Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘Oh, no!’ crowed Dark. ‘Not mad. I am Their husband! The bond was accepted, the bridge was made and the Lords of the Deep are now my brides! Come, my vast, immortal loves, obey your new master. The ceremony commands it and I have the power to compel you!’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: I have to hand it to you, Mr Jarvis, you did exactly what you wanted. You had your steampunk laboratory inside your gothic windmill, your Brides of Dracula references, your sea bishop and your self-parody. You decreed that Verne should have working bat wings grafted to his shoulderblades, and by the Deeps it was done. You wanted two Nimiuses (I cannot and will not accept that the plural of Nimius is ‘Nimii’. Are you having a chortle?) and you got them. You killed Nathaniel Crozier a third and final time by mercilessly riffing on his entire M.O., from the raising of Morgawrus, to the pact with the Black Sceptre. My respect and appreciation in all of this, you pulled it off with aplomb.
What a fantastic finale. Electrical lightning! Ghostly ocean bells of doom! Blood sacrifice, and the least picturesque beach wedding ever! Absolutely everything in this chapter is so ‘only Robin Jarvis’ and the sheer inventiveness, combined with the self-aware nods to earlier canon, makes it in my opinion the most memorable ending in this series.
I’d also like to nominate an illustration from this chapter as my favourite: that of the tentacle bride. Whichever member of the Triad is in there, he looks positively ravishing in that period wedding gown, and how charmingly traditional for the Lords of the Deep to add ‘Dark’ to the family name.
Matt’s Thoughts: Now that is how you do a finale! A hidden steampunk laboratory, creepy mutated creatures in glass containers, undead brides. Every glorious horror trope in one grand chapter. (Speaking of the laboratory, if you haven’t checked it out already, Robin is doing a fantastic series of computer-drawn images to go with this series, including the windmill lit up like a Christmas tree, over on his website. Check them out!
For a brief moment, I quite admired Mr Dark’s cleverness in being able to engineer a plot to bring down the three Lords of the Dark and Deep. Who ever thought you could do anything to shake up those three?
However, having said that, Mr Dark is still an old-school rotter and I was quite happy to see it all backfire on him and see him dispatched.
But it does make me curious – with Dark out of the picture in Book Three out of a four-book set, what happens in Book Four? I now have no clue. Given that it’s not written yet, does anyone have any fan theories?