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Hobblantern Yet, if only they knew what was truly awakening, deep within the medieval forests...
This article has been distinguished as part of the real world and thus should not be taken as part of the fictional universe of the Deptford Mice books.

After the unfolding drama of the previous story I knew this one had to have a powerful beginning which dragged the reader onto a roller coaster ride that did not let up until the very last page.
Robin Jarvis


The Final Reckoning is the third novel in The Deptford Mice trilogy by Robin Jarvis. The book was first published in 1990 by Macdonald & Company in London.

Dedication[]

Thanks to Sue Hook for having faith in the Deptford Mice and to David Riley for his unflagging enthusiasm throughout

Summary[]

It is winter, and in the mouse community of the old empty house in Deptford, Yule festivities are underway. The Brown siblings, Arthur and Audrey, have returned from their disastrous stay in Fennywolde where, to prevent her being hanged as a witch, the latter was married to Twit. Pestered to no end by the busybodies of the Skirtings, Audrey has made clear in no uncertain terms that the marriage was one of necessity, not love. Searching for a late night snack, Arthur and Oswald make the troubling discovery that the mice's larder is empty. They also notice that the bats are leaving the attic, a portent of disaster. Meanwhile in the city, Piccadilly is on a foraging expedition when he encounters two mean rats, Smiff and Kelly. The tough young Cockney mouse is able to handle them, but is alarmed at their boldness which is not typical of city rats. A meeting is later held by the city's mouse community, Holeborn, where they discuss the troubling reports of rats becoming more violent. Piccadilly befriends a barmy but harmless rat named Barker, who tells him that a rat from Deptford calling himself Old Stumpy is urging the city rats to war. Piccadilly sneaks into a gathering held by Old Stumpy. To his shock, the mouse discovers that Old Stumpy is none other than his arch-enemy Morgan, former lieutenant to Jupiter.

A spectral being has attacked Greenwich Park, the realm of the squirrels. According to the Starwife, it is the spirit of Jupiter returned from the dead. He has stolen her Starglass, with which he now possesses untold powers. After sending her remaining squirrel subjects away for their own safety, the Starwife insists that Thomas take her to the Skirtings to warn Audrey and her friends as they undoubtedly will be targeted by Jupiter out of revenge for his defeat at their paws. Once at the Skirtings, the Starwife creates a beacon fire to summon the departed bats. Orfeo and Eldritch arrive and inform her that all the bats are holding a meeting that night in St. Paul's Cathedral to discuss the crisis. They reject her offer to accompany them, instead taking Oswald. Oswald descends below the cathedral in search of the Book of Hrethel, a tome of enchantments that could possibly be used to defeat Jupiter. However, when he finds it, he sees that the writing had been magically wiped clean by the villainous Hrethel ages ago.

Morgan and his rat army invade Holeborn and murder every mouse they find there. When Piccadilly discovers the carnage, he is wracked with grief and only snaps out of his despair when Barker tells him Morgan is now bound for Deptford. Piccadilly returns to the Skirtings to warn his friends. The spirit of Jupiter appears to Morgan and once again ensnares him into his service. Lured with his army to Jupiter's base, the Deptford Power Station, Morgan is horrified when his lord inexplicably kills all the rats right in front of him upon their arrival. The Deptford mice discuss how they could possibly vanquish Jupiter this time since he is already dead. Barker mentions that he saw Morgan wearing a mousebrass. It is determined that it is Audrey's Anti-Cat Charm, having been found by the rat after it fell into the sewer water when she threw it at Jupiter and defeated him before. On the chance that it could work again, Piccadilly, Thomas, Arthur and Barker go to the power station and lure Morgan out to try to take the brass from him. They are attacked by Morgan's rats, returned from the dead as an invincible army of ghosts wielding deadly ice spears. Thomas and Arthur lose track of Piccadilly when he goes to fight Morgan in a one-on-one duel. In the end, Piccadilly can't bring himself to kill Morgan, who reveals he is so weary of being controlled by Jupiter that he commits suicide to free himself. Piccadilly takes Audrey's mousebrass into the power station to confront Jupiter, but the giant cat spirit is too powerful to be harmed by it anymore and the ghost army subsequently murders the helpless Piccadilly.

Thomas, wounded by an ice spear, is brought to the Skirtings by Arthur. The Starwife says that the wound is enchanted by evil magic that will ultimately kill Thomas. Somehow, Audrey is able to read the Starwife's mind and realises that she does have the ability to heal the midshipmouse, but is unwilling to do so because everyone will soon die anyway. The Starwife does then agree to help Thomas, but only if Audrey assists her. With her magical silver acorn pendant, the Starwife casts the healing spell while simultaneously performing a ritual to transfer her powers to the unsuspecting Audrey. When the mouse learns she is now the new Starwife whether she likes it or not, she reacts in fury, tossing the pendant away. In the morning, the Starwife's frozen body is discovered in the house's yard and burned in a funeral pyre as she wished. Shortly afterward, a banging is heard on the front door of the empty house, which turns out to be a horde of Jupiter's ghostly rats trying to get in. Quickly, all the mice escape through the sewers to the Cutty Sark with Thomas, but Audrey hears a voice in her head compelling her to return to the garden. In spite of protests, she does so and finds a single snowdrop flower in the remains of the Starwife's pyre.

Oswald makes a valiant attempt to destroy Jupiter by using pieces of the Book of Hrethel, which still possess some of the magic that once was on its pages. However, he fails and is swallowed by the void, never to return. Audrey makes her way to the Greenwich Observatory, where Jupiter is. She encounters the ghost of Piccadilly, who has become a vicious wraith much like the rat ghosts. After a struggle, Audrey is successful in helping him to remember who he was, confessing that he was her true love. Piccadilly says he loved her too and kisses her before being led peacefully to the other side by the spirit of Audrey's father, Albert. Audrey finally confronts Jupiter, throwing the snowdrop flower at him, which causes him terrific agony. He drops the Starglass and it shatters. Consumed by blistering green flames, Jupiter is sent to the void to be tormented by spring eternally. All the rat ghosts disappear as well. The frozen world begins to thaw and a beautiful spring day begins. The Green Mouse appears and thanks Audrey for releasing him. He also presides over the union of her mother Gwen and Thomas Triton, who have grown close.

After some weeks, Arthur and a few other mice go to the old empty house in Deptford. The damage from Jupiter's ghosts cannot be repaired, however, and they return to live on the Cutty Sark with Thomas. Audrey, who accompanied them, searches until she finds the discarded silver acorn pendant. Taking leave of her family, she travels to Greenwich where she finally accepts her role as the new Starwife.

The Story So Far[]

The Final Reckoning is the third book in the story of the Deptford Mice. The first book, The Dark Portal, tells how Audrey and Arthur Brown venture into the sewers looking for Audrey's mousebrass, a magical charm given to her by the mystical Green Mouse. In the dark tunnels they meet Madame Akkikuyu, a fortune-telling rat, and are later pursued by a terrifying rat army commanded by Morgan, the lieutenant of the mighty, yet unseen, Jupiter. With the aid of their friends Oswald, Twit, Piccadilly, and Thomas Triton, Audrey and Arthur are able to foil Jupiter's evil plans to swamp London with the Black Death. The Rat God emerges from his lair and to everyone's horror is revealed as a monstrous cat. Audrey flings her mousebrass into his face and it explodes, sending him plunging to his death in the deep sewer.

In The Crystal Prison, the Starwife, an ancient and wise squirrel, forces Audrey to take the now mad Akkikuyu to the country. With her brother and Twit they journey to Fennywolde - the fieldmouse's home. But soon several young fieldmice are found murdered, and Madame Akkikuyu is tormented by a voice that only she can hear. The country folk at first blame Audrey, and she is about to be burned as a witch when Twit saves the girl by marrying her. Horrified, Madame Akkikuyu learns that the voice belongs to the unquiet spirit of Jupiter, and she is made to perform a ceremony that will free him from the other side. In a bid to prevent his return she throws herself onto a fire, which engulfs the whole of Fennywolde. The mice escape to safety, and Audrey and Arthur return to Deptford unaware that the vengeful spirit of Jupiter is free and more powerful than ever.

Plot[]

Prologue: The Pedlar[]

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Chapter 1: Yule[]

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Chapter 2: Mad and Bad[]

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Chapter 3: Old Stumpy[]

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Chapter 4: Murder in the Park[]

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Chapter 5: The Beacon Fire[]

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Chapter 6: The Book of Hrethel[]

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Chapter 7: The Demon Thief[]

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Chapter 8: Re-enlisting[]

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Chapter 9: Showing the Way[]

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Chapter 10: Duel in the Storm[]

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Chapter 11: The Midwinter Death[]

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Chapter 12: Hunted[]

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Chapter 13: Battle on Board[]

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Chapter 14: The Final Reckoning[]

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Epilogue: The Call of the Silver[]

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Editions[]

Illustration gallery[]

Gallery

Acorntransparent The smallest acorn may become the tallest oak.
This article is a stub that was necessarily written in haste. Will you help us by expanding it?


Robin Jarvis' Deptford Mice books
The Deptford Mice:
The Dark Portal | The Crystal Prison | The Final Reckoning
The Deptford Histories:
The Alchymist's Cat | The Oaken Throne | Thomas
The Deptford Mouselets:
Fleabee's Fortune | Whortle's Hope | Ogmund's Gift (unreleased) | Twit's Progress (unreleased)
The Deptford Mice Almanack
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