PINESTAR—red-brown tom with green eyes
SUNFALL—bright giner tom with yellow eyes
GOOSEFEATHER—speckled gray tom with pale blue eyes
(toms, and she-cats without kits)
STORMTAIL—blue-gray tom with blue eyes
ADDERFANG—mottled brown tabby tom with yellow eyes
TAWNYSPOTS—light gray tabby tom with amber eyes
SPARROWPELT—big, dark brown tabby tom with yellow eyes
SMALLEAR—gray tom with very small ears and amber eyes
THRUSHPELT—sandy-gray tom with white flash on his chest and green eyes
ROBINWING—small, energetic brown she-cat with ginger patch on her chest and amber eyes
FUZZYPELT—black tom with fur that stands on end and yellow eyes
WINDFLIGHT—gray tabby tom with pale green eyes
SPECKLETAIL—pale tabby she-cat with amber eyes
(more than six moons old, in training to become warriors)
FEATHERWHISKER—pale silvery tom with bright amber eyes, long whiskers, sweeping, plumy tail; apprentice to the medicine cat
DAPPLEPAW—tortoiseshell she-cat with beautiful dappled coat
WHITEPAW—pale gray she-cat, blind in one eye
(she-cats expecting or nursing kits)
SWIFTBREEZE—tabby-and-white she-cat with yellow eyes (mother of Leopardkit, black she-cat with green eyes, and Patchkit, black-and-white tom with amber eyes)
MOONFLOWER—silver-gray she-cat with pale yellow eyes (mother of Bluekit, gray she-cat with blue eyes, and Snowkit, white she-cat with blue eyes)
POPPYDAWN—long-haired, dark red she-cat with a bushy tail and amber eyes
(former warriors and queens, now retired)
WEEDWHISKER—pale orange tom with yellow eyes
MUMBLEFOOT—brown tom, slightly clumsy, with amber eyes
LARKSONG—tortoiseshell she-cat with pale green eyes
CEDARSTAR—very dark gray tom with a white belly
STONETOOTH—gray tabby tom with long teeth
SAGEWHISKER—white she-cat with long whiskers
RAGGEDPELT—large, dark brown tabby tom
FOXHEAR—bright ginger tom
CROWTAIL—black tabby she-cat
BRACKENFOOT—pale ginger tom with dark ginger legs
ARCHEYE—gray tabby tom with black stripes and thick stripe over eye
FEATHERSTORM—brown tabby she-cat
LITTLEBIRD—small, ginger tabby she-cat
LIZARDFANG—light brown tabby tom with one hooked tooth
HEATHERSTAR—pinkish-gray she-cat with blue eyes
REEDFEATHER—light brown tabby tom
HAWKHEART—mottled dark brown tom with yellow eyes
DAWNSTRIPE—pale gold tabby with creamy stripes
REDCLAW—dark ginger tom
WHITEBERRY, pure white tom
HAILSTAR—thick-pelted gray tom
SHELLHEART—dappled gray tom
BRAMBLEBERRY—pretty white she-cat with black spotted fur and blue eyes
RIPPLECLAW—black-and-silver tabby tom
LILYSTEM—pale gray queen (mother to Crookedkit and Oakkit)
FALLOWTAIL—light brown queen (mother to Graykit and Willowkit)
TROUTCLAW—gray tabby tom
Bluestar flung herself down the slope. Gulping air, muscles burning, she weaved around the trees, her paws skidding on the leafy forest floor. She hurtled through a swath of ferns, running blind as the leaves whipped her face. The gorge was close by. She could hear the river crashing between the sheer gray walls. Would Fireheart really be able to lure the dog pack over the edge? What if the pack’s leader caught him first?
She erupted from the bracken and scrabbled to a stop in a clearing at the edge of the cliff. Leaves sprayed into the chasm as her paws slipped and slid.
Fireheart was dangling from the glistening jaws of a huge dog. The ThunderClan deputy struggled, spitting with fury. The dog shook him, its eyes shining with triumph, but its clumsy paws were skittering dangerously close to the edge of the gorge.
“I will not let you destroy my Clan!” Bluestar roared. She flung herself at Fireheart’s tormentor, slamming headfirst into its flank.
The dog dropped Fireheart and spun around in surprise.
Bluestar crouched and unsheathed her claws. Blood roared in her ears but she felt no fear. She had not felt this alive for moons. She lashed out at the dog’s muzzle, but her claws raked empty air. The dog was sliding away from her! The ground beneath its hind legs was crumbling. Shards of stone showered down the steep face of the gorge as the dog’s paws scrabbled to get a grip, but its blunt claws were slithering on the leaf-strewn forest floor as its haunches dragged its hind legs backward over the cliff.
The pack thundered closer.
“Bluestar!” Fireheart warned.
But Bluestar didn’t take her eyes from the pack leader. She was locked in its panicked gaze as dogs began to crash through the bracken behind her.
The pack was upon them.
Bluestar dug her claws into the soft earth as the air suddenly soured with fear. The lunging dogs had seen the gorge, and their howls turned to yelps as they skidded at its edge. Bluestar held her ground as a desperate yowl echoed down the chasm. The first dog had fallen. Its body thumped against the cliff, and there was a moment of quiet before she heard it splash into the roaring water below.
Bluestar narrowed her eyes, still fixed on the pack leader. “You should never have threatened ThunderClan!” she hissed.
Suddenly the dog stretched its head forward and grasped her foreleg in its jaws. She felt the ground slide beneath her as the dog dragged her with it over the edge. Wind roared around her, blasting her pelt as she fell. The river swirled and foamed below. She scrabbled desperately against the cold wet air and struggled free of the dog just a moment before she hit the water.
The freezing river knocked the breath from her body. Blind, she struggled against the current, fighting her way toward air, her heart gripped by panic. Goosefeather’s prophecy burned in her mind:
Her thick fur, heavy with water, dragged her down. The river tumbled all around her; she didn’t know which way was up. Her lungs screamed for air. Terror scorched through her. She was going to drown, there in the foaming waters of the gorge.