Chapter 19 begins with people still freaking out about whatever happened in the hallway. Merry has somehow gained enough wherewithal to grab the gun she was carrying, but how? I thought she was just naked having weird earth-sex with Amatheon? Anyway, it’s Nicca and Biddy who run around the corner that Merry nearly shoots, with the rest of the guard following close behind. Finally, the battle ends, and Frost asks Merry to put her gun away, because he doesn’t trust her with it, now that she can check on Galen.
The chapter then ends with Merry going to check on Galen, and praying that he’s not dead.
Yep, yet another like 2 page chapter. I’m reading this series on my 8” Kindle Fire tablet, and I have the font size set fairly small, but I’d assume it’s still around the same size as a hardcover book. These inconsistent chapter lengths just drive me batty. I don’t know about you guys, but I find them incredibly jarring, and they take me completely out of the story. Not that LKH’s writing doesn’t do that all the damn time, but still. This is why you need an editor.
Chapter 20 begins with Merry dropping to her knees next ot Galen. He is bleeding lots, and no one has determined where the blood is coming from. They sent for a healer, but Merry doesn’t think they can wait for one, that Galen will bleed out well before the healer can get to them.
“A sidhe who can die from blood loss is no sidhe at all.” I glanced up to find Kieran, Lord of Knives, kneeling with his hands bound behind his back. But Ivi still kept the lord at sword point. Kieran had only one hand of power, and it was the only magic left to him, which made many among the sidhe consider him weak. But that one hand was a deadly one. He could use his magic like a blade to stab deep into the body, even from a distance. I knew now how Galen had fallen without even drawing a blade or gun. But why ambush Galen?
Turns out a bunch of Cel’s guards were being held prisoner or laying on the ground injured. Merry didn’t care who they were, she was so focused on helping Galen. They’re trying to figure out what to do and wasting precious time, when one of Cel’s female guards, Hafwyn, says she can help. The other guards admonish her, saying she’d be betraying Cel if she helped.
Hafwyn was one of Cel’s guards who happened to never swear an oath to Cel. She had been given to Cel once Merry’s father, Prince Essus, died, so she never really felt any loyalty to Cel. Smart woman knows who to place her bets with. Hafwyn is able to close Galen wounds using her magic, even while the other of Cel’s guards scream that she’ll be punished for doing so, and Galen awakens, though he is too ill to speak.
Hafwyn tells them that she was forbidden from using her healing magic when she healed someone Cel didn’t want healed. Other sidhe with strong healing abilities were not allowed to become guards, as their healing abilities were more valuable than any guarding abilities. Merry and Co. think that was a huge waste of talent. Which Hafwyn totally realizes, and asks Merry and Co. to think upon giving her something in return for healing Galen. They don’t totally agree, not until they know what she wants, but they said it’ll get her something in return. So, Hafwyn asks to join Merry’s guards.
But Merry can’t have any guards who she cannot bed, so Hafwyn begs Merry to take her to bed.
“Take me,” she whispered, “take me to your bed, take me here, take me anywhere, but please, Goddess, please, don’t leave me here for Cel. I owe him no vow, so I break no vow by asking this of you. I served Prince Essus as his healer for centuries. When he went into exile when you were six, if I had known she would give me to Cel, I would have gone into exile with you. But I thought that exile from faerie was the worst of all fates. I ask you, as his daughter, do not leave me here. Now that the queen has opened the way for me to ask, I ask, I beg.”
The chapter ends with Merry seeing Galen reach for Hafwyn, to hold her as she begged, and so she decides to accept Hafwyn into her posse.