A long time ago, back when I finished reading the original Web of Magic series, I had no idea there was going to be a sequel. And then I walked into my local Borders a few weeks after completing the last book, and found a display for something called Avalon: Quest for Magic. I wasn’t sure if it was at all related to my favorite book series, since the series logo was in some generic font, but upon looking at the poorly-photoshopped cover and the description on the back, I knew for certain that the party’s adventures were going to continue somehow. And I say “somehow” because the original edition of Trial by Fire wrapped things up pretty nicely.
Song of the Unicorns is not my favorite entry in the series by any means. It’s like a filler episode of an anime series, except it serves to introduce new characters, new concepts, and a new conflict — the latter of which, in the original edition, is executed poorly. The only part of the book that excited me was that it took place in New Mexico, where I spent many a summer and winter in my youth. Unfortunately, my experiences were all in the mountains in the northern part of the state, where — gasp! — it snows during the winter. I know next to nothing about the Carlsbad Caverns and the surrounding area, where the story takes place. (What I can tell you, though, is that the party is severely underdressed for winter there ^_^)
In case you couldn’t tell, this is an Emily-centric book. She deals with a lot of family issues in this one, namely coping with her father’s remarriage.
It was a challenge to think of which Jewel Riders episodes this book was inspired by. It’s like mix of “Home Sweet Heartstone” (in which the Jewel Riders hang out with lots of young magical animals and sing songs) and “Morgana” (the start of the second season, which introduces a new villain and a new quest). Starting with this book, the Jewel Riders comparisons start to become more obvious, since the party is eventually charged with collecting Mineral McGuffins.
Not much to say about the covers: they both feature the party surrounded by unicorn colts and fillies. I don’t like the original cover, mainly because the girls don’t look like a cohesive party. Adriane’s looking off like there’s danger somewhere (or she’s on a rock album cover), Emily’s having fun with unicorns, and Kara looks like she’s having an unpleasant bowel movement. At least on the new cover the entire party’s enjoying their cute, My Little Pony-esque overlords. (Also, Dreamer makes another cover appearance.)
What to expect from this book:
- More Fletcher family issues!
- An even more annoying character than Ozzie!
- A minor character we won’t see again for a long while!
- Kara casting Polymorph like it’s going out of style!
- A new quest!
- Obnoxious unicorn bleating!
An Evil Council of Evil!
- More fun with the original party!
Next time: Look, two new characters!
Credit where it’s due: original cover from the official Avalon site, new cover from Amazon.