Gwenevere/Starla

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 7: It Wasn’t a Rock!

Jewel Riders fans: if you were wondering where the hell all the references to the show were hiding, you’re in luck. This chapter has a few.

So Adriane and Rocky get saved by some dude (Zachariah, henceforth called Zach) and his griffin (Wind Dancer). Zach’s never met another human before, especially a female, so there’s some awkward poking around (be glad this is a children’s book!) before Adriane learns the truth. There isn’t much time for commiseration, though: the party’s being tracked by something nasty. Zach pilots Wind Dancer through the Serpent’s Teeth, a treacherous gorge full of spikes and mist and other hazards. If this sounds familiar to a Jewel Riders fan, that’s because it’s totally a reference to this scene from the episode “Travel Trees Can’t Dance”, where Gwenevere and Sunstar fly through an equally treacherous gorge full of spikes and other hazards (first minute or so only):

Anyway, the party safely arrives in a very pretty — and not irradiated — valley. Zach gives Adriane some food, and Adriane washes Rocky in a nearby stream. Adriane immediately finds out that Rocky is actually a stunningly beautiful speckled rock, and not a boring brown possibly-irradiated rock. There’s a scene similar to this is the Jewel Riders episode “Shadowsong”, in which Tamara washes the titular Shadowsong upon first meeting him and discovers he’s a blue and purple-striped unicorn. (Sorry for the lack of video: there’s no clips on YouTube. Check out the full episode on Kidlet, or just take my word for it.)

Oh, but Rocky isn’t a rock! It’s a rock lobster magic egg of some sort! No wonder everyone wants it!

After Zach goes on about his parents dying when he was little and being raised by a bunch of animals, he runs off to put the food away. Adriane takes this opportunity to contact Stormbringer again. At least Moonshadow has the courtesy to tell Adriane why she’s not invited in the mistwolf pack: a human killed the former pack leader!

But wait! Isn’t Zach the only human on Aldenmor? Dun-dun-dun!

Next time: Adriane finally gets in touch with the rest of the party.

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Character Comparison: Kara Davies

Since the rest of the book is the equivalent of the first dungeon and boss of a typical RPG, now is a good time to take a closer look at our newest main character and her Jewel Riders analogue.  Just as before, this entry will be rife with spoilers (even more so than last time!), so be warned.

Kara Davies is the daughter of Stonehill’s mayor and a prominent lawyer.  Her family is very well-to-do and spoils her.  She is the last to obtain her jewel, a diamond shaped like a unicorn’s horn, which enhances her magic-amplifying abilities; it later evolves into a pink-and-red crystal horn.  She is bonded to Lyra, an Aldenmorish* winged leopard, and a flock of fairy dragons (dragonflies, as she calls them).  She is the first to bond with an elemental paladin, a fire elemental horse she names Starfire.  Kara is also a fairy princess, descended from Lucinda, one of the greatest fairy queens — which makes her the grandniece of the Dark Sorceress, the series’ big bad.  When not trying to find Avalon, Kara is usually shopping with her Catty Girl Posse, cheerleading, organizing benefit events for Ravenswood, or disagreeing with Adriane.

Gwenevere / StarlaThis is Gwenevere — Starla if you lived outside of the US — the princess of Avalon.  Her Sunstone, which she receives at the end of Jewel Riders’ first episode, grants her light-based powers.  Sunstar, a winged unicorn, is her mount.  Gwen is the niece of Lady Kale, the series’ main villain.  When not trying to save her kingdom, she is usually found socializing at royal functions.

So, here we have two blonde princesses who are related to their respective series’ antagonists.  They both have winged bonded animals, their jewels were originally owned by other family members, and they both love to wear pink.  And that’s about all they have in common — not much when compared to the other characters we’ve looked at.

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* The series never offers a word for anything that originates from Aldenmor, the magical world linked to Earth via the Ravenswood portal.  In this blog, Aldenmorish will describe animals and objects from Aldenmor (IE: “Lyra is an Aldenmorish winged leopard), and Aldenmoor will describe humans (IE: “Zach is an Aldenmoor”).

** And credit where it’s due: image taken from the Jewel Riders Tribute gallery.