Time of Blood | Chapter 1

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Warning: Contains Spoilers!

‘Please Lord, help me! Send an angel to protect me from the devils and demons of this house!’

Aufwader’s Thoughts: Were I a 19th century kitchen maid in some great stately home reading this over my supper, I could not be more thrilled. Shuttered Bagdale Hall with its new, darkly handsome master and his pale, mysterious young ward; howlings and scratchings in the night; a red room wherein lurks some frightful beast; a housekeeper grown cold and distant, with bright, fresh blood upon her cuff. It’s the stuff of penny dreadfuls, and makes a great opener to the lurid period drama that is the third instalment in the Witching Legacy quartet.

I have to say that I got Warlock in Whitby flashbacks from this – specifically, the subplot in which Miss Boston goes to visit her dying friend Patricia at her grand home in London, and ends up in a fistfight with Patricia’s fearsome nurse, a werewitch of the Black Sceptre. Poor Grace is, evidently, not as fortunate as Aunt Alice, and there is no drunken butler to save her in the nick of time.

If I remember correctly, Mr Jarvis took Grace’s name from a young reader. If that’s the case, congratulations to the real Grace for starring, however briefly, in your very own Victorian murder mystery.

 

Matt’s Thoughts: This chapter here – this is a piece of pastiche artistry.  A whole bunch of ideas that have been foreshadowed for ages (even back to the original trilogy) have all come blazing to life. In some ways, it’s almost like Books 1 and 2 were just a glorious excuse to get to this one. And maybe they were, but they were such cracking yarns with such memorable characters, they did’t at all feel like filler.

But here we go – it’s the 1890s, and all the great supernatural tales of the 19th century are getting a mention. First up, there’s Mrs Paddock’s mention of a Barbary ape, scampering up the ivy. This immediately put me in mind of the legendary short story, ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ by Edgar Allan Poe, where ***spoiler alert*** a particularly gruesome murder of two women in an apartment turns out, in the end, to have been committed by an escaped ape that climbed in the window.

Then we’ve got secret rooms that must not be entered, disappearing maids, and clandestine explorations at night by candlelight – what is not to to like? I was tensing up when Grace decided to step into the red room …

That grisly delight was great, but who didn’t get a thrill when we had Mr Dark drawing blood with a syringe, and a mysterious Irishman prowling the streets wondering what is going on? Hell. Yes. I can see where this is going and it’s an absolutely awesome literary nod. It’s one that has been hinted at for ages but was no less brilliant when it arrived.

Time of Blood | Time-Burned

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Warning: Contains Spoilers!

‘See what we bring – a human child, spat out of the darkness. I fear there’s only a gasp of life left in her.’

Aufwader’s Thoughts: I love this as an opener. Immediately we pick up where we left off at the end of The Devil’s Paintbox, with just enough hints and suggestions to pull us in. Lil will hopefully survive, but what of Verne?

I can remember there being some mutterings about a dearth of aufwader presence when Devil’s Paintbox came out, and perhaps Mr Jarvis was missing their walnutty faces too, because we begin this instalment directly with Hesper and Nettie. Can’t say I blame him, I love me a good bit of fisherfolk gossip, and the aufwaders can always be counted upon to have some sort of soap opera going.

Considering that it’s clearly the Victorian era and Hesper and Nettie are still having trouble with Silas Gull, this chapter really brings home how jolly old the aufwaders are. Those two have probably been dealing with the same angst for centuries, and Hesper at least will still be caught up in that for almost a hundred years. No wonder she has so many worry lines.

 

Matt’s Thoughts:  I’d never really thought of time travel as something that might cause physical damage, but apparently so. What I like is that it’s not immediately apparent what time we’ve landed in. Bathing machines puts it in the Victorian era, I’m pretty sure, but not quite sure where. Our resident Whitby Witch is not Alice Boston, so we know it’s earlier than her.

But far enough back that we have our aufwaders: Hesper and our new character we met in Power of Dark, Nettie. I have no doubt my blogging colleague would have been happy even if the rest of the book was absolute rubbish just to have a prologue like this one.

But this is just the prologue, there’s a whole book ahead of us, and I’m certainly full of questions: Where is Dark? Where is Verne? Is Dark really going to try to work out his threat from the last book of making two Nimius devices? Would that then be a pair of …Nimii?

Either way, I’m cracking on with the book!

Up Next Reminder | Time of Blood

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In keeping with the decision we made in October to tackle books 1 to 3 of The Witching Legacy as they were being published, here at Myth & Sacrifice we now present something hot off the presses, the most recent addition to Robin Jarvis canon, the one, the only, Time of Blood!

Zip into Whitby’s Victorian past with Lil as she pursues the nefarious Mister Dark and attempts to liberate Verne from his clutches. Marvel at a lost way of life interwoven with ancient magic and the powers of the almighty sea. Thrill to gruesome murders in shadowy places, wonder at figures of fame and renown, presented as you’ve never seen them, and tremble as our spooky happenings duo face their spookiest happenings yet.

Avail yourself of a luridly purple paperback here, and dress in your best. There’s an occasion like no other taking place down by the shore, and you’re all invited to attend.