Hey, kids! It’s time for Warriors Abridged: Midnight
Our prologue opens with an unnecessarily mysterious meeting between StarClan cats. They all start talking about how some great disaster that will change everything is coming, acting as if they already all know about and are just restating everything in case anyone forgot.
Bluestar recites a new prophecy: “Darkness, air, water, and sky will come together and shake the forest to its roots,”
As they continue being all theatrical about reminding themselves about this disaster, they decide that they need to choose four cats, one from each Clan, in order to hold the fate of their Clans in their paws.
Oakheart then comes up and asks Crookedstar if he can speak for RiverClan since he’s… well, he’s Oakheart, and his brother just lets him.
He shows the face his choice for RiverClan, and Bluestar challenges him, and they a little moment of tension.
Well, I might as well just come out and ask the question that’s on everyone’s minds: are they still getting it on in StarClan?
Do relationships still continue in StarClan? Exactly what are the limitations? How exactly do any love triangles work out? Someone should just try and get Oakheart to give us the answer. But we’re going to need to introduce the subject very subtly and naturally…[link]
…Just like that.
Next up, Nightstar shares his choice for ShadowClan, a cat whose loyalty is questioned since she was not born in ShadowClan *cough*Tawnypelt*cough*.
Next, Deadfoot (since at this point there were no known dead WindClan leaders) reveals his choice, and once again there are a few dissenting opinions.
This time their issue is that his choice is that he is an apprentice. Deadfoot claims that this apprentice and skill to match any warrior and would make a good leader for WindClan one day.
…He is talking about Crowpaw, right? I’m guessing the Erins hadn’t thought out Crowpaw’s story very much when they wrote this. Unless having sex, being a prick, and neglecting your spouse and son are important leadership skills.
I would just like to say that, personally, I believe that Deadfoot is Crowpaw’s father. Not just because Deadfoot’s Black fur with Ashfoot’s grey fur would make sense of Crowpaw’s grey-black fur, but because he stands up so much for him being chosen.
Anyway, it is now time for ThunderClan’s chosen cat, and Bluestar steps forward and reveals her choice. And guess what? Some cats disagree
Of course, these disagreements don’t last long, and the meeting breaks up as StarClan makes sure that they will prepare the Clans for the coming challenges that they must face.
And our first chapter opens with Brambleclaw just kind of bumping into Bluestar as he walks through the forest. Not really any build-up there.
It seems that Brambleclaw was the cat chose for ThunderClan, as Bluestar tells him about the time of trouble that is coming for the Clans, and says that he will need to meet three others at the new moon, and that they should listen to what midnight tells them. Ooh! Vagueness!
He then wakes up from his dream, and goes around doing his regular warrior duties as we are introduced to all the characters and we try to grasp that about a year has passed since the last book.
As Brambleclaw is walking around, he also bumps into Sorrelpaw, who is excited because she’s about to be made a warrior.
The two play fight a bit and this is one of those rare scenes that made me go “Awww, that’s kinda cute.”
Really, if there were more scenes like this, I would totally be all over SorrelxBramble. I’ve also got to love its name: Cherithshipping. Because we all know the reason that scene got written is because they’re named after Cherith’s cats.
We also get introduced to Ferncloud’s newly born kits. Her second litter to be exact. That’s right: it’s not enough for her to have one litter of new kits over a timeskip, she has to have two
. And this is our first step towards all of the “Holy shit, Dustpelt, stop humping Ferncloud!” jokes that we have today.
But Dustpelt asks Brambleclaw to do a favour for him since he wants to spend a day or two with Ferncloud. Jesus, Dustpelt, you don’t wait long to start riding her again, do you?
Since him and Ferncloud are going to be very, very busy, he asks Brambleclaw to watch his apprentice, Squirrelpaw.
Dun dun dun. Yes, Squirrelpaw, one of Firestar’s daughters, who Brambleclaw apparently hates. Brambleclaw grudgingly agrees to take care of her training until Dustpelt’s sex drive wears down.
Before Brambleclaw heads out on a hunting patrol, we get formally introduced to Squirrelpaw, and her and Brambleclaw engage in the kind of squabbling where the act like they hate each other, but we know it’s really just sexual tension.
After some hunting, and Sorrelpaw being named Sorreltail, Clan life goes on, and eventually Firestar starts talking to Brambleclaw about Tawnypelt for the sake of exposition, and while they’re talking, Brambleclaw thinks about telling Firestar about his dream, but he doesn’t. Just because.
Skip ahead to Brambleclaw on the dawn patrol and it seems that Squirrelpaw has followed them out. As you would expect, she squabbles with Brambleclaw a bit, and when they get back to camp she ends up getting punished for sneaking out of camp without permission.
Aside from all this everyday life fluff, they discover that a badger is living at Snakerocks, prompting Cloudtail to remark “Badgers and cats don’t mix, and that’s the end of it.” I’ll give the dramatic irony a few seconds to sink in.
And for the next chapter we get introduced to Leafpaw, Squirrelpaw’s sister, who is pretty much the exact opposite of Squirrelpaw and in training to be ThunderClan’s medicine cat. She’s the calm and polite to Squirrelpaw’s loud and sharp-tongued.
Oh yeah, and apparently her and Squirrelpaw share some kind of connection where they can both feel what the other one is feeling.
This is never explained. At all. Especially considering any potential “twin connection” theories can be shot down by the fact that twins aren’t rare for cats since they give birth in litters. This connection also has absolutely no significance from the third series onward.
And, as usual, I feel the need to insert my own perverted commentary here. Now, it’s established that they can feel each other’s pain, but what about more… pleasurable sensations? You know what I’m getting at. I’m just wondering if Squirrelflight got a good feeling of exactly what Leafpool and Crowfeather were doing between chapters 17 and 20 of Twilight
Really, there are so many perverted ways to corrupt this mostly useless plot device.
But all of this aside, Leafpaw and Squirrelpaw are very close, and even though almost everyone in Warriors
has at least one twin, they are the true twin twins of the series; twins of the “they-are-complete-opposites-but-still-get-along-amazingly-well” variety.
Leafpaw talks with her mentor Cinderpelt about Squirrelpaw’s punishment, which extends to her obviously not being allowed to attend the Gathering.
As ThunderClan heads to the Gathering, we get more introductions and exposition. Leafpaw is introduced to Stormfur and Feathertail. We already know who they are, so I won’t bore you with their introduction, but I will point out that Graystripe proudly points out that they’re his kits.
Yes, Graystripe. The kits you abandoned without a mother because you got bored keeping your promise to Silverstream and liked ThunderClan better. Those kits.
And yet he still is a pretty good father by Warriors
standards. It still bugs me that he never gets called out on this, though…
Feathertail seems to get along very well with Leafpaw, and the two seem really close, probably because of their similar taste in toms.
The Gathering starts and things go relatively normally. When it’s WindClan’s turn, Tallstar speaks of thirst, so Leopardstar allows WindClan to use the river for drinking, but not hunting. All-in-all a much more peaceful than usual Gathering.
But Leopardstar also chooses to introduce the newly named Hawkfrost and Mothwing. Everyone starts getting all pissy, since they are both the kits of a rogue, and being narrow-minded is the Clans’ specialty. But Leopardstar stands up for them and the rest of the Clans accept them.
Wow, everyone is being surprisingly agreeable at this Gathering…
But Mothwing still isn’t in the clear, though. Although she has already completed her warrior training along with Hawkfrost, she is planning on training to become a medicine cat. Since being a medicine cat is a much more sacred position than being a warrior, and is much more involved with StarClan, a rogue trying to be a medicine cat is much more controversial. Mudfur says that he is waiting for a sign from StarClan before making her his apprentice.
Leafpaw starts to show an interest in meeting Mothwing because of their mutual appreciation of being medicine cats, marking the start of a very intimate relationship that makes it incredibly confusing when it turns out that Leafpaw isn’t a lesbian.
Mothwing is, though. I just know
For some reason, the POV switches to Brambleclaw in the middle of the chapter, and he gets his first glance at Hawkfrost.
And this is when I fall in love with him. Between his awesome name, his eerie stare, and the attitude that I can pick up from just this one small appearance, we I knew he was gonna be awesome. Of course, this is just the bait; it only gets better.
And of course, from his piercing stare, the way he’s talking to Firestar, and Brambleclaw’s reaction to seeing him, it’s pretty obvious that he’s a villain. Many times he practically says “By the way, I’m a villain. I just thought you might want to know that.”
But he barely does anything villainous. He just teases everyone with how manipulative and scheming he is. It’s like one of those daytime specials where they’re trying to teach kids not to jump to conclusions, except instead of actually being good in the end, the really creepy guy ends up actually being evil.
With that brief introduction to the sexy over with, Brambleclaw starts talking to Tawnypelt, and learns that she had the same dream as him, and they begin to get suspicious about what could be happening.
The next day, Firestar suggests a patrol to check the ShadowClan border because… because they’re ShadowClan, and Brambleclaw a fight with Squirrelpaw over whether he should listen to Firestar and check ShadowClan, or go and check WindClan.
After that gets sorted out, the two end up on a patrol with Dustpelt near the RiverClan border, where they bump into a WindClan patrol and, expectedly, get in an argument with them.
This scene also acts as our introduction to Crowpaw, the aggressive sharp tongued WindClan apprentice, as he suddenly attack Brambleclaw in the middle of their patrols’ argument. Here, I can’t help but notice that the very first words that the reader hears coming out of Crowpaw’s mouth are “Mind your own business!”
Onewhisker breaks up the fight, and admits that they were in the wrong, bringing the whole incident to a close.
Skip ahead to that night. It is now the new moon, and Brambleclaw is heading to Fourtrees to meet the three other cats that Bluestar mentioned in his dream.
But it turns out that Squirrelpaw has been following him, since she goes out of her way to annoy him as much as she can to help foster the vaguely romantic connection they’ve established.
They start arguing (again), and then Tawnypelt shows up and starts asking why Squirrelpaw is with him, and Squirrelpaw starts asking him why he’s meeting a ShadowClan cat.
But Feathertail suddenly barges in to lighten the mood, with Stormfur following her. Of course, Stormfur didn’t actually have the dream; he just came to protect his sister. When all you have is each other due to your peers being prejudiced against you, your mother being dead, and your dad abandoning you because he felt like it, you tend to form strong bonds.
All the cats start talking about there dreams, Squirrelpaw being both confused and threatened with being chased off, since he didn’t have the dream and wasn’t invited like Stormfur. While they’re still throwing dialogue back and forth, Crowpaw barges in and asks why there are so many of them there.
As they continue their discussion, Crowpaw and Feathertail show tiny little bits of affection for each other. Only the tiny little nods and such that people use to float crack ships, but since they do end up being a pair later on, I guess it would constitute intentional shipping evidence.
The tension continues mounting with his around, and they start arguing, Crowpaw almost starting a fight, until it all gets broken up and they start calming down.
They also start giving up because there don’t seem to be any more signs, but Brambleclaw convinces them to wait until the next Gathering for more signs, and to not tell anyone else until then.
After the meeting breaks up, Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw start arguing again. Squirrelpaw starts begging him to let her go to their next meeting, and Brambleclaw eventually agrees to let her know if anything happens as they head of Brambleclaw feeling a bit worried about the prophecy.
The next day, Ravenpaw shows up in ThunderClan camp. As he heads of the Firestar’s den to talk to him, Leafpaw catches sight of Squirrelpaw, who she is worried about because she could sense that she was up to something last night.
She confronts her about what she was doing, but Squirrelpaw doesn’t give her any answers, leading Leafpaw to believe that she doesn’t trust her.
In another mid-chapter POV switch, we get Brambleclaw waking up in a dream where he appears to be drowning in some large body of salt water at the base of a cliff. He struggles and calls for help as the water drags him deeper and deeper, until finally he wakes up.
Still overcome by the taste of salt and worried about his dream, Brambleclaw spots Ravenpaw talking to Firestar about some suspicious Twoleg activity. Brambleclaw tells Ravenpaw, who is more than willing to have a nice chat with an attractive tom like Brambleclaw, about his dream. When he describes where he was drowning, Ravenpaw seems to recognise it.
He says he’s heard of a place just like it, the sun-drown place, from rogue cats. Apparently he and Barley are very welcoming to guests. Especially toms.
Brambleclaw wonders about if he’s supposed to go to this place and goes to visit Feathertail and Stormfur. He tells them that he thinks they’re supposed to go to sun-drown place. Stormfur insists that he goes with Feathertail, and Brambleclaw decides that they should all head out the day before the half-moon before they go to inform Tawnypelt and Crowpaw.
The group heads over to the river where RiverClan has allowed WindClan to drink, and Feathertail finds Crowpaw to call him over. She is somehow able to convince him to come over and talk to them, probably by promising sexual favours.
They tell Crowpaw of their plan and, as would be expected, he argues with them, but in the end they convince him to go. But although he agrees to go, he doesn’t want to be taking orders
except from Feathertail
Brambleclaw then goes to tell Tawnypelt, and like most parts where they go to talk to cats from other Clans, the ShadowClan leg of the trip is the least interesting.
Now it’s Leafpaw’s POV, and she is off gathering herbs with Cinderpelt. But as they’re doing medicine cat stuff, they notice some smoke, and the next thing they know a clump of bracken bursts into flame.
But just as quickly as it started, the fire goes out. And it seems that it was a sign… or something. Cinderpelt claims to have seen a tiger in the fire, and they go to talk to Firestar about it.
Cinderpelt says that she believes the sign meant that fire and tiger would destroy the forest. The fire obviously refers to Firestar, as she cites the prophecy from the last series, giving this chapter a very “sequel-y” feel to it, and the tiger to Tigerstar.
The only problem is that Tigerstar is dead and Firestar’s main character license has expired with no chance for renewal. Cinderpelt suggests that maybe it refers to their children instead, who actually seem to be of importance now.
Eventually, they all agree that they should keep Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw apart in case the apocalypse breaks out. The resulting antics play out a lot like Firestar trying to protect his daughter’s virginity from some random guy, giving us more “dude-those-two-are-totally-going-to-become-a-couple-in-the-future” subtext.
This also paints in my mind a picture of Firestar as the kind of overprotective father that freaks out about his daughter being around boys. This is mostly why I want a conversation between him and Crowfeather; so that I can see how he handles talking about what Crowfeather did to Leafpool.
Of course, as it turns out, Cinderpelt’s interpretation was
wrong, and it turns out the sign was that fire and tiger were supposed to save the forest from the destruction. Cinderpelt’s misinterpretation apparently relates to her weak bond with StarClan, considering that she was never meant to be a medicine cat in the first place.
Of course, the sign came in clear as day, so I’m not sure how Cinderpelt flubbing her interpretation relates to her weak bond with StarClan, or why StarClan needed to send a sign about it if the chosen cats were already doing a good enough job of handling things.
We now jump over to Brambleclaw, who is completely out of the loop and confused that Firestar seems to be giving him dirty looks. Squirrelpaw then comes up to him and asks for any new news, since he’s been trying to keep her out of the loop to cut down on her potential to be annoying.
But before he can decide whether or not he wants to tell her, Firestar comes by and sends Squirrelpaw on a patrol, leading him to start thinking that Firestar knows about the dream and is trying to keep Squirrelpaw away from him. Somehow, he doesn’t see the “don’t sleep with my daughter” subtext either.
Time passes, and Brambleclaw finally manages to overcome Firestar’s efforts to keep them apart and arranges to meet Squirrelpaw behind the nursery. I’m guessing it’s a popular make-out spot in ThunderClan.
He starts asking her if she has told Firestar anything, and she says she hasn’t, also saying that Leafpaw has been acting upset lately, leaving the two confused about what is going on with Firestar. Dramatic irony.
But before they can say much else, Firestar barges in and once again
separates them. Firestar seems pretty angry as he starts raging at them as he breaks up their meeting. He never acts like this outside of this book.
Although he still doesn’t understand why Firestar is trying to keep him away from Squirrelpaw, Brambleclaw fears that he has lost his Clan leader’s trust, and worst of all, it’s only two days before they leave, and he still hasn’t told Squirrelpaw.
Well, Brambleclaw doesn’t really have any problem with being unable to tell Squirrelpaw, and he has no problem just plain ditching her and going hunting with Spiderpaw and Mousefur.
But his efforts to ditch Squirrelpaw are in vain, as he soon bumps into her tangled up in a gorse bush. They have a typical Brambleclaw-laughing-at-her-misfortune-and-Squirrepaw-telling-him-to-shut-up exchange, and Squirrelpaw explains that she was chasing a shrew because Dappletail “fancied” one.
Oh, I just love it when the Erins’ British-ness manages to show through in their dialogue; this is probably one of my favourite instances. What else did she fancy, Squirrelpaw? A cup of tea? Some scones?
Heh-heh, stereotypes. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to head over to Timmy’s for an ice cap, to the grocery store for some maple syrup and a bag of milk, and then go out for some poutine. Could someone spare me a toonie? I’ve only got aboot half an hour to get the rink before the hockey game starts. My schedule seems a bit tight, eh?
But once again, Firestar comes out of nowhere and starts acting uncharacteristically angry. They insist that they just bumped into each other by accident, but he doesn’t believe them and once again starts yelling at them. But this time Squirrelpaw fights back. Brambleclaw stands back in horror as the epic bitch fight unravels.
Thankfully, Graystripe comes along to lighten the mood… but he doesn’t, because Firestar is still being a douche. Why he’s being about 100 times more of a douche as ever before, or after, is still a mystery. I can understand that he thinks something bad is going to happen if they are together, but even if they were conspiring together to purposely cause harm, he’s acting a bit more extreme than he usually would.
And then Firestar drops the bomb. He says that if Squirrelpaw can’t obey his orders, then she isn’t fit to be a warrior. Dun dun dun.
Well, at least he doesn’t try hitting her. Or accidentally kills her. He’s still a slightly better father than Stick.
With that being said, he orders them apart and then leaves without waiting to see if his orders are obeyed (the book even phrases it like that), giving Brambleclaw and Squirrelpaw the time they need to talk.
Brambleclaw tells her about the dream and where he and the other cats are going. Unfortunately, she decides that she is coming, now motivated by what Firestar said to her. It seems that Brambleclaw’s plans to ditch her have been thwarted by the fact that she doesn’t plan to turn back no matter what he says.
The two cats sneak away from the camp and start heading off on the journey, keeping up their old married couple act the whole way. But as they get to Fourtrees, they get caught by Leafpaw.
But thankfully for them, Leafpaw isn’t planning to stop them; she just brought them travelling herbs. She knows as little about what’s going on as Firestar, but because of her connection with Squirrelpaw, she knew that her sister was going away.
Leafpaw agrees to keep everything a secret, and the two sisters share an emotional farewell as Brambleclaw and Squirrelpaw start their journey into the great unknown.
We then rejoin Leafpaw as she sneaks back into ThunderClan camp the next morning. As you would expect, the Clan starts to notice the disappearance of the two cats. Sandstorm suspects that their leaving had something to do with how Firestar treated them, to which Firestar responds with “Surely I didn’t upset them that much?” *facepaw*
Sandstorm criticises how Firestar handles Squirrelpaw, showing that not only does Firestar not understand women from a romantic perspective, but from a parenting perspective, too. He would probably be happier if he had more male friends.
Firestar starts to send out patrols to look for them, starting to feel guilty for how he acted, and says that he will never be able to forgive himself if they don’t come back safely.
We then go back to Brambleclaw and Squirrelpaw, who are now meeting up with the other cats at Fourtrees. And of course, another argument starts up because of Crowpaw. I can’t help but notice that he’s the source of almost all of the tension in the group.
This time he’s complaining about how Squirrelpaw is there, saying that she isn’t one of the chosen, but eventually the argument gets resolved and they finally get started on their journey. Finally, the book gets moving… but not really.
Yeah, the journey itself isn’t particularly thrilling or riveting; its strongest aspect is probably how all of the journeying cats interact. In the time since Midnight
, the Erins have certainly come up with stronger character arcs, but it still is nice to see how this mismatched group starts growing close to each other through their struggles.
And of course, Crowpaw gets lucky. Or at least it seems pretty likely he does sometime during Moonrise
, considering how him and Feathertail are at that point, and the fact that they do manage some alone time.
And of course for the sake of spitting in the face of the bond they all established, she’s Stormfur’s sister… And after that he moves on to Leafpaw, aka Squirrelpaw’s sister. So remember, kids: Don’t become friends with Crowpaw, or he’ll sleep with your sister.
Come to think of it, I’m beginning to wonder if he went a few rounds with Tawnypelt, too. Well, the fact that Tawnypelt eventually ends up with a tom that used to be a she-cat implies bizarre sexual tastes that might be a bit of a turn off for Crowpaw, but I still think it’s a possibility. Also, if Nightcloud has a brother, I’m betting him and Crowpaw
were good friends.
As the journeying cats head out, they decide to go to Ravenpaw and Barley’s barn to stay the night. Brambleclaw and Ravenpaw talk about how they’ve now left on the journey without telling Firestar.
After the cats rest in barn for a while, Ravenpaw gives them the directions to Highstones, and Brambleclaw and Squirrelpaw have another of their “I’ll look after you / I don’t need looking after” conversations.
With some more arguing out of the way, the group heads out on their journey again. As they walk through a field of sheep, they begin to discuss the prophecy and why they’re being sent so far out of their way, Feathertail in particular questions why StarClan couldn’t have just told them in the forest.
Now, here I’m going to break from tradition, and instead of making little jokes here and there at certain parts and pointing out minor plot holes, I’m actually going to defend what I've seen people perceive as a big plot hole: this.
First of all, if StarClan sending them on a journey when they could have just told them in the forest is such a big hole in the story, why did the Erins leave Feathertail’s line in? Feathertail acknowledges it, and since the Erins are the ones that write what she says, they obviously must acknowledge it, too. If it was
a plot hole, do you really think they would have added in a line of dialogue that acknowledges it? They’d try to either fix it, or not include lines of dialogue that point out their mistakes for them.
Although people think it would have been easier if StarClan just told them, the journey itself actually serves a specific purpose: To bring cats from all four Clans closer together. They needed to learn that the Clans can work together, something that was vitally needed for them to survive the Great Journey. Midnight even explicitly acknowledges this point at the end of the book.
People fond of the “pointless” complaint also bring up Feathertail’s “pointless” death, but was it really pointless? She pretty much saved the entire Tribe. Sure, they end up in mortal danger on a weekly basis and can’t seem to do anything to defend themselves, but who is to say that her saving the Tribe wasn’t also part of StarClan’s plan?
And speaking of the Tribe, we get introduced to them thanks to this journey. We also get introduced to Midnight, and most notably to Crowpaw, whose sperm has gone on to produce incredibly important characters. Significant plot developments have occurred because StarClan chose not to tell them back in the forest.
Anyway, back to the story. Since Crowpaw is still with them, this discussion leads to an argument. But then, surprisingly enough, Squirrelpaw stands up for Brambleclaw. Brambleclaw thanks her, but it turns out that she was just defending ThunderClan in general, not just him. And guess what? She yells at him again. Brambleclaw just can’t win.
Feeling guilty about leading everyone into this situation, Brambleclaw starts to feel responsible for their little group, marking the beginning of his development into a natural leader-type character.
They eventually get to a Thunderpath, but as they’re crossing, they hear the barking of a dog. Panicked, the group gets separated as they’re crossing.
Brambleclaw and Feathertail manage to find each other, but they’re still separated from the other four. They spend quiet some time wandering around trying to find them.
They have a brief talk about how close Feathertail is with Stormfur, and after a few pages the find them, and… le gasp! They’re in trouble!
And… crap, there’s a cliff-hanger, since we know switch to Leafpaw’s POV. Along with Cinderpelt, she is heading off to the Moonstone for the monthly medicine cat gathering.
On the long journey to Highstones, we also get some mention of how Cinderpelt and Littlecloud have a special bond beyond simple loyalty between medicine cats because of when she saved his life. It’s times like these when I argue with myself over whether I want Littlecloud to be gay, because it suits him, or straight, because this shipping is so bloody cute.
Speaking of cute shippings, Leafpaw starts talking with Mothwing, apparently quite pleased to see her. But Mothwing treats Leafpaw coldly, leaving her feeling very disappointed and inadequate. D’awww.
Leafpaw perseveres in talking with Mothwing, and eventually gets a reaction out of here. It seems that Mothwing is self-conscious about everyone judging her because of her heritage and proving herself worthy to be medicine cat, and that a sign about her still hasn’t come. Leafpaw sympathises with her. D’awww.
The two seem to be getting along great so far, and they only get closer. This continues to be my favourite femslash pairing… even if they seem to grow farther apart from tPoT onward…
They get even more emotional and intimate as Mothwing anticipates her apprentice ceremony, and Leafpaw says that unlike with her Clanmates, Mothwing won’t need to earn StarClan’s acceptance; that they simply give it as a gift.
…Well, StarClan sounds a bit too
accepting here… Maybe this is why they occasionally run into patches of difficulty…
It’s also worth noting that almost immediately after saying this, Leafpaw thinks about how strong and beautiful Mothwing is. It’s just canon, okay?
Upon their arrival at the Moonstone and some more LeafxMoth, Mothwing finally has her ceremony and is made into an apprentice medicine cat. Yay!
All of the medicine cats finally get to their dreams with StarClan, but instead of the usual message-dream thing, Leafpaw just gets a swirling mass of images relating to the journey that 4 chosen ones plus 2 are undergoing. She even sees Squirrelpaw in her last vision, making her feel a bit comforted.
Mothwing is feeling cheered up, too, since she had a dream and now feels that her Clanmates will have to accept her.
Leafpaw prays that the journeying cats will come back safely, and with the Gathering over and done with, the POV then switches back over to out journeying cats, and we finally get to see the resolution of that cliff-hanger.
Aaaand… It seems the trouble was just a pair of kittypets. And they get shoed back inside their house pretty quickly. And everything’s back to normal.
…I feel cheated here.
This is the thing that I had the biggest problem with in Midnight
: the false cliff-hangers. I’m perfectly fine with cliff-hangers but they ultimately never pay off. They give the reader the impression that something is happening, but then it ends up being just a false alarm. When you build suspense, you have to follow through on it!
Okay, looking back, there don’t seem to be as many as I thought there were when I first read it, but it still felt kind of annoying, especially a since I didn’t take much interest in most of the Leafpaw chapters I had to dredge through to get to the pay-off.
Between this, how underwhelming the epic journey feels at times, and just how “sequel-y” it feels at times, I didn’t think Midnight
was a great start for a new series. With the whole “next generation” thing, it just felt more like a sequel-y sequel than a whole new series.
Thankfully, the Erins have things back on track by Moonrise
. tNP is one of my favourite series, and although Midnight
has its strengths, it just… didn’t feel as strong as the others to me…
Anyway, Brambleclaw scolds Squirrelpaw for getting them into that briefly potentially dangerous situation, but Stormfur immediately jumps to her defence, saying that it was bravest thing he’s ever seen.
Hmmm? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yup, that’s right: As confirmed in the very next book, Stormfur has a crush on Squirrelpaw. It turns out we have another one-sided relationship that remains completely unrequited, so do you know what that means? Yes, I get to make jokes about it.
Seriously, I just love situations like these. One cat desperately trying to get the attention of another, but ultimately failing for some reason or another… Cinderpelt, Thrushpelt,
… It’s just a relationship type I can never get tired of.
The group continues their journey, and eventually decide to stop for the night. Tawnypelt goes to get a drink from a puddle of water, and ends up tasting nothing but salt. The other cats say that the water was fine, but Tawnypelt insists that she tasted nothing but salt water.
Brambleclaw suggests that maybe StarClan was leaving a sign for her, much like a less needlessly cruel version of his dream of drowning in salt water. He thinks it means that they’re following the right path, and that it means StarClan is still watching over them.
However, this whole “saltwater sign” thing doesn’t really have impact on the plot. They just kind of show up from time to time just because.
As the group settles down to sleep, Brambleclaw prays to StarClan, hoping they’re doing the right thing.
The next morning, Brambleclaw is rudely woken to the news that Feathertail and Crowpaw have gone missing. They start panicking, but that doesn’t last long, as they show up shortly afterwards.
They show up with prey, claiming that they just snuck out to do some hunting. Yeah, we believe that
. I wonder what they were really doing… The hints at a potential romance between them have been pretty mild thus far, but this is pretty blatant.
We’re not exactly sure how long they’ve been gone, and possibly the most revealing of all: “…their eyes gleamed with satisfaction.” Crowpaw may be the only character in the series to lose his virginity as an apprentice (although, to be fair, I’m pretty sure he was close to receiving his warrior name at this point).
We then cut to three days later as the group is navigating through some farmland, avoiding horses and cows until they come to a chain-link fence and try to squeeze through a hole in it. Everything seems to be going fine until Squirrelpaw gets stuck… somehow.
I mean, really, if Brambleclaw
fit, why is an apprentice getting stuck? But regardless of that, she seems to be stuck in their pretty bad, the metal apparently digging into her skin as she wriggles in pain.
Back on the subject of Stormfur’s relatively creepy crush on Squirrelpaw, I can’t help but picture him getting some kind of enjoyment out of seeing her like this. I mean, this is a cat that eventually settles for a she-cat who covers herself in mud for “camouflage”. Let’s face it: Stormfur is one kinky bastard.
Thankfully, Feathertail and Tawnypelt eventually manage to get her out with a little ingenuity, and things go on as usual… again. Yay.
Next up, Feathertail gets her saltwater sign, happily talking about how she tastes salt.
There’s a joke to be made about Feathertail, who’s already had one suspicious “encounter” with Crowpaw, having a salty taste in her mouth, but I’m not going to make it.
And speak of the devil, Feathertail starts standing up for Crowpaw, telling Brambleclaw that he’s the only one who doesn’t know at least one other cat on the journey, and that when it comes down to it, he’s no different from them.
Yeah, they’re totally not sleeping together…
Now it’s time for another Leafpaw chapter, as she’s going out with Sorreltail to get some celandine. It seems that Firestar is pretty depressed about the fact that Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw are still missing, and Leafpaw is feeling guilty about the fact that she knows where they are, but swore not to tell anyone.
The two head out near Fourtrees and as they near the river they notice a WindClan patrol drinking in the river, and a RiverClan patrol coming by. A tense encountered follows, and WindClan retreats. Mistyfoot also goes over and starts a conversation with the two ThunderClan cats.
Mistyfoot mentions that Stormfur and Feathertail have disappeared, and Brambleclaw and Squirrelpaw’s disappearance also comes up, leading the cats to speculate why cats are disappearing from the Clans, while Leafpaw holds her tongue.
This scene also features Hawkfrost. Still wearing his bright red t-shirt with "SUBTLETY
" written on it, he acts suspiciously polite throughout, and Leafpaw notices how formidable he looks.
As they return to ThunderClan camp, Leafpaw decides to tell Firestar about her vision at the Moonstone to help calm his nerves, but she herself is still nervous about what StarClan expects her to do.
As Leafpaw settles down to sleep, and as she eventually gets to sleep, she finds herself in the middle of another scary dream, in some dark forest in the middle of some chase.
The chapter ends with her panicking, and it turns out that she was just dreaming about what was happening to the journeying cats. It turns out they’re being chased by a dog. That was sudden.
They eventually find shelter in a tree, but it turns out that they’re not alone. You know what it’s time for? That’s right; it’s our introduction to Purdy!
Yup, its good ol’ Purdy, with his epic senility and droning (supposedly Yorkshire, according to Vicky) accent.
I love Purdy as a comic relief character. And he’s no slouch at being sympathetic when it’s called for. Since Purdy knows where they can find food, they ask him to tell them. Crowpaw doesn’t like this idea, as he rightfully questions Purdy’s competence. But, he’s the only way for them to get fed, so they bring him along.
Purdy joined your party!
Purdy leads the cats toward Twolegplace, leading to some objections, especially from Crowpaw, since he’s… well, Crowpaw, but they eventually get over it and just move on.
They eventually come to some kind of fish pond in someone’s garden, and of course their first reaction is “Dinner!” Yup, that’s where Purdy was leading them.
And with some lessons from Feathertail and Stormfur, they proceed to poach fish from some random person’s garden. Oh, and Crowpaw has his saltwater sign. Just because.
After they flee to avoid getting caught, Purdy starts getting curious about this saltwater sign stuff they’re talking about, so they tell him about their journey to sun-drown place, and it turns out that he knows the way. The group hesitantly decides to let him tag along as their guide.
As they continue their journey, Purdy takes them into a Twoleg nest to eat some kittypet food, which of course is met with tons of objections. After arguing about it for a while, they decide to just go ahead and eat.
But that all ends abruptly as a young twoleg barges into the room. Sent into a squee-induced state of stupor due to the presence of fuzzy-wuzzy kitties, she grabs Feathertail and hugs her squeezes her and names her George.
The cats panic, because they need to get out, but they can’t leave Feathertail behind. With Feathertail unable to escape the Twoleg’s grasp, Squirrelpaw comes up with a plan to get her out. She prances up to the Twoleg and unleashes a cuteness overload. The Twoleg, distracted by too many kitties, slackens her grip to the point where Feathertail can escape, and they all run like hell.
Of course, soon afterwards they encounter another problem: It turns out Purdy has been leading them the wrong way. As the sun starts setting, they realise that they’re moving away
from the setting sun, and everyone yells at Purdy, especially Crowpaw.
They eventually calm down and agree to let Purdy escort them to a place to sleep for the night. They then head out again the next morning, and we then get more arguing amongst the group, especially between Brambleclaw and Squirrelpaw, which leads to Brambleclaw doubting his leadership abilities.
Oh, and then they kinda get attacked by rats. Yeah.
Thankfully, they manage to chase the rats off, but Tawnypelt gets a bad bite on her shoulder, which may lead to potential complications such as infection and such. With enough eventfulness out of the way for that day the group settles down to sleep for the night.
And now it’s Leafpaw’s POV, as she awakes with a sudden need unexplained need for burdock root, the exact herb that would be perfect for Tawnypelt’s rat bite, so we can assume that she got this from her connection with Squirrelpaw.
Leafpaw worries some more about how she isn’t sure what to do, but that only last for a while, because now it’s time for a Gathering. After ThunderClan arrives at Fourtrees and we get some more LeafxMoth, the Gathering begins.
First and foremost, Leopardstar and Tallstar agree to put an end to their deal to allow WindClan to drink from the river, as it has rained enough recently for WindClan to get their water elsewhere. The whole deal seems to be resolving itself peacefully, until…
…Hawkfrost cuts in, and says that he has seen WindClan cats stealing fish from the river. As expected, a shitstorm breaks out.
I absolutely love Hawkfrost here. The way he just manipulates everyone for no reason is amusing. I mean, making WindClan and RiverClan get into a fight seems to have absolutely no benefit for him, so he’s just doing it because.
And I just love the way he plays cute and innocent here to hide his evilness… The way he sounds apologetic, and the way Leafpaw catches him checking to see if everyone is watching him as he feigns shyness… I just love his obvious random evilness.
Leafpaw wonders why Hawkfrost had to start this
(obviously for shits and giggles)
, and Mothwing immediately jumps to her brother’s defence.
Things eventually calm down, presumably to Hawkfrost’s chagrin, as Firestar points out that clouds are starting to cover the moon, and everything becomes peaceful again as Firestar goes on to introduce the topic of the cats that have gone missing.
The cats realise that every Clan is missing cats, and everyone leaves a bit confused. Cinderpelt suspects that Leafpaw knows something, and grills her a bit. Leafpaw admits that she knows that Squirrelpaw is very far away with the other cats that have disappeared, and that they’re all still alive.
As they return to camp, Leafpaw gets an idea. Remembering what her intuition told her, she decides to chew on some burdock root, hoping that her connection with Squirrelpaw will tell her sister that that’s the herb she needs.
We then rejoin the journeying cats, and it turns out that Tawnypelt’s condition is getting much worse. As the cats continue to trudge onwards, Squirrelpaw gets a funny taste in her mouth, supposedly the burdock root Leafpaw is eating, but she doesn’t get it at first.
Of course, Purdy, being Purdy, leads them into a wall, and in an epically amusing scene, the eternally polite and positive Feathertail flips out and starts yelling at Purdy. And of course, it’s Crowpaw that calms her down.
Oh, but look. Turns out Purdy actually knows a way around the wall.
In fact, Feathertail gets to eat her words even more, as he leads them into a forest that is pretty much the perfect place for them to stay and rest.
And not only is the hunting good, but Squirrelpaw is finally able to identify the taste in her mouth. They find some burdock root, and apply it to Tawnypelt’s wound and her condition slowly starts improving.
Hurray! Everybody is happy!
The next day, the group sets out again, and Purdy leaves them as the exit the small forest. Now even Crowpaw is happy!
No but really, the group (or maybe just Brambleclaw…) has come to feel a bit of affection towards Purdy despite his… Purdy-ness, and do miss him a bit. Except probably Crowpaw.
They travel for the rest of the day, until Squirrelpaw starts smelling salt. Hurray! They’re finally almost there.
They finally reach the ocean, only to be faced with the challenge of getting down a cliff and finding a cave without accidentally falling into the ocean below.
Oh, and speak of the devil, Brambleclaw falls in. But Squirrelpaw heroically dives in and manages to rescue him before he can drown, and as they are pulled to safety, we get more of Stormfur being creepy as he praises Squirrelpaw’s bravery.
After all that ruckus, the cats finally find themselves in the cave that Brambleclaw saw in his dream all the way back. And waiting for them is… a badger!
Dun dun dun. Cliff-hanger!
Oh wait. It turns out that this badger isn’t a threat to them, so ending a chapter on that note of danger was kind of pointless. Son of a bee sting, more false suspense!
Much to the cats’ shock, the badger can speak their language, and she introduces herself as Midnight. It turns out that when they were told to find Midnight, StarClan wasn’t talking about the time of day…
Also, when I say that she can speak their language, I mean that very loosely. When she’s speaking cat, her grammar is… notoriously bad. I am continually amazed that not a single character has ever gone Grammar Nazi on her. Considering Crowpaw is such a jerk, I’m amazed that he doesn’t make fun of her because of her garbled sentence structure, and what I assume is a really thick accent.
Speaking of accents, what language would Midnight’s native badger be? I know they’re not really speaking human languages, but if the cats’ speech is rendered as English (or more specifically English
), what would badger be? Like, would Midnight be speaking English with a German accent? Russian? I dunno, I just like to speculate about this.
It’s also interesting because Midnight also mentions cats that speak different languages than the Clans/Tribe. Hmmm…
Also, according to a French Warriors fan, I speak French better than Midnight does in the French version. I hope I’m more than a little better than her, because that’s not saying much… Although I still feel inferior since Midnight supposedly speaks many other languages…
The group settles down and starts asking Midnight questions, first and foremost about why they had to come all this way to talk to her when StarClan could have told them in the forest. Midnight replies by saying that when they left they were six, but now that are one, and that the Clans will have to overcome their differences too if they wish to survive the coming trouble.
You see? You see! I told you so!
Anyway, Midnight finally gets down to telling them what they came to learn: The Clans will have to leave the forest, as it will be destroyed by Twolegs. The six of them need to lead their Clans to a new home, telling them that a dying warrior will show them the way.
Oh-hoh? Is that foreshadowing? Midnight says that she didn’t mean one of them would die, but… that does kinda happen. Midnight also unintentionally foreshadows the existence by accidentally saying “Tribes” instead of “Clans”. Jeez, she needs to be more careful with her spoilers.
And so the main part of the book ends as the cats rest, preparing for the big challenge ahead of them.
But it turns out this book also has an epilogue. In fact, I think it’s the only book in the series with one… The epilogue is mostly just a scene of Firestar, Graystripe, Cloudtail, Sandstorm, and Leafpaw witnessing the beginning of the destruction of the forest. And so, our book ends with a teaser for what is to come. The journey has just begun…
Inspired by YuGiOh the Abridged Series
by LittleKuriboh (CardGamesFTW)
I DO NOT OWN THESE CHARACTERS!
All characters are from WARRIORS by Erin Hunter
WARRIORS is © Harper Collins