A Kiss of Shadows – Chapter 27: Have sex or be killed is the faerie way

Chapter 27 begins with Merry, Doyle, Frost and Rhys entering the queen’s private chambers. They are huge and obsidian black. Merry notices a young, blonde human man asleep in her bed, and she hopes that the man is over eighteen because otherwise it would be illegal.

The queen rises from the bed and walks toward them. She’s tall, with pale pale skin and black, black hair. Her eyes are such a pale grey they almost look white. She was wearing a tight black corset top and a long flowing black skirt. Before the fey’s power began fading, the queen used to be able to dress herself in spider webs and darkness. Basically I always picture Andais as Bayonetta, which is why she’s one of my favorite characters. 

I freaking love this game.

The other thing I love about Andais is that she is the most consistent character throughout the series. Andais is a crazy, psychotic, sadistic bitch. She has never loved Merry, and makes no excuses for being such a heinous bitch to Merry throughout her life. She, actually, makes no excuses for anything she does, and why would she? She’s the queen, she can do whatever she fucking wants. Where this behavior and attitude would probably annoy me in other novels, it comes as such a breath of fresh air in this stupid series where nothing can ever be consistent and everyone has such a stupid hidden agenda/distrust of others. 
The queen’s consort, Eamon, was also in the bed with the young blonde man. Merry drops to one knee and bows her head to show the queen her respect. The queen greets her, but does not ask her to raise her head. Merry greets the queen, and the queen cuts her off, asking “How she’s always able to do that?” “Do what?” Merry asks. ” How you can say exactly the right words with exactly the right tone of voice and still sound insincere.”
Merry apparently always takes this tone of voice when dealing with court matters, because she finds it all “terribly, terribly tiresome”. Well, LKH, I find your writing terribly tiresome. The queen brings this up, Merry’s court tone of voice, like constantly. It’s terribly terribly repetitive. And tiresome. The queen finally acknowledges Merry as her niece and tells her to stand up. She then asks Eamon to take “her pet”, the young blonde dude, and get dressed for the banquet. Eamon dresses in a dark purple robe and walks past the group into the bathroom. The blonde dude get out of bed and “stalked toward us putting a swing in his step… pun intended”. Dude is naked. Dude’s got a “swing in his step”. Thanks for that visual, LKH. 
The queen asks Merry what she thinks of her new pet. Merry responds that he’s young and pretty, but that Eamon is better endowed. The dude stops and basically TILTS HIS GODDAMN HEAD LIKE A PUPPY. Andais tells Merry that the guy doesn’t know what ‘endowed’ means, which makes Merry remark that Andais never did choose her pets for their intellect. The dude frowns, quite confused. Merry thinks that Andais had broken one of Merry’s cardinal rules for choosing a lover. Never sleep with someone who is mean, stupid, or ugly, because no matter how safe the sex is, you can always get pregnant and those traits tend to breed true. 
That’s a lovely message to spread there, LKH. Don’t ever sleep with someone who is mean, or is stupid, or is ugly? Jesus Christ. 
Andais eventually sends the dumb blonde dude off, and then notices that Frost isn’t dressed in the outfit she specifically picked out for him to wear. She orders him to go to his room and change, but he hesitates because he didn’t think the clothes fit. Andais tells him she had them specifically tailored to his measurements, and asks him again why he is not wearing them. She grabs him by the hair and yanks hard, and he admits that he finds the clothes uncomfortable. She yanks his hair even harder and asks Merry what they should do to Frost for disobeying her. I guess this scene is to prove how awful the queen is? Merry reminds the queen that their time is limited and there is no time for games, so the queen releases Frost to go change. She orders Doyle to accompany him, then forces Rhys to stand outside her door so that she may speak to Merry in private.
With all the guards out of the room, Andais walked across the room to a heavy black curtain and tosses the curtain aside to reveal a small room with a table in the middle. On the table is an ornate chess board. Hung on the walls of this room were Andais’s torture devices and other weapons. Merry comments that her aunt’s hobbies have not changed, and the queen replies with “Don’t worry Merry, I won’t bite… tonight.” Ughhhhh.
Andais then asks Merry if she has ever wondered why she (the queen) made the guards celibate for years. Merry responds that of course she did, that it was a great debate between sidhe of the Unseelie court for centuries. The queen responds that she made them celibate because for centuries the sidhe were breeding with other fey, mixing their blood, so in order to conserve pure-blood sidhe Andais made her strongest celibate.
You know, except that several of the sidhe guards we’ve met have been mixed breeds.
The queen continues that she made them celibate to all but her because she desired that her bloodline continue. However, her bloodline had mostly died off – all that remained now were her, her son Cel, and Merry, her niece. For most of her life, the queen wished Merry were dead, as she saw Merry’s mixed mortal blood as an insult to the sidhe, an insult to her bloodline. Now, though, she realizes that her bloodline must continue any way possible. 
She has decided to rescind her geas of celibacy for her guard, but only for Merry. She wants her bloodline to continue, and she wants it to continue with the strongest and the best of the sidhe, her trusted guard. This is why she gifted Merry her ring, to help Merry choose mates to sleep with in order to become pregnant. Andais orders Merry to choose several of the sidhe guard to sleep with, she does not care who, so that Merry may conceive a child.
She tells Merry that whoever conceives a child first, her or Cel, will inherit her throne. Will take over as the King or Queen of the Unseelie court. 

FUCKING FINALLY we have the point of the story. This right here is the whole reason for the story, for the series, actually. The queen wants either Merry or her son to conceive a child. Whoever does it first inherits her throne. 27 chapters of fucking whining bullshit to lead to this. We have just 10 chapters left of the story – this is unacceptable. We should not have to read well over half the story to finally know what the fuck the story is about, why the events are even happening. 27 fucking chapters of exposition before we’re given THIS. 
Merry is uncertain. She does not believe that the court will ever accept her as their queen. First off, the queen is immortal and Merry is not, to which Andais responds that if Merry conceives a child, she will step down from the throne for Merry to take it. Secondly, Merry knows she has more enemies than friends in the court, and she does not believe anyone will take her seriously as the queen. Andais responds to that by saying that the court will take Merry seriously if she tells them to. 
Andais then tries to remind Merry how happy she was at court three years ago, before she and Griffin ended their engagement and she ran off to live among the humans. Merry tells Andais that Griffin was not the reason she left the court, but Andais does not believe that. She tells Merry that she may choose Griffin as one of her guard lovers if she so desires. Merry tells her no, she no longer loves Griffin, but the queen responds that she can tell Merry still has feelings for Griffin. Merry tries to explain to Andais how humans can have lingering feelings despite no longer loving someone – as if this is such an alien trait to the sidhe – but Andais doesn’t listen or doesn’t believe it.
As the queen is about to send Merry off to freshen up for the banquet, Merry asks Andais if the lust charm she left in the Black Coach had worked, would Andais had killed Galen? Andais has no idea what Merry is speaking of, so Merry tells her about the spell they found and what had almost happened. Andais gives her word that she did not leave the spell, but Merry thinks she knows who did. Merry asks her who knew that the geas would be lifted from the guards: only two people, Eamon and Cel. Andais is certain that Cel did not leave the spell, but Merry knows he did. 
This pisses the queen off, and she orders Merry to take a guard to her bed tonight. She tells Merry that if Merry does not fuck one of the guards tonight, she will force Merry to have group sex with the guards of her choosing IN FRONT OF THE COURT the next night. She also orders Merry to take a guard of her choosing back to LA with her, so that she may have a spy in Merry’s group of concubines. 
Merry resists, and this pisses the queen of further. She grabs a knife and holds it to Merry’s throat and repeats her demands, to which Merry agrees to all of them. Merry asks who the queen’s spy will be, and the queen tells her it will be a surprise. Andais calls Rhys back into the room to escort Merry to the banquet, and the chapter ends with Merry asking Rhys to take her the fuck away from the queen.
Characters Introduced:
Andais – Queen of Air and Darkness, the Unseelie Queen. Merry’s Aunt, her father’s sister. Tall, pale, and terrifying. Evil and psychotic. 
Eamon – the queen’s sidhe consort. 
Stupid – some young blonde dude the queen calls “her pet”. 
Themes Introduced:
Merry is a shallow bitch. 
Andais has lifted her geas of celibacy for the guards, but only for Merry. She desires either Merry or Cel to conceive a child, and quickly, and whoever does so will inherit her throne.
Cel planted the lust spell in the car in an attempt to have Merry punished and Galen killed.

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