Chapter 19 begins with Frost trying to console Merry. She wants them to turn around so she can help her men fight the wild hunt, but Frost tells her that she’s who they must protect. Without her, all is lost. Then, Merry sees goblins walking away from the fight, and she orders the cop car to stop so that she can go persuade the goblins to aid her men in the fight.
I had to stop the car. I had to talk to the goblins – they were my allies. They had to help, if I asked, or be forsworn.
I reached over, touched the agent’s face, and thought about sex. I’d never done this to a human before, never used that part of my heritage for evil. And it was evil – I didn’t know ihm, didn’t want him, but I made him want me.
The agent slammed on the brakes, throwing me into the dash, and throwing the men in the back into the floorboards. Bancroft yelled, “What the hell are you doing?”
This causes the drive to throw the car in park and immediately begin trying to kiss Merry. The other cop in the backseat reaches over the seats to stop him, and Merry uses this moment to escape from the car. She sees the two goblins leading the group away: Ash and Holly. She calls on them to aid her in the fight as allies, otherwise be forsworn.
“This is not our fight,” Holly said.
“I need your help as my allies; that makes it your fight,” I said. “Or have the goblins lost their taste for battle?”
“You do not battle the wild hunt, Princess. You run from it, you join it, you hide from it. But you don’t fight it,” Ash said.
Ash and Holly say they won’t join the fight unless Merry begs. Realizing they won’t help, Merry turns toward the fight to go help on her own. Once the goblins realize she’s not bluffing with this, they join her. As they’re running back to the battle, Merry is picked up by Jonty, one of the Red Cap goblins.
I’m not sure if these goblins were explained much in the previous books, but the Red Caps are actually pretty badass. They’re tall and fearsome and wear hats that are constantly dripping blood. From what I remember about the series, Jonty is pretty great all around, and no, he doesn’t have sex with Merry. I wonder if that’s the key to being a not shitty character in this series?
Anyway, Jonty running with Merry in his arms causes both Ash and Holly to run even faster toward the fight, because they refuse to be seen as lesser than any other goblin. The chapter ends with Merry finding out that Jonty had sworn a personal oath to protect her, made directly to the Goddess and God, because he heard Merry’s earlier prayer for assistance.
Chapter 20 begins with the goblin group making its way toward the battle. Merry sees that lightning – Mistral’s power, and green flame – Doyle’s power, are still being used in the battle, so she knows they’re still alive.
Somehow, while they were running, Ash was able to call to Kurag, Goblin King, to get more aid. They see other goblins start appearing, many with bows, standing in the distance. Holly asks for Merry to join the archers, and Merry is confused as to why.
“I am not much of an archer,” I said, still cradled in the heat of Jonty’s body, and the blood. The blood that flowed from his cap down to my body was warm. Warm as if it spilled from a freshly opened wound.
Holly gave me a look that appeared irritated even in the forgiving glow of moonlight. “You carry the hand of blood,” he said. He let that anger that was always just below the surface for him fall into his voice.
Hahaha I love how this is a call out to how much of a blithering idiot Merry always is. Duh, Merry, you fucking used your hand of blood to destroy another huge, too terrifying for words creature back in, like, book 2. You can use your hand of blood to make this creature bleed from its wounds, killing it. You idiot.
Holly’s anger then turns to, I guess, desire. He sees Merry naked, covered in blood from Jonty’s cap. He reminds Merry of the deal she made with the goblins, to have sex with Holly and Ash to bring them to their full sidhe power, as she had with Kitto. Holly announces that instead of fighting, he will stay to protect Merry while she uses her hand of power on the hunt creature, and the chapter ends with Merry feeling a bit trepidatious about using her hand of power on something such as the wild hunt.