Seduced by Moonlight – Chapter 9

Chapter 9 begins 30 minutes after Merry woke with the chalice, and they’re all sitting around the kitchen table. They spread out a black silk pillowcase for the chalice to sit upon, which is just hilarious that they’d even go through with that effort. They apparently are all sitting around a 4-seat breakfast nook, and Merry remarks how out of place the chalice looks on that little table, how it deserved to be set upon a giant dining room table. Which, they’re now living at fucking Maeve’s house, WHY ARE THEY NOT USING WHAT’S MOST CERTAINLY AVAILABLE TO THEM? ALSO THIS:
 
The cat clock on the wall with the moving tail and eyes didn’t match the cup, but it did match the white canisters and black-and-white kittens painted on top of them. Maeve had never owned a cat, but I’d bet her decorator did.
 
WHAT FUCKING SERIOUS DECORATOR WOULD HANG A CAT CLOCK ON THE WALL AND HAVE CAT CANISTERS ON THE COUNTERTOPS? Seriously? Hahahahaha this is so unrealistic it isn’t even funny. I BET YOU A BILLION DOLLARS THAT LKH HAS THIS EXACT CLOCK.
 
A few years ago one of my friends picked up one of those crazy cat eye clocks, so he cut out the eyes on an old Hulk Hogan record and put that in front of the cat clock. This is the only acceptable use of a cat clock. It does not belong in a famous actress’s perfectly decorated guest house.
 
Anyway, Doyle starts lecturing them on the purpose of the chalice.
 
“Once it was a cauldron,” Doyle said, and I wasn’t the only one who spilled tea down the front of his or her robe.

And then we expect this interesting fact to continue being discussed, but instead we get four pages describing all the robes our cast of characters are wearing. Great.

“One day they went into the sanctuary and instead of a black cauldron that looked as ancient as it really was, there was this shiny new cup.”
 
I love that they refer to this all powerful god-chalice as a fucking cup.
 
Behold! The Almighty Cup!
 
“The King of Light and Illusion thought the cauldron had been stolen. He nearly went to war with our court over it. … But it hadn’t been stolen. It had merely changed.”
I sipped my own tea. “You mean the way the Black Coach of the wild hunt started its existence as a chariot, then changed to a coach when no one drove chariots anymore, and now is a big black shiny limousine?”
“Yes,” he said, and finally took a drink of his own tea. His eyes never left the chalice, as if nothing ever really mattered.
“The wild magicks have a mind of their own,” Kitto said from where he huddled in the chair to my left. He held his mug of hot chocolate between both his hands the way a child will drink from an overly large cup. He had his knees tucked up to his chest, and the legs of his satin night shorts were just a thin strip of burgundy cloth.
 
ARRARHGHH. Yet another reference to Kitto being child-like. So gross.
 
Also, this whole chalice business – it actually sounds pretty cool. I’d love to learn about that more, but LKH thinks describing what each character is wearing, and what they’re drinking, and how they hold their fucking mugs are way more important. This chapter has been 9/10 character bullshit and not actually interesting, plot driving conversation. Why is LKH a best-selling author, again? I know her main group of readers are idiots, but this is mind bogglingly embarrassing.
 
Anyway, as typical, Merry doesn’t understand why her guards are acting as if something terrible had happened. So why did you spill your tea all over yourself when Doyle first said that it used to be a cauldron? You didn’t even have any idea why that was momentous, Merry, you moron.
 
“You still don’t understand,” Doyle said. “This is the cauldron. The cauldron that can feed thousands, and never go empty. The cauldron from which the dead warriors can rise again, alive the next day, though robbed of their speech. This is a thing of elemental power for our people, Meredith. It appeared among us one day, like the Black Coach, like so many things just appeared. Then one day it vanished, and we lost our ability to feed the masses of our followers, and for the first time we watched them starve.” He rose and turned, pressing his hands against the window’s dark glass, leaning his face so close to it that it looked as if he meant to kiss the darkness outside. “We were not in the country when the great famine hit, but if we had still possessed the cauldron I would have strapped it to my back and swum to Ireland.” For the first time I heard a bur of brogue in his voice. Most of the sidhe pride themselves on having no accent. I’d never heard Doyle sound like anything or anywhere in particular.
“Are you talking about the great potato famine?” I asked.
 
HAHAHAHA
 
Oh Merry. Merry, Merry, Merry. Being someone who prides herself on schooling everyone on the histories of various cultures, HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK FAMINE DOYLE IS TALKING ABOUT. No, it’s the great Pocky famine of 2005, you idiot. I hate you.
 
ALSO THEN THERE’S THIS
 
                He was mourning people who had died nearly two hundred years before I was born.
 
When…. When do you think this famine WAS, LKH? It was in the 1840s. Merry is like 32 years old or so. Not even half a year has passed since the events of the first book, which was released in 2000. So, Merry was born, by my estimate, in 1968-1970. The famine was 125 years before Merry was “born”. ANYONE who knows their history now knows how much of an idiot you are, LKH. For all your research into Irish/Celtic mythology, you certainly didn’t bother to research ACTUAL IRISH HISTORY.
 
Ugh.
 
So Doyle starts crybabying about how Merry can’t even understand how painful that was, to watch his followers, people he was meant to protect, die because they could no longer feed them from the cauldron/chalice. Merry goes to comfort him, and instead he tenses against her touch.
 
I spoke with my cheek pressed to the warm smoothness of his back. “I know that there was more than one cauldron. I know that there were three main ones I know that they all changed form, and became cups. My father blamed it on all the King Arthur stories about the Holy Grail. If enough people believe something, then it can affect everything. Flesh affects spirit.” Somewhere in my matter-of-fact talking, Doyle began to relax against me. He began to let the hurt go, a little.
 
Cool, another of these “if I believe it it must be true!” And I love how Merry goes right back into her “See how much I know! I know so much about everything!” know-it-allness. AND THAT COMMA, AT THE END OF THAT SENTENCE, WHY. WHY. Why couldn’t that have been ONE SENTENCE WITH NO PUNCTUATION? I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
 
“Yes,” he said, “but the first cauldron given was the great cauldron that could do all that any could do. There were two lesser cauldrons. One could heal and feed, the other held treasure, gold and such.” The way he said the last words showed clearly that he didn’t think that gold and such were worth nearly as much as healing and food.
“There were more cauldrons than that,” Rhys said.
 
Which starts a fun argument about whether or not the chalices/cauldrons/cups disappeared because the gods withdrew their favor or because the sidhe gave up the power to work directly with them.
 
The sidhe apparently went through three “weirding” magics, which diminished their powers greatly. The first happened when the goddess Danu distanced herself from the sidhe. The second one happened because something that either hasn’t been described or explained yet, but it was after the second weirding that any major magical items the sidhe had made themselves (instead of given to them by the gods) began to break or fail. The third happened when the Nameless was created. Merry asks how, knowing how the second weirding made them lose so much power, they all agreed to do the third weirding that created the Nameless.
 
“What choice did we have?” Rhys said. “It was either give up more of our power or be exiles without a country.”
“We could have stayed in Europe,” Frost said.
“And what,” Doyle said, “be forced out of our hollow hills to buy houses and live next door to humans? To be forced to intermarry with humans.” He looked back and me and said, “I don’t mean to insult the princess, but a little mixed blood is one thing; to be forced to marry humans is something else. Those who remained behid in Europe had to sign treaties to give up their culture.” He spread his arms and hands wide. “Without their culture and a belief people do not exist.”
 
So this is all super insulting. We all know already that LKH thinks us mere humans are basically the scourge of the earth, but now OH NO, NOT THE SIDHE INTERMARRYING WITH THE HUMANS, NOT THAT. Hey, remember when people freaked out over a white person marrying a black person? Cool.
 
“That’s why they did it,” Rhys said. “It was a way of destroying us that didn’t smack of genocide.”
“The humans were not strong enough to kill us all,” Frost said.
“No,” Rhys said, “but they were strong enough to bring us to the treaty table and force a peace that more than half of every race of the fey thought was unfair.”
“I know the facts of what happened,” I said, “but this is the first time I’ve ever heard any of you talk about the exile with this much emotion.”
“We left Europe to save what was left of faerie,” Doyle said. “Now that cup sits on the table, and it will all begin again.”
“What will begin again?” I asked.
“The Goddess gave us her gifts, the Consort gave us his gifts, then one day they were gone. How can we trust that whatever gift we are given will not abandon us at our hour of need?” Pain, anger, frustration, hope, all fought across the darkness of his face.
“I think you’re borrowing trouble,” I said.
 
HAHAHA. This could be the tagline for the entire series. Seduced by Moonlight: Borrowing Trouble. Every single character in this series worries and frets over something that’s totally meaningless. Chapters are wasted discussing meaningless shit that someone thinks is a HUGE PROBLEM and ends up being totally pushed aside for sex or stupidity.
 
Merry thinks they should focus on finding out if the cauldron still works as intended, but Rhys tells her that it never worked simply because they wished it did. It would only work when needed. Nicca tells them that the more they believed in it, the more it worked. It worked on faith.
 
“I think we all believed we were truly gods,” Doyle said, “equal to any. When the first lessening happened, we learned different.” He strode to the table and looked almost as if he was going to pick up the cup, but he didn’t. “We learned the difference between playing gods and being gods.” He shook his head. “It is not a lesson I want to learn twice.”
 
But… why would you need to learn it twice? Shouldn’t you know better than to let the power go to your heads again? Or are these guys so completely unhinged that the second they get even one ounce more power they go hogwild? And didn’t all the guards gain a bit of power when they destroyed the Nameless last book? Or did we forget about this, LKH?
 
They then start talking about how the sidhe stole the goblins’ power, and everyone is surprised when Rhys agrees that stealing the goblins’ power was an arrogant mistake. I’m so sick of everyone being so surprised when Rhys makes an effort to be friendly with/understand the goblins. We get it already, jeez. Somehow the conversation swings back to how the humans of Europe demanded the fey intermarry with the humans or be exiled from Europe and how totally unfair that was. And Merry, not knowing ANYTHING ABOUT THIS, absolutely has to interject her opinion.
 
“I’m not sure it’s arrogance on the humans’ part,” I said. “I think it’s mostly fear that another fey-and-human war might decimate Europe.”
“But it’s still arrogance to think that they can dictate rules of conduct to a civilization that existed millennia before their ancestors stopped living in caves,” Rhys said.
To that I could add nothing, so I didn’t try. “I concede the point.”
He grinned at me “You’re not going to argue with me?”
I shrugged. “Why should I? You’re right.”
 
THEN WHY NOT FUCKING JUST SAY “I AGREE”??? Why this concede the point bullshit.
 
“You know, you have a mighty democratic way of thinking for the heir to the throne.”
“I was raised for ten years out among the democratic American humans. I think it helps keep me humble.”
 
Hahahahaha oh lordy.
 
Galen finally tries to get them to talk about the cauldron/chalice/cup/whatever again, thank god. I wish they’d just pick one thing to call it – they keep switching between all the options and it’s really confusing. Good job, LKH.
 
They are not sure if they should tell Queen Andais just yet or if they should rush to tell her right away. Doyle tells them that they have a busy day ahead of them that they should focus on, what with Kitto coming into his hand of power.
 
“By the way,” I asked, “what is his hand of power called? I mean, mine is the hand of flesh and the hand of blood, but what do you call the mirror thingie?”
 
Thingie.
 
“It is called the hand of reaching,” Doyle answered, “because it reaches between two points of communication and brings people across from one point to the other. The hand of reaching, because it reaches out to people.”
“Logical, when it’s explained,” I said.
“Most things are logical when they’re explained.”
 
HAHAHAHA. Fuck off.
 
Doyle then tells them all that he already told the queen about Kitto coming into his hand of power and also that Rhys came back into his prior godlike powers, and Frost has to whine about it.
 
Frost frowned. Then something very like fear flashed through his eyes, before he gained control of it and gave a handsome blank face to Doyle. “Does she know the rest?” His voice was more uncertain than his eyes.
“That Meredith seems to have brought Maeve back into her godhead, and perhaps given you godhead for the first time? Or the part where Meredith almost died doing it? Or do you mean have I told her that the princess seems now to have the gift of magical dreaming? Or maybe you wonder if the queen knows we have the chalice. Which of those things are you wondering about, Frost?”
“He didn’t mean to make you angry,” I said.
“I don’t need you to defend me,” Frost said.
“What is wrong with you, Frost? You’ve been acting mad at me since I woke up.”
 
I love how Doyle flips out on Frost like that, in like the most whiny, pathetic manner possible. These are supposed to be all powerful, super mature ONCE GODLIKE sidhe guards, and they fucking act like high schoolers.
 
Anyway, Frost gets all “woe is me” and tells Merry that he almost killed her and that he doesn’t want to hurt her again. Merry moves to touch him, and he jerks back, afraid to touch her. She reminds him that they all touched her earlier and no major magic happened, but Frost continues to whine about it.
 
I reached out to him again, and he moved away. “No, Meredith, I don’t have control of these powers. It’s not a matter of relearning what I knew once. These aren’t my magicks.” He looked at me with wide, frightened eyes. “I don’t know how to be a god, Meredith. I’ve never been one before.”
 

 

So Rhys tells Frost that they’ll help him be a god, they’ll teach him how to handle his newfound powers, and Frost tells them that he doesn’t want them. Doyle is like “just fucking deal with it” and somehow the chapter ends with Merry wondering if Doyle is doubting Frost’s ability to handle the new powers, or if he’s doubting the Goddess for giving Frost powers.

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