|Illustrator|| Cover art by Richard Cowdrey
Cover design by Lillie Howard
|Publication date||June 1, 2011|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
A battle for the Beyond.
Far from the owls of Ga'Hoole, a war is brewing. A bear cub has been snatched by a wolf-- an unthinkable betrayal of the peace that has long existed between the wolves and grizzly bears of the Beyond. The bears are massing, roaring for revenge. The wolves claim to be innocent, but they must fight back or face total annihilation.
For Faolan, a young wolf raised by a grizzly bear mother, the threat of war starts a terrible race. Somewhere in the honorable wolf clans lies a traitor, and Faolan must stop him and rescue the cub before it's too late. If he fails, Faolan will lose everything... and the Wolves of the Beyond will be destroyed forever.
The hardcover of Watch Wolf was released June 1, 2011.
The book opens with Faolan and Edme as new winners of the gaddergnaw. Finbar had told them to go on their Slaan Leat before coming to the Watch, as a way to find peace with their state as malcadhs. Edme asks Faolan if he feels his tummfraw is truly the riverbank, because she doesn't feel that her tummfraw, the northernmost mountain peak of Crooked Back Ridge, is hers. When she sees the stars, she begins to howl that all the heavens are one, and Faolan hopes to see his second Milk Giver, the grizzly bear Thunderheart, in the afterlife. The weather turns cold at the beginning of the Moon of the Flies, the first summer moon. Edme travels to her tummfraw and realizes she was not abandoned to die there.
Faolan visits his tummfraw, deciding to build a drumlyn for Thunderheart on the riverbank. He suddenly starts to wonder who was his first Milk Giver, and if he has family in the clan.
Edme, traveling back from Crooked Back Ridge, is intercepted by Ingliss and Kyran, two yearlings who take delight in abusing her. They laugh at Edme for standing up to them at first, but then they think of a new way to make fun of her, telling her she isn't a true gnaw wolf. Edme forces them to tell the truth, and they explain that their chieftain, Dunbar MacHeath, ripped out her eye. Edme decides to confront him with the evidence, frightening Ingliss and Kyran.
Faolan, building Thunderheart's drumlyn, wonders where her spirit dwells, as he has never seen her climb the star ladder. He sings a song to help her ascend to Ursulana.
Dunbar MacHeath is drunk with the juice of the Litha roses at the time Edme asks him if she was truly made a malcadh. When she sees the snow on some of the wolves, she plays on their superstitions and inquires if the spirit of the first Fengo is offended by the maiming of pups to gain a seat on the Watch.
Edme leaves the clan in a snowstorm, and the Obea Airmead catches up with her, telling her that no malcadhs have ever been born into the savage MacHeath clan. She tells Edme about the Hordweard Society and that she herself has a chance to leave and start a better life. The last member of the Society was Edme's mother, Akira, who scarred Dunbar's face to revenge Edme's eye.
Edme discovers that Ingliss and Kyran have been murdered by a slink melf sent by the chieftain. Faolan later has thoughts of his own, regarding the small number of fallen antlers from the herds.
On the journey to the Ring, the two wolves stop and observe a byrrgis from the Watch sharing their kill with a grizzly bear mother. Edme observes how cute her two cubs are, and runs off to play with them while Faolan is napping. Faolan wakes up in a panic and leads Edme away from the cubs, telling her never to touch a bear cub.
The two arrive at the Ring and are greeted by their taigas, Twistling, a wolf with a backward front paw, and Winks, a female with one eye. During their meeting with the Fengo, Edme tells him that her eye was ripped out and that she has renounced her clan and become a free runner. Finbar decides to call a Court of Crait to judge the MacHeaths for breaking the sacred rules. While licking the Bone of Bones on his first night in the den, Faolan wakes Edme to ask if she touched the cubs, fearing for her safety.
An outflanker named Katria, Kyran's mother and mate of the high-ranking Donaidh, observes Fretta's report on Faolan and Edme about the cubs. She also tells Dunbar a rumor that their clan will be called for a Court of “Crait. “Dunbar decides to form a plan to not only get out of the court, but become the ultimate authorities. His plan is to start a war between the wolves and the grizzly bears by stealing the cub Edme played with and taking him to the Pit.
At the Ring, Faolan and Edme are introduced to Snowdon and become shocked by his forked tongue. When the two wolves separate, Twist teaches Faolan how to do a scanning jump. Faolan makes a very high leap, which pleases Twist. Edme jumps well until Banja deliberately distracts her, then falling on her rear. Winks does not appear to believe Banja's apologies. After his lesson, Faolan observes the cairn of the Fengos, realizing he knows the code they use to carve their final bones.
Donaidh walks in on Katria in their den, telling her he has been picked to kidnap the cub, and thinking he might be promoted. Katria decides to run away to the MacNamara clan and warn them about the cubnapping and the war. During the first part of her journey, Airmead surprises her, planning to join her and thinking about rescuing the innocent cub--the opposite of taking a malcadh to a tummfraw.
During a test on the species of owls, Faolan and Edme become nervous when Malachy uses the phrase "bare as a bear cub's butt." Malachy doesn't have much time to wonder about their nerves when the She-Winds begin to blow out of season. Twist teaches Faolan the wonder of jumping high into the thermals and letting the hot air lift him higher. Faolan wants to tell Edme how wonderful it was, but Banja has dalach'd her for not "showing the proper reverence for the keybone." During the arrival of owls, Faolan wonders how he knows about gadfeathers, and all sorts of peculiar things.
Toby, the cub Edme played with, feels bored with his brother Burney and his mum Bronka napping, and wants to play with a wolf again. Fretta steps out and attempts to make friends with him, when four other wolves rush out and grab him, carrying him away. Toby screams that all the bears of the Beyond will get them, which makes the wolves laugh. They drop him in the Pit, and he catches his first glimpse of Old Cags. The wolves need a name to give Cags, but Toby makes believe that his name is Ishodd. The sound of this word frightens the wolves due to their superstitious nature. Toby hides from Old Cags in a narrow rock slot, hoping not to die. He wants to climb the wall out of the Pit, but it seems hopeless.
Back by their riverbank den, Bronka finds Toby gone and flies into a rage, roaring at the wolves who stole her cub.
Continuing on their journey, Katria and Airmead swim across an inlet to Broken Talon Point. They discover two sets of wolf tracks, discovering that one wolf must be blind. It turns out to be Morag, Faolan's real mother, and her new mate, Brangwen. He is taking her to the MacNamaras to live. When they reach the MacNamara territory, they are informed that Galana, the Namara, knows about the impending war with the bears.
Back on the Watch, Faolan captures an owl he thinks might be a graymalkin, but it turns out the owl, Arthur, has information about Toby's cubnapping. They tell Finbar about the attack, but Banja interrupts and declares that Edme should not be permitted to join the mission to rescue him, for fear she will betray Faolan. Faolan is triggered and calls Banja a traitor. He, Edme, and Arthur leave to find the Pit, and observe that Toby has lost his fear of Old Cags. Edme and Arthur distract the sick wolf with flight acrobatics and scanning jumps while Faolan removes the cub, but Arthur is killed in the attempt.
Once Faolan and Edme return Toby to his mother in the Black Glass Desert, Dunbar comes up with a new plan--assassinate the Bear of Bears. Katria stops the leading wolf, Andreen, from killing him. Finbar bypasses the Court of Crait and simply exiles the surviving MacHeaths. Edme has killed Dunbar during the assassination attempt, avenging her mother.
Eight moons later (indicated by the title of the last chapter, Eight Moons Passing), Faolan is taken to meet his dying mother. He tells her what his name means, "gift from the river". Morag likes the sound of the word "gift", repeating it several times before she dies. Faolan observes her climbing the star ladder, and to his delight, Thunderheart is following her to rest in peace.
(Excerpt from Chapter 4: A True Gnaw Wolf?)
“Well, you’ve certainly learned quickly!” Ingliss, the larger of the two, said.
“Yes, but doesn’t a one-eyed wolf look funny with her hackles up?” Kyran added nastily. Kyran always took her cues from Ingliss. They worked as a tag team of abuse.
“You know, of course, you don’t deserve to go to the Ring,” Ingliss said. Edme tilted her head. She wouldn’t deign to answer them and walked on. But they followed her, one on either side, pressing close.
“Get away!” Edme yipped. “You can’t do this to me anymore, either with words or bites.”
“Oh, yes, that’s true,” Ingliss said brightly. “Indeed we should never have abused you. Seeing as you were never a true gnaw wolf.”
This stopped Edme. “Are you cag mag? What are you talking about?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Ingliss teased. She turned to Kyran. “Should we tell her?”
“I suppose so,” Kyran replied casually, as if she had better things on her mind.
“Dear Edme, we have come to apologize for our behavior,” Ingliss said. Edme’s head swiveled between the two wolves.
Edme tried desperately to maintain a cool, disinterested demeanor. “An apology is not necessary, really. Now on your way. I must get to the Ring and the Watch.”
“I wouldn’t rush if I were you,” Kyran said.
“No, no, definitely not. For what will they say when they discover you were not born a malcadh, but made one!”
“What are you talking about?” Edme said, and she bared her teeth. Never had such a small wolf seemed so fierce.
The two yearlings cowered. “He did it to you, the chieftain Dunbar MacHeath!” Kyran blurted.
“Tore out your eye!” Ingliss said.
“You mean… you mean…” Edme’s jaw dropped open. It was as if she was searching for the actual words. “I wasn’t born this way?”
“Not at all,” the two wolves said at once, regaining their composure. A smirk crawled across Ingliss’s face. “We heard it whispered in the gadderheal. So you see, you are not a true gnaw wolf,” Ingliss said.
“You’re a fake,” Kyran offered. “They’ll reject you when they find out.”
“They sense these things,” Ingliss said.
“What if I tell them?” Edme said, turning around and heading straight into the heart of MacHeath territory.
“Tell them? Tell who? Where are you going, Edme?”
“To your chieftain.”
“What?” the two wolves shrieked.
“You’re telling him what we told you? We’ll get in big trouble!” Ingliss was running beside Edme now, pleading with her.
“You should have thought of that before.”
“But what’s the use of telling Dunbar MacHeath? What will you tell him exactly?”
“Exactly?” Edme stopped short, and the beam from her single eye seemed to pierce Ingliss right to her marrow. “I shall tell him that I will serve at the Ring not as a member of the MacHeath clan, but a free runner!”
The two yearlings collapsed and began crawling after Edme on their bellies, begging her not to go to the chieftain. But Edme closed her ears and trotted on toward the Carreg Gaer of the MacHeath clan. Now it all made sense. She felt nothing when she arrived at her tummfraw because she had no connection with it whatsoever. Had they gone through the rituals of kicking out her birth mother and sire from the clan? What did it matter? It was all a charade and nothing more.
- Part One: The Journey
- Part Two: The Ring
- Part Three: The Cub
- Dunbar MacHeath
- Old Cags
- Galana MacNamara
- The Sark of the Slough
- Thus Sayeth the Fengo
- Under the Stars
- Winter Dreams on a Summer Night
- The Scent of the River
- A True Gnaw Wolf?
- Blood and Thorns
- The Obea Speaks
- View from a Ridge
- The Hot Gates
- The Bone of Bones
- Dunbar MacHeath Considers
- First Watch
- Escape of the She-Wolves
- The She-Winds
- A Twinge in the Marrow
- Old Cags
- Shadows of War
- Killing Fear
- Breaking Rules
- The Pit
- Drums of War
- "Edme! Edme! Edme!"
- The Black Glass Desert
- Eight Moons Passing
- Author's Note
The next book is called Frost Wolf and is the fourth book in the series. Frost Wolf is not last book in the series, there are two more books following Frost Wolf. The author has written, and will only write six books in total. The fifth book is called Spirit Wolf. The sixth book in the series is titled Star Wolf.