I remember the day I purchased the original edition of this book surprisingly well: It was Christmas Eve, and I was at Borders looking for last minute gifts. So I wandered into the children’s book section, and discovered that a new Avalon book had been released. So yeah … I bought myself an early Christmas present.
Obviously, this is a Kara-centric book. She’s on the cover, and the title is a play on a quote from another 17th-century playwright (“All is fair in love and war,” from John Lyly’s Euphues). I never really liked the title of this book, though, because I don’t think it makes much sense. Does everything concern fairies in love and war? Is everything of a fae nature? I get that the book introduces the Fairy Realms, but I think that could’ve been inserted in the title with a bit more finesse.
For you Jewel Riders fans, this book is most similar to “The Faery Princess”, in which the Jewel Riders have an adventure in a fairy kingdom. But there are shout-outs to “Wizard’s Peak”, “Full Circle”, and “Prince of the Forest”. Oh, and Kara spends most of this book in an outfit reminiscent of Gwen’s party dress.
Full disclosure here: I hate the cover to the original edition. I’m very glad to have purchased this book at Christmastime, so I could hide it under everything else I bought! Kara’s hanging out in a weird technicolor forest, accompanied by poorly-photoshopped fairies and a flaming horse. The only good thing about this is that I love how Kara’s Unicorn Jewel is depicted. But Kara’s dress isn’t the pink poofy costume described in the book, and the way the horse appears in the background has always bothered me. But hey, there’s no disturbing staring faces, which is nice.
Now, I just adore the new edition cover. Kara’s in one of her pimped-out outfits from the book, and we see one of the new token male characters! The dashing green boy is
Beast Boy the Forest Prince, who ends up being a major side-character for the rest of the series. And he’s bad-ass, because he actually uses a sword the entire time he’s with the party. (Unlike a certain dragon-riding mage we know.) Also, we see a lot more interesting fairy creatures, and … well, it’s kinda spoilers to reveal who the donkey-headed guy is. Let’s just say it’s a male character we’ve already been introduced to.
What to expect from this book:
- A new realm to explore!
- Middle-schoolers butchering Shakespeare!
- More fun with Kara’s convoluted family tree!
- Pimped-out outfits galore!
- A new party member!
Next time: Kara’s closet explodes.