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Literature / Avalon: Web of Magic

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Magic does exist...
Avalon: Web of Magic is a series of children's fantasy novels written by Rachel Roberts, loosely based on the ideas from Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders. The first installment, Circles in the Stream, was originally published in 2001. After its publisher went out of business in 2005, without publishing the last two books, the series was in limbo until Seven Seas Entertainment picked it up in late 2006. Seven Seas republished all twelve books, revised by the author and with new covers and illustrations. The series has also been adapted into a three-volume OEL Manga.

Three twelve-year-old girls find magic jewels, bond with magical animals, and become mages who must defend Earth and the magical worlds from the power-hungry Dark Sorceress. This boils down to trying to find the lost home of all magic, Avalon, before the Sorceress does.

Basically, take any Magical Girl show, subtract the cute costumes, transformation sequences, and monster-of-the-week format, and add a green theme and loads of cute fuzzy animals.

The first novel is available as a free audiobook.

The books in the series are:

  • Circles in the Stream
  • All That Glitters
  • Cry of the Wolf
  • Secret of the Unicorn
  • Spellsinger
  • Trial By Fire
  • Song of the Unicorns
  • All's Fairy in Love and War
  • Ghost Wolf
  • Heart of Avalon
  • Dark Mage
  • Full Circle

These books provide examples of:

  • Costume Porn: They don't always dress up elaborately, but going by how the book gives descriptions, it seems like everything they wear is pimped out.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The shadow creatures and the denizens of the Otherworlds aren't necessarily evil.
  • Darker and Edgier: As the books progress the themes and situations get more and more intense, if not downright disturbing for children's books
  • Demoted to Extra: Zach had a big role in Cry of the Wolf and it seemed he would be important from then-on, but he hasn't shown up much or done anything important since then. He may play a bigger part in Shadow Warrior, but this has yet to be seen.
  • Disney Death:
    • Stormbringer, as we find out in Ghost Wolf. She's still alive.
    • Ozzie in Dark Mage. The feret form makes him truly unkillable.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Minor example: Tweek labels a pie chart 'The Pie Chart of Doom'.
  • Downer Ending: In Dark Mage, Ozzie dies, Emily turns evil, the Dark Sorceress enters Avalon and closes the Gates behind her, and the Spider Witch re-weaves the web so she can control it. This caused the series Darkest Hour.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Time has no weakness.
  • Faceā€“Heel Turn:
    • Emily at the end of Dark Mage but she doesn't go all the way thanks to Ozzie.
    • Silvan after their group was betrayed and she turned into the Spider Witch.
  • Fake Band: B* Tween, who were Defictionalized when some of "their" songs were released in the early 2000s to promote the book series.
  • Fantastic Science: For a fantasy world, there's quite an number of research laboratories.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Adriane and Kara supposedly learned to play nice and get along in Spellsinger, when their bickering (caused by magical mind control) almost let the bad guys win. In Dark Mage, when they have yet another fight, neither considers that the other is being mind-controlled (surprise: both are), and they're too busy fighting with each other to stop the Big Bad from winning for real.
  • Freudian Trio: The three main characters: Kara is the Id, Adriane is the Superego and Emily is the Ego.
  • Genre Blindness: Does anyone ever say "Gee guys, Character X is sure acting strangely. I wonder, since we're in a story where mind control magic and shapeshifters exist, if they're under some sort of spell or are being impersonated by a monster in disguise."? No. Never.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kara, Adriane, and Zach when he first shows up.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: The Fairimentals: Gwigg is Land, Marina is Sea, and Ambia is Sky.
  • Lighter and Softer: The manga adaptation.
  • Magic Genetics: Magical ability can skip a generation, and you can be descended from someone who never had kids (or had them very young).
  • Magic Music: Spellsinging.
  • Magical Native American: Gran, with her fortune cookie sayings. Her granddaughter Adriane too, being the warrior, who bonds with wolves, can travel the astral planes in spirit form, and her element is earth.
  • Magitek: Employed by the Big Bad as well as Tasha and Logan.
  • Mind Rape: Done a lot by the Dark Sorceress, although they all fail when she tries to turn the mages into the Dark Mage. The Spider Witch succeeds where she failed.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: The manga. Nature-and-emotions mage magic (practiced by the three female main characters) vs. logic-and-precision Warlock magic (practiced by the male Donovan). Of the two male mages in the novels, one never shows up in the manga at all and the other is just the comic relief sidekick.
    • In the books, there's the arcane arts. Essentially the same as warlock magic.
  • Musical Episode: Spellsinger.
  • Noble Wolf: The Mistwolves are heroic creatures and one of them is Adriane's partner.
  • Orwellian Retcon: Switching publishers to Seven Seas Entertainment let the author fix some of the problems with the series. The last two books avert this by not being published before the previous publisher went belly-up.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Everyone else's reaction to Kara's shopping-trip-in-the-middle-of-a-crisis in Dark Mage.