"Our home cannot support us all. But there is another place for some of us, full of sunlight and warmth and prey for all seasons. I have seen it in my dreams. I believe in my heart that these mountains are not where every cat belongs. The other place is waiting for those of you who are brave enough to make the journey."
—Stoneteller (Half Moon)
Follow the trail of the rising sun.
Dawn of the Clans is the fifth arc of the popular Warrior Cats series, after the Omen of the Stars arc. Beginning in 2013, it tells the tale of the origins and early days of the Warrior Clans, when the Warrior Code had yet to be created, and the Clan founders still ruled.The first book, The Sun Trail, was released in March 2013, and starred WindClan's legendary leader Graywing the Wise (at the time known as Gray Wing). The second book, Thunder Rising, was released in November 2013 and added Thunder, future founder of ThunderClan, as a second point of view character. The third book, The First Battle, will be released in April 2014. The fourth book, The Blazing Star, will be released in November 2014. The fifth book, A Forest Divided, currently does not have a release date. In addition, the 2015 Super Edition may deal with this timeline and feature Mothflight, the first medicine cat. The Dawn of the Clans characters are also featured in Warriors: The Ultimate Guide.The story of the series focuses on a group of cats known as the Followers of the Sun Trail. Originally members of what would become the Tribe of Rushing Water, these sixteen cats set off from their mountain home to find a new place to live when it became clear that there wasn't enough food to support everyone. The outside world comes as a shock to cats that have spent their whole lives in the mountains, and they are forced to adapt to it on their journey. Eventually, they encounter a seemingly idyllic forest. However, their arrival causes tensions to rise with the forest cats, and they are soon thrust into a conflict far beyond anything the forest has ever known.
This is the first time in the main series that the other Clans will have a role equal to ThunderClan.note In Moonrise, two RiverClan cats got Point of Views, but they were on a journey away from the main Clans. In Night Whispers, a ShadowClan cat got a Point of View, but all four ThunderClan cats had more screentime than he did.
The Bonus Scenes provide this, giving a minor character in the books some time in the spotlight. In The Sun Trail, Petal is the one getting some love. In Thunder Rising, River Ripple is star.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: At one point in The Sun Trail, foxes launch an attack on the moor home of the Followers of the Sun Trail and a large battle ensues.
Anyone Can Die: After Power of Three and Omen of the Stars flip-flopped with this, The Sun Trail brings it back full force with the deaths of Bright Stream, Shaded Moss, and Storm, all of them being major characters.Thunder Rising kept this going, killing off Moon Shadow, Misty, and Bumble.
Arc Words: "Follow the trail of the rising sun" in The Sun Trail.
The Clan Founders, and possibly some of the other field guide characters.
The Sun Trail has given this status to Cloudspots, Dapplepelt, Lightningtail, and Graywing The Wise.
In The Sun Trail, Thunder is a minor (but important) character. Thunder Rising will feature him as a main character, if not the main character of the book.
Thunder Rising, while giving Thunder a main role, also introduces us to Owleyes and Pebbleheart.
Badass Crew: The Followers of the Sun Trail are an awesome group that combine many skills that will be possessed by the Clan cats in the future. And one of their first actions? Fighting four eagles and scaring three of them away by taking one down, something most tribe cats deem impossible.
Breaking the Fellowship: About two thirds of the way through The Sun Trail, Clear Sky, Quick Water, Moon Shadow, Falling Feather, and Jagged Peak leave the group in the moor to live in the forest. Later, Turtle Tail leaves to become a kittypet.
Lion's Roar mentions his mother Shy Fawn and how the Tribe used to live by a lake, referencing both Long Shadows and Sign of the Moon.
Lion's Roar also insists on calling Stoneteller "Half Moon".
Stoneteller mentions Jay's Wing, referencing the time she spent with him.
Continuity Nod: The Followers of the Sun Trail pass by Mothermouth, but none of them enter it. This is because Mothflight will one day be the first cat down there, leading to the discovery of the Moonstone.
Crash into Hello: Gray Wing first meets Wind and Gorse when they all crash into each other on the moor.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Wind acts coldly towards Gray Wing at first, but ends up warming up to him and the other Followers of the Sun Trail.
In The Sun Trail, Stoneteller/Half Moon declares a cat named Shaded Moss the leader of the Followers of the Sun Trail. Since we never heard about him as a major power in any of the field guides, his death shortly before the group reaches the new territories doesn't come as much of a surprise.
Word of God has actually caused a Foregone Conclusion of a character living to turn into one of these. It is most definitely a spoiler, as it hasn't happened in the books yet. Fans initially assumed that Gray Wing would survive the series, given that he has to live past Wind and Gorse to become the WindClan leader Graywing the Wise. However, Vicky revealed on her Facebook that Graywing the Wise was the leader of Proto WindClan, the cats in the moor before the Clans came about. This means that something will almost certainly happen to him, given that Wind is going to become the leader of the moor.
Expy: Several characters are rather obvious shout outs to characters from the earlier books.
Bright Stream for Spottedleaf. She is made of purity, is Clear Sky's love interest, and tragically dies in the first book.
Jagged Peak for Cinderpelt. Energetic apprentice to the main character who ends up with a broken leg? Yep, that's him.
Tall Shadow's intelligence, appearance, and cunning make her seem a lot like Hollyleaf.
Moon Shadow is a mix between Berrynose (because of his arrogance and hot blooded nature) and Crowfeather (because of his behaviour towards she-cats). It's as awesome as it sounds.
Gorse is fairly similar to Graystripe, with his love of food and adorkableness.
First Episode Spoiler: Bright Stream's death happens early on, but is a pretty big twist and defines much of the book. Also, one of the largest spoilers for The Sun Trail is that Clear Sky is the antagonist, but that will be one for the series as a whole, almost certainly.
Foregone Conclusion: Unless serious Retcon applies, anyone who's read the other Warriors books knows certain things about the plot: Lightningtail never becomes ThunderClan's leader, Shadow is the first of the founders to die, Wind gets together with Gorsefur, who later becomes the second ever leader of WindClan. And on and on...
Foreshadowing: Thunder Rising has hints of the events The First Battle, with Pebble Heart having a dream about a massive battle with Clear Sky at the heart of it.
Founder of the Kingdom: It's a whole series about them. Sure, they haven't done it by The Sun Trail, but Thunder, Wind, Tall Shadow, Clear Sky, and River (when he finally shows up) will go on to found the Clans seen in the rest of the series.
Gender Equal Ensemble: Eight toms and eight she-cats form the Followers of the Sun Trail. Later in The Sun Trail, this is still the case, even with deaths. One tom and one she-cat die, keeping the number even.
It's All My Fault: Gray Wing and Clear Sky both blame themselves for Bright Stream's death. Gray Wing eventually manages to move on, but Clear Sky never lets go of the guilt.
Late Arrival Spoiler: The existence of Lion's Roar and Half Moon being the first Stoneteller are big twists in Sign of the Moon. The prologue of The Sun Trail casually reveals them to the reader, and if you haven't read Power of Three and Omen of the Stars, you probably wouldn't even realize they were spoilers.
The Leader: There are plenty of leaders and future leaders in The Sun Trail.
Half Moon/Stoneteller from Power of Three and Omen of the Stars still leads the Tribe.
Shaded Moss is named the leader of the crew setting out to find a new home. After his death, Tall Shadow leads it.
The forest group in The Sun Trail is led by Clear Sky.
Thunder, Wind, Gorse, Tall Shadow, and Clear Sky will go on to be Clan leaders. Gray Wing will apparently lead proto-WindClan at some point.
Legendary in the Sequel: Inverted. The Sun Trail is about the founders of the Clans before they were legends, so it's more like "unlegendary in the prequel". So far, we have seen every Clan founder, as well as many other legendary cats like Graywing the Wise, Pebbleheart, Owleyes, and Gorsestar.
Love Dodecahedron: Turtle Tail loves Gray Wing, who loves Storm, who loves Clear Sky, who loves Storm, and also probably still his first love Bright Stream. Now that Storm is dead, Gray Wing will most likely get together with Turtle Tail.
Meaningful Funeral: It's a Tribe custom. One is held for Fluttering Bird when she dies, and the Followers of the Sun Trail later hold a funeral for Shaded Moss.
The Migration: The Sun Trail is about a group of cats leaving the mountains to move to the forest.
Milestone Celebration: The prologue of The Sun Trail was released early as part of the tenth anniversary of Warriors. The Sun Trail is also the 25th main series novel, the 50th Warriors booknote 25 main series books, 5 Supper Editions, 13 mangas, 3 novellas, and 4 Field Guides. Enter the Clans doesn't count because it's merely a Compilation Re-release with new cover art., and was released about a month after the date of the tenth anniversary. As well, Thunder Rising and Warriors: The Ultimate Guide are set to be co-released and to be the 10th Anniversary milestone books.
Storm calls Gray Wing "Gray Whatsit", which is the name that Rusty gave to Graypaw when they first met in Into the Wild.
Remember the mountain hunting skills that Gray Wing showed to Jagged Peak? Those were first shown in Battles of the Clans as WindClan battle strategies invented by Gray Wing himself. It looks like we know where he got them.
Turtle Tail scares Bumble by telling her that she eats bones. This is obviously meant to be a joke about how kittypets view Clan cats.
Gray Wing and Gorse meet when they crash into each other and then start to fight. This is the reverse of how Firestar and Graystripe met: they started fighting, but when Graystripe crashed into Firestar they stopped fighting and became friends.
The cover of The First Battle obviously references A Dangerous Path with its shot of two lines of cats preparing for a fight.
Never Found the Body: The Followers of the Sun Trail don't find Bright Stream's body after she is carried off by an eagle, leading to some potential ambiguity over her death.
No Antagonist: The majority of The Sun Trail is about the cats moving and settling into a new home, with no real villain. However, subverted when the ending sets up Clear Sky as an antagonist.
As they approach Highstones, the Followers of the Sun Trail meet a long-legged brown and gray tabby tom. He talks with them for a bit, but never gives his name.
At the end of The Sun Trail, Storm has three kits. She named them, but we never learn their names. This is used as a plot point. Since Gray Wing doesn't have a name to call the survivor, and he doesn't remember it, Turtle Tail names him Thunder.
As well, the Bonus Scenes of The Sun Trail and Thunder Rising reveal the origins of Petal and River Ripple respectively.
Prequel: This series takes place before any of the other Warriors books and shows us the origins of the Clans, which everything else revolves around. note Dark River, Long Shadows, and Sign of the Moon contain scenes that take place before Dawn of the Clans and deal with the founding of the Tribe. However, these scenes are in Jayfeather's time traveling flashback sequences, and the main stories of those three books takes place long after Dawn of the Clans.
Protagonist Title: Book two is called Thunder Rising. Word of God is that Thunder will be a main character in it, and most likely the main character.
Retcon: To be expected from an entire series based on a pawful of conflicting information.
The Thunderpath between the future ShadowClan, WindClan, and ThunderClan territories is present in The Sun Trail as it is in Secrets of the Clans despite having been previously retconned out in Code of the Clans.
At the end of The Sun Trail, Thunder is named after Storm, not the Thunderpath.
Rotating Protagonist: Gray Wing is the sole protagonist of The Sun Trail, while Thunder Rising will add Thunder as a Point of View character. (Gray Wing will still be a P.O.V. character, but will most likely be demoted to the Deuteragonist role.) Meanwhile, The First Battle is hinted to have Tall Shadow gaining a point of view, while it's confirmed that Clear Sky will have a point of view in a book after Thunder Rising.
Shipper on Deck: Silver Frost, one of the elder cats of the Tribe, ships Clear Sky with Bright Stream. She also ships Gray Wing with his admirer Turtle Tail.
Before The Sun Trail even came out, the blurb of Thunder Rising revealed that the group would split into two, Gray Wing and Clear Sky would become enemies, and Thunder would have some sort of connection to Gray Wing and Clear Sky.
Now the new blurb of Thunder Rising flat out states that Clear Sky is Thunderís father.
Twist Ending: The Sun Trail has one. Clear Sky and Storm's son? Yeah, he's Thunder.
Most fans correctly predicted the appearances of Thunder, Shadow (as Tall Shadow), Clear Sky, Wind, Gorsestar (as Gorse), Cloudspots (as Cloud Spots), and Dapplepelt (as Dappled Pelt) in The Sun Trail. However, virtually nobody suspected that The Sun Trail would feature Graywing the Wise from Battles of the Clans, and if they did they probably didn't think he would be the main character.
As well, Half Moon/Stoneteller and Lion's Roar were pretty unexpected.
Unnamed Parent: Even though Fox and Petal's mother is mentioned in The Sun Trail, her name is never revealed. Also, although their mother is a supporting character with a name, the father of Gray Wing, Clear Sky, Jagged Peak, and Fluttering Bird goes unnamed and unmentioned throughout the book.
Villain Team-Up: Towards the end of The Sun Trail, several of the antagonistic cats of the forest (Fox, Petal, Frost, and Leaf) join up with the forest group led by Clear Sky.
Visual Pun: The gorge on the cover of Thunder Rising. The Followers of the Sun Trail are divided.
We Hardly Knew Ye: Several characters in The Sun Trail die after having very minor roles, those being Fluttering Bird, Petal's brother Fox, and two of Storm's kits. Although in the case of Fox, it's slightly fixed in that he appears in the Bonus Scene and we learn more about him, but only after his death.
Wham Episode: The last chapter of The Sun Trail. Storm dies protecting the kits she had with Clear Sky. Only they die too. Wait, one of them is alive! And he's Thunder! The fandom promptly flipped out.
Lion's Roar addressing Half Moon by name in the prologue, which reveals that much less time than readers expected had passed since the formation of the Tribe.
The last chapter of The Sun Trail has a massive one. Gray Wing is trying to think of a name for the only surviving kit of Storm and Clear Sky. Turtle Tail says, "How about Thunder?", revealing the kit to be the future founder of ThunderClan.