Woven

Raven

Fatal

Tales from the Wyrd Museum

- Plot Synopses - Characterisation - Recommendations -

Tales from the Wyrd Museum was the fourth trilogy I had read by Jarvis. When it was originally published I was getting quite old, and due to the long wait between books, I didn't get into the story very much. Recently, I decided to go and re-read it, as I could barely remember anything about the story, (apart from a very memorable raven), and was pulled into an intriguing and thrilling story...

"In a grimy alley in the East End of London stands an ugly, forbidding building, its blackened walls pierced by grubby windows, its roofline crusted with turrets. It is the rarely opened Wyrd Museum, cared for by the strange Webster sisters - and the scene of even stranger events."

Plot Synopses:

The Woven Path:

Neill Chapman, an 11 year old boy comes to live in the Wyrd Museum when his father accepts a job as a caretaker. Bored looking after his younger brother, Neill wanders the museum until he comes across The Separate Collection, a part of the museum filled with strange and gruseome exhibits. However, Neill's boredom is shatterd when he is forced to travel back in time to save 4 year old Josh. Accompanied only by Ted, a teddy bear he found in the Separate Collection, Neill finds himself in the middle of a London in the middle of World War 2. But it's not only Josh that Neill has to save.

The Raven's Knot:

Neill thinks his adventure with the Wyrd Museum is over. Little does he know that it is about to begin.

Bereft without Ted, Neill mopes around the museum, that is until he finds a new companion in the form of Quoth, the raven. Dishelved and moldering, most of the other museum inhabitants don't take kindly to Quoth, despite his ability to talk!. However, quoth has a darker past than he wants to remember. And quoth isn't the only raven to stir from the Separate Collection.

Eddi Dorkins, a waif bought forward in time from war torn London becomes like a daugther to the 3 elderly Webster sisters who own the Wyrd Museum. However, when Veronica Webster leaves the museum for the first time in untold ages seeking a lost life and love, tragedy unfolds on Glastonbury Tor.

The Fatal Strand:

The final battle is approaching, and the Wyrd Museum is awakening. Trapped within the Wyrd museum the inhabitants crowd into the Separate Collection, but not even the exhibits can save them from the doom that approaches. As the Webster sisters sink into madness, and succumb, Neill and Eddie Dorkins desperatly try to stop the advancing doom.

Characterisation:

The Wyrd Museum Trilogy focuses on a small core of characters.

The Chapman Family:

When Sheila Chapman walks out of the family home, Neil is left to look after his younger brother Josh, and to some extent his incompetant father, Brian. Throughout the trilogy, Neil is presented as being rather isolated, taking solace with his friend Ted, and later the motley raven, Quoth. He feels little more than despair where his father is concerned, with his shaggy appearance and inability to look after the family. Yet their experiences in the Wyrd Museum will eventually draw them closer together.

The Webster Sisters:

Ursula, the oldest of the series is most formidable, despite her age. The other residents of the museum, including her younger sisters are in awe of her. Celendine and Veronica Webster are nothing like Ursula. Younger than Ursula, they have decended into a kind of madness, where they delight in simple things, like Jam and Pancakes, and dancing. Yet beneath their clouded thoughts are the memories and experiences of lives long lived, where they controlled the destiny of all, as the Three Fates. Ursula must battle to keep both her sisters in line, and to retain her own wits for the struggles to come.

Recommendations:

While this is a childrens book, it contains elements that may be distressing to young children. I would recommend this for children aged 8+ and engaging for children up to 16.

Rating: 10/10