Lonely Sands

Raven’s Wand review continues with chapter nine: Lonely Sands

I have a soft spot for Flora, and if I were in Farona’s shoes I think I’d be just as tongue-tied around her. There isn’t space here to say why I admire Flora so much, but my blog will answer that. Just follow the link and read about this rare bloom.


Flora’s real name isn’t ‘Greyswan’ by the way; it’s ‘Grayson’, and the reason it changed is because when she first joined the coven as a child she was so ashamed of her eye-patch that she’d keep her eyes down and mumble if spoken to. Grayson sounded like Greyswan, and it stuck. Grey Swan or otherwise, Flora’s encounter with the kelp-harpy harks back to the book’s earliest draught. In it, the Illuminata’s first-dawn machine has disrupted the world so much that a tear has opened into Ruination. This tear I called ‘The Trench’, and it lurked out in the ocean, steadily getting wider, edging towards Britain and destined to swallow up the outer islands before hitting the mainland. Out of The Trench poured creatures from Ruination, and the kelp-harpy’s mortal wounding at the hands of some unknown Ruinous creature were the first signs of this sinister rip in the world. Sadly, that could have been the plot of a novel in its own right and there wasn’t time to explore it further. So The Trench had to go, although it might get recycled in later books, who knows?

The mysterious Clovis gets another mention in this chapter. As pointed out I loved the idea of men or women or children being witches, and then I thought couldn’t we have alien witches too? The answer is yes; I see magic as a universal force, so it seemed natural to have witches on other worlds. That’s all I’ll say on the matter here, but again returning to the book’s earliest incarnation, when it was just a collection of scribbled notes, each witch had a cat companion that could magically change into humanoid form if the coven was threatened and so fight alongside their witch. These diminutive ‘cat warriors’ never made it further than my hasty notes, but there is an echo: Clovis. You’ll see what I mean when you meet him.


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