‘They’ll spit on my footprints in the sand and won’t never speak to me no more and I don’t blame ’em. The caves’ll be shut against me from now on. Landbreed, that’s what I am, hateful landbreed, never to be trusted. No different from the rest.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: First of all who are you calling a ‘gnome type’, Cherry? Second of all how great is it that in this version of Whitby, the aufwaders taught the early human settlers the sea-lore they needed to survive? In the original trilogy it’s implied that the ‘landbreed’ and the fisherfolk were at one point on civil terms, so that ties in as neatly as the ends of a net.
In this chapter we get more of the period drama that is Annie n’ Melchy, but at least Cherry says what we were all thinking when she points out that what they have isn’t love, but something ‘dark and obsessive and scary’. There’s certainly nothing romantic about Annie’s theft and her betrayal of her adoptive kin, nor about Melchior’s fanatical pursuit of power and view of Annie as an instrument to facilitate his own ends. As I said earlier I wish they would just have a talk, but it seems a bit late for that at this point.
Matt’s Thoughts: I’m glad I read The Whitby Child recently, because I had actually forgotten that all the aufwaders left Whitby at the end of that. So this is a chance to have them back in the story for a time (even if they are only there in a drugged sleep). But it does also remind us that they really get the short straw. Abused by humans, treated badly by the Lords of the Deep, the list goes on. There’s simply no sense that they will ever enjoy a peaceful, undisturbed existence.