sharp Hail's voice, knowing that he'll give him another lecture. Sharp Hail is angered, asking when he'll learn to come back to the cave at sunset. He asks Sun Shadow what had happened to him, and what caused the bump on his face. Sun Shadow lies, saying he ran into a hawk, but Sharp Hail points out that a scrawny thing like him wouldn't have the strength to deal with a hawk, and that the injuries on his face weren't scratches, so they couldn't be caused by a hawk. Dewy Leaf, Sun Shadow's mother, tries to make him understand that she and Sharp Hail only want him to be safe.
- The young Tribe tom bursts out that he's bored of living here, and Sharp Hail strikes at him, furious. He states that he has had enough with him whining about being safe and having a full belly, and that Moon Shadow was too restless to appreciate what he had. Sun Shadow reflects on his early life, reminding himself that he was too young to remember how his sister, Crow Muzzle died, and he only had a vague memory of his brother, Dancing Leaf, becoming ill and dying. He had grown up alone, which is why he assumes that no cat would ever understand his will for adventure. Sharp Hail tells Sun Shadow that he needs to learn a lesson, so as punishment, he assigns him to care for Stoneteller for the next half moon, as she had developed some sort of illness that made her vomit. Sun Shadow begins, going into her cave and noting on how she looks peaceful. He retreats, unwilling to bother her. Quiet Rain emerges, commenting that he could use some kindness. She shares her prey with him, noting that he looked a lot like his father. Sun Shadow explains that his father was a hero, leaving the mountains and risking the journey to find the Sun Trail and to save the cats who stayed in the mountains. Quiet Rain reminds him that his father had left Dewy Leaf on her own, while she was pregnant. Sun Shadow points out that it was a decision he had to make. He asks Quiet Rain if she ever wondered about her own kits, Clear Sky, Gray Wing, and Jagged Peak.
- Quiet Rain doesn't respond for a moment, and Sun Shadow notices that she is lonely. She replies with wondering how her kits are faring, and she wants to see them once more before she dies. She says that her place is with the mountains, just as Sun Shadow's is. Sun Shadow hears Stoneteller's cry of pain, and runs to join her. Stoneteller is looking at a gap in the cave, talking to Fluttering Bird, Shaded Moss, Bright Stream, and Turtle Tail. Stoneteller tells them that she understands them, but she is not ready yet. Sun Shadow remembers that Fluttering Bird had died of hunger, and Stoneteller had been talking about joining them, in which she would be talking about dying. Sun Shadow is shocked, wondering what they will do without their leader. Sun Shadow is unable to sleep, so instead he watches his half-siblings, Falling Dusk, Morning Star, and Melting Ice play. Dewy Leaf tells Sun Shadow she is just worried about him, and tells him he's very much like his father - curious, brave, reckless, selfish, smart, and cunning. Dewy Leaf confesses that she is afraid that he will leave, and that's why she holds onto him so close. Sun Shadow wonders if some day he will leave. Sun Shadow asks Dewy Leaf what would happen if Stoneteller died. Dewy Leaf is shocked, but says that some other cat would step up to lead them. She looks at Sharp Hail, and Sun Shadow is horrified to think of Sharp Hail as their new leader. He knows that if Sharp Hail were to lead, all of his freedom would be taken away from him.
- While taking care of Stoneteller, Stoneteller confesses to Sun Shadow that it is her time, and that her death will bring a time of great change to the mountain cats, but another cat will step up and lead. Stoneteller tells him that he will not be apart of the Tribe by the time the new leader has been named, and Stoneteller asks him if he knew that. Sun Shadow doesn't know where to go, but he assumes he might find his father. Sun Shadow sits on a rock outside of the cave, only to be attacked by a hawk. However, he is able to fight it off, and returns to Stoneteller. He tells her that he knows it is his time to leave, but he can't leave Stoneteller. Stoneteller reassures him not to worry about her, and that she had lived a long life. She adds that she will soon be among friends, and Sun Shadow will find his own life, and be among his own friends when he makes his journey to the stars. Sun Shadow decides to leave, but comes across Quiet Rain. He lies, saying that he just needed some air, but Quiet Rain tells him that she heard him saying goodbye. Quiet Rain is about to tell Sharp Hail, but Stoneteller's cries of pain halt her. Both of them know that she is dying, but Sun Shadow is unable to go back, knowing that if he were there to witness her last moments, he would need to stay. Sun Shadow leaves the cave, only to find Quiet Rain behind him. He tells Quiet Rain that he's not going back, and Quiet Rain says that they need to hurry, for Stoneteller had died and Sharp Hail was waking all the cats. Quiet Rain says that she is coming with him, and they need to hurry, for the Sun Trail is long and they don't know what dangers they will face.
- The title for this book was confirmed by Kate via her Twitter.
- The Blazing Star (EN), HarperCollins (Hardcover), 4 November 2014
- The Blazing Star (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 4 November 2014
- The Blazing Star (EN), HarperCollins (Library Binding), 4 November 2014
- The Blazing Star (EN), HarperCollins (paperback; reprint), 15 March 2016
- Der Leuchtende Stern (DE), Verlagsgruppe Beltz (Hardcover), 9 May 2016, translated by Anja Hansen-Schmidt
- 燃烧之星 (CN), 未来出版社 (paperback), 1 July 2016, translated by Zhou Ying
References and Citations
|The Blazing Star (Book) 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 • Bonus Scene|