(Note to everyone following along with the original edition: this is Chapter 20.)
Kara and Lyra arrive
at a garden on an island populated by attractive, green-haired wraith chicks. I’m gonna spoil this right now, because we won’t see this place again until Trial by Fire: this is the Gates of Avalon, the very objective of the party’s quest. If this series was a role-playing video game, the Gates of Avalon would be the final dungeon, and the girls wouldn’t be able to leave the damn place until they killed the boss (or a marathon of bosses, because some games are mean like that). Of course, Kara is here too early, so a) she can’t even see the Gates, and b) even if she could see the gates, she’d probably be killed by whatever’s in there.
Anyway, the wraiths are all shocked because Kara
rode in on summoned the unicorn with her Sparkly Horn. They’re nice enough to tell Kara why her Sparkly Horn’s so damn special in the new edition: it’s the most powerful Sparkly Rock of all, which is why everyone wants it. Said Sparkly Rock also belongs to the green-haired hotties, and they want it back.
The wraiths then ask Kara if she can see the Gates. Kara can’t, because she doesn’t understand what magic is about (read: she’s too low a level). So how is she supposed to get to Avalon, then? Well, remember the Fairy Map that Phel tried to give the party in the last book? Yeah, that was supposed to guide Blazing Stars to Avalon. So, again … nice job ruining everything, Kara.
The wraiths are nice enough to let Kara leave with the Sparkly Horn, since she needs it to help her friends
and save the banshees, who are cursed wraiths. Kara and Lyra then materialize in Ravenswood, and are met by Adriane, Emily, Ozzie, and the refugees. Kara tries to help Emily heal Lyra while Adriane fends off a horde of banshees. Adriane has apparently been power-leveling again, because she can now create lassos with her Sparkly Rock. Unfortunately, her spells don’t have much effect on the banshees, who just keep on coming….
And then the portal opens.
Adriane learned … uh … some other variant of Create Weapon that I need a better name for. (Please send suggestions!)
EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition
- The wraiths’ robes aren’t made of gossamer.
- Kara attempts to see Avalon:
She struggled to see through the mist. Diamond light danced through the fog revealing the outline of an island. But the vision faded, no more than a mirage. She gazed across the empty waters in despair.
- The wraiths tell Kara that it’s her choice to take the Unicorn Jewel.
- Kara thinks that she passed out after returning to Ravenswood.
Next time: the inevitable Boss Battle!