‘Your pitiable colour magic is no match for the power of dark,’ he called after them. ‘All shall die!’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: I was right! I was right about the nimius having the mark of the Serpent upon it, and I was right about Melchior Pyke being too good to be true! Okay so it was a different Serpent than I was darkly hinting at earlier, and there’s still a chapter or so to go, so Melchy might turn out all right in the end, but let me have my moment this once.
There’s a little detail in Melchior’s confrontation with Annie that makes me smile every time, and that’s Melchy describing his great work as the ‘hazelnut of wisdom and inspiration.’ Who else was wise and revered, and wore the fruit of the hazel? The Lady Ninnia. And what did the first black squirrel find on the first tree at the dawn of the world? A shining hazelnut. It probably wasn’t intentional on Robin’s part (I’m rather adept at reaching where his worlds are concerned, as you all know) but I’m going to imagine it was.
While I’m here, I’m also going to take the image of Melchior being so besotted with his golden filigreed treasure containing serpentine magic that he cannot live without it and its promises and just …run with that. Make of it what you will, Readers all, but I know a motif when I see one, consciously applied or not.
Matt’s Thoughts: Who thought that Morgawrus’ tears would be so useful? Clearly, there is something to this idea that the bodily fluids of ancient serpents have immense power.
But I like the way that it’s not just about power and magic here – essentially the crucial turning point is Scaur Annie’s broken heart, and her feeling of being betrayed. So in the end, Melchior Pyke wasn’t stopped by a more powerful worker of magic – but simply by a girl who was deeply hurt.