Oh, Heart of Avalon (originally stylized as Heart of AvAlon). I had no idea when exactly this book was originally released, other than it was sometime in late 2004. I had just left home for college, and the local Borders didn’t carry the Avalon books, so I had to special order it. And after I finally got it, I walked around campus trying very hard to hide a children’s fantasy book in my backpack between my Intro to Semantics textbook and a copy of The Song of Roland.
This is the last Avalon book that had an original edition published, so it’s the last time I get to show off differences between editions. And trust me, there are a lot of changes between editions in this book. But the story is still essentially the same: Emily learns new abilities, struggles with how to use them, and gets some much-needed character development. The book’s title doesn’t follow the same naming convention as other Emily books (i.e. there’s no unicorns mentioned), but you know it’s an Emily book because she’s on the cover.
For you Jewel Riders fans, this book is “Song of the Rainbow” meets “Jewel of the Sea” meets “Shadowsong”. The plots and major elements of those episodes are just taken in their entirety and mixed up a little. When reading both editions, I noticed at least one Jewel Riders reference on every page — that’s how numerous the connections are in this book. Hell, a line from the show’s theme song is the key to opening up a dungeon at the end of the book!
And speaking of connections, look at the covers for both editions!
See that heart-shaped jewel in front of Emily? That’s her Rainbow Jewel +2 … which is later called a Heart Stone. That’s right, Jewel Riders fans: Emily gets the freaking Heart Stone!
Otherwise, both covers are exactly the same. You got Emily on a tropical island, with a watery figure giving her a
Heart Stone Rainbow Jewel +2. I always found it funny that the original edition cover is trying very hard to hide that the water chick is nude (note: female chests don’t work that way!), and that Emily is staring at some space beyond the watery figure. Blankly staring faces, even when they’re not looking directly at you, are still creepy.
What to expect from this book:
- Some serious character development for Emily!
- Tons of Jewel Riders references!
- A new male party member!
- Some secrets regarding the Original Party are finally revealed!
- Some secrets regarding current party members are alluded to!
Next time: the party visits New Camelot, and Emily feels severely under-leveled.