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Warning: Contains Spoilers!

The ghost of his mother smiled at him, then like a flickering will-o’-the-wisp she turned and floated further away.

Aufwader’s Thoughts: Oh, Pear! Wonderful, marvellous, scintillating Pear! Merry, mirror-skirted daughter of mystery! A true Robin Jarvis creation from her raven head to her dusty toes.

If there was a certain song or band that inspired ‘The Ballad of Molly Werbride’, I’m not sure I want to know about it, because we as readers probably all have a different idea of what it sounds like. I imagine the folk group in general to have the vibe of Fairport Convention, and I’d love to know what everybody else hears when Pear sings.

As for the second half of this chapter, I have a disconcerting feeling that ‘third time lucky’ may ring true for the Coven of the Black Sceptre. Miriam’s attempt to lure Ben to his death with the shade of his mother comes off as especially cruel and underhanded, considering Ben’s argument with Jennet over his ability to see the ghosts of their parents earlier on. I’m probably missing something, but I find I can’t recall why it is that Ben stopped being able to see ghosts and yet can still see the aufwaders? Still, all may yet be revealed.

 

Matt’s Thoughts: Quite a long chapter, but so much going on with our human characters. I’m so glad I can’t remember this one, because while the plotting of this book still has that infallible sense of Robin Jarvis timing, nonetheless, it heads off in quirky directions that I don’t always see coming.

So, for instance, the introduction of the female folk band and the beginning of the friendship between Pear and Jennet is quite a brilliant touch. Of course, we get sinister vibes about the band right from the start, but nonetheless, who doesn’t want Jennet to find a friend, given all that she’s been through? I certainly do!

It becomes a bit like a Shakespearean tragedy – for the characters, things are starting to look happy and there’s a sense of new beginnings – but for us, the readers, there’s a sinking feeling that things are going to get worse.

Also, what’s the deal with Sister Frances and her blank-outs? This, too, is a new thing. It’s almost like every woman in Whitby (apart from Edith, who is exactly what she appears to be, no more and no less) seems to have some secret side to themselves that you never hear about.

I’m in for a TV show of this trilogy, anyway, that’s for sure!

Finally, great cinematic showdown between Ben and Miriam at the end. He’s such a trooper and I hope life improves for him!

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