Dark Waters of Hagwood | Chapter 4

dwhWarning: Contains Spoilers!

With a final triumphant roar, the candle sprite claimed her and took the girl deep into the drowning dark.

Aufwader’s Thoughts: At last, a genuine threat. After the twin false alarms of Nana Zingara and Grimditch, it’s some real danger is almost welcome. It also gives Gamaliel, as the one left behind, a chance to show his mettle. I like that he doesn’t dither around or consider turning back – the events of Thorn Ogres really brought him out of his shell, and now he proves that that courage wasn’t just a one-time thing .

For me, the saddest part of this chapter was just how easily Kernella fell for the call of the candle sprite. She had loving parents and a good upbringing, but I get the feeling that she maybe didn’t have many friends. Maybe she idolises Finnen so much because she simply wants to feel that someone her own age understands her. That line about her being a ‘plain and clumsy werling child’ who has often been disappointed in her reflection is quite pitiful. If she hasn’t been chewed by the sprite, I hope Kernella learns that love and admiration should not be conditional to her appearance at some point in this trilogy.

Matt’s Thoughts: The candle sprite is sort of another spin on a siren, isn’t it? It calls via song but turns out to be much nastier. If you stop and think about it long enough, there’s something singularly unpleasant about the idea of a creature whose base motivation in life appears to be eating things, and yet knows how to sing in such a way as to bestow love and care upon the listener.

You would think, wouldn’t you, that if the candle sprite knew enough about the nature of creatures to be able to attract them, that it would be able to work out some some sort of cooperative arrangement with them. But isn’t that real life? That some of the most seductive people are the most dangerous.

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