Chapter 12 begins with Merry making Sholto strip. She knows that Sholto is covered in tentacles from the chest down, but she wants to see everything to make sure she’s able to handle the sight of him before she willingly aligns with him. She leans back on the bed to watch him, because that isn’t creepy at all. He begins slowly unbuttoning his shirt from the top down, and then stops to ask her for a kiss before he reveals the rest. Merry obliges. We then get an entire page full of just how epic their make-out session is. Because Sholto is sidhe, and because Merry hasn’t kissed a sidhe in years, this is like THE KISS OF THE CENTURY, and it caused both of their magics to flare up. Sholto has never been with a sidhe before, not even the queen, so the thought of possibly having sex with Merry excites him. However, he reminds Merry that there will be no sex yet tonight, and she responds with “How about just no orgasm?”
Merry grabs at his shirt and begins unbuttoning it, but Sholto is still holding up an illusion of the perfect sidhe body. Merry asks him to drop the illusion so that she can see him, all of him, because she doesn’t want to lose the opportunity to return to Faerie safely, to end her exile, and to again have sex with a handsome sidhe man. All perfectly valid not at all insane reasons.
So he drops his glamour and the tentacles spill from the opening of his shirt. LKH writes one of my FAVORITE SENTENCES EVER here, just proving how excellent she is as a writer. She’s especially great at invoking an image in her reader’s heads. Just look at how deep this is!
The tentacles spilled out of the shirt, and analogies like nests of snakes, or the spill of intestines when you open someone’s gut, came to mind.
WHY. WHY WRITE THIS WAY. She could have just said The tentacles spilled out of the shirt like a nest of snakes or the spill of intestines when you open someone’s gut.BUT NO, she adds the analogies bit which takes it from something interesting, albeit overused and contrived, to just stupid. You know that old adage “show, don’t tell”? LKH is the Queen of Telling. EVEN WHEN SHE WANTS TO WRITE SOMETHING SHOWY SHE SCREWS IT UP.
Anyway, Merry is just instantly disgusted by Sholto’s tentacles. This causes the magic that was blossoming between them to drop, so Sholto instantly knew how Merry felt about his body. This is a good thing, I think, because if Merry were just like “OH HAY NBD DUDE” this book would be even moreso unrealistic. Merry is part human, and although she is well aware of how the sidhe act and feel about things, her formative years were spent outside of Faerie, living amongst the humans, so she often reacts more like a human would in more sidhe-circumstances.
However disgusted she may be, when Sholto starts to pull away from her and put his shirt back on to cover the tentacles, Merry pulls him back to her. Sholto has already replaced the glamour to hide his tentacles. Sholto whines that if he didn’t have the tentacles Merry wouldn’t turn away from him, and Merry tries to explain that if he didn’t have the tentacles, he’d never have become the King of the Sluagh, he’d just be some no power Lord of the sidhe. He agrees with that – he is king, he will not be humiliated.
But then he humiliates himself more by continuing to whine about how Merry couldn’t handle her first glance of his true being. She tells him that she’ll try her hardest not to look away again, but he tells her that’s not enough for him. He needs her to accept him without flinching. He then asks her if she can’t “stomach it” (and LKH calls this out like it’s a truly LOL MOMENT DID YOU GET IT GUYS I’M CLEVER I AM A CLEVER WRITER) if it would be possible for them to have sex anyway if he calls the glamour back. He basically begs her for sex. Merry continues to try to explain to him that she’ll try her best to get used to his tentacles, but she cannot give her word.
She then muses about how if she does take Sholto as a lover, how high maintenance he will be, how hard she’ll have to work to keep his emotions in check. “Men like that are so damned exhausting that I usually avoided them” OH DO YOU, MERRY. So far every male you’ve described in this damned novel has been ONE OF THEM EXHAUSTING MALES. Good fucking god.
The chapter ends with Sholto again dropping the glamour.
Someone apparently made actual character models for this series. This is Sholto.
I like how LKH calls out how her main character typically avoids these “high maintenance emotional men” because NO WHERE IN THIS ENTIRE SERIES is there a non-high maintenance non-emotional dude. Nowhere. Every single main character male in this series is just jam-packed with the whines. Every single one. Every single dude has some huge emotional hang-up that they JUST HAVE TO DISCUSS every time this character happens across the page. I really need to start keeping track of these dude’s emotional issues, because seriously, this is just laughable.
Sholto – crybaby about his tentacles, how no sidhe would love him or accept him with them, that no sidhe found him attractive
Sholto’s emotional hang-up
Every man is a big fucking baby
Sex: shut up.