Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bizenghast Volume 6 by Alice M. LeGrow

Edaniel and Edrear travel into town so Edrear can buy Dinah something to thank her for all her work on the vaults. Dinah, too, is much changed with the death of her best friend Vincent. She seems to be finally done mourning for her friend, and has moved on, making new friends and living a more normal life. But as Edrear and Edaniel shop, they ponder the mysteries of human life and the obsessive need to buy things that seems to be part of the human condition.

Back at the Mausoleum, Edrear and Edaniel decide to introduce Dinah to another one of the Guardians, this time their sister, Eniri, who makes all sorts of magical items and talismans. But when they descend to her level of the Mausoleum, they discover a horrible situation: their other sister, Elala, is dead, and Eniri appears to be the one who killed her. Even worse, the seed that powers the mausoleum has been stolen, although who took it is a mystery/

With the powers of the seed being so powerful (the last stolen seed being responsible for the tales of the Ark or the Covenant), they immediately close down the Mausoleum and tell Dinah to go straight home. She does, but her aunt is missing, and the town is a hive of activity. More than that, it's scary. The townspeople have built a huge bonfire in the center of town, and are burning all their stuff.

Dinah flees back to her house, only to discover more about the horrific past of her home. The picture of the former governess has fallen off the wall, and the door in her closet is now open. Investigating, Dinah finds a set of stairs to the basement, where she discovers the former orphanage beds and three bodies in a wardrobe- the adult skeleton of the governess,and two children clutched to her. This really freaks her out, so she runs back upstairs to her bedroom and discovers a letter hidden in the picture. Inside the picture is a letter wrapped in oilcloth which is the last letter written by the governess to her sister. Inside she confesses that she is scared by what is happening both in the school and in the town.

Soon after finishing reading the letter, Dinah is approached by the spirit of the Governess, who tells her that her anger over the townsfolk blaming what happened at the school on her twisted her spirit and made her an angry ghost. But now what happened back then is happening again, and only Dinah can lay it to rest.

Meanwhile, back at the Mausoleum, Edrear and Edaniel are surprised by an army of strange beings marching on the Mauseoleum. But it's not hostile, it's the spirits of all the ghosts that Dinah laid to rest at the Mausoleum. Though they should all be resting at peace now, they have one last task before they can do so... to defeat the evil of the town. But they need a human, not Edrear and Edaniel to lead them. But is Dinah ready for the task?

I have really been enjoying this series, and this is the perfect penultimate volume- setting up what is to come. Dinah has come so far since the beginning of the series, from a frightened and depressed girl to a young woman who is strong and confident enough to be able to stand on her own. But she has one more battle to fight, and it will be a hard one. The question is who she will be fighting. Is it Eniri, or some other agent of evil.

Not much happens in this particular volume, really. At least, not in an adventure-type sense. In a way, this volume's reason for existence is to show us how far Dinah has come and to make her grow some more before the final conflict. What exactly happened at the school that happened to be in the building that is now Dinah's home has been a mystery since the beginning of the series, and we finally get to find out. But before, there was no way Dinah would have been strong enough to face the truth, and now she is.

Now I can't wait to read the last volume and find out the evil intentions and the bedrock of bitterness and hate that the town itself was built on, and find out the truth to all the mysteries that have plagued us since the beginning of the series. Recommended,

No comments: