The first book in the trilogy ends with an echo of how it started with Rottcodd realising that he has missed the Earling ceremony and that so much has happened since Flay introduced him and the readers to the arrival of Titus. The boy becomes Earl, replacing his father who has still never been found, and in the meantime Steerpike sets his sights on more power and Fuchsia.
Bullet points between pages 342 – 367
* The preparations for the Earling ceremony are watched by the doctor, his sister, Fuchsia, Titus, Nannie Slagg and importantly the two twins who are sent to their room by a stripped off Steerpike who swims across the lake and orders them home
* He then uses Sourdust’s skull, a sheet and some phosphorus to scare the sisters stupid by warning them that he is death and he will kill them if they breathe a word about the fire or Steerpike
* The Countess starts to feel that there is some evil at work in the castle and vows to crush it before it damages anyone else – particularly Titus – but she has no suspicion directly aimed at Steerpike yet
* At the ceremony Titus does everything wrong and at one point screams out loud and in response the daughter of Keda, who was last seen on the brink of committing suicide by Flay in the rocks, responses with a similar sound
* The procession ends with Steerpike leading the way back from the lake into the castle and RottCodd watches from the window and wonders when the Earl died, what happened to Flay and realises so many changes have happened since Titus was born
A full review will come in a couple of days but in the meantime it’s straight into the second book Gormenghast…