I thought the last issue dragged a bit probably because it was split between so many competing story lines. In contrast, this issue moved forward at a nice clip and we learn who the tall dark handsome green-cloaked man stalking Citrina is!
The cover of this issue features Amethyst and Sardonyx reflected in the Well of Vision. They look rather anxious! Amethyst has a reason to look worried because it looks like a boa constrictor is wrapping itself around her. The text on the cover says “Deadly Reflections!” The actual title of this issue is “Secrets of the Sands.”
Amy and Emmy are talking in their bedroom on Earth. Amy is frustrated because she can’t get herself to fall asleep. She feels like she has to get back to the Gemworld to help Citrina. Emmy decides to sing Amy a song to help her relax.
Mrs and Mr Winston wake up. Mrs Winston wants to run to check on Amy, but Mr Winston stops her, saying that they agreed to trust Amy and “she knows that she can always come to us when she’s ready.” Mrs Winston is a little hysterical, “Only if she’s here, Herb….Only if she’s still on Earth!” Emmy’s song did the trick and Amy falls asleep. The spirit-form of Amethyst leaves her body and journeys to the Gemworld.
(click to make the images bigger)
Amethyst stands on top of her castle surveying the terrible storms that are raging across the Gemworld. She spots a golden glow at the edge of the grounds. It is Sardonyx trying to hack his way through the protective foliage. Unfortunately it seems that Citrina has quite a green thumb and the plants are resisting his assault. Sardonyx clears a path with the golden claw. Amethyst goes to confront Sardonyx.
He sees her and says “I’d heard you had returned! Come to take your sweetheart back from Lady Turquoise, have you?” She protests “I’m here to stop you! Prince Topaz doesn’t have anything to do with it!” Sardonyx says “I know that girl, but I love to see you pout!” He strikes at her with the golden claw. Amethyst struggles to defend herself. She’s exhausted from splitting her life between the Earth and Gemworld.
The mysterious green-cloaked man stands on one of the mountains in Lord Garnet’s realm. He sees that wind demons are making the storm worse and uses an artifact from the Ancient Ones to disperse the demons. In limbo, the spirits of the dead gather around Fire Jade.
Amethyst tells Sardonyx that their fight isn’t getting them anywhere and says “Give it up!” He replies “Never, Girl! Not while the lives of all I love depend upon the witch-mother’s death!” Sardonyx reveals that Fire Jade and her creature stole his kingdom, and if he kills Citrina it will be returned to him. Amethyst offers to help him if he will forget his plan to kill Citrina. Sardonyx agrees, and Amethyst proposes that they start their search for the lost kingdom by looking in the Well of Vision. The waters in the well seem strangely muddled, but they catch a glimpse of the Sardonyx realm. Suddenly the green-cloaked man pops up from the well!
Amethyst confronts him and he says he was visiting Citrina to see if he could find a way to restore her health. He says that he’s a friend. Sardonyx thinks that the mysterious man isn’t identifying himself because Amethyst will tell everyone that his death was greatly exaggerated. Who could he be? 🙂
The mysterious man in green offers to take Amethyst and Sardonyx to the lost kingdom. They can reach the Sardonyx Realm by jumping into the Well of Vision. They arrive in the desert land, but the sky is faceted like a cut gem. All the people in the kingdom are frozen and starting to turn into crystal.
The mystery man says that if the process continues he expects that Sardonyx’s subjects will be lost forever. Sardonyx rushes to his family and breaks down crying. Amethyst comments to the man in green that Sardonyx is really upset, and this is the first time she’s seen this side of him. The mystery man says “With all his villainy, he is first a man! I have seen Sardonyx weep and laugh like any other!” Amethyst says “You sound like you know him pretty well.”
A creature called a crystal-eater starts to attack them. Sardonyx is surprised because crystal-eaters are usually smaller than a thumbnail. Amethyst says that people in the Sardonyx realm must have very large thumbs. The trio team up to fight the crystal-eater and Sardonyx is able to defeat it with the golden claw.
Amethyst figures out that the Sardonyx Realm has shrunk. Everyone is trapped within Sardonyx’s own gemstone! She tells him to smash it.
Sardonyx is reluctant but the mystery man points out that Amethyst has learned about magic from Citrina. Sardonyx smashes his gem and the kingdom is restored!
Amethyst and the mystery man return to Castle Amethyst. Somewhere Fire Jade lurks thinking that Sardonyx has regained the power she stole from him.
Citrina is still sleeping. The mystery man reveals who he is – Prince Garnet! He says that if Citrina dies the Gemworld may die with her.