is the ninth Warriors
Super Edition, taking place after the novella Ravenpaw's Farewell
and before the sixth arc, A Vision of Shadows
Tropes appearing in this book:
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Darktail acts friendly and gains the Clan's trust before attacking them and killing several of them.
- Combat by Champion: Hawkwing offers to fight Dodge when Dodge takes Curlypaw hostage and insists SkyClan must help him drive out Stick's group: if Hawkwing loses, SkyClan will do as Dodge says, while if Hawkwing wins then SkyClan goes free.
- Crisis of Faith: SkyClan begins to lose faith in StarClan as they endure hardship after hardship and their Clanmates die, disappear, or leave one by one.
- A Day in the Limelight: Hawkwing's only POV.
- Downer Ending: The modern SkyClan has been driven from the gorge, and most of the Clan is dead, missing, or have left. Echosong did eventually receive another prophecy to lead them toward the other Clans, but it's only a tiny spot of hope after the Clan has lost so much, and she is mentioned to have died by the time of the epilogue.
- Dwindling Party: By the end of the book, most of SkyClan has either gone missing, died (including major characters like Billystorm and Sharpclaw), or left the Clan of their own choice one by one, leaving only a very small group out of the almost 40 members of the Clan that the book started with.
- Famous Last Words:
- Billystorm: "That's right. I suggest we make camp here, and-"
- Sharpclaw: "What's gotten into you? How could you betray SkyClan?"
- Dodge: "Are you ready to die, mouse-breath?"
- Happily Adopted: After Sandynose and Hawkwing's mate Pebbleshine are captured by Twolegs, Hawkwing develops a platonic relationship with Sandynose's mate Plumwillow. After her kits are born, he fills the father role. Sandynose later finds his way back to the group, and his kits refuse to interact with him at first since they view him as a stranger and Hawkwing as their father. Hawkwing eventually does convince them to build a relationship with their real father.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: SkyClan's Destiny and the SkyClan manga trilogy ended with SkyClan thriving, and though they have trouble in Ravenpaw's Farewell, they're still doing well. Hawkwing's Journey wastes no time in killing off half the Clan, including beloved characters like Leafstar's mate Billystorm.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Cherrytail has the kits of her mentor Sharpclaw, though this is long after she becomes a warrior and is no longer mentored by him.
- Trauma Conga Line: SkyClan's situation in this book is probably the biggest one in the series. First they lose Duskpaw in a fire, then are unable to figure out the meaning of the prophecy Echosong received: when they try to follow it, cats (including Billystorm) die. The Clan is also attacked by raccoons at least twice, killing at least one and injuring others. Then Darktail's allies attack the gorge, forcing the Clan to flee. Several cats are killed in the battle (and one drowns in the river during their flight); several others go missing. The Clan decides that their only hope is to leave to find the other Clans, and several of their cats stay behind. SkyClan ends up running into trouble in Stick and Dodge's city and an apprentice is taken hostage, although at least SkyClan makes it out without losing anyone. Two cats leave to stay with Barley in his barn. During their journey, the pregnant Pebbleshine is kidnapped by Twolegs, and cats are frequently injured. They think they've found their new home by the lake, but the Clans have never lived by this particular lake, and the area proves to be too dangerous after multiple encounters with a hawk, dogs, and Twolegs (during which several more cats are captured by Twolegs, including a medicine cat apprentice.) A couple cats more decide to become kittypets. Then SkyClan falls ill with a sickness while the medicine cat is away, which kills a few more. They are in their darkest hour, saying that SkyClan is over, when finally a few missing Clan members find them, they are able to cure the sickness, and Echosong receives a new prophecy, leaving a spot of hope.
- Tricked to Death: Darktail gives a patrol false directions, leading the group directly to a badger den where Billystorm is slain.