|"You have been like a father to so many. To Thunder, as well as to my kits. To any cat who has needed comfort and guidance. No other cat is as well loved as you, Gray Wing. You will be remembered."|
|— Turtle Tail to Gray Wing in Path of Stars, prologue|
- Below contains in-depth information for the prologue of Path of Stars. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: prologue (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 1-3
- The sun begins to set through the the clouds beyond Highstones, setting the peaks ablaze. Far below them, shadows swallow the stone. Gray Wing sits at the edge of the moor, the evening breeze ruffling his pelt, and gazes toward the horizon, narrowing his eyes against the sun's fiery glare. Turtle Tail shifts beside him, softly purring, and the gray tom's heart swells with love as her fur brushes his. He murmurs that the moment is perfect, and that he never wants to leave. Turtle Tail stiffens sharply, and he turns to meet her gaze, puzzled by her reaction. He wonders if she doesn't want to be with him, but his former mate's eyes shine wistfully and she tells him that his life has already changed. Gray Wing asks if it has, before suddenly remembering Slate and recalling that she is now his mate, aware that it is a dream. He feels guilty for forgetting his beloved Slate.
- Turtle Tail presses her cheek against his as he is swamped by grief, and he feels as if the queen's death has just happened. Gray Wing mews that he misses her, and Turtle says that she misses him too, then draws away. She says that she is glad Gray Wing now has slate, and that he mustn't be alone. Gray Wing asks if she doesn't mind, wondering if Turtle Tail is hurt that he has found another love, but the tortoiseshell she-cat answers that she is comforted to see him happy. She goes on that she loves him, and he gave her happiness when she was alive. She adds that Gray Wing raised her kits, and she will always appreciate that they had a foster-father to take care of them. Turtle Tail's eyes flash with sadness, and she says that it was even harder to leave them than to leave Gray Wing.
- Gray Wing senses her grief, which leaves him heartbroken, and the gray tom notes that he misses Pebble Heart, Sparrow Fur, and Owl Eyes now that they have left the moor. Still, he is proud that they had followed their instincts and chosen their own homes.
- Turtle Tail continues that he has fathered Thunder and her kits, as well as any cat who has needed comfort and patience. She adds that no cat is loved as much as Gray Wing, and that he will be remembered. The she-cat pauses, eyes suddenly glistening, and continues that he will be remembered even after something, but an owl's screech cuts into Gray Wing's dream, causing him to jerk awake.
- Gray Wing wonders what Turtle Tail had meant by 'even after' as he blinks in the darkness of his nest. Beside him, Slate rolls onto her back, her paws limp with sleep, and Gray Wing nuzzles her cheek softly. Turtle Tail's scent is still in the tom's mouth, and he feels happy and lucky to have been loved by two mates. Gray Wing remembers Turtle Tail's words that no cat is loved as well as him, and he snuggles deeper into the nest to escape the leaf-bare wind.
- Slate sleepily mews Gray Wing's name, and her open eyes glint in the darkness as she stares at him. She asks if he is okay, but her mate promises that he is fine, and that he was dreaming. When Slate questions what it was about, Gray Wing replies that it was about how lucky he is, and he nestles closer and purrs as her scent mingles with his memory of Turtle Tail. Gray Wing suggests that they go back to sleep.
Notes and references
|Path of Stars chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24|
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