Although this is a story that doesn’t really go anywhere, nor adds a great deal to Gormenghast it will live long in the memory. It is one of those stories that acts as a perfect companion piece to the Gormenghast trilogy because you need that prior knowledge for the story to really work. Titus Groan is never really explained or is the setting of his location.
But understanding from the trilogy just how determined the teenager is to change his life it is no surprise that he encounters and survives the meeting with the lamb. With just the goat and hyena left of the many that have been transformed from men to beasts at the hand of the lamb Titus is clearly a candidate to join them.
But he resists and with the sweep of a sword ends not just a reign of terror but an entire finish to the kingdom of the mines. Titus then returns back to the castle with his determination for escape clearly not broken.
At the end of the book there is a page advertising more Children’s books from the same publisher. I would be frightened to read this to my children let alone encourage them to pick it up for themselves.
A review will follow soon…