Chapter 17 begins with Merry moving to a smaller bedroom after the multiple mirror interruptions. She mentions that Maeve Reed, who they’re staying with, has fled to Europe to protect herself from Taranis. I thought that the sidhe were banned from Europe? Which is the entire reason they had to move the courts to the US in the first place? Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a pretty big error, I’d say.
So Merry is laying in the room trying to rest. She has Kitto laying with her, curled up next to her like a cat. I love how Kitto is never described as if he was an actual sidhe. It’s always in childlike or animal-like terms. God I hope this chapter doesn’t turn into Kitto sex.
We get several paragraphs of Kitto-backstory, which I guarantee no one cares about. I’m sure we learned it all in the book he was introduced in, so why we get 3-4 long paragraphs about why Kitto is the way he is, I don’t know or care.
Kitto asks Merry who she’s hiding from today, which makes me think Merry does this often. Let’s guess who she has to hide from: is it Doyle and Frost, who she claims she truly loves but just order her around and step over her orders whenever they disagree? Is it any other of the random men she’s forced to sleep with several times a day because her Queen demanded she try to become pregnant or essentially die? Is it the Queen who is constantly threatening her and spying on her? Is it her psychotic uncle who happens to be King of the opposing court who has tried to kill her multiple times? Is it one of many fey groups she’s allied herself with only through sleeping with them?
You know, when you think about it that way, Merry’s really a tragic fucking character.
Just to enhance that point, Merry tells Kitto that she doesn’t want to talk politics because “I need to rest if I am able to do my duty tonight.” You know, her duty to fuck two crazy, power-hungry half-goblins as a way to add 2 more months of alliance with the goblins. One month per fuck, provided it brings them into their full sidhe power.
“They frighten me, Kitto.”
His face was sober. “I fear them, too.”
“Did they ever use you ill?”
“They have not much liking for male flesh. I have serviced them a time or two when they came to bed my master.”
Kitto had survived in a culture more violent than any in faerie by doing what some people have to do in prison to survive. They choose someone powerful, or are chosen, and become their property. It was looked down upon, but strangely was honored as a profession. On one hand, goblins like Kitto were the victims of cruel humor; on the other hand, they were highly valued by their masters. Master was not a sexist term in goblin nomenclature. It could be male or female. It was simply the term for one who owned a slave.
I don’t quite understand why LKH had to throw this last bit in there. I mean, when I hear “master”, I don’t think of anything sexist in nature at all. I immediately think “slave-owner” (or, you know, someone who’s super good at something). Whatever. This stupid conversation continues:
“Serviced them?” I made it a question.
The… the question mark sort of insinuates that?
“I believe in pornography I would be what is termed a fluffer. They do everything together, do the brothers. I helped keep one ready while the other finished.”
So anyway, Kitto decides that he will be with Merry while she does her fucking duty to the goblin brothers, seeing as how no one else understands goblin culture like he does. He can’t protect Merry from the brothers in case they get violent, but he can protect Merry from falling into a trap of custom.
There’s a knock on the door and Rhys enters. Great, I bet he’s there to bug Merry about the sex she owes him. They spend some time talking about some magical leather gun holsters that were apparently gifted to Rhys by some of the lesser fey, when finally Rhys tells Merry that she’s obviously stalling. So Merry flat out asks Rhys why he has joined them in Kitto’s room. Rhys asks if he can join in on their cuddling (code for “he wants the sex”), but Merry doesn’t think that Kitto feels comfortable with Rhys there. You know, because Rhys was terrified of goblins for so long and tried to calm his fear through goblin abuse, so… yeah, makes sense why Kitto wouldn’t want him there.
Anyway, what Kitto wants doesn’t matter because he and Rhys eventually bond over being short. Rhys apologizes for ever being terrible to Kitto, and now they’re best friends. Rhys then tells them that the goblins called while Merry has been resting. Apparently Kurag (the goblin king) was surprised to learn that Kitto agreed to be with Merry while she did her duty on the other goblins.
How did he learn this? Did Kitto call and tell them of his plan? Didn’t Kitto just tell Merry about this this very chapter? Anyway, Kitto tells Merry that he thinks of her as his new master, and of course Merry has issues with this. Kitto has to explain that this is part of goblin culture, and he’s proud to call Merry his mater.
The chapter continued with more whining from Rhys, more explaining stuff that has already been explained, some of it even in this very chapter. Be very glad you’re not reading this, because it’s been like 20 pages of the same paragraphs over and over and over. I wish I were kidding.
Anyway, the chapter finally ends with Rhys asking not just once, but two more times, if he can join Kitto and Merry while they “rest”, and Kitto allows it.
Which means we’re totally getting a Rhys/Kitto/Merry sex scene next chapter. Joy.