Boggart and FenThe final part of the Knights of Liöfwende trilogy

Robin: After the events of Mallmoc’s Castle, you would think the final book of the trilogy would be one big battle. Things are never that simple though, and one unexpected event is the uprooting of Mallmoc’s iron fortress and its transformation into an unstoppable land-ship. Another is the revealing of the sorcerer’s ghastly scheme to plough through the Liöfwende/Mortaland portal at Sutton Hoo, forcing the two lands into one. Timing is crucial; if the ship cannot be delayed, the fairy armies will converge too late. Spiggot, Jack, Rosamund and Kling use their brains and wiles and arcane knowledge to devise a couple of brilliant schemes. The gnomes, who appeared briefly in the first book as an amiable group of faerie, play a big role here.

It is a thrilling moment when Spiggot, the boggart leader of the combined fairy armies, addresses the assembled fairies. A battle plan is worked out, combining the usual fairy modes of fighting with Jack’s culled-from-war-films ideas about good communications and command of the air and Rosamund’s recollection of the cunning devices of her warrior father. Finally they engage with the ulcugga. It is no pitched battle, of course, all the fairies preferring to fight in a tangle of thistles and gorse brakes, and it lasts several days – I expect you can guess the outcome? Though the exact nature of it comes as a surprise to Jack, who is still unversed in the ways of faerie.

There is a suitable amount of romance in the trilogy – mostly arguments and
misunderstandings. Jack and Spiggot make rather gawkish suitors while Rosamund and Fen are spirited characters always ready to speak their mind. In general, all the elements are very nicely balanced, humour, romance, dialogue, character descriptions, excitement, horror, changes of scene, unexpected developments – very satisfying. Only one niggle: like the monk Solomon, I think there’s a bit too much Jack. He even has most of the adventures. Really, you’d think he was the hero.