Warning: Contains Spoilers!
A serenity she had never felt before flooded her mind. Whatever her enemies attempted, they could never overthrow her. Now her true reign could commence, and she threw back her head and laughed.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: The most compelling part of this chapter for me is the glimpse we get of Rhiannon’s girlhood as Morthanna. ‘The enmity and lust for power was already within you,’ Black Howla says, but how much of that is really true? Was Rhiannon shobble and mootied even as her brother and sister, but in a far more insidious way? Did the troll witches twist her childish longing for attention and praise into something darker, just as the ratlings of Deptford are swayed by the bloodlust? Or was she, like Jupiter himself, simply born beneath an evil star?
Matt’s Thoughts: So, there is a power behind the power. Here we were, thinking that Rhiannon and her lackeys were as bad as it got, and now we discover the ghost of Black Howla and an army of boar-riding troll hags.
The beauty of this is that it both caught me by surprise the first time I read it and seemed blindingly obvious at the same time. The world is called Hagwood. The cliff is called Witches Leap. The waterfall is called Crones Maw. All through the tale, we have been set up for witches and now here they are …