Robin Jarvis (born May 8, 1963) is a British children's novelist, who writes fantasy novels, often about anthropomorphic rodents and small mammals—especially mice—and Tudor times. A lot of his works are based in London, in and around Deptford and Greenwich where he used to live, or in Whitby.
His first novel—The Dark Portal, featuring the popular Deptford Mice—was the runner up for the Smarties book prize in 1989.
We're back in Whitby for the third instalment of The Witching Legacy.
Lil is discarded on the beach having fallen through time following her last battle with Mr Dark. The Aufwaders, who saw her arrival and find Lil near dead, take her to the only person they trust; Whitby Witch, Nanny Burdon. With memories of the future that Lil has just left threatening to overwhelm her, she knows she must find her best friend Verne, who she is certain is stuck in this time too.
A new resident in Bagdale Hall has the staff quaking in their beds. With house maids disappearing, and an unearthly presence hovering over Whitby, Lil and Nanny must work quickly if they are to unveil and put an end to the evil plaguing the town and killing young girls, without damaging the future.
With help from surprising allies old and new, can Lil and Verne reunite in time to prevent Mr Dark from beginning his reign of chaos?
Darker than previous instalments, Robin Jarvis cranks up the horror with ease, building spine-tingling suspense all the way to the jaw-dropping conclusion. It's going to feel like a very long wait for the final instalment of this gripping series.
Great for fans of Strange Star, The Other Alice and Cogheart.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
The third instalment in the Witchling legacy series meets and exceeds all expectations. It was fast paced, thrilling, suitably gory and full of the Jarvis trademark stings in the tail. I don't want to give away spoilers but the point of the 'briding' was a master stroke. You'd think after five books already set in Whitby that Jarvis didn't have too much left in the way of big surprises but Time of Blood proves you wrong. There are cameos from well known authors who stayed in Whitby and the glimpse of this not terribly wealthy fishing town in the late 19th century is intriguing.
Lil Wilson is now neck and neck with Audrey Brown as my favourite Jarvis character. For Whitby Witch connoisseurs there is a cast call back for old favourite characters. In the usual manner of the author there are also character deaths - which really hurt! That ending just killed me. I need the fourth book ASAP.
Overall Jarvis has created a spin off quartet to one of his most popular series which enriches the original rather than detracts from it. In addition he has slyly poked at and deconstructed the classic Gothic novel here with humour and wit. I absolutely love this series.
If you haven’t read the last book, it is impossible to talk about this one without spoilers – so pleased be warned. Read The Power of Dark and The Devil’s Paintbox first, then come back for this one. Because after all the dark doings in the last book and that sharp ending, Lil’s adventures have only just begun.
Waking up in Whitby after travelling through time is one thing, but waking up in a Whitby Lil can barely even imagine, more than a century in the past is something that takes some getting used to. There’s not a lot of magic from our heroine this time, as she struggles to adjust to her new present, while searching for Verne and the despicable Mister Dark. Actually, I’d have like a bit more action from Lil, because for most of the book she doesn’t really do much except wait for something to happen. When it does, she is great and really takes charge, but despite claiming to search for Verne, she doesn’t do much actual searching.
Meanwhile, up at Bagdale Hall, new horrors are unfolding in familiar ways. There’s a lot of blood and horror in this new book, while the Gothic settings on high. There are foul creatures at work in the dark, famous names cropping up where you least expect them and new dangers for both Verne and Lil to try and overcome.
Because Mister Dark’s plan this time around is even bigger and badder than before and that ending might leave you breathless – and not just because of how abrupt it once again is.
If you’ve been enjoying the series so far, this one will definitely keep you entertained, while drawing you deeper into this dark and murky world. I can’t imagine where this series is heading next, but after that ending I can’t wait to find out.
The third book in this horror story for Teens Lil and Verne have been transported back in time to Whitby of the 1890's While Verne is being held captive by Mister Dark and his evil servants Lil has wakened on the beach , very eak and ill , with no memory of who she is or when she is . The Aufwader wives take her secretly to the current witch of Whitby where she will be looked after Once Lil remembers who and why she is there the two work together to find Verne and stop Mister Dark permanently . Full of terror and very dark in places ( no pun intended ! ) The scary parts are well tempered with humour throughout . Illustrations galore in the authors own hand add to the well crafted gory story
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
After the last book, I didn’t want to wait long before starting on this one so it zoomed to the top of my reading pile. It was fascinating reading about Whitby in the late 19th century and I though the new characters were a great addition. However, there were a few moments when I had to roll my eyes at Lil’s stupidity. Come on Lil, you’re three books into the series, you should know how the bad guys operate by now! Also, while I appreciate it helps the author out when the characters aren’t too curious about time travel and don’t try to change the future, I still think they should give it a go! I look forward to the next instalment.
I was lucky to get an ARC copy of this third instalment of the fab series from Robin Jarvis and it didn't disappoint. It picked up from where The Devil's Paintbox left off but this time you find the two main characters Lil and Verne have travelled back in time to a very strange Victorian Whitby where they meet yet another of the 'infamous' Whitby Witches and a host of colourful characters. This latest chapter was very dark and gory in parts but the suspense and tension built up to a spine tingling conclusion. What next for the intrepid heroes in the final instalment.... I can't wait !
Come closer... that's right. Settle down here, and hear how I've loved Robin Jarvis' books since I first came across 'The Wyrd Museum' trilogy in two-thousand-and-mumble, when I was a shockingly young twenty-something. I dread to think what it was like to be his target age group; the events that took place in that sequestered London rat's maze were devastating not just because of their unflinching horror, but more for their emotionally draining blend of the tragic and the beautiful. There's always a warm, wergly, human side to Robin's treatment of animals, and always an other-worldly soar of imagination that encapsulates what’s best described as ‘caprice’. He's a naughty, childishly brutal author, and that's what captivates me.
Still settled? Because I really don't understand why Robin Jarvis hasn't taken over the world. He's certainly written about it, and I've no doubt he'd be skilled at making use of even the slightest supernatural power to find some crack he can wedge open into outright global domination. Or perhaps that's a step too far; a writer is not his characters, and their actions are not his. Robin Jarvis is quite possibly the nicest, most inoffensive person in existence, but his creations, his dark, unpleasant and downright evil creations, are most certainly not. Over the years I've come to see a glimmer of his hand, of how each most-inoffensive creature has, at its heart, the ability to become—lo!—the destroyer of worlds. Too many spoilers to list, but beware reader - the characters of Robin Jarvis are in no way fickle; they may seem so on the surface, but their true natures are always prevalent.
Let me tell you about Robin Jarvis and words. In his works, wordplay and historical accuracy are paramount. Who can complain about a book which includes the delights of ordinary scullery staff Oakeying the doorknobs, and door-to-doors selling the Eubank. If you're not in the know, you'll need a google search for those. Quaint phrases abound, and goodness knows what the poor people assigned to make the book proper for the American market do; I assume there is an American market, of course, and slowly shake my head if such a thing does not exist.
This is brilliant, bright, wholesomely dark story, an absolute corker of a follow up to the earlier volume, and it's aimed squarely at the point where children become 'teens'. It's perfect; I have little else to say. The plot is tortuous but not impenetrable; the atmosphere and characterisation is almost palpable. I don't teach the right age kids at the moment, but if I did, I'd be telling them *read this*!
256 pages in paperback including map and pictures.
horror, magic and a disturbing amount of glee . . .
Summary from Publisher’s Website
The sinister Mister Dark is more powerful than ever and has enslaved young Verne to his will. Can Lil save her best friend before their enemy unleashes his most audacious and insane plan yet? Even with the help of new, surprising allies – a witch, a mysterious man of many disguises and the secretive aufwaders beneath the cliff – all seems hopeless.
Whitby has never been a more frightening and dangerous place to live, and the murdered dead refuse to rest in peace. What I appreciated about Time of Blood – and what you will love if that’s your sort of thing:
The appearance of real life historical people and the return of much-loved characters from earlier books. Please note it’s best to read the books of the Witching Legacy in order. However there are enough clues for the smart reader to cope, and these act as a recap if it’s been a while. A sub-plot revolving around concerns about appearance – which many can identify with. This makes the weirdness easier to relate to. Compelling sense of place. For those who know and love Whitby, there’s a wealth of references to enjoy. Richness of language. This includes dialect, idiosyncratic turns of phrase, and period expressions. Decidedly not for lovers of spare, pared-back prose. Humour. This is often verbal but some visual verging on slapstick. Not to mention general intoxication with the intricate, fast-moving plot. Clever, resourceful yet credible young characters. Lil is a corker! Also the mix of old and young, real and supernatural adds depth. Structure: intense, hand-across-mouth moment exactly half way. 95% through and we reach the nadir for Lil. That makes it sound ‘staged’ ( which of course it is – with a nod to Mr Irving and Mr Stoker) – yet it works seamlessly as you read. Plenty of both Gothic and Steampunk details – and a fair amount of unearthly goings-on. Not surprisingly, the publishers recommend a 11+ readership probably for the horror and violence, together with the complexity of language and plotting. Some younger readers will be OK though. It’s not unrelentingly grim. The final revelation ( right at the last) creates great intrigue for the fourth book Legacy of Witches yet to come . . .
I’d also highly recommend a look at Robin Jarvis’ own gallery to see how he pictures some of his cast. Here’s an example: