Cry of the Wolf

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 5: We’re Not in Pennsylvania Anymore

Adriane falls through the portal and lands on top of a furry ape-thing that calls himself Scorge. Scorge needs help finding a giant magical rock; and Adriane, being the kind of girl who pities pathetic ape-things like Scorge, agrees to help him find it.

She does eventually find the rock in a nearby dry riverbed; but Scorge isn’t strong enough to pick it up, so he leaves to get some imps to help move it. At least he’s nice enough to tell Adriane where the hell she is: the Shadowlands of Aldenmor.

Oh crap, Adriane’s in the middle of a nuclear wasteland, and she doesn’t have RadAway or power armor. That must suck.

Anyway, now that she knows she’s on Aldenmor, Adriane tries to contact Stormbringer again. She casts whatever spell allows her to see through the wolf’s eyes, but Moonshadow senses her and basically tells Adriane to get the hell out. Hey, at least Adriane now knows where Stormbringer is, so she casts Detect Magic and heads for her bonded animal’s location.

Thankfully, she’s not alone: the magical rock from earlier rolls after her. Adriane dubs it “Rocky” and makes a number of bad rock puns.

Meanwhile, something’s following her from above! Oh noes!

Interesting thing to note here: since Aldenmor is a magical world, all spells cast are stronger. Adriane learns this when she tries to keep Scorge away upon first meeting him, and accidentally knocks him several feet away. If this was a video game, I would assume the enemies on Aldenmor would be stronger, too…. That’s a pretty steep difficulty spike, especially since the girls have only fought rather harmless banshees, a manticore, and a mirror-image of the Sorceress.

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Adriane lands in a dense forest, not a “wide-open” one.
  • Adriane wonders if Stormbringer is lost in the Shadowlands.

Next time: Adriane learns what imps are.

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Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 4: Now You’re Thinking with Portals!

Kara can summon a flock of dragonflies. Dragonflies create their own portals. Ergo, Kara can call the dragonflies so they can open the Ravenswood portal. Or so the party surmises.

It turns out they’re right. Kara does call the dragonflies, and they do open the portal. The only problem is that the Protection from Evil dreamcatcher is blocking Adriane’s attempts to contact Stormbringer. Adriane has a bright idea: have the dragonflies widen the dreamcatcher’s aperture so her summons can go through. It works: Adriane catches glimpses of an irradiated Aldenmor and feels Stormbringer’s loneliness. However, she also feels something human (or is it animal?) reaching out for her.

Then everything starts falling apart. The dreamcatcher unravels, and despite everyone’s best efforts, Adriane falls into the portal as it closes. Needless to say, Adriane has left the party (well, more like Kara, Emily, and Ozzie left the party, because this is an Adriane-centric book after all).

Not much more to say about the chapter; other than a few word changes, they’re identical in both editions.

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Adriane doesn’t lean towards the portal when she starts seeing images of Aldenmor.
  • Kara doesn’t say “Uh-oh” after the dragonflies release the dreamcatcher.

Next time: Adriane finds a rock.

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 3: Magical Mystery Tour

Kara decides that today is an excellent day to show the Catty Girls and Cool Dudes (well, just Marcus and Joey) a preview of the Ravenswood Preserve tour. And things go quite well, surprisingly: Ariel lands on Kara’s arm on cue, and Lyra does an excellent job pretending to be a normal ferocious leopard.

Unfortunately, Tiffany makes the bright decision to stray from the path, and runs into Adriane, who is quite disheveled and depressed. The Cool Dudes try to comfort her, and the Catty Girls (minus Molly, because she’s a sweetheart) make a snide comment or two; but Adriane will have none of it and returns to the manor with Kara and the animals.

Damn, I love the Cool Dudes. At least they have class.

Meanwhile, Emily is helping the refugees compile information on magical animals and answering e-mails. She gets one from Meilin (wow, they corrected her name!), the girl who sent the e-mail about dragons in the original edition of All That Glitters. Meilin talks about how a dragon’s egg was stolen from her father’s dig how her father used to tell her stories about dragons, and asks Emily if she thinks dragons are real. Emily fields the question to the refugees, who believe that dragons do exist, even though they’ve been extinct on Aldenmor for a long while.

Adriane then shows up, and recounts the events of the past few chapters, which I won’t recap because that’s what I’ve been doing the past couple of days. Worried for Stormbringer’s safety, Adriane suggests trying to open the portal and contact her. Granted, the party’s never been able to open the damn thing (in the new edition, the refugees say that the portal was opened from the other side when Moonshadow showed up), but Adriane thinks the party has the right tools this time.

Next time: The party learns how to think with portals.

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 2: The Howling

So Adriane runs off to the portal field to hone her Magic Tracking skills. She manages to see through Stormbringer’s eyes, and sense everything the wolf does. Adriane’s so overcome with emotion that she howls.

And then the portal opens.

A black mistwolf steps through, and he’s not very pleased that Adriane summoned him with a wolfsong. (Apparently howling — sorry, wolfsong — is Serious Business.) He tries to attack Adriane, but Stormbringer conveniently intervenes.

The black mistwolf introduces himself as Moonshadow, leader of the mistwolf pack. He invites Stormbringer to run with them in the pack’s time of need. Stormbringer, who always thought she was the last of her kind, decides to join him. Adriane tries to follow, but … well, let’s just say Moonshadow isn’t very fond of humans and bars Adriane from coming along.

And now Adriane’s all sad and alone. Aww.

Status Update!
Adriane learned Wolfsong!
Stormbringer leaves the party!

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • The portal field is no longer as big as a football field.

Next time: The Catty Girls and Cool Dudes take the Ravenswood Tour. It doesn’t go well.

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 1: Seriously, Adriane, Don’t You Do Anything Else?

It’s been a month since the events of Circles in the Stream (so I guess maybe a few days after All That Glitters), and Adriane’s doing what she does best: level grinding. Yeah, that’s right, she’s running around Ravenswood, trying to get her magic tracking skills up by playing hide-and-seek with Stormbringer.

Seriously, Adriane, I know you’re obsessed with magic because it’s the one special thing in your life, and you don’t want to lose it, but come on. At this rate you’ll be more powerful than the rest of the party, and that just makes battles less fun when you nuke everyone on your first turn. Take a break and do something fun like, I don’t know, jamming on that cherry red Fender Stratocaster you have in your bedroom.

Anyway: Adriane’s running, and recapping the series so far in her internal dialogue. Now we know that Adriane level grinds, Kara plans tour routes and fundraiser events, and Emily cares for the refugees and runs the website. Oh, Adriane’s Sparkly Rock now has a proper name: the Wolf Stone. I suppose that’s an appropriate name for a magical paw-shaped tiger’s eye.

Adriane eventually finds Stormbringer — not very gracefully, mind — and once together the two discuss how they are both alone in the world. Adriane’s parents essentially abandoned her, dumping her with her grandmother while they go touring. They’re supposed to visit her over the summer, but who knows if they’re going to show up. They don’t even keep in regular contact. Stormbringer, on the other hand, was born on Earth, so she barely remembers the mistwolves of Aldenmor, and only recalls being somehow linked to Ravenswood. The girl and wolf swear they’ll find their own paths (together in the new version, separately in the original), and then they run off to do more level grinding.

Status Update!
Adriane learned Magic Tracking!
Adriane’s Sparkly Rock is renamed: Wolf Stone!

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Adriane found her Wolf Stone near Owl Creek instead of the Rivanna River.
  • Adriane no longer thinks that moving around constantly is “lonely”.

Next time: A new challenger appears!

Cry of the Wolf: First Impressions

Hooray, an Adriane-centric book! I love Adriane-centric books! (But then, I’m probably echoing 90% of fandom.) These volumes are usually the darkest the series has to offer, apart from Trial by Fire, Dark Mage and Full Circle. We have Adriane facing separation, loss, loneliness, and magical hardships … and she fights through all of that spectacularly. You feel good after reading an Adriane book, because you feel like you just overcame all the shit she went through, too.  (Maybe that’s why she’s getting a sequel trilogy of her own.)

Oh, you can totally tell it’s an Adriane-centric book because the title has the word “wolf” in it.

This also marks the first time the Avalon series uses a plotline from Jewel Riders. Here it’s the basic set-up for the episode “Vale of the Unicorns”. In that episode, Moondance has to leave Fallon because, as one of the heirs to the unicorn throne, she has to undergo a labyrinth of trials on her own. The two have to deal with being apart and the nature of their bond, but by the end they both find the lost unicorn queen and everything goes back to normal. A similar course of events takes place in Cry of the Wolf.

Onto the book covers.  The original version has always been one of my favorites: the border isn’t distracting, Adriane doesn’t have a blank-eyed stare, and (gasp!) there’s a male character featured.  That’s Zach, who we’ll meet later in the book.  He’s the only human on Aldenmor (hmm … Lone Wanderer, perhaps?), which we all know is some sort of magical nuclear wasteland.  So why does he look like he just walked off the set of All Creatures Great and Small?

The revised cover is equally awesome.  We got Adriane here in the midst of combat (probably casting Magic Missile), surrounded by a pack of very pissed-off mistwolves.  And look at how they’re phasing out of their mist forms — that’s hella impressive.  I remember seeing this cover in a bookstore and thinking: “Yes.  This is exactly the tone the series should have.”

What to expect from this book:

  • Our first adventure on Aldenmor!
  • A new party member!
  • Adriane doing some serious power-leveling!
  • A proper dungeon!

Next time: Adriane does some power-leveling, of course.

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Credit where it’s due: original cover from the official Avalon website, revised cover from Amazon.