The DWJ Project: Wild Robert
Heather, a girl whose parents are curators for a “British Trust” (i.e. National Trust) estate, accidentally calls forth a Jacobean-era man known as Wild Robert, who runs around wreaking havoc with magic.
This book is short enough that I suspect in technical terms it’s only a novelette — no more than fifteen thousand words, and probably less. It could easily have been included in one of DWJ’s collections of short fiction, rather than being published independently. But it’s a pleasant enough story; I found it much nicer than the stories compiled in Stopping for a Spell, which were also put out as individual books.
As for spoilers . . . .
My complaint, to the extent that I have one, is that this only feels like the beginning of the tale. We get the backstory for Wild Robert — and unpleasant backstory it is, too; it’s really awful to think of his own brothers cutting out his heart — but not the denoument; he vanishes at sunset, and while Heather realizes her promise binds her to raise him again tomorrow, and she makes plans for how to “civilize” him, it’s just a hand-wave in the direction of a story I can’t really believe would go quite that simply.
I’d love to see a version of this where Heather doesn’t get the explanation so easily (by calling up Janine), and where dealing with the problems Wild Robert presents gets played out in full. Alas, it will never be.
Next, I think it’s time for another short story collection.