It says something about my enthusiasm for the Wyrmeweald trilogy that I was willing to get up close to this A4 sized, one inch thick manuscript of the third book, The Bone Trail, which Random so kindly sent me when I moaned impatiently back in November.
I have to agree with Chris Riddell again. He and Paul Stewart really have written a very fine story. (Maybe he didn’t put it quite like that. That sounds like boasting. He’s a more modest man than that. But I can say it.)
The story carries on exactly where we left the characters in Bloodhoney. Micah and Eli find themselves with another couple of travel companions, and I spent some time working out how people would get paired off. I wrongly sacrificed one of them to a very bad fate.
There is discontent spreading from so many directions, and I worried in case the whole thing had to end in mayhem. It was bad for some. Some of them deserved it. Others didn’t.
When there is love, the love is very tender and good. The hate is pretty magnificent, too.
This is nearly all about migration. People and other creatures want – or need – to move somewhere new, and it doesn’t always work out. But just as in real life, immigrants aren’t to be despised; nor are they always going where they should go.
It’s touching, the lengths people go to to save or improve their lives. Wyrme-weald could be about both the European emigration to the new world in the west, as well as the spread of people from the east to the west, once they got there. Respect the natives when you arrive. Don’t assume you know better than those who have been there longer than you.
As usual, I kept hoping Paul and Chris would have a reasonably happy ending to offer, despite the bleak outlook when all the bad developments gathered. But I really couldn’t see how.
You won’t be disappointed.