Chapter 5 begins with with Galen grabbing Merry in his arms and running for the door to get her out of the room. There’s apparently some battle going on in the room, so Merry considers briefly to order Galen to bring her back into the mix. Galen brings her to the elevator, but when the doors open she plants her feet and refuses to get on.
Which means we get another fun round of “either I rule, or you don’t respect what I want to do enough that I could never rule!” My favorite.
“Merry, please,” he said. “Please, you can’t go back.”
“I can’t go forward either. If I am to be queen, then I have to stop running. To be ruler of a faerie court means I must be a warrior, too. I must be able to fight.”
He tried to pull me inside. I put a hand on the wall to keep some leverage. “You are mortal,” he said. “You could die.”
“We could all die,” I said. “The sidhe are no longer immortal. You know it and I know it.”
He put a hand on the door that tried to close on him. “But we’re harder to kill than a human. You injure like you’re human, Merry. I can’t allow you to go back inside that room.”
I had a moment to understand that somehow this was a deciding moment. What kind of queen would I be? “You cannot allow? Galen, I must rule, or not rule. I cannot have it both ways.” I pulled my hand free of his, and he didn’t fight me.
I think we have at least one, or more, conversations like this every single book. Merry’s guards, specifically Doyle and Frost, constantly take advantage of Merry and rule in her place. Constantly. And Merry obviously realizes this, as earlier in the chapter she says I could order Galen around more than most of the guard. She knows that anything she says, if Doyle/Frost disagree with it, will be overridden. Every single time. She might throw a stink about it, but they constantly step over her bounds as a potential ruler of faerie to do what they think is right. And Merry often somehow realizes that whatever they decided was best for her anyway.
I hate this shit.
Anyway, this is a super short chapter that ends with Merry and Galen pulling out their guns and going back into the room. So glad we’re already starting this book off with a LKH signature 3 page chapter!
Chapter 6 begins with the elevator doors opening and some EMTs and security guards getting off. The security guard recognizes Merry and then IMMEDIATELY TELLS HER SHE CANNOT ENTER THE ROOM UNTIL IT’S BEEN SECURED. Come fucking on! We just spent an entire chapter on how Merry’s orders need to be followed by her guards if she wants to be taken seriously as a ruler, and then she’s immediately thwarted by a lowly human security guard?
Oh nevermind, Merry just follows the security guard right through the door, despite his orders for her to stay put. And then the security guard immediately yells at Merry for following him in. Instead of leaving, she just sorta stays put and takes in the scene.
Abe is laying on the ground with burn marks on his back. Taranis is heard screaming in the background, obviously being somewhat subdued back in faerie. A Seelie noble, Sir Hugh, is standing in the mirror, which is apparently now showing images again. Frost and Rhys are talking to Hugh, which makes Merry worry about Doyle, as it was normally Doyle and Frost who did the talking. She finally sees Doyle, who is laying motionless on a gurney
There was something wrong with his clothing. It was torn up, as if great claws had raked it. The world narrowed down, as if the edges of the room were collapsing, down, down, until all I could see clearly was him. In that moment, I didn’t care about the mirror, or Hugh, or that Taranis had finally done something that he couldn’t hide from the rest of the sidhe. There was just that still dark form on the gurney and nothing else.
So, we get an entire chapter of Merry flipping her shit about how none of the guards respect her orders and she needs to start being taken seriously if she is to rule, and she throws it all out the window because one of her many lovers is injured? Maybe that’s why no one takes you seriously, Merry. Whenever you’re supposed to be serious and take charge of the situation, you get dis tracted by something else that’s hardly as important as whatever is going on that a RULER should be taking care of.
Rhys grabbed me by the shoulders and turned me away from Doyle so I had to look into his face. “We need you to be our queen right now, not Doyle’s lover. Can you do that, or are we on our own here?”
I am so confused by this goddamn series. We CONSTANTLY have Merry trying to prove herself as a ruler to everyone around her, but also she CONSTANTLY allows her guards to push her around and make decisions for her. Then one of the guards reminds Merry that she’s supposed to be a ruler, only for it to be eventually overridden anyway. Is this supposed to be a female-empowering epic that proves how badass women can rule, or is it supposed to be something where women are put in their place by the men around them? I don’t even know anymore.
So anyway, Merry gets mad at Rhys for putting her in her place after she acted like a giant idiot, so she has to pull herself up and march over to the mirror. She has to talk herself up to do it, because she’s so worried about Doyle and like… isn’t he basically immortal and all powerful? Can’t he just faerie-heal, like has been shown in every previous book? Nope, he’s being taken to a hospital for us stupid humans to try to fix him, despite it already being shown how uncomfortable the fey are inside metal buildings, sooo…?
Yes, I wanted to be a good queen. Yes, I wanted to show the Seeie that I wasn’t as crazy as my aunt and uncle, but truly, none of it mattered to me as much as the man they’d just carted away on a gurney.
It wasn’t the way a queen thought. It was the way a woman thought, and to be queen means you have to be queen first and everything else second. My father had taught me that. Taught me that before an assassin had killed him. I pushed the thought away, and went to stand by my KIlling Frost.
I would be the queen that my father had raised me to be. I would not embarrass Doyle by being less than he’d told me I could be.
Anyway the chapter ends with Merry still being pissed she has to act like a queen and talk to Hugh in the mirror.
Also, remember to check out my book giveaway, if you haven’t yet!