At the same time, shadows of the past continue to haunt the forest as some old friends struggle to find their place, others appear to be lost forever, and an old enemy finds a new way to resurface in a quest for dark revenge. A sinister path is unfolding, and the time is coming for certain warriors to make the choices that will determine their destiny . . . and the destiny of all the Clans.
About the Author
Erin Hunter is inspired by a love of cats and a fascination with the ferocity of the natural world. As well as having great respect for nature in all its forms, Erin enjoys creating rich mythical explanations for animal behavior. She is also the author of the bestselling Seekers series.
Read an Excerpt
Warriors: The New Prophecy #6: Sunset
By Erin Hunter
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Erin Hunter
All right reserved.
Brambleclaw stood in the middle of the clearing, gazing at what was left of the ThunderClan camp. A crescent moon, thin as a claw, drifted above the trees that surrounded the stone hollow. Its pale light revealed the dens trampled down, the thorn barrier at the camp entrance broken and tossed aside, and the wounded cats of ThunderClan slowly creeping from the shadows, their fur bristling and their eyes stretched wide with shock. Brambleclaw could still hear the trampling of the badgers as they lumbered away. The undergrowth beyond the entrance quivered where they had pushed through, driven off with the help of Onestar and the WindClan warriors who had come just in time to help ThunderClan.
But it wasn't the sight of devastation that pricked Brambleclaw's pelt and kept his paws frozen to the ground. Two cats he had never thought he'd see again were picking their way carefully among the scattered thorns of the entrance barrier. They were uninjured, their pelts sleek and their eyes alight with alarm.
"Stormfur! What are you doing here?" Brambleclaw called.
The powerful gray tomcat paced forward until he could touch noses with Brambleclaw. "It's good to see you again," he meowed. "I . . . I wanted to see if you'd found a place to live. But what has happened here?"
"Badgers," Brambleclaw replied. He glanced around, wondering where to beginhelping his wounded and frightened Clanmates.
Beside Stormfur, the slender brown tabby she-cat brushed her tail against a long scratch on Brambleclaw's shoulder. "You're hurt," she mewed.
Brambleclaw twitched his ears. "It's nothing. Welcome to ThunderClan, Brook. I'm sorry you had to travel so far to find us like this." He paused and looked from one to the other. "Is everything all right in the Tribe of Rushing Water? I never expected you to come visit us so soon."
Stormfur shot a glance at Brook, so swift Brambleclaw almost missed it. "Everything's fine," he meowed. "We just wanted to be sure you had found a new place to live, like StarClan promised."
Brambleclaw looked around the devastated camp, the stricken cats stumbling through the remains of their home. "Yes, we found it," he murmured.
"You said badgers attacked you?" Brook prompted, sounding puzzled.
"They came here on purpose," Brambleclaw explained. "StarClan knows where they came from, more badgers than I've ever seen in my life. They would have killed us all if WindClan hadn't turned up." His paws trembled, and he sank his claws into the bloodstained earth to keep himself steady.
Stormfur nodded. "Don't worry about telling us everything now. What can we do to help?"
Brambleclaw sent a silent prayer of thanks to StarClan that they had chosen this moment to send his old friend back to the Clans. He and Stormfur had been through a lot together on the first journey to the sun-drown-place, and he could think of few cats he'd rather have beside him now.
He turned his head as a thin wail came from a trampled clump of ferns at the edge of the hollow. "We need to find all the cats that have been badly wounded. Some will be on their way to join StarClan," he warned, glancing at Brook. "The badgers came to kill, not drive us out."
Brook met his gaze steadily. "Whatever they have done, I want to help. I have seen this kind of savagery before from Sharptooth, remember?" Sharptooth was a giant mountain cat that had terrorized the Tribe of Rushing Water for many moons, until the cats from the forest arrived. Stormfur's sister, Feathertail, had died in the fall that killed the savage animal.
"We'll do whatever we have to," Stormfur promised. "Just tell us what to do. Are you ThunderClan's deputy now?"
Brambleclaw studied a fragment of moss that was trapped under his front paw. "No," he admitted. "Firestar has decided not to appoint another deputy. He wants to give Graystripe more time to come back."
"That's tough." There was a note of sympathy in Stormfur's voice that made Brambleclaw wince. He didn't want any cat's pity.
Suddenly Brook froze. "I thought you said the badgers had gone," she hissed.
Brambleclaw whipped around, then relaxed as he saw a familiar, pointed, black-and-white face pushing its way out of a clump of dead bracken.
Stormfur touched Brook's shoulder lightly with his tail. "That's Midnight," he meowed. "She wouldn't hurt any cats." He bounded forward to meet the elderly badger.
Midnight peered at Stormfur with shortsighted eyes. Then she gave a small nod. "Cat friend from journey," she rumbled. "Good it is to see you again. And this cat from mountain Tribe, is she not?" she added, gesturing with her snout toward Brook.
"That's right," Stormfur meowed. "This is Brook, a prey-hunter from the Tribe of Rushing Water." He beckoned Brook forward with his tail; she went over reluctantly, as if she couldn't quite believe this badger was friendly. Brambleclaw understood her feelings; he knew Midnight as well as any cat, but it was hard not to look at her bulky shape without remembering snapping jaws, fierce gleaming eyes, and claws that shredded cats' fur like leaves in newleaf. . . .
There was the sound of heavy paws, and he looked up to see Midnight standing beside him. Grief and anger sparked from her berry-bright eyes. "Too late my warning," she rasped. "Not enough could I do."
"You brought WindClan to help us," Brambleclaw pointed out. "Without you, our whole Clan would have been wiped out."
Midnight bowed her head, the white stripe that ran the length of her snout gleaming in the faint moonlight. "Shame for my kin I feel."
"Every cat knows this attack had nothing to do with you," Brambleclaw told her. "You will always be welcome in this Clan."
Midnight still looked troubled. Behind her, Brambleclaw spotted his Clan leader near the center of the clearing, with Onestar and the WindClan warriors. He padded toward them, motioning with his . . .
Excerpted from Warriors: The New Prophecy #6: Sunset by Erin Hunter Copyright © 2007 by Erin Hunter. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents