Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘Where there was discord, I brought harmony. Where there was error, I dispensed my truth. Where there was doubt, I gave them faith. And where there was despair, I delivered a new and better life.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: At long last, very near the finale and just as we’re getting eyebrows deep into the action, a beautiful, hopeful character moment.
Horrible as he might’ve been to Lee and fame-hungry though he seemed, it’s very, very hard not to feel sorry for Martin as he hugs a toy rabbit and pretends it’s his brainwashed fiancée. What gets me in the heart just as much as his tearful confession, though, is the attitude of the young girls who Charm looked out for back at the New Forest camp, and of the young German aberrants. It shows us, just for a moment, that maybe Gerald was right when he said that there must be a ‘bloody big light on somewhere’.
Matt’s Thoughts: For me, this is possibly the most emotional chapter in the whole book. The conversation between Ingrid and Martin. Martin’s despair and soul-searching. The little reversal where the German aberrants arrive and remind us what Martin meant to them. It’s all beautifully done and I got teary about it.
Also, the over-arching presence of Charm in the story – despite her physical absence since the last book – is beautiful as well.
In short, Robin Jarvis has almost closed the arc on everyone’s personal journey and now all bets are off as to who is going to make it through the final chapters.
Topping it off is the spectacular scene – and I really do imagine anything to do with this castle on an IMAX level – between the Ismus and Martin on top of the castle. The journey that this trilogy has taken us, from the book being quietly passed around in Felixstowe to now being consumed by the masses around the world, is staggering. I can’t think of anything that Mr Jarvis has tried on this scale of ambition before.