If I work at this job much longer, I'm probably going to die of cholesterol poisoning, but it will be a very happy death.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...there is no way this chapter can be as bad as threatened sex with Kitto.
Merry is getting "called" by Taranis's glorified social secretary to go to a ball.
IDK about you, but I get an invite that I don't want from someone I don't want to piss off? If I am honest I say "Thanks but no," and prostrate myself until the refusal is accepted. If I'm feeling passive aggressive, or I know honesty won't work, or both, I'll accept the invite and then have a spontaneous emergency that prevents me from attending, I'm so sorry, here's a dish set to make up for it (I do passive aggressive really well)
How does Merry deal with an unwanted invite from an insane meglomanical king?
I said the one word he probably didn’t expect to hear. “No.”
His hand went down, and he looked up into the room with a cross look on his face. The look gave way to astonishment, then disgust. Maybe it was watching Kitto writhe on the bed.1. Yes. Let's be impolite to the insane monarch's secretary. I am SURE this has nothing to do with you potentially knowing about his infertility and that being rude and flippant to his staff will have no reprocussions whatsoever.
2. The bolded part. STOP. DOING. THIS. IT IS NOT SEXY OR AMUSING OR FUN. THE FAKE CHILD SHOULD NOT BE 'WRITHING" ANYWHERE.
The secretary, on the other hand, reacts very well.
He lowered his hand and scowled at me. “I have quite a few invitations to make today, Princess, so I do not have time for histrionics.”
Hedwick had always been an officious little bootlicker, and I knew that he gave the invitations to all the lesser fey, lesser people. Another sidhe handled all the important social contacts. That Hedwick had extended the invitation was an insult; the way he’d given it was a double insult.Yeah. Merry's issue isn't that Taranis is the crazy-as-fuck King that nearly beat her to death. It's that the guy extending the invitation isn't important enough to be inviting her. He's only used to invite lesser people, you see, whereas she is Merry Gentry in all her Mary Sue Goodness and she deserves to have the shiny invitation, thank you.
Also? Merry is still being stitched up from Kitto's bite, and...uh...yeah, if you have to keep a first aid kit on hand because of how your lovers bite? That doesn't sound too much fun. (It probably could be fun for the right people, but IMHO it's a little too much for my taste)
Things quickly escilate into a pissing contest between Merry and Hedwick, and Merry insults his intelligance for being too slow to argue with her. Because Hedwick couldn't be afraid of actual repercussions from his boss due to Merry rejecting his invite. That'd be giving him too much dignity.
FYI that look the waitresses give you when you order something off the menu? that's not "I don't know if the chefs can cook that". That's "I don't know if the chef will kill me for asking for this, or simply scream at me for a while."
The pissing contest quickly devolves into a long conversation about what title ranks where, and it's too boring to blog about here. The gist of it is, if Merry accepted the invite from Hedwick instead of Taranis's other secretary, she'd be agreeing to acknowledge Taranis as King of the Unseelie court as well as the Seelie, and this would be a bad thing.
Well, it would be a bad thing because Taranis makes Andais look stable:
“He’s like a big spoiled child who’s had his own way for far too long. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he throws tantrums. The servants and lackeys live in fear of those tantrums. He’s been known to accidentally kill in one of his rages. Sometimes he’s sorry, sometimes he’s not.”
Boys and girls, if your leader accidentally kills people when he gets miffed, you need a new one. Now.
After talking about possible political reprocussions, somebody FINALLY points out that it's really convienent Taranis wants to see Merry after Merry's met with Maeve Reed. Maeve Reed could get Taranis killed. Of course he wants to know what Merry knows now.
Merry tells the boys that Taranis is probably sterile. They do not take it well. Then they discuss more things about the Unseelie court, including Merry's ally Barinthus, who is some kind of sea god. And then there is talk about war between the two courts because Plot, and even Merry isn't buying this.
Have I mentioned LKH's repitious writing yet? Because she repeats herself. A lot. This sentence:
the queen had said, “Where is my Darkness, send me my Darkness,” and someone had bled or died,
has appaeared in this book three fucking times. And it's in every book in this series. Every. Single. Book. There are three or four other phrases that LKH reuses like they're her favorite pair of socks. It gets old.
They're talking about the murder scene now. Then they start talking about the Nameless and how its summoner could be Seelie Sidhe, and it's probably Taranis.
The chapter ends with Kitto and Merry snuggling.
I will lend you my mind-bleach for the rest of the afternoon.