The Crystal Prison UK Cover

Year Published: 1989
Illustrator(s): Robin Jarvis
US Cover Artist: Leonid Gore
UK Cover Artist: Robin Jarvis
Page Count: 272
ISBN: ISBN 0750005742
Chronological Order: 8
Publication Order: 2

The Crystal Prison US Cover

The Crystal Prison is the second book in the Deptford Mice Trilogy by Robin Jarvis.


After the events of The Dark Portal, Oswald Chitter is ill and but hours from death. While taking care of him, Oswald's parents too begin to fall into sickness. The bold midshipmouse, Thomas Triton arrives suddenly, telling Audrey Brown that she must join him on a journey to Greenwich to speak to the Starwife. Audrey and Thomas set off, followed by Twit, whom Thomas has come to regard as a best friend.

Upon their arrival, they are told by the Starwife that the Chitters will all perish by the end of the night unless Audrey agrees to take the now mad Madame Akkikuyu to live in Twit's field and remain with her until she dies. Audrey grudgingly agrees and after breaking the news to her family, her brother Arthur volunteers to accompany her to Fennywolde. Although Oswald makes a full recovery, Audrey is unable to share in the happiness of the others.

Audrey, Arthur, Twit and Madame Akkikuyu (who believes Audrey to be her best friend) are taken to Fennywolde by a traveling mouse peddler, Kempe. Upon their arrival, they are introduced to numerous fieldmice—Twit's parents Elijah and Gladwin Scuttle, Jenkin Nettle, a friend of Twit's, and his cruel, religious father, Isaac, the King of the Field, Mr. Woodruffe, Alison Sedge, a flirtatious beauty, and a group of young friends, Samuel Gorse, Young Whortle Nep, Hodge, Todkin and Figgy Bottom.

Samuel and Whortle adventure into the woods and are attacked by the vicious owl Mahooot and are both badly injured, particularly Samuel. Madame Akkikuyu saves them and sends the owl fleeing for his life, earning the respect of the simple fieldmice. She later makes a potion for them, which, despite Audrey's objections, successfully cures the boys.

Audrey engages herself in creating a corn dolly but Alison Sedge, jealous of the town mouse's beauty and fine clothes, gives word to Isaac Nettle. Nettle tosses the thing away, denouncing it as blasphemy.

While Twit and Jenkin assist Arthur in becoming one of the respected sentries of Fennywolde, Madame Akkikuyu is disturbed by voices in her head, which are revealed to be a spirit who calls himself Nicodemus, who is in limbo and craves freedom. To prove his powers to Akkikuyu, he tells her to find the discarded corn dolly and when she does, he casts a spell to give it life.

Soon after, Arthur discovers the body of young Hodge in the corn fields, strangled to death. A few of the Fennywolders accuse the town mice, Audrey in particular, of bringing bad luck on the peaceful field and the young mouse is resented by most of the locals, especially Isaac Nettle.

Jenkin asks Audrey for her paw in marriage but she can't accept, still remembering the love she has for Piccadilly. When Mahooot the owl swoops down on them, Jenkin throws Audrey out of the way, saving her life but is too late to save himself. He is carried off by the owl and despite Madame Akkikuyu's relentless onslaught at Mahooot, he kills Jenkin and Isaac Nettle becomes more bitter than ever.

Nicodemus tells Madame Akkikuyu that to release him from his prison, a girl without a mousebrass would have to cross over to the other side in his stead. He also requires a special sort of mousebrass made in hatred. Akkikuyu realises that he is hinting that Audrey is the one to be sacrificed and reluctantly agrees to do his bidding, and talks the depressed and weakly mad Isaac Nettle into creating the evil brass after he discovers Jenkin's mousebrass in an owl pellet.

The fieldmice discover the corn dolly—the murderer of both Whortle and Hodge—and recognising it at Audrey's creation, proceed to hang her for being a witch. Twit, however, reminds all that if a Fennywolder agrees to marry a witch, the offender would not be allowed to be hanged, under the laws of The Green Mouse. Furthermore, he agrees to marry his friend to save her and both are blessed by Woodruffe and Akkikuyu (much to the anger of Nicodemus), rendering Audrey under the protection of the Green and unable to be sacrificed by Nicodemus. Twit's bravery and wisdom comes at a price—he must be banished from Fennywolde.

Now Nicodemus sets his sights on Alison Sedge, who has, in grief over Jenkin's death, thrown her mousebrass away and is now a perfect candidate for the sacrifice. Akkikuyu talks the unknowing Alison into coming along with her, saying that she will cast a spell against Audrey. Alison soon finds out differently and halfway through the ceremony, Nicodemus reveals that he is in fact Jupiter, and that he will inhabit Akkikuyu's body as soon as he is freed from her crystal ball. In a last bid for redemption, Madame Akkikuyu leaps into the flames, saving Alison and holding Jupiter imprisoned for the time being. A fire suddenly rages through Fennywolde and it takes many days for it to be put under control.

Now that Akkikuyu is dead, Audrey's deal with the Starwife is void and she plans to return home with Arthur, although Twit decides to stay in his field to rebuild it to its former glory. Audrey leaves her husband and returns home to the Skirtings.

Some time later, Jupiter's prison is smashed unwittingly by Alison Sedge and he swoops into the air, vowing revenge on those who opposed him... 


Smoke Over Deptford
  1. The Summons
  2. The Starwife
  3. The Bargain
  4. A Draught of Starlight
  5. A Meeting at Midnight
  6. Fennywolde
  7. The Hall of Corn
  8. The Voice
  9. Mold to Mold
  10. Midsummer's Eve
  11. Magic and Murder
  12. Hunters in the Night
  13. A Witch and a Fool
  14. The Sacrifice
The End

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