Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘And then, My Lady,’ he said grimly, ‘your reign must end. By the lives of everyone who has ever suffered and died at your command—I, Gamaliel Tumpin, swear to do my very best to destroy you.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: A wonderfully atmospheric chapter with the showdown at the Crone’s Maw. When a villain reveals their true identity in a Robin Jarvis book, it’s always a show worth watching, but Rhiannon goes above and beyond in her dramatic transformation. I do feel a little sorry for the spriggans (they were just following orders, after all) but I feel worse for Grimditch, who actually had the presence of mind to resist the High Lady before he was finally brought low.
Now Gamaliel must struggle on alone, and it’s a dark, watery road.
Matt’s Thoughts: Another case in point why you don’t want to lose the illustrations from Jarvis books. In the text, the Crone’s Maw is described as being a crack in a cliff where a waterfall gushes out. In the illustration, it has a face.
But my favourite invention in this chapter is blood moths. Most kids, when they are little, get a bit wary of moths. But we just get told by our parents that they’re harmless, they don’t bite, etc.
So having moths that drink blood is another classic Jarvis way of bringing childhood fears to life …