‘Live them days long buried, long dead,’ the voice inside her head commanded. ‘You be Scaur Annie. See what I saw. Hear what I heard.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: This is such a marvellous, grisly chapter. Rotting corpses in the cliffs, Lil becoming possessed by the vengeful spirit of Scaur Annie, and the drama of an honest-to-goodness witch hunt.
Is it just me or does anyone else get Crystal Prison flashbacks during the latter part of this chapter? Of course, the ‘young girl is accused of witchcraft and threatened with a fiery death’ angle has been used in fiction since the burning times themselves, but personally I chortle at the idea of Mr Jarvis getting to Annie’s introduction and thinking something along the lines of, ‘hm, we haven’t had a ‘burn the witch’ scene since Audrey. About time that was remedied!’
I love Annie and will protect her at all costs, but I’m not so enamoured with Melchior Pyke. As a character he’s an interesting enigma, but he’s just a little too pristine for my liking, like the love interest in a BBC period drama. I’d go so far as to say that he’s so perfect that there must be something shifty about him, but the old Robiny rules of deceit and betrayal don’t seem to apply in this shiny new series, or at least, not in the way that we at Myth & Sacrifice are accustomed to.
Of course, we can all tell that Mister Dark is shifty. But we’re only on Chapter 2, and there’ll be ample time to come back to him and his crooked neck.
Matt’s Thoughts: Clever progression in this chapter. We start with Lil, who – despite her parents running an occult shop – doesn’t believe in any magic whatsoever. So unlike most Jarvis characters, who arrive on the scene with a belief in the supernatural, Lil does not.
But she is brave. I don’t know what you’d do if rotted corpses started being blown around by the wind in your backyard, but I’m not sure that I’d think of pulling out my phone! Maybe I’m too Gen X.
Then, bam! we’re back in the 1600s with Scaur Annie about to be burned (which is a nice nod back to Lil’s comment in the prologue about how they never burned witches in England).
As for the men in the chapter: Ashe, Pyke and Dark, there’s a lot to be said about them, but I’ll wait till the plot has advanced a bit more. It’s certainly a great setup!