Seriously, you can shower first. It's not going to break the universe if you come to group fairy sex clean.
Rhys tells Merry that the Sithen has started screwing with time again and that the cops (Remember the cops? There were cops, right?) outside only perceived a few minutes between when the crime scene techs entered the mound and when they were escorted back out. This is a Thing, but nobody knows how big a Thing it is. We segue into a discussion on the personhood of the Mound, which is a pretty big deal and should have been addressed several damn books ago.
Then we go back to understanding how bad the Sithen missing time can be. Basically it's "We're possibly fucked." because time can slip in reverse too.
Then Doyle points out that Merry said how they didn't have enough time to play court on the Queen AND investigate the murder of innocent humans, so it's ALL HER FAULT.
What's sad is that the book agrees with Doyle. Merry is All Powerful and STRONG, blog readers, STRONG, so anything that goes wrong is ALL HER FAULT. It's a massively co-dependant form of thought. One of the coping strategies for codependancy is that you accept blame that cannot possibly be yours because it provides you with the illusion of control, and having no control is scarier than being responsible for shit that you cannot POSSIBLY have done. Once again, this is a lovely example of how unhealthy attitudes is written into this book's DNA.
And THEN the boys go on to state that this means ANDAIS ISN'T THE QUEEN CHOSEN BY THE FAIRY MOUND AND MERRY IS. This statement is immediately followed by this ambiguous sentence:
“She was in Europe ,” Doyle said, “but when we arrived in America, the new faerie mound did not.”The first three times I read that, it meant that the Mound didn't follow the Faerie to the states. I think it means that the Mound in Europe chose Andais, but the Mound they stole from the Cahokia indians didn't pick Andais because fertility (Fuck is Fairyland ablest.)
Doyle and Galen "As you know, Bob" a lot of fairy history to Merry that Merry ought to already know. I thought we were going to have sex in a bathroom, Guys. Anyway, the Sithen is supposed to recognise a rular, Andais promised to step down if hers ever recognized somebody and it didn't, Taranis exiled the dude that the Seelie sithen liked, and that's Aisling who I THINK is one of Merry's guards now?
I just saved you three pages. You're welcome.
Then Merry finally displays some smarts and realizes that if she takes Aisling to the ball Taranis is insisting she attend, he'll balk at admitting her and she can call insult and get out of having to attend.
They talk more about having sex in the bathtub. Apparently she's only going to screw Galen and Nicca in the tub, Galen 'cause he's dirty and Nicca so that he and Biddy can--wait, I thought that the Nicca/Biddy relationship had to be consumated with Merry for it to be valid.
Whatever. Moving on.
Frost points out that he doesn't like that Merry has to use her body as a bargaining chip.
“Frost,” I said, going to him, “a royal woman’s body has been a bargaining chip for thousands of years. At least I’m not bargaining myself away in marriage. That might be my fate if I were human.”
There is so much wrong in that one statement. I mean...YES, YES royal women have had their sexuality be a bargaining chip in men's power plays for centuries. Queen Elizabeth the first had to choose between being motherfucking Queen and having a personal life, and she chose the former because she knew the latter would turn her life into a living hell (Bonus round: her life was so well documented, right down to the condition of her bedsheets, that there's only a six month window for her to ever have had sex and/or a kid.) But here's the thing: You can change it. So much of the lack of conflict in these novels is that Merry identifies something as wrong but doesn't make steps to change it. Instead, she just goes along with whatever. And while it's worth remembering that LKH doesn't want to make a broad political statement, that this is JUST ABOUT SEX--by having Merry, the re-energizing figure of the Goddess, respond to a rapy situation with "Meh, that's just how it is, and it could be worse" LKH is implicitly endorsing about nine different unhealthy attitudes that NOBODY wants in books anymore.
But at least it can't get any--
“Second, I’m tired of your acting as if your blood and body are too precious to be bargained with. I put my flesh and blood up for grabs a lot for you, all of you. You won’t feed anyone. You won’t even let a single demi-fey watch. Rhys won’t let goblins touch him, or the demi-fey either now.”Are. You. Shitting. Me.
Merry. Just because you've elected to disrespect your body--which you clearly just fucking did because you just fucking said that not trading your body for politics is an indicator of value (It's not, but you think that way so we're playing this game on your terms)--does not give you the right to make ANYBODY ELSE do shit. What the bad guys are demanding you do is wrong. Your agreeing to it is an uncomfortable compromise that you should not have to make. The fact that you do it does not in any way diminish either your personhood OR the sheer fucking wrong-ness of the demands being placed on you. But you CANNOT demand anyone else objectify themselves so that you don't have to feel so very alone. The high ground here is to not trade your body for political power. It's the road that will be harder, it's the road that will end with some of your people dead, but it's the ONLY road that leads to a life worth living for you and everyone involved with you.
Do not EVER demand that somebody else do something they're not comfortable with. It makes you a terrible person.
Merry is making Galen, who has PTSD because of the demi-fey, sleep with the fucking demi-fey.
Everyone in this book is horrible and there are no redeeming qualities.
Merry goes over the long list of people she has to sleep with tonight. It really is very long.
Frost kisses her for two pages. She finally gets into the bathtub with Galen.
End of chapter.