Warning: Contains Spoilers!
Resembling a golden tadpole, set with a wondrous blue stone that blinked and pulsed with an inner light, it was a curious device and the Spanish Ambassador was captivated by its beauty.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: Over the years plenty of silly Deathscent theories have occurred to me, but here’s one I just thought of right now this minute:
There’s a sort of myth that I’ve seen surrounding the defeat of the Spanish Armada in their invasion of England. The story goes that the Armada was blown off course by ferocious storms, which, on the face of it, ought to have resembled an act of God to the English, who were (apparently) woefully unprepared to deal with the Spanish navy. Somewhere, be it in an interview or a post he made years ago, I seem to recall that Robin was planning for a nightboat Armada to make an appearance in one of the further Reflected Realm books. So, taking in the twist ending of this chapter, would it be possible that the terrible ‘storm’ which would have wiped out Spain’s nightboat Armada might have been the Iribian fleet?
(Don’t answer that, Mr Jarvis, I never want to know!)
Here’s something I do want to know, though: on rereading this epilogue, I felt there ought to have been a conversation between Adam and Henry at some point before Henry left London with Lord Richard.
In my head, it goes something like this: Henry would feel terrible about being too afraid to help Brindle, but be comforted by the fact that he died having found his peace. Adam would say he wished it was Henry staying with Doctor Dee, since it was Henry who always wanted to do great things. Then Henry would answer that actually, he’s seen enough of the world, thanks all the same, and is going to go home and make a good life for himself on Malmes-Wutton, and never take it for granted again.
Adam would understand, and the apprentices would either realise that their adventures had brought them closer and made them actually friends, or that they were now going to follow completely different paths and maybe that’s for the best. Finally, they’d both admit that they would never forget the true story of what happened when an angel fell into their lives, and that would be that.
So what I want to know is, did such a scene ever exist? Is there a previous draft in which Adam and Henry look back at everything that has happened to them and mutually grimace? In fact, are there any ‘deleted scenes’ or details from this book that our author in residence would like to share?
Matt’s Thoughts: Of course it’s the Spanish that have got the homing beacon that’s going to bring thousands of slaughtering Iribians trained right on them! And, by the way, my hat is off to the clever trick Mr Jarvis played on us a few chapters back. He said that of the four visitors who left Malmes-Wutton that two never returned. I naturally jumped to the conclusion that it was because Mr J. was going to dispatch two of them in gruesome ways. However, that was not quite the case and the reason there are only two going back is because Adam is staying in London. Nicely done!
This and the Deptford Mouselets, of course, are the only Jarvis books – now that he has completed the Hagwood trilogy – that you can tell were designed to lead to further story arcs but have never been fully completed. So there are a whole bunch of delicious questions from Deathscent that we may never get answers for.
What exactly are the humans made of in the reflected realm? We know from the opening prologue that the ambassadors took some sort of essence from Queen Elizabeth, but left the actual queen there. (Presumably to die according to our normal historical timeline.) Does that make all these characters clones of long-departed humans?
Is the same mechanism that slows – or does it stop? – the aging of the people, the same thing that leaves old conflicts alive with no change. In other words, are we really to believe that in 150 years, nobody in England or Spain was able to alter the political situation? Or that the fashion or musical taste of the realm wouldn’t change? Or is a kind of sci-fi Dark Ages, where no real technological or cultural progress gets made?
Finally, if all the ambassadors were wiped out by Iribians, who was it that Doctor Dee was talking to via the shew stone? Because he was speaking with one of the original ambassadors from the prologue way back at the beginning. Was that the real Bosco-Uttwar or some sort of ‘soul’ or stored memory of somebody who had been physically killed?
Anyway, that’s my questions. What are yours?