|"If the fifth Clan is not saved, worse things will come than a storm. Eventually it will mean the end of all the remaining Clans. And if we have no living cats to guide, it will mean the end of StarClan itself."|
|— Shadowstar to the deceased ShadowClan cats in River of Fire, page 4|
- Below contains in-depth information for the prologue of River of Fire. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: Prologue (of 21)
- Page Numbers: 1-5
- A warm breezes carries over the grass, bringing with it the scents of prey, and fresh growth of newleaf. The sun shines from a blue sky, with clouds drawn along it, and a stream gurgles its way down a slope, then widens out into a pool. Along the pool, a group of cats ponder, with starlight shining in their fur, and stars glittering in their eyes and on their paws. A cream-colored she-cat laments about giving her life up for ShadowClan, and she never would've thought of her birth Clan not existing.
- A white she-cat with black ears nuzzles the cream she-cat's shoulder, ears quivering, and considers that maybe it's their fault, since the cats didn't fight harder in their life. A hiss comes from a silver she-cat, who paces restlessly at the water's edge; she halts, then rounds on her companions, telling the white she-cat that she's wrong, for the true blame is on Rowanclaw. Yellowfang, a dark gray she-cat with grizzled fur, sits on a boulder some tail-lengths away. She contradicts the young she-cat, reminding Needletail that Rowanclaw wasn't the only one who misunderstood Darktail's true intentions, and that she and other the ShadowClan cats chose to join his kin.
- Needletail's voice drips with sarcasm as she retorts back, and Blackstar, the leader before Rowanclaw, steps forward after Yellowfang admits that she thought Brokenstar's leadership was bad enough. The black-footed white tom declares that he trusted his former deputy, and believed he would've made a good leader, but asks aloud what Rowanclaw could've done after his Clan betrayed him for a rogue. Dawnpelt sadly agrees, adding that she knows others and herself have made mistakes. Beenose murmurs about the rest of ShadowClan joining up with SkyClan, and questions if Leafstar can truly trust them.
- Needletail exclaims that what they've just said is a load of mouse-droppings, narrowing her green eyes, and goes on to criticize Rowanclaw for not being stronger, causing the younger warriors to want to follow Darktail and his violent rogues. She challenges why he was given nine lives, to only give them up, but before she can insult the former ShadowClan leader further, a new voice interrupts them. The StarClan cats turn to look, and a black she-cat with starlight-washed fur walks toward them with neat steps. Needletail asks about the cat, but Blackstar states that he's never seen the StarClan cat before.
- The black cat appears undaunted by the other spirits' twitching tails and bristling fur, then declares to the surrounding cats that she is Shadowstar, ShadowClan's first leader. The StarClan cats take a step back instinctively, prompting a gasp from Dawnpelt, whilst the others murmur in astonishment. Yellowfang dips her head in a measure of respect, and even Needletail appears to be in awe of Shadowstar's appearance. The thick-furred black cat looks sternly at Needletail, telling her the end of ShadowClan is about much more then Rowanclaw's failure, and the loss of their territory.
- She says that from the beginning, ShadowClan has always been destined to be one of the five Clans, but the cats glance at each other, seemingly uncertain. Yellowfang asks why Shadowstar has come to tell them such, and the old leader explains the origins of the Clans: the first leaders each had a camp in one terrain, one in the marsh, the forest, the river, and the moor, best suited to the group's abilities. She talks about how only when the groups all worked together, is when they survived, like the petals of a blazing star. Shadowstar finishes by telling the group that they must send messages to all living cats, since ShadowClan has to survive.
- Dawnpelt says that it's too late for ShadowClan to be saved, and Blackstar adds that they've given prophecies already, but the Clans ignore them. Shadowstar lashes her tail, insisting that if the Clan isn't saved, more things rather then a storm will hit the Clans, resulting in the end of them, and StarClan itself. Shocked silence falls over the spirits, but Needletail breaks it, smoothing one paw over her whiskers, stating that they need to work on sending the correct message.
Notes and references
|River of Fire 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 • Bonus Scene|
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