A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 44 & 45: Another abrupt ending

A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 44
Chapter 44 begins with Merry walking towards the Nameless with her hand outstretched to make it bleed, but the pain from the poison blood is too much, and Merry drops to her knees. The pain is too much for her, and it clouds her vision for a time. When it finally clears, she notices that blood has begun pouring out of the Nameless. Well, no, LKH describes the blood as “trickling out of the wounds in the mountain of flesh, trickling out not like blood should flow, but like water, faster, thinner”. Uh, that’s not trickling, LKH. You can’t describe things that way. It’s like saying “that cloud is white, but not white but black” JUST SAY WHAT YOU MEAN INSTEAD OF TRYING TO USE CREATIVE LANGUAGE TO SOUND LIKE YOU’RE SMART. You’re a shitty writer who writes shitty stories.
 
Anyway, Merry is directing all her magic at the thing, thinking about how she wants it to not merely bleed but die, and the Nameless begins moving towards her.
 
The blood flowed faster, until the Nameless was covered in a slick red coat from top to bottom, covered in a dress of its own blood. Then blood gushed out of it in a nearly black wave, like a lake being dumped out upon the grass. It spilled and flowed and billowed toward me, until I knelt in a hot pool of blood, and still it bled.
 
But isn’t the blood poisonous? A small amount of it brought you to your knees in pain before, Merry, so why isn’t it now?
 
The more it bled, the calmer I became. A stillness filled my body, almost a peacefulness. I knelt in the growing spread of blood, watching the thing quiver toward me, and I had no fear. I felt nothing, was nothing, but the magic. In that one instant I lived, breathed, and was one spell. The hand of blood rode me, used me, as surely as I had tried to use it. With the old magicks, who is master and who is slave is never sure.
 
What the shit does that mean?
 
The Nameless rose above me like a great blood mountain, one curl of its body reaching out, out toward me, and only a few yards away, I heard it take a breath, a sharp sound, almost a sound of fear, and it exploded, not its body, but as if every last ounce of blood in that vast shape had burst forth at one time.
 
That is one sentence.
 
The air became blood, and it was like trying to breathe underwater. For a second I thought I would drown, then I was choking in air and trying to spit out blood at the same time.
 
The poison blood? Merry is now choking on the poison blood that’s apparently not even poisonous anymore. Cool.
 
So the chapter ends with one of the Nameless’s tentacles falling from the sky, hitting Merry on the side of her head. The last thing Merry sees before she passes out is Kitto’s blood soaked face with Sage sitting, also blood soaked, upon his shoulder. She passes out.

A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 45

Chapter 45 begins with Merry waking and she discovers that she and all the fey in the yard were floating above the ground. Magic was everywhere in the yard, making everything bright. The magic was spilling into all the sidhe guards who were injured in the fight. The magic takes the form of each sidhe’s power: she sees a tree form above Nicca and then disappear into his body. She sees a vine form above Sage and then disappear into his body. A troup of dead men form near Rhys and then march into his body. Frost gets covered by a great field of snow. Doyle gets covered by blackness. All the men start attacking the magic that is flowing into them, screaming at it, confused by it. The magic finally reaches Galen and Merry, who were right next to one another. The magic turns into roses and thorns, and Merry feels something like thorns prick the skin on her wrist. Blood begins to form at her wrist.
 
Merry thinks that all the men are gaining back whatever power they gave up when the Nameless was created, but since she and Galen hadn’t been alive when the thing was created, they’re getting new magic. She’s staring at her wrist in wonderment when she notices something form in the blood from the Nameless that’s covering the ground. It resembles a great bird, and it swoops right down and through Merry. She is knocked unconscious again.
 
When she awakes, she sees that all the men had bound the Nameless, containing its power so that it cannot heal and cannot break free. Then, without any sort of warning, the chapter apparently turns into an epilogue to explain what happens to end the book.
 
LKH does this pretty often, just slamming a FIN on the last chapter of the book without any warning. Suddenly, the whole of the plot is over and we’re slammed into an epilogue. Like, why couldn’t she have taken all that crap about the magic and containing the Nameless and added it to the end of chapter 44, and then use all of chapter 45 as a proper epilogue? It would have worked so much better and not been as confusing.
 
So Maeve Reed allows them to bury the Nameless on her property so that it cannot be let loose again. They somehow bury it both in this world and outside of it, like it is buried between dimensions. Maeve also lets Merry and Co move into her guest house, so that they don’t have to worry about trying to find a larger apartment. Which is good, because I don’t think I could handle eight chapters in the next book full of them apartment hunting. Could you fucking imagine it? It’d be like the worst episode of House Hunters ever. 
 
They turn Bucca-Dhu over to Unseelie custody and tell everything they discovered about Taranis to Andais, so she is now well aware of the depths he will sink to protect himself. Apparently, despite them having a witness to what Taranis did, it’s not enough to overthrow him, because reasons? Because the sidhe are fucking stupid, that’s why.
 
Oh, and those elder god ghosts? All those chapters of Merry dealing with the cops and the crime scenes? Resolved in one sentence. “Rhys laid the hungry ghosts easily.” Yep, Rhys gains back a shit ton of power from the Nameless and is now powerful enough to end those ghosts. Convenient.
 
All the men seemed to have gained power:
 
Rhys talks to empty rooms  … but if they are empty, why do voices answer him from the empty air? Frost can put a tracery of his namesake on my summer window, a spread of icy lace he uses to draw pictures for me. Doyle can vanish in plain sight, and none of us can find him I am assured he is not invisible, but he might as well be. Nicca caused a tree to explode into blossom months off schedule … just by leaning against it. Kitto talks to snakes now. They slither out of the grass to greet him like you’d greet a king. It is positively unnerving how many snakes there are that you never see unless they wish you to see them. Sage has kept a single jasmine blossom alive and fragrant for two weeks with no water. The flower just sits tucked behind his ear and shows no sign of fading.
As for Galen and me – touched by so much wild magic, none of it our own – we don’t know yet. Doyle thinks the new powers will come a little at a time. My second hand of power has well and truly come. All I need is a small wound and I can call all the blood from a being’s body. I am Princess of Flesh and Blood. The hand of blood hasn’t been seen as a power since the days of Balor of the Evil Eye. For those of you not up on pre-Celtic history, that’s thousands of years before the birth of Christ.
 
OH IS IT NOW. Thanks for that lesson, LKH.
 
Andais is so pleased that Merry came into her second hand of power that she gives up all of Merry’s guards. They now belong solely to Merry, and they now answer only to Merry. Andais decides to give Merry more men, but won’t let her or Doyle choose which men she is sending.
 
All the men have changed in more than just their magic. They’re all now different IN BED. Or something stupid, who cares at this point. Galen is a tool, Doyle is a sad rapist, Rhys won’t share Merry with Nicca or anyone else anymore, Nicca is a timid bitch, blah blah blah. Frost is still a giant fucking crybaby. Kitto is basically just out of diapers. Whatever.
 
The book ends with Merry wondering why she was able to perform a fertility ritual that caused another sidhe to INSTANTLY BECOME PREGNANT but she still has yet to become with child, despite the CONSTANT FUCKING. Maybe it’s because all her lovers are women?
 
Anyway, THANK FUCKING CHRIST THIS BOOK IS OVER. It is, by far, the worst and most boring book of the series. They start increasingly becoming more and more insane over the next few books, and I believe they’re all a bit shorter and less FULL OF FUCKING NONSENSE like this one was.
 
There will now be a week break, as I will be vacationing down in the Dominican Republic, spending all week laying on a beach trying to cleanse my mind of the trash I just read. Back in a week with the third awful book in this series, Seduced by Moonlight. See you then! 

 

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