The problem LKH faces with this chapter, one she understands damn well on some level, is that Merry is a monster. Like Anita, Merry does not give two dicks for other people. Also like Anita, she FREQUENTLY abuses her sex partners, and has created a situation EVEN MORE ABUSIVE than Anita's stable. Those guys can run to the cops. Also: Merry is overflowing with goddess juice. So whoever Merry's main antagonist is, it'll have to be someone more powerful, bigger, badder, and more abusive than Merry.
This is where we realize just how badly LKH shot herself in the foot in this series by tying up Prince Cel for most of it. Theoretically he's the primary antagonist, but he hasn't been a player since book one. If Cel were still around this would be interesting. Because it isn't, LKH has to make Andais scary.
She goes way. way. way. way. way overboard.
When they get into a room, Andais is beating a man to death. A mortal. Now, it's been established that she only torments other people to hide the pain that is inside her. Which makes about as much sense as going to the moon to pick up a pound of chedder. There is no justification for abusing someone else.
Her consort (AKA the guy she got a kid with) blocks her blows from the guy she's almost killed. Apparently killing humans they've invited into their fun zone is against the rules. And I gotta ask, how the fuck has this not gotten out to the public? Andais is batshit insane. This should not be a secret anymore.
And oh fuck if the Queen didn't find herself a Nathanial to play with. Are we going to treat this kid respectfully this time?
Once I realized she had a human against the wall, I was almost certain who it was. Tyler was her current human lover. Last time I’d seen him, he’d been a blond with a skater’s cut and a real tan. He was barely old enough to be legal. He was also, according to current rumor, a pain slut.
That would be a no. There's also a long, rambly paragraph about how you have a "sacred trust" between faerie and the humans they kidnap and I'm just like
This is supposed to show how far gone Andais is, but it just highlights how nothing in this universe is functional. There is NO WAY IN HELL the Faerie should be allowed to keep pet humans. They have no boundaries, no limitations, and no respect for anything other than themselves. Basically they're just repackaged vampires with even fewer limitations and less government oversight. Which is scary as fuck.
And if anybody argues that LKH is respecting the BDSM community with her shitty books, lemme just point straight up.
So the queen turns her attention to her guards and tries to smother the one protecting her human with magic. Then she starts literally cutting off pieces of him. And then the other guards intervene, and she starts cutting up them. And I cannot describe how awful it is, mostly because I don't want to.
Thing is? Merry does nothing during all of this. Her role is to sit and watch. As it's been throughout the rest of this book, the actors are all the men, and they're being abused by a woman. Look at how horrible this woman is. Look at how wonderful and martyr-like these men are. Won't it be wonderful when Merry finally steps in and saves them from all the other horrible women.
That's the book. That's the entire book, right there.
And of course one of the guards cowering in fear of their queen is Mistral, who will become one of Merry's major lovers. so nice set up there.
“Welcome to the world of the guards, Princess,” Adair said. “Welcome to how we keep each other alive. None but the queen and her Ravens have ever witnessed this. You are most privileged.” That last held an irony, a bitterness that seemed to cut the very air, as if there were power in it.
NO. The answer to dealing with an abuser is not to enable them, treat their symptoms and calm them down. You remove yourself from the situation, or else remove them. Andais should not be in authority anymore. NO ONE worth being with would tolerate this. EVER.
Andais is literally flaying her guards down to the bone, and the only thing they're doing is letting her cut on someone new when the old one is too hurt.
I’d once knelt on this same floor until I passed out. I was after all only mortal, and could not kneel for a day and a night . They could. And if she willed it, they would.
...being forced to stay up for 24 hours is horrible, but doable. It's not beyond the limits of human endurance. Hopefully Merry wasn't tortured for passing out in front of her aunt.
The chapter ends with Merry demanding Galen get out of her way so she can see who is hurt the worst.
And I'm going to stop now because that's pretty much all the LKH I can take for right now.