The Moth and Moon book 3
After the explosive events of The Lion Lies Waiting, life has returned to normal for burly fisherman Robin Shipp. That is until the innkeeper of the ancient Moth & Moon approaches him with a surprising proposal, and an unexpected arrival brings some shocking news that sends Robin on a perilous journey alone.
While he’s away, his lover, Edwin, anxiously prepares for the birth of his first child with his friend, Iris. Her wife, Lady Eva, must travel to Blackrabbit Island for a showdown over the future of the family business. Meanwhile, Duncan nurses an injured man back to health but as the two grow close, the island’s new schoolmaster makes his amorous intentions clear.
Robin’s search for answers to the questions that have haunted his entire life will take him away from everyone he knows, across a dangerous ocean, and into the very heart of a floating pirate stronghold. Pushed to his limits, Robin’s one last chance at finding the truth will cost him more than he ever imagined.
The third entry in Glenn Quigley's Moth and Moon series brings us back to his alternate history vision of 18th century Cornwall. It's a world of fishermen and pirates, friendship and love, and where that whole 'man in the clouds saying loving who you love is a sin' thing never quite caught on.
With each novel, the scale and the drama has steadily escalated and We Cry the Sea opens up the world still further. A report of a half glimpsed man who may or may not be Robin Shipp's father, thought long dead, sends the fisherman on a quest that will take him half an ocean away to the pirate stronghold of Driftwood, a clockwork powered floating fortress that more than ever evokes the anime of Miyazaki in this alternate world. But back home Robin's half brother Vince's efforts to go straight after decades of being a criminal enforcer come up against the suspicions of the townsfolk. And Robin's boyfriend Edwin and the Ladies Wolfe-Chase nervously await the birth of the child they've conceived together.
The two aspects of the novel sit in perfect balance, skillfully judged by Quigley. There's thrilling adventure, sea battles and action sequences worthy of the biggest blockbuster, but the story never loses sight of its emotional heart. The cast of eccentrics and plain speaking folk (or wickedly sharp in Lady Eva's case) that make up Merryapple remain the Moth and Moon books' greatest strength, and no matter the spectacle they're always the ones we return to, with their easy humour and deep souls. As odd as it sounds, it creates a style of storytelling perhaps best summed up as 'gently explosive'.
If The Moth and Moon and The Lion Lies Waiting both kept an eye on the possibility of being the final word on Merryapple, We Cry the Sea flexes the confidence of knowing it's now part of an ongoing series with more volumes to come. And let's hope we don't have too long to wait.