A couple of weeks after the party saved Phel and fought that manticore, the CDC — represented by Dr. Allison, a one-off character — finally conducts its inspection of the Ravenswood Preserve. Emily, Adriane, Gran, Dr. Fletcher, and the entire town council show up as well. Of course, Ravenswood passes the inspection with flying colors. I’ve got to assume that Dr. Allison walked over the entire preserve with a Geiger counter because he states there’s no trace of toxins or radiation anywhere. The attacks on animals had ceased, too — probably because the irradiated manticore isn’t around anymore — so the preserve is markedly “safer”.
Despite passing the inspection, Mrs. Windor still wants Ravenswood bulldozed and turned into a golf course. She’s a real bitch during the entire inspection, commenting on what parts of the preserve would make great locations for the clubhouse and the back nine. Luckily for our heroes, Kara arrives and tells the party that she convinced her dad to reopen the preserve for tours and create the Ravenswood Wildlife Preservation Society to maintain the preserve. Oh, and Gran and the mayor agree to lobby for national landmark and wildlife sanctuary status for Ravenswood, too. (Spoiler: Ravenswood does get landmark and sanctuary status within a year, which seems kind of quick, especially when looking up the application procedures.)
Hooray, the Aldenmorish animals have a place to live, and the party now has a cover for their magical adventures. Now all that’s left is to figure out where that Fairy Map leads to. Emily assumes it’s Avalon, a wonderful paradise where everyone’s safe.
And that’s where the original edition ends. If you have the revised edition, there’s an epilogue from Lyra’s point of view. She’s hanging out in the preserve during the tour, noticing that Emily has a better grasp of magic. Unfortunately, Lyra’s not meant to be with her, but with “the other one”. If you’ve been following this blog (or read ahead), you already know who that is. But hey, Lyra and the others are safe from some “Dark Sorceress”, who’s draining Aldenmor’s magic and irradiating that world on her quest to find Avalon.
EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition
- Adriane doesn’t tell Stormbringer that she loves her during the tour.
- Lyra calls the party “the three”.
Next time: a quick overview of the next book, All That Glitters.