Willow Charday

Ghost Wolf, Chapter 20: A Day at the Museum

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is the first half of Chapter 17.)

Adriane, Emily, Kara, Zach, and the entire Charday family — yes, this includes Gran, because she’s finally recovered from her coma — visit the gallery in Philadelphia where Luc is showing off his sculptures. And apparently my art grad student friends and I were totally wrong about what the sculptures looked like, because they’re steel geometric shapes, and not neon lights. Anyway, Luc offers to teach Adriane how to make these sculptures, which is pretty awesome of him.

On the Ravenswood front, Dreamer’s “epic” return to the preserve has become front-page news in the Stonehill newspaper. Everyone thinks that Dreamer escaped from the zoo and walked all the way back to Ravenswood. This feat has catapulted Dreamer to “Ravenswood mascot” status. Also, the school started an extremely successful petition to keep Ravenswood open — so successful, in fact, that the Catty Girls and Cool Dudes are spreading the movement to other schools in the area.

After hearing about all this Ravenswood news, Luc, Emily, Kara, and Zach run off to do other stuff. This gives Gran and Willow the chance to tell Adriane that she can stay in Ravenswood instead of living with her parents in New York. So, hooray, status quo is restored.

The new edition then adds this scene, in which Adriane apologizes to Kara for acting like a total bitch earlier in the book:

Willow pulled away, patted her hair, and walked after her husband. Nodding in satisfaction, Gran took a seat to rest.

Adriane scanned the gallery and saw Kara standing alone in the next room, studying a sculpture suspended from the ceiling. The warrior walked over and stood silently next to the blond girl.

“Hey, what’s up?” Kara asked.

Adriane shuffled her boot across the wood floor. “I said some terrible things to a friend.”

“And?”

“Do you think she would forgive me?”

Kara turned to face Adriane. “If she’s really your friend, you shouldn’t have to even ask.”

“Okay,” Adriane said.

A slow smile spread over Kara’s face. “Besides, I was getting lonely being the only Level Two mage.”

Adriane’s wolf stone flashed bright silver. “Not anymore.”

Next time: A massive status update.

Ghost Wolf, Chapter 11: Charday Family Matters

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 8.)

Willow, Adriane’s mother, did see Drake and all the other animals from Aldenmor when she arrived at Adriane’s house! But then the mistwovles cloaked them with their mist forms, so Willow dismisses it as a trick of the light.

Aww, poo. I was hoping someone who wasn’t a party member would finally figure out what was going on at Ravenswood.

At least Kara has a plausible excuse for why Zach is at the preserve: she claims that he’s from Allentown, and part of an inter-city student volunteer exchange. (Allentown is a real city in Pennsylvania, and is an hour’s drive away from Philadelphia.)

Anyway, Willow is very pissed at Adriane because she didn’t go straight to the hotel she’s staying at after school. Apparently, the Chardays are in town because Luc is exhibiting his sculptures in Philadelphia. Kara, whose mother is on the board for the gallery holding Luc’s show, knows all about these sculptures. Luc prefers to call them “free-form light modules”. I had some very brief, not-very-in-depth discussion with my art grad student friends on what a “free-form light module” is, and we concluded that they probably looked like Bruce Nauman’s neon light sculptures.

Willow then takes Adriane inside the cottage for a private chat. First, she gives Adriane a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which is Adriane’s favorite book ever. This copy apparently has really nice illustrations, but the book never mentions which artist did them.

Willow makes some tea and starts talking about Luc’s new projects. (Question: How does Luc keep making sculptures if he and his wife are constantly moving? Are they small? And where does he store them?) She then reveals that she learned about Gran’s coma in a dream. Willow, like Adriane, grew up in Ravenswood hearing stories about magic and being able to talk with forest spirits. Adriane, she notices, seems to have changed during her time at Ravenswood.

Wait a minute … this part of the conversation suggests that Adriane’s grandmother actually knows about magic! So why doesn’t she mentor the party in Gardener’s absence?

Adriane is not amused with all this talk about art and Ravenswood. She’s pissed that her family kept moving all over the place when she was younger. Willow thinks Adriane’s just projecting her anger about the Dreamer incident on her, and reminds Adriane that having a pet wolf is not normal. Adriane thinks that her mother wants her life to suck because she has bad experiences at Ravenswood as a child.

Willow tries to change the subject by revealing that she and Luc are settling in Woodstock, New York, because Luc received a grant from a gallery there. (Nice job choosing the one artist colony in New York that everyone knows, and insinuating that the Chardays are total hippies.) Adriane is not amused by her family’s new situation.

Suddenly, Drake contacts Adriane through her Wolf Stone. Willow notices Adriane’s Sparkly Rock and realizes that Adriane made some sort of connection with Ravenswood. Adriane insists that she belongs at Ravenswood because of this connection. Willow doesn’t seem to care about that: she tells Adriane that she has to be packed and ready to move to Woodstock by the end of the week, and then leaves the cottage.

The rest of the party shows up for a group meeting. Zach reveals that he got infodumped while Adriane was talking with her mother, making my job a little bit easier. Kara thinks that a Power Crystal landed in the astral planes. And since Power Crystals have strange effects on magic, the one on the astral planes is screwing up everything in Ravenswood. Zach also thinks that the Spider Witch is corrupting the Ravenswood sylph so that she can attract the Power Crystal. The mistwolves reveal that Dreamer, unlike most mistwolves, can walk in the spirit world without using the Spirit Trail. The party then realizes that the Original Party is targeting Adriane so they can get to Dreamer.

Kara then receives some good news: Dreamer is being held at the Amazing Adventures Animal Park. (The animal park is fictional, so I think it’s a reference to the programming block Jewel Riders used to be on.) Adriane vows to save Dreamer, no matter what it takes.

Next time: Kara buys a designer tactileneck.