The tabloid helicopter isn't interesting. Neither is a sex scene that gives the female actor about as much activity as a fucking barber pole. And instead of moving on to something that actually resembles "Plot", we get to read about Frost feeling left out.
He was handsome in his anger, but he was always handsome. Goddess had made it so that he couldn’t be anything else. He was all cheekbones and flawless lines that would make a plastic surgeon cry with envy. Skin like snow , hair like silver frost glittering in moonlight, broad of shoulders, slim of waist, narrow-hipped, long of leg and arm. Clothed he was handsome; nude he was breathtaking.Every. Single. Thing. About. This. Is. Broken. He's pretty. Did you get that part? Frost is pretty. And I like how it's the only thing that defines him. Some people get to be writers or artists or scientists or politicians. Frost gets to be pretty, and that's it. Laurel is also breaking one of the fancy description rules: When you do a goddamned list, make sure you write everything the same goddamned way. If you're going to make everything of something--which is annoying as fuck--make sure that you don't suddenly hyphenate halfway through the list. If nothing else, it points out how utterly fecking stupid all that "of" shit is.
He's here because the Goblin King has called in. Sadly, it is not Jareth, but rather the conjoined mutant...thing that LKH thinks is edgier. And they've left the Goblin King talking to Kitto.
Fuck. I'd forgotten about Kitto.
Doyle says that the men had better get dressed--the Goblin King might like oggling Merry, but, Doyle reasons, he won't like watching the men. Yeah, the Fairy Princess gets objectified, but god forbid anything happen to the pretty men. Rhys, however ,points out that this is not true.
Rhys raised his face from the curve of my neck. “He never touched me, but he watched. He sat on his throne and ate snacks as if it were a show.”To sum up the backstory here, Rhys was gang raped by the goblins, and permanently mutilated because he didn't make sure to tell them cutting his eyes out was off-limits. The good news is, this does get acknowledged as rape in the text. The bad news is, I still don't like how this is being played. It's like all of these characters are resigned to having shit like that happen to them. A kind of "Rape sucks, so let's not do anything about it" attitude. I also don't like the amount of victim blaming pointed at Rhys. It's played as his fault he lost the eye because he didn't bother to learn that in goblin town, the rape victim gets to set rules. Maybe this is because it makes no fucking sense at all, but that's just me.
The goblins were my allies for two more months. For two more months, if the Unseelie happened to go to war you would ask me, not Queen Andais, for goblin aid. Moreover , my enemies were the goblins’ enemies for two more months.
Given how fucking tight her timeline is, I still think Merry should have at least tried the petri dish. When it's your motherfucking life on the line, you ought to try everything. Also: all Merry has done for four months is fuck. She hasn't been playing politics. She hasn't tried to use either the alliances she's made or the information she's gained. All she's done is lie on her back and spread her legs. Which isn't bad in and of itself, but for the love of God, she could at least try to get in a good position before Cel breaks out of his cell.
It also took me far, far too long to figure out that homosexual relationships are taboo to the fae, and this is the only reason Anadais didn't torture Rhys and his rapists to death for breaking her rule of celebacy for her guards. Mostly because Merry and company are talking in euphemisms about it.
Laurel K. Hamilton: the most prudish erotica writer I've ever heard of. She can't talk about gay sex, and she can't write the word "penis". I've finally popped my sex scene cherry, so to speak, and while I can't speak for anyone else, for me there's something pretty damn empowering about writing that your female lead reached down and took the male lead's cock. The euphamisms--refering to the penis as "him" or "Himself", for example--only allow you to distance yourself from something you don't actually want to be doing.
Merry continues to berate Rhys about how arrogant he's being about goblin culture.
“You’re still being arrogant about their culture, Rhys. You act as if what they did to you is nothing that could ever have happened in the high courts of the sidhe. If the Queen of Air and Darkness bid it, or the King of Light and Illusion wanted it, it would be done. And the sidhe have no laws protecting the victims of torture. You’re just tortured. The goblins may do more torture, maiming, and rape than the sidhe, but they’ve got more laws in place to protect the people who end up on the wrong end of the punishment. You get fucked over by the sidhe, and they fuck you any way they want to. So you tell me, Rhys, which race is the more civilized?”
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. DID I JUST READ.
This is like wheels within wheels of fucked up. Jesus fucking Christ. One, you've got the fact that the female lead is berating a rape victim for taking an arrogant view of their rapist. Two, somehow the fact that there are rules to protect victims--rules that no one on earth could ever enforce--migitates the fact that these victims exist, and that there are more of them than in the other cultures.
“Kurag is like a schoolyard bully. He only continues to pick at you because he gets such nice reactions from you. If you could act as if it didn’t bother you, then he’d tire of the game.”
KURAG PARTICIPATED IN RHYS'S RAPE, YOU INSENSITIVE PIECE OF SHIT.
I have no words at this point. Seriously. No words. THE HEROINE OF THIS NOVEL IS SUGGESTING TO A RAPE VICTIM THAT HE PRETEND HIS RAPE DOESN'T MATTER SO HIS RAPIST WILL LEAVE HIM ALONE.
Merry then says that Rhys can't just duck the meeting because Kurag asks about him. His "delicious guard". So instead, Merry wants to distract Kurag from their negotiations--she wants more time with the goblins--by making out with Rhys during their mirror-call.
This makes me want to vomit.
Merry then adds that what she's negotiating for is a trade: She gets a longer alliance, and she'll awaken the magic of more half-breed goblin/sidhe like Kitto. Which means she'll be fucking a very large number of goblins, which sets Frost off, and we get yet another round of false anti-racist commentary about imaginary things.
Rhys agrees that they need the goblins for longer. He asks Merry what she means by "distracting" Kurag. Merry then does a strip tease to remove her bikini. This happens:
He was one of those men who looked small until he grew, and then you knew he wasn’t small in anything but stature.
And this is why you can't be a prude and write good erotica. That's so obtuse it's almost opaque. Rhys has an erection, and Merry likes how big he gets.
Merry then recaps how all the guards got their old powers back after fighting the Nameless. She has a breif makeout session with Frost for reasons--at least, I assume there are reasons. Usually things don't happen in books without them--and she compares Frost's eyes to snowglobes.
I think LKH needs to take a couple more semesters of biology because eyes do not work this way.
By now Rhys is moving into his role of distracting Kurag. Apparently all it takes to make you feel okay being in the same room as your rapist is to tease back. WOW! I wish somebody had told me that.
The chapter ends with the men all piling into the bedroom to talk to Kurag. Merry looks from one guy to the other...and then this happens:
I wondered if Doyle thought of himself as a potential sex partner, or as a meal? I guess that all depended on how Kurag felt about sidhe men, and if he preferred dark meat to light.
I am going to hate every minute of this, aren't I?