I want to recommend what I consider to be an excellent trilogy as the second of my favorite stories.
The Valentine’s Day Apocalypse – by Susan L. Carr
The first of this trilogy is an excellent Buffy-Tara story which keeps true to the personalities of both women. Tara is the always caring, helpful, self-deprecating and shy Scooby who would do anything for her friends especially Willow and Buffy. Buffy is ever the champion who is strong, brave, fighting evil and protecting the innocent, and yet often needs help in both her slayer responsibilities and her personal life. Somehow, she always seems to have a friend who is willing to go all the way to help her with whatever she needs.
The story takes place after Buffy’s resurrection some time between the episodes “Dead Things” [in which Buffy finds out that she didn’t come back wrong and confesses her relationship with Spike to Tara whom she asks not to forgive her] and “As You Were” [in which Riley returns to Sunnydale, with his fellow agent/wife, for Buffy’s help with an assignment].
It begins with Buffy getting word of yet another new evil attempting to open the Hellmouth. This time on Valentine’s Day. But at the moment all the Scoobies are away – well almost all. The only Scooby left in town is Tara.
Will the Slayer go it alone or will she ask the blond witch [the newest Scooby who has moved out of the Summers’ house because of Willow’s continued abuse of magic] for help? Will Tara be there for her once again?
Tara has always been helpful to Buffy in ways that her best friends [Willow and Xander] somehow haven’t been. Remember – it was Tara who stayed with Buffy and comforted her at the hospital when her mom died; it was Tara to whom Buffy went to find out if she had come back “wrong”; it was Tara to whom Buffy confessed her relationship with Spike; it was Tara who realized that Buffy was not in her own body during “Who Are You?” even before she had actually met the Slayer. Tara was never judgmental; she simply listened, comforted and was there for her. Remember also that it was Buffy who, after Tara cast the “demon concealment” spell that almost got them all killed, stood up to the blond witch’s father, brother and cousin and told them that Tara was part of the Scooby family.
It is intriguing to see how the two interact without the others in town and how well they work together to deal with the current evil. . Both the personal scenes between the them as well as the action scenes against the current evil are very well done.
The Witch and the Sorceress – by Susan L. Carr
This sequel occurs during season 7 immediately after the episode “Same Time, Same Place” [in which Willow returns from her recovery in England and unintentionally makes herself invisible to her friends and vice versa].
It begins later in the day after Buffy shares her slayer strength with Willow to help heal the injuries she suffered at the hands of the Gnarl demon. We find Willow trying to deal with her total loss of control and her complete abuse of dark magic after Tara’s death, while still in the midst of coming to terms with and mourning her lover’s death. We also see her friends, especially Buffy and Dawn, trying to help her.
However, Willow has a dream about Tara and everything changes. And everyone will be affected. They will have to contend with a new evil, or perhaps more than one evil.
Be warned that there is one scene that is rather violent but essential to the story, and that other scenes may be a little upsetting but are equally crucial. There will be some disturbing changes, decisions and actions taken by some of the Scoobies with which they will have to deal.
But isn’t that what being a Scooby is all about?
The story fascinating and very well-written. Read and enjoy.
I eagerly await the conclusion of the next sequel “The Witch and the Slayer", and look forward to posting my review for it as well.