A Lick of Frost – Chapter 3: Continued lawyery nonsense

Chapter 3 begins with Merry and her men seated in a different room. A giant mirror covers one wall, which is perfect since they’re going to make a “phone” call. Cool, more incessant dialogue that will just serve to repeat everything that was already said in the previous two chapters, just to a new audience.

This is one of the things that drives me bonkers in LKH novels. The constant repetition. Instead of doing the typical, perfectly reasonable “We told so-and-so our plan.” we get it repeated, in full, to any new character who happens to be in the scene. And typically within the repeated conversation, we get one character not understanding what is being discussed, so it must be repeated multiple times, sometimes using different words, sometimes the same, until it’s beaten over all our heads.

Anyway, Merry spends several pages describing what the three men who were accused of the rape look like again. Just for fun, here’s a rundown:

  • Abeloec: Goth but real, not dye
  • Galen: Green-tinged skin and a long braided disgusting rat tail.
  • Rhys: Short and scarred.

That goddamn rat tail. Why.

Oh, and the lawyers are in the room and they’re still arguing and of course we are forced to read their dialogue. The lawyer representing Merry and co, Biggs, argues that they couldn’t possibly have raped anyone in Illinois (faerie) when they were in California that day.

CASE. FUCKING CLOSED. Right?

Nope! It’s because time runs slower in faerie, and even though there are eye-witnesses in L.A. who saw Rhys, he argues that “just because it’s the same date doesn’t mean it’s the same day” and I’m just about ready to set this book down and walk away from this blog because how can you even think that’s a good bit of tension? Also, why the FUCK is Rhys arguing against HIS REPRESENTATION on this?

I still have no clue which lawyer is representing who in this book. One guy, Verducci, is trying to convince them all that they don’t want this case to go to trial, but some other one, Cortez, is arguing that he wants a chance to take this to court, and then we get a fucking FAERIE HISTORY LESSON from YET ANOTHER lawyer, Grover, because some of the lawyers didn’t COME TO THE MEETING PREPARED.

“There are only two things that Thomas Jefferson and his cabinet made unforgivable offenses for the fey on American soil,” Verducci said. “They are never again to allow themselves to be worshipped [sic] as deities, and they are never to have a war between the two courts. If either of those things happen, they will be kicked out of this, the last country on earth that would have them.”
“We all know this,” Shelby said.
“But have you considered why Jefferson made those two rules, especially the one about war?”
“Because it would be damaging to our country,” Shelby said.
Verducci shook his head. “There is still a crater on the European continent almost as wide as the widest part of the Grand Canyon. That hole is what is left of where the last battle of the war was fought. Think about if that happened in the center of this country, in the middle of our most productive farming country.”

I dunno, Verducci, that sounds pretty damaging to our country right there.

Anyway, more nonsense about how the fey cannot lie happens, which means there’s a conundrum: Lady Caitrin has accused Rhys, Galen, and Abeloec of raping her, so either she is lying or something else is causing her to believe she was raped by those three. If she were caught in a lie, she’d be exiled from faerie, and we all know how well that turned out for miss Maeve Reed, right? Well, no, we don’t, because Maeve has hardly been mentioned in the last few books. Basically, being exiled from faerie is worse than death to the Seelie.

So Doyle and Rhys question that Lady Caitrin was actually raped by three of the sidhe, only they were under an illusion of being the three accused. That is one way Caitrin could truthfully accuse the three and not be caught in a lie. Which, if this is what actually happened, how fucking awful, but also, if this is what actually happened, you know it’ll be handled with such care and grace as is befitting of an LKH rape scene.

Which brings Merry to a terrifying realization – they’ve all moved to this room to make a mirror call to Taranis and now she’s afraid that the lawyers will use the opportunity to accuse Taranis of creating this “rape plot”. No, rape plot isn’t actually said in the book, thank god, but that’s what this is, isn’t it? A character was probably literally raped but it’s just a stupid plot device to bring about how evil the Seelie actually are.

I truly loathe this series.

So Merry warns them all how evil and powerful and manipulative Taranis is, and that even though it’s illegal to use power over them, Taranis will totally bespell them. Then Merry gets lightheaded and nearly faints, and they all worry she’s CAUGHT A COLD. Because she’s totally still part mortal, she can catch colds. ONLY WE ALL KNOW THIS ISN’T A STUPID COLD. And like an entire page is wasted in Merry’s cold-catching ability.

Not that it even matters, because then it’s immediately to prepping for the call with Taranis. All the lawyers decide to cover themselves in office supplies (I’m serious), because they’re likely made of “cold metal” which helps keep illusions and glamours from taking hold of mortals. So they finally found up a bunch of stupid staplers and rulers and shit, and then the chapter ends with Rhys and Doyle switching positions, Rhys apologizing for “moving [Merry’s] favorite out of his spot” (ughhhh), and then them answering Taranis stupid trumpet mirror-ringtone.

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