(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 6.)
Kara is not doing too great on her way to school the next day. She feels guilty about stealing the unicorn horn, and
whines laments her lack of a Sparkly Rock and her role in the party. Kara realizes that, compared to Emily and Adriane, she is severely under-leveled, and believes that she won’t get anywhere without a Sparkly Rock or other artifact that proves she’s a Blazing Star. (In the original edition, she also worries that she doesn’t have any magical talents and that she may never get a Sparkly Rock ever.)
But then Kara remembers that she does have a unicorn horn, and unicorn horns can do Almost Anything. This segues into a brief segment on Kara’s experiences with the Unicorn Jewel in the original edition:
She remembered the wild magic of the unicorn jewel she had found a month ago. In her hands, that jewel was awesome in its power. Although she had given it back to the unicorn’s maidens, the magic of the unicorn jewel had awakened in her feelings that would never again lie dormant. Feelings that would not, could not, be denied. A part of her needed to unleash the magic. It lay pent up inside, dark, cold, and vicious, like a coiled snake, ready to strike.
Lyra flies in at this time, and asks Kara to demonstrate her singing skills. What Kara sings isn’t specified in the new edition, but in the original it’s “Friend in You”:
Of course, Kara sucks at singing, so it doesn’t sound as good as the clip I posted. Lyra suggests that Kara takes singing lessons. Kara, however, thinks about using the unicorn horn to improve her singing skills. Lyra senses this, which prompts Kara to consider telling the astronomical leopard everything she’s done in the original edition:
As much as Kara deeply needed to unburden herself to her friend, there were so many things she was trying to come to grips with. She wasn’t exactly proud of what she had done, and though she knew she could trust Lyra, Kara still worried about how the cat would react once she knew the truth — not only had she taken the unicorn horn after the girls had made a promise to one another to always keep it hidden away, but she was planning to use the magic for her own selfish gain.
I’m actually surprised Kara feels so guilty about stealing the horn in the original edition — which makes me wonder why she never bothers to return the damn thing when given the chance. (Said chance is right now, by the way.) Anyway, Kara’s running late for school, so she leaves Lyra.
At school, Kara can’t really think about anything except Johnny Conrad, spellsinging, and using the horn. It’s glossed over in the original edition, but expanded on in the revision:
…Kara’s greatest frustration was that she didn’t have the spellsinging book. If she had been more on top of things, she would have gotten it back from Emily the night before. The time spent with Johnny had seemed to cast another kind of a spell on her, making her feel light-headed with joy, not able to think as clearly as she usually did. Today she could hardly concentrate. All she could think about was spellsinging. And Johnny.
Kara’s so distracted that, in the original edition, she ditches one of her classes so she can try out the horn. Yeah, real smart move there. The revised edition changes it so that Kara does her experiment during lunch, which is a less conspicuous time to do so. (Also, we don’t have to go over Kara’s elaborate plans for not getting caught.)
So Kara hangs out by the band room, where the school choir is practicing. Kara tries to sing along, but realizes that she can’t without some magical help. So she takes out the horn and asks it to make her sing good. When that doesn’t work, Kara briefly thinks that the horn may only work for Emily. However, Kara decides to try composing a spellsong that will improve her singing voice:
I want to sing like a bird
The best in the world
Make my voice ring
Kara raps this — I’m not kidding — which causes the horn to react. Overflowing with magical energy, Kara runs through a three-octave scale perfectly — so perfectly, in fact, that she breaks a window with her voice. But then (in the new edition) she gets drunk with power!
Yes! The jewel was exactly what she needed. Just like the last time, the exquisite power she used with the jewel of the unicorn. Only this time it was stronger — just what she needed to change….
Luckily, Kara’s able to rein in her power before she gets caught playing with an Awesome Magic Artifact.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Windor is released from jail, insisting that she was nowhere near the Fletcher residence last night. The door hits her ass on her way out.
Kara learned: some spellsong that improves her singing ability, which she’ll never use again!
EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition
- The choir doesn’t practice in a spacious music room.
- Kara starts singing a G instead of an A when she experiments with the unicorn horn.
Next time: What, a boss battle already?