The book begins with Ravenpaw and Barley preparing to leave ThunderClan camp to take back their home. Firestar is coming with them, and he's bringing along a patrol containing Cloudtail, Brightheart, Brackenfur, Graystripe, and Brambleclawnote
. Firestar offers to give Barley and Ravenpaw a full send-off if they wait around for a little while, but Barley wants to leave without a big fuss. However, Firestar's daughters Squirrelkit and Leafkit show up, demanding to join the patrol. The entire Clan comes to see what the ruckus they are making is about, and end up giving a big send-off to Barley and Ravenpaw after all.
On the way to the barn, the patrol meets some WindClan cats led by Deadfoot. note
The cats aren't there to attack them. Instead, Deadfoot wants to wish Ravenpaw good luck in reclaiming his home.
When the patrol arrives at the farm, Firestar decides to set up camp in an abandoned cowshed. Cloudtail, Brightheart, Brackenfur, and Brambleclaw are sent to hunt, while Firestar, Graystripe, Ravenpaw, and Barley head into the cowshed. From the roof of the shed, Ravenpaw points out Snapper and Willie to Firestar. The two rogues seem to be having trouble with the dogs. Firestar decides to look in the barn, so Ravenpaw and Barley lead him in. The rogues have made a complete mess of the place, upsetting Ravenpaw greatly.
Back at the shed, Firestar outlines an attack plan. Ravenpaw gives him some info about the barn, and then the patrol rests up. Ravenpaw notices Barley having his recurring nightmare about Violet, and Firestar promises to make things right again.
The patrol waits until nightfall to sneak into the barn. However, the chickens go crazy when they see cats, and their squawking alerts Snapper to the patrol's presence. Firestar tells the patrol to charge anyway, and Ravenpaw ends up fighting Tess. After breaking off his skirmish with her, Ravenpaw realizes that Willie has brought the remnants of Neo BloodClan into the barn, including Barley's brothers Hoot and Jumper. Just then, the farmer shows up and chases the cats out of the barn.
The next day, Firestar and Ravenpaw see Pounce and Snapper running away from the farm. Ravenpaw scoffs at their cowardice. Then, the patrol regroups and Firestar explains his new plan. Brackenfur and Brambleclaw will go to the front door and serve as a distraction, while the other six cats will enter the barn through a hole in the roof and surprise the rogues.
That night, they put their plan into action. Unfortunately, the hole in the roof was mended during the fire repairs. Ravenpaw angrily tears a new hole in the roof, and the patrol uses it to attack the invaders. Firestar chases them out of the barn, and many of the Neo BloodClan cats flee. Just when victory seems assured, Pounce and Snapper reappear with a horde of Neo BloodClan cats. Instead of deserting, they were actually getting reinforcements! The reinforcements completely surround the patrol, making escape impossible. Willie gloats about how Ravenpaw is now facing his demise, while the new cats take down every member of the patrol.
Suddenly, the dogs appear! They remembered how Ravenpaw courageously saved them from the fire, and they pay him back by attacking the barn invaders. With the dogs on their side, the odds favour the patrol. Cloudtail defeats Minty, Barley defeats Snapper, Brightheart chases Minty's kits away without harming them, and Graystripe slaps Pounce in a scene reminiscent of Looney Tunes
. Ravenpaw takes on Willie and pins him down easily. However, he is interrupted by the screams of Barley's brothers. Barley decides to save them from the dogs, and lets the stay despite the arguments of the ThunderClan cats. All the other rogues and Neo BloodClan members are chased off, and Firestar tells Ravenpaw to come to him if he ever needs help. Ravenpaw and Barley make a nest, while Barley's brothers do nothing.
The next day, Ravenpaw convinces Barley to take a relaxing walk while he explains barn life to Hoot and Jumper. Ravenpaw cleans up the messy barn, then shows Hoot and Jumper around the farm. He takes them to where the herbs are, shows them how to catch mice, and lets them eat tasty grain under the chicken coop. However, all they want to do is sit around and be lazy. After running around all day, Ravenpaw decides to take a nap. However, the barn is a mess when he wakes up. Hoot tells Barley that Ravenpaw sent Jumper and him to hunt and fetch herbs while he took a nap. Ravenpaw tells Barley that they're lying, but Barley brushes him off.
That night, Hoot and Jumper decide to go on a walk with Barley so that they can catch up. Ravenpaw has to stay behind, and he notes that the three brothers are happy when they return. Hoot and Jumper make Ravenpaw get them a mouse, and they steal his nest while he's catching it. Ravenpaw goes to sleep confused, wondering if he ever had a bond with Barley.
In the morning, Hoot and Jumper order Ravenpaw to get them another mouse. Barley sits in the corner with a somber expression on his face. Ravenpaw heads out to get the mouse, thinking that Barley doesn't want him any more. He is considering finding a new place to stay when he hears Barley snarling. Ravenpaw rushes back into the barn to see what has Barley so upset.
Barley turns out to be screaming at his brothers. He calls them out for abusing Ravenpaw, then tells them to get out. Hoot and Jumper threaten to mug him, but Barley beats them up instead. Hoot and Jumper insult Barley as they leave, while Ravenpaw watches happily. Barley tells Hoot and Jumper that he pities them. They have no understanding of loyalty, so they'll turn on each other eventually.
Barley apologizes to Ravenpaw. He had wanted to believe that Hoot and Jumper had changed, but in the end they were the same lazy cats. Barley then leads Ravenpaw up onto the roof, where they gaze over the territory they fought so hard to regain. Barley says that the farm is their place, and the book ends with a narration from Ravenpaw.
Ravenpaw: "He's right. I guess I was afraid to believe it, but he's right. We're as strong as a Clan, the two of us. And this territory is ours. All our own."