Warning: Contains Spoilers!
Fleabee gazed into the golden eyes of Mabb and her own gentle brown eyes blinked away a single tear. The choice was not so difficult for her to make after all.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: I want to be like ‘Aw, c’mon Robin!’ I want to be like, ‘Aw, what a disappointment, Robin!’ But I actually can’t, because of that blistering epilogue barely a page long.
Instead of moaning about wretched squirrels not dying and wretched, ungrateful ratgirls not taking up perfectly good offers and failing miserably to resurrect magnificent Empresses of Darkness from their eternal sleep and so forth, my little brain is full of glorious confrontations between Mabb and older, ratwitch Fleabee while everything burns at the Grand Deptford Finale. I can see it in full colour now, and if Fleabee rejecting even Mabb is what’s needed to get us there, then I’ll take it.
Up the rats, all right.
Matt’s Thoughts: This might actually be groundbreaking. I think I’ve just read a Jarvis finale in which there is no violent showdown. (All right, so Lickit might have got killed offscreen, so it’s not 100%.) But the point of this final showdown is Fleabee’s getting mastery of herself and rejecting a path of violence.
I couldn’t remember exactly how this book ended in the past and, for some reason, thought the final chapter was going to be Mabb encouraging Fleabee to take out Scabmona. (How messed up would that have been?) But she made it through the trial and we’re left with a beautiful final illustration of the sunshine streaming in through the sewers.
And the world’s most frustrating epilogue. To think that there is some epic battle still to come with Mabb and a future version of Fleabee (which would make the first grown-up good rat to make an appearance in the Jarvis canon) is mouth-watering. But to know that no such book (currently) exists is … aargh!
We can live in hope, but for now that will just have to exist in the same place as the horde of raiding Iribians heading towards Uplifted Spain.