Trial by Fire, Chapter 7: Purple Rain

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 5.)

Damn, the POV jumps around a lot in this book. We’re back in Adriane’s scenario, where a considerable amount of time has passed apparently. Adriane and Stormbringer are traveling with the sea dragon riders Jaaran and Kee-Lyn. Our two new characters are merpeople, green-skinned aquatic humanoids who — according to them — evolved from the humans that lived on Aldenmor. Keep this origin story in mind for later — it’s directly contradicted by another merperson later on in the series.

Anyway, Moonshadow contacted this group of sea dragon riders sometime before his capture (the merfolk are unaware of that, obviously), and informed them of Adriane’s arrival. Thanks to his handy-dandy Fairy Map, Moonshadow told the riders about a nearby portal that leads to Mount Hope. Wow, ain’t that convenient. So Adriane’s new party is heading there now.

To bide the time, the dragon riders decide to infodump Adriane. They tell her about the Fairimentals’ last message: “when the lights appear, magic will rain.” Of course, the lights are the weird aurorae that Adriane witnessed when she first landed on Aldenmor. This leads to a discussion about magic rain, which is considerably longer in the new edition:

“My friend, the blazing star mage, opened a fairy map,” Adriane said. “We think the portals could lead to the magic of Avalon.”

“So it could be dark or light rain that falls,” Kee-Lyn replied.

“I don’t understand,” Adriane said.

“Magic is only as good as those who use it,” Jaaran explained.

Adriane hadn’t considered that the magic they were searching for could be dark or light. The battle to save Aldenmor would depend on magic that could heal — not hurt.

The conversation also mentions how the Dark Sorceress hunts sea dragons for their magic, and how most animals on Earth are descended from magical creatures stranded there after all the portals closed. (The sealing of Avalon and the portals are only detailed in supplemental materials.) Also, in the new edition, the merpeople mention that they live in Aquatania, a nearby coastal city. It’s nice that that’s set up this early in the series; the girls have an adventure there later on.

Eventually the party reaches the portal’s location … which is underwater. Adriane casts Shield — which also acts like a magic bathysphere — before diving. She finds the portal and enters….

Status Update!
Jaaran and Kee-Lyn join — and subsequently leave — the party!
(Jaaran and Kee-Lyn are bonded to sea dragons [Leeka (original edition only) and Meerka], and are equipped with Jewels of the Sea.)

Next time: Emily is quarantined.



  1. Woooahhh wait a second. So humans were around before the portals closed, but most other animal lineages diverged from their magical ancestors after the portals closed? So the human lineage is one of the oldest among animals? And animals came from other worlds? Holy shit, that makes no sense. Damn RR, if you’re going to throw science into a fantasy series, at least try to make it remotely accurate. Humans are a very recent species, and by the state of things described in The Manual (civilizations like Atlantis), the portals closing must’ve happened even more recently.

      1. “In ancient times”, not prehistoric times, so that clarifies the timeline a bit. It makes the evolutionary lineages thing even worse then, since now it’s implying that magical animals evolved into Earth animals over just several thousand years. Please tell me that this Earth-animals-descended-from-magical-animals thing is only in the old edition, and she fixed it in the new edition. *hopes*

        And don’t get me started on the descended-from-Lucinda thing. It screws up the timeline even more, if that’s possible.

  2. I like when stories have aquatic peoples in them, and the seas are available to explore beneath the waves. I just find that a romantic idea. Yet I feel uncomfortable swimming in sea water…

    I’ll accept that magic mutated certain humans to be more in tune with nature, so we have some human descendants that became adapted for sea life.

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