Ok so. William is 10 and he and some pals are doing 10-year-old stuff and then he's like, I bet I can hit that rook with my slingshot. And his pals are like No you cannot but this is fiction so obviously he does. And the rook dies and as William is heading home, he sees a bunch of rooks just staring at him, silently, and you are like, OHHHHHH DIP, those rooks are going to take some terrrrrrible revenge.
And then William grows up and starts working at his uncle's mill and marries a lovely girl and has lovely children and prospers at the mill and you are like
but again, fiction, and in fiction, when everything goes well, something eventually goes VERY BADLY. Starting with one of the 10-year-old pals, who is a drunk now until he falls in the river and drowns and Will is the one to pull him out. Will is a character in fiction, so he is like, That's too bad, but you are like, IT BEGINS.
And then really a lot of people die. I feel like all this is not spoilering because the whole time I'm thinking, D-Sett is being really obvious about what's going on here vis-a-vis the rooks and their vengeance. But then, as his daughter lays dying, Bellman makes a deal with a shady character in black, and things start to get muddier. Especially because William doesn't remember making the deal, just that he talked to a guy in a graveyard and then the next morning his daughter didn't die. But he keeps feeling like he's forgotten something...
That's not it... Also, give me your head-suit.
And it's OKAYYY, but it's one of those novels that has to end well for the whole thing to have been worth it. The ending...ends. Weirdly, it doesn't end with Total Rook Domination, which is what I was anticipating. So, good on you for catching me out, I guess. But I think TRD would have completed it more nicely for me, and made more sense, and been more viscerally satisfying. Also, like, visceral.
BUTTTTT I learned a lot about the collective nouns for rooks, of which there are apparently many.
Kinnnnd of a good R.I.P. read, but not actually. Six caterpillars.
Requisite ass-covering: book received from publisher via NetGalley.