Author: W.R. Gingell
Link: Goodreads | Amazon
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
‘If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .’
At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest. She thinks it will be all enchantment and excitement, and not so much fuss about baths. The reality is much more sober and practical- that is, until she meets a mysterious wolf in the forest and is tricked into stepping off the path . . .
In young, naive Rose, Bastian sees a way of escape. Cursed to remain in the shape of a wolf after running afoul of a powerful enchantress, he has lived many decades under a spell, and now he is both desperate and ruthless. But by breaking part of Bastian’s curse, Rose has caught the attention of Cassandra, the enchantress who cursed him: and Cassandra is by no means ready to forgive and forget.
Meanwhile, wardens have been disappearing from the forest, one by one. Rose is certain that Cassandra is behind the disappearances, but can she and Bastian get to the bottom of the matter before Akiva disappears as well? And are Bastian’s motives entirely to be trusted?
Sometimes the little girl in the red hood doesn’t get eaten, and sometimes the wolf isn’t the most frightening thing in the forest.
Villains W.R. Gingell Would Like To Know More About
So, without further ado, here are three villains I would like very much to know more about.
Long John Silver (Treasure Island)
An anti-hero long before anti-heroes were a thing (does that make him a hipster? I think Silver would be appalled) Long John Silver is one of the most terrifyingly ruthless, oddly fair, and clever villains I’ve yet come across. His occasionally soft heart somehow makes him all the more terrifying, and re-reading Treasure Island now, the story for me is all about Silver. Even though the story is told through the eyes of Jim Hawkins, the focus is somehow always on Silver. I would like to have known more of him before Jim Hawkins came along to be mentored, manipulated, and shoved recklessly into the school of hard knocks.
His schemes within schemes; his crutch; the horrible, cold ease with which he kills: all of this adds up to make Long John Silver a villain I want to know more about. I was delighted to see him get away with his money at the end of Treasure Island, and I would like to know what came after that for him. I can’t see him settling down quietly.
Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
You may be sensing a recurring theme here. This is because I wanted to be a pirate when I was a kid. After that, I wanted to be a detective– and after that, a spy. But during the pirate phase I read Treasure Island, Coral Island, Kidnapped, and Peter Pan. Peter was one of my favourite characters straight away; his selfishness, forgetfulness, and capricious little boyishness immediately appealing to my ten-year-old self. It wasn’t until several years later than I began to think about Captain Hook; he of the hook hand and famous crocodile phobia. What there is of Captain Hook in Peter Pan is beautifully drawn: we easily get the idea of a handsome, debonair and ridiculously well-spoken pirate, wrapped in the veneer of caricature. For example, when Peter kicks him overboard into the waiting jaws of the crocodile, Hook complains that it is ‘bad form’! I find that delightful. I want to know more.
That want to know more, along with my love of Peter Pan, have left a story seed growing in my head. Maybe one day soon you’ll be able to read that, too!
Von Stalhein (Recurring villain in the Biggles books)
Smooth, sleek, and charming, Von Stalhein was my favourite villain when I was twelve. He was one of my first crushes, and my love for him has fed into the creation of some of my own characters. Biggles, Ginger, Algy, and (above all) Bertie, were favourite and well-loved characters, but when Von Stalhein was on the scene, I was always cheering for him.
I would have loved the chance to know more about Von Stalhein: what he was like as a young man before becoming the recurring villain in Biggles’ storylines and what sort of things he got up to when he wasn’t making trouble for Biggles. I could never get enough of him, and I still remember him fondly.