The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161174   Message #3833449
Posted By: keberoxu
18-Jan-17 - 07:21 PM
Thread Name: BS: Robin Jarvis: The Power of Dark
Subject: RE: BS: Robin Jarvis: The Power of Dark
While waiting for The Power of Dark, with its return to the setting of the Whitby Witches trilogy,
am now looking at Robin Jarvis' series about the Wyrd Museum. This has a London setting, with an excursion to Glastonbury Tor.

There are three in this series. If you can imagine Wagner's Ring Cycle without any Ring, that's what this is. I know, you are saying, No Ring in the Ring Cycle by Wagner, that would be like no Ring in the Lord of the Rings by Tolkien....except the Wagner business has a lot more going on than a magic golden ring.

Wagner's Götterdämmerung, the last of the four operas in the cycle, opens with the Three Norns, or the Three Fates. And that is the secret of the Wyrd Museum in the Jarvis cycle. Not only is the odd London museum the responsibility of the three weird sisters, but a root of Yggdrasil passes underground, deep below in a cavern. The Norse God Wodin and his Valkyries (Jarvis spells it differently, I forget how) are adversaries of the Three Norns. There is an even greater peril. From the Norse pantheon are also drawn a category of gods called the Lords of Frost and...what? Ice? Anyway, when the world threatens to come to an end at the climax of the final book, it is not a conflagration from a funeral pyre set on fire, but blizzards and lethal cold.

The previous touch in itself, of the danger of ice rather than fire, recalls "The Final Reckoning" from the Deptford Mice series. That latter series has a place for a conflagration of fire, but the big climactic part at the end pits winter against spring, cold against warmth, death against life.

And as with the Green Mouse of the Deptford Mice, the Wyrd Museum's hope is in living things: the Three Norns are ancient and their time has come to an end, so they require a living successor. And the salvation of the Museum, and everything it stands for, is not in manmade things, but in the life of the tree of Yggdrasil.

Robin Jarvis' highly emotional prose sounds, in these books, as if he spent the writing of it with Wagner playing in the background, it is all rather melodramatic.