"All warriors have to follow the code, no matter how much they're liked. If not, how are we any different from rogues?"
Windstar to Shadowstar in Shadowstar's Life, chapter 8

Shadowstar's Life is the fifteenth novella attributed by HarperCollins.[2]


The brave warrior who was the first leader to lose her ninth life.

Detailed plot description

Looking for a shorter overview? Find one here!

Shadowstar speaks with Skystar, trying to calm his fears about Twolegs coming into their territory. As she returns from the Gathering, she reflects on how much she misses Moon Shadow, and how Sun Shadow reminds her of him. As she walks with her deputy, they scent dogs, but after worrying, realize their Clanmates are safe. The dogs begin to chase the pair, and they run parallel to the Thunderpath to evade them. They attack the smallest in an attempt to create a gap and escape, but it fails and Shadowstar loses a life.
Shadowstar greets Moon Shadow and Gray Wing in StarClan where Sun Shadow joins them, also having died. The gray tom tells her he doesn't know what it'll mean for her Clan when she dies for the last time. Shadowstar wakes up after losing her life and is met by Raven Pelt, who she tells what happened. They travel back to camp and Pebble Heart prepares his body for burial, where she gives a soft remembrance for him as the Clan mourns. Shadowstar remembers a cat with amber eyes had watched them perish, and is wary of those who have them.
Juniper Branch and Mouse Ear offer to do some of Sun Shadow's former duties, and she lets them. She continues to think about cats with amber eyes as others think she is simply mourning. Tensions rise as Juniper Branch and Mouse Ear begin to fight, which she is disappointed in. Shadowstar leads a hunting patrol, but struggles to hunt, and wonders if she's lost her senses due to her last death.
Half a moon later, Shadowstar has still not picked a deputy. She visits Pebble Heart who checks on how her hurt hind leg is doing, and if she is okay. The leader admits that she is on her last life, and recounts her thoughts on amber-eyed cats. She leaves and thinks about how to keep her Clan strong upon her last death. Shadowstar attends the next Gathering, where Skystar again brings up the topic of Twolegs on his territory. The other Clan leaders brush him off, and Shadowstar backs away from supporting him completely. Skystar agrees to let a patrol come to see what is happening, and the ShadowClan leader thinks of the options they could find to aid them, but is still wary of many amber eyed cats who have attended the Gathering.
Shadowstar leads a patrol of her Clanmates to scout for unclaimed territory for SkyClan. As they approach Highstones, she notes the bleak conditions leave little shelter and prey. The patrol splits up, but Shadowstar scents a new cat is attacked. She falls into the path of a monster and recovers by rolling away. Shadowstar realizes that she was pushed, and is attacked again. The rest of her patrol comes to her aid and the assailant runs away with Mud Paws and Pebble Heart in pursuit. She recognizes the attacker as Quick Water, which her Clanmates back at camp confirm.
Shadowstar decides she needs to speak with Skystar and leads a patrol into SkyClan territory. Raven Pelt worries that Skystar told Quick Water to attack her, but she replies that she doesn't think it's plausible, after his efforts for peace. She recalls Skystar's life, remembering how they'd known each other since kithood and had lived in the mountains before coming into the forest. Shadowstar is fearful of crossing the Thunderpath and does so in haste, almost getting hit. Mud Paws scolds her, and they continue through ThunderClan's land to reach SkyClan. A patrol consisting of Blossom and Red Claw approach them. They escort the ShadowClan cats into SkyClan's camp, where Shadowstar accuses Quick Water of trying to kill her.
SkyClan is shocked and tries to deny the claims, and Skystar demands proof. Shadowstar explains her claim, and insists Quick Water did it to secure more territory for her Clan. After feeble attempts to prove her innocence do nothing, the she-cat is exiled from SkyClan. The ShadowClan cats return to their camp and are greeted by their Clanmates. Later that evening, Shadowstar appoints Raven Pelt as the new deputy. The cats soon go to sleep, but the leader is awoken by Pebble Heart's screech in the night. When she goes to check on him, which he gives a rough interpretation of.
The two keep it a secret between them, and soon go to visit ThunderClan to discuss territory for SkyClan. Shadowstar and Raven Pelt discover that Quick Water has been sheltering in ThunderClan, and she becomes furious. Thunderstar insists he believes the she-cat, despite others' claims, and that he will defend her. The ShadowClan cats leave with a parting threat, and Shadowstar thinks about how they can't let such a danger stay.
In response to her discovery, she calls a Gathering between the Clans. However, the result simply ends in Quick Water returning to SkyClan, after the other Clans believe her lies. Windstar, however, isn't fooled and stays behind from the Gathering. She and Shadowstar conspire to remove Quick Water from the forest. The ShadowClan leader returns to her Clan and makes preparations. The next morning, ShadowClan and WindClan meet ThunderClan and SkyClan, and explain that they won't stand for Quick Water in the forest. All four Clans begin to fight until Shadowstar and Quick Water deal each other fatal wounds.
Quick Water admits her crimes, which shocks Skystar, but vindicates Shadowstar. They both die, and meet in StarClan, where they are disgruntled but cordial. Shadowstar is happy to see Sun Shadow, and Gray Wing leads them over to a pool. There, they see the future of SkyClan, and of all the Clans. The leader feels happy in her legacy, trusting in her deputy to lead her Clan well, and that the future is bright.



A compiled list of the errors present in Shadowstar's Life can be found here.

Publication history

  • Shadowstar's Life (EN), HarperCollins (paperback), 9 April 2019[2]
  • Shadowstar's Life (EN), HarperCollins (eBook), 9 April 2019[2]

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed on the back cover of Path of a Warrior
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Revealed on HarperCollins (backup link)
  3. Revealed on Kate's Blog (backup link)
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Shadowstar's Life chapters
Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10
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