(If you’re reading the original edition, this is the last half of Chapter 5.)
Kara and the cage containing her brand new fire horse are brought to a packed riding arena. Tangoo was kind enough to put a shield up around the arena for the spectators, kinda like in the wizard battle in Adventure Time.
Kara, of course, is scared shitless, because her last experience with a fire elemental (all the way back in Trial by Fire) was quite frightening. She asks Goldie to leave the party, but Goldie refuses. She’s quite the loyal bonded animal. Instead, Kara contacts Emily for some pointers. After Kara recaps everything that’s happened to her so far, Emily reminds her that all animals, including those unicorn foals from the last book, love her. (Emily also claims that Kara bonded with the unicorn foals. When did that happen?) All Kara has to do is open herself to the fire horse, and she’ll bond with it no problem.
And then the arena’s shield goes up, and the fire horse is released from his cage. And he’s a pretty impressive horse: he’s made entirely out of fire, and he’s about 20 hands high (remember, kids, that’s about 80 inches at the shoulder). 20 hands is really big for a horse: I think that’s as tall as the tallest living horse.
The horse somehow activates Kara’s Unicorn Jewel, causing her to fire an Improved Magic Missile by accident. This pisses off the horse a lot. Kara tries to apologize to the horse, but she keeps firing Magic Missiles instead. The horse, now frightened out of its poor horsey mind, bolts.
Kara attempts to reason with the horse again, but the horse psychically sends her a stream of very confusing thoughts. Kara freaks out, fires yet another Magic Missile, and then realizes that a) she can’t separate her feelings from the horse’s, and b) she and horse can’t control their powers. It all comes to a head in this little snippet from the new edition:
Through the crystal haze, the stallion’s burning eyes locked on hers.
“I am fire!”
“I am fire!”
Raging, Kara flung her arms wide and let the magic go.
All the magic Kara and the fire horse produce overloads the shield around the arena, allowing the horse to escape. And then Kara blacks out.
Oh, if only taming a fire horse was just like in Red Dead Redemption….
I mean, look how easy he makes it!
Next time: The party sits on Musso.