Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘Those malevolent creatures the Gallows God created to overthrow the Nornir are back amongst us.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: The start of this chapter is one example of why I like Aidan so much. Thus far he’s been interesting, but somewhat overshadowed by, well, everything else. We are aware that he is a descendent of Askar, but up until this point we were never really shown what that entailed, other than alternative fashion sense and a propensity to hold forth at length about the histories of small English towns.
In the scene with the policemen, however, we get to see Aidan display some real power, trifling though it may seem in comparison to the Spinners of the Wood. What I like best about it is that it’s a little ambiguous – there’s no waving of hands or incantations, and it’s difficult to tell what he’s actually even done, but that somehow makes it all the more compelling. There’s also his jibes at the rotund sergeant – can he see into the man’s future, or is he simply ‘a good reader of people’?
Matt’s Thoughts: I strongly suspected that this was going to be the identify of this book’s nocturnal terrors, but when the word Valkyrie was first uttered, I got a thrill. Being only familiar with these creatures from the Wagner operas, where they are normally portrayed as warrior women on flying horses, it’s clear that Mr Jarvis has created his own dark incarnation of the creature.
Which is just brilliant, isn’t it? In fact, I almost feel like some Wikipedia editing is in place for the Valkyrie page to add another entry to the Valkyries in popular culture.
However, while I was excited by this part of the mythology, because it is placed in the context of a rather gruesome and serious police investigation, it doesn’t simply become a layer of mythology to this tale – it becomes a layer of dread.