Warning: Contains Spoilers!
The dappled light that shone through the small window above trembled slightly and, as it played over the wooden image, the shadows beneath the cheeks lifted. It was as if ‘Orace had smiled at her.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: I’m intrigued at the unspoken balance between Robiny deities here. Before the Dark Portal, Fleabee is just as affected by the bloodlust as her fellow ratlings; yet, brought to the Chambers of Summer and Winter by chance, the fetters of Jupiter’s evil fall from her as easily as shaking rain from her fur.
There is a sense of two vast powers vying for our heroine’s soul, but although Fleabee seems drawn to ‘Orace Baldmony and his story, she doesn’t exactly fall to her knees in the cellar and start singing Greenie hymns. Things are as yet undecided for her, and it may be that her destiny has nothing to do with Jupiter or the Green. If that is the case, whoever really has claim on her had better hurry up – we’re halfway through the book, and Firstblood is hoving into view.
Matt’s Thoughts: First, I must mention the first illustration in this chapter which is spread across two pages. I can’t think of a time when I’ve seen a double-page spread from Mr Jarvis, and I love the scope it gives to the sewer tunnels.
But what will ultimately stick to me in this chapter is the sad irony which again I must have missed on my first time reading this a few years ago. First off, the beautiful scene with the wooden carving of ‘Orace followed by a small cameo by Albert Brown, one character I would have loved to have seen more of, if he’d made it. ‘There’s no hideous rats down there and never will be neither – I promise,’ he says.
Tragically, we know better than that.