Deathscent | The Best Panacea

b_0002 copyWarning: Contains Spoilers!

It was a language that had never before been uttered in that uplifted world. More like a song than mere words, yet nearer to music than singing, and the very atmosphere of the bedchamber seemed to lighten. 

Aufwader’s Thoughts: If this ‘heavenly messenger’ be an alien from outwith the Uplifted Isles, I can only congratulate Mr Jarvis once again on his creativity. The mysterious physicians from the prologue were ingenious in themselves, with their coral-like head patterns and penchant for ‘collecting’ people, but this new specimen seems like something different again. Here is a creature who appears humanoid at first glance, but is, in fact, truly alien to the folk of Malmes-Wutton, set apart completely by the way he perceives the world.

In regards to our human characters, what I noticed most on reread was the development of Mistress Dritchly. We are told outright that ‘her terrible grief was still to recent to permit any revulsion’ when the stranger is brought to her, and later, Lord Richard surmises that it is this same grief which motivates Mistress Dritchly to do her best to help her patient survive.

She is another of those masterfully-wrought tertiary characters – in the usual run of things, she would be a source of comic relief and a scolding dampener to the fun of Henry and Adam, but in the pages of Deathscent she is a whole human being, with beliefs, opinions, and emotions all her own. I can only hope that the being she has so lovingly nurtured back to health will prove to be as angelic as she seems to think.


Matt’s Thoughts: So the stranger – is he some kind of alien that has crash-landed, or something more celestial? (I’m not putting money on him being a Spaniard, despite what some people think!)

I love the sensuous nature of this chapter – it’s quite clear that the stranger has a great sense of smell – he categorises everyone in the room by their … scent. Hmm …given the title of the book, that’s bound to become significant.

This book is a little bit slower than the Wyrd Museum and Thorn Ogresso I’m enjoying the character development of the young apprentices. And how cute is little Suet? Which is precisely the problem – if I’m finding these characters likable, how long are they going to be safe?

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