A Caress of Twilight – Chapters 10 and 11: We’re off to see the wizard!

 

Chapter 10 begins with Merry walking over to greet Maeve Reed. She hands Maeve her hand, and Maeve does one of those “grabs just the very tips of Merry’s fingers” handshakes. Merry wasn’t sure if Maeve was waiting for her to genuflect, but Merry is all fuck that, she bows to no one. Except her queen. And King Taranis. And other nobles. Whatever.
 
Merry immediately blurts out “You really did hire Kane and Hart to protect you from us, didn’t you.” And Maeve responds with that typical sidhe not-lying. She dances around the true answer to the question, all smiles and sparkly eyes. If there’s one thing that annoys me terribly (and my god, there’s a lot that annoys me), it’s when someone cannot respond to a fucking question asked of them. Might be why I hate these characters so much. Maeve smiles and laughs, brushing off the question with “What a strange idea. I assure you, Ms. Gentry, I am not afraid of you.”
 
Merry then asks Maeve if she is afraid of her guards, Doyle and Frost. “Whatever gave you such an absurd idea?” Maeve asks, and Merry tells her that she did. Maeve doesn’t respond to this, and instead begins using her glamour to make herself glow. Because why? Merry tries to continue the questioning, and again asks Maeve if she hired the extra guards to protect her from Doyle and Frost. Maeve turns to Doyle and asks him “Have you taught her no manners?” “She has all the manners she needs, “ Doyle responds.
 
Merry continues the interrogation-like questioning, asking the same question again. Maeve whispers at Merry to stop this, but Merry continues, bluntly asking “why are you afraid of us?” and Maeve essentially breaks down with “Why are you doing this to me?”
 
Oh boo hoo, Maeve, you baby.
 
Merry keeps pushing and pushing at Maeve to answer her question, and eventually Maeve breaks down so much she lets her glamour go and reveals her true sidhe-eyes to the group. Many of the sidhe have tri-colored eyes, and Maeve was no exception, with blue and copper and gold ringed eyes. Merry grabs Maeve’s hand and brings it to her lips to kiss, telling Maeve that she has the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen, which causes Maeve to begin crying. As the tears fall from her eyes, her glamour drops further, fading her tan to reveal the perfect milky white sidhe skin and white blonde sidhe hair, no longer pretending to be more human-like.
 
Merry continues holding Maeve’s hands as the room begins to fill with a sweet golden light and the scent of flowers filled the air. Maeve lets her power overtake her, ands he drops to her knees, still holding Merry’s hands. She begins laughing  joyously, almost hysterically, and announces “And I thought he men were the danger.”
 
Maeve stands abruptly and pulls Merry in for a deep kiss, and as Merry begins to kiss back, Maeve breaks off from the kiss and the chapter ends with Maeve running from the room.
 

***

I’m definitely beginning to find this book a bit more tedious to write about than the first one. Not a whole lot has happened, and we’re ten chapters in already. True, this book is a bit longer than the first, and the first moved a bit more quickly due to all the introductions of characters, themes, world, etc… But jesus, the second book of your series should not drag this badly.  I apologize if these past few chapters haven’t been the most exciting to read. They’re lengthy conversational chapters where the plot doesn’t even minutely advance. Welcome to the wonderful world of a large majority of LKH’s novels.

Anyway,

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 begins with Julian going after Maeve to find out what had caused her to run from the room. Doyle turns to Merry, who had fallen to her knees, and asks her if she is alright. Merry is a little too shocked for words, and it takes her a few tries before she tells the room she is fine. “I’ve just never… She tasted like sunshine. And until this second I didn’t know that sunshine tasted like anything.”
 
Doyle knelt beside me and spoke softly. “It is always difficult to be touched by those who hold such elemental powers.”
I frowned at him. “She said she thought it was the men she needed to be afraid of. What did she mean by that?”
“Think of how you were after just a few years alone out here… and magnify that by a human century.”
 
Wait, there’s a difference between sidhe centuries and human centuries? What?
 
I felt my eyes widen. “You mean she’s attracted to me?” I shook my head before he could say anything. “She’s attracted to the first sidhe she’s touched in a hundred years.”
“Do not underestimate yourself, Meredith, but I have never heard it said that Conchenn was a lover of women, so, yes, it is the touch of sidhe flesh that she craves.”
 
Merry then begins to worry that perhaps Maeve had invited them there that day to discuss the option of sharing Merry’s men. Doyle doesn’t think that would be possible, as it would be the height of rudeness to ask such a thing. I thought the height of rudeness was to be blunt? The sidhe are super fucking killjoys, aren’t they?
 
Rhys picks that exact moment to walk into the room. He had been waiting outside the house with Max, one of the guards from K&H. Rhys wants to know what had happened, what he missed, and Merry tells him that Maeve dropped her glamour. Rhys is impressed – he could feel Maeve’s magic from outside, and he didn’t think anyone had power that strong anymore. Doyle tells them all that Maeve had been one of the last sidhe to be worshipped by humans, that she was still being worshipped by her pagan cult not 300 years ago, just as they were being kicked out of Europe. This means that Maeve’s magical abilities, her power, is likely much stronger than other sidhe’s power.
 
Frost comes over to the group and announces that he has a theory as to why Maeve’s power seemed so much stronger than Merry’s or any of her sidhe guards. “I have watched movies on Meredith’s television set. I have seen how humans react to these movie stars. Their adoration of the actors is a type of worship.”
 
Doyle worries that Maeve allowing humans to worship her as an actress would be grounds to have all the sidhes kicked out of the US, as that was one of their only rules when they came to America  – that they do not set themselves up to be worshipped as gods. Merry disagrees with this and says that Maeve didn’t set herself up to be worshipped as a goddess, but rather she took advantage of an already skewed system where humans treated actors and other stars as gods and goddesses. Hell, Maeve is called Hollywood’s Golden Goddess multiple times in this story, so duh? Because Maeve knew precisely what to do with all the power of her human fans, she was able to turn that ‘worship’ into added power.
 
Merry adds that what Maeve is doing is similar to what the sidhe who remained in Europe did – they could only remain in Europe if they married into the royal houses, so as they intermarried with the European royalty, they were able to take that extra adoration already in place and use it to boost their powers.
 
Julian enters the room and requests that they move their conversation with Maeve outside, to the poolside. They all agree and head out there, and the chapter ends with Rhys taking Merry by the hand and trying to get her to skip down Maeve Reed’s hallways while humming “We’re Off to See the Wizard”. What?? I don’t even get these characters anymore. I give up.

 

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