Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘Not yet,’ Gamaliel answered with a defiant grin. ‘There’s still a chance—a mad, stupid, tiny scrap of a chance!’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: Some small yet touching scenes here, with Master Gibble finally coming to understand that ‘wergling can happen on the inside’, and Bufus not being allowed to leap to his death and sacrifice himself needlessly, even as it seems that the world the werlings knew is vanishing forever. Great deeds and feats of cunning are all well and good, but in the end, what makes Robin’s heroes truly brave is that, even when all hope seems lost, they are not at home to Mr Despair.
Matt’s Thoughts: I must confess that I thought it was going to be a bit anticlimactic going from the Dancing Jax series back to Hagwood and was expecting the reread of this book to be a bit lighter.
But the character beats in this chapter were really moving. Bufus is still dealing with the pain of losing his brother and thus the witch-induced suicidal thoughts so tragically appeal to him. It was years between books for us readers but for him, it has really only been a few days since he lost his brother so we can forget how traumatised he still is by that whole event.
However, surely, the greatest moment – perhaps in the whole trilogy – is the double pay-off of Gamaliel being gracious to Gibble and letting him go and then Gibble’s return to save his young pupils. On the Hollow Hill side of the tale, the characters seem to operate out of places of extreme selfishness and, in the case of Rhiannon, sadism. But there is beauty and light to be found among the werlings.