Swallowing Darkness – Chapter 6: The Hunt

Chapter 6 starts with Merry and co. riding their magic horses through the sky. The horses apparently can breathe green fire. Merry looks behind her, and sees that they are being followed by other riderless horses and faerie hounds that resemble mastiffs. Merry remembers that these hounds are called Hounds of the Blood, because they’re bloodthirsty.

This entire scene would be pretty cool if it were done by a better author, I think. I just find myself getting bored reading through paragraphs like this:

The name for them came to me, with a scent of roses and herbs. Hounds of the Blood, they were hounds of the blood. Bloodhounds were named not for their bloodthirstiness, but for the fact that they were once only owned by nobles – noble blood. But the hounds that rode at our backs, that began to spill around the legs of the horses, were named blood for other reasons. They rode only for blood, and the gentleness of bloodhounds was not something that this pack would understand. That knowledge filled me with a fierce pleasure.

I get that LKH is trying to set a scene, but she often tends to be so overly descriptive it throws me out of the story completely. Do any of you agree? Do you know other authors that do this? I think the only one that comes close for me is Patrick Rothfuss – I enjoy his stories but hate his writing. When authors try for this super poetic, beautiful prose but it just comes out as self-aggrandizing bullshit.

Anyway, there’s then like four paragraphs describing how Sholto holding Merry’s hand feels. I’m not kidding. See previous paragraph. Four paragraphs. This chapter is apparently all just Merry in her head thinking about the hunt, being encompassed by it, and then being brought back to herself by the power of Sholto’s hand in hers.

As they start descending, the White Stag (Frost) takes the lead of the group and runs off. Merry almost called his name, but she realized that if she had called and he had not responded, it would break her. He runs off into the darkness (it is daytime).

The faerie mounds grow closer and Merry wonders how they’ll get inside, before remembering that the hunt isn’t stopped by anything. So as they get closer, the Seelie mound opens up to them without any resistance, and the chapter ends with them inside.

This is the first chapter of this book that suffers from LKH’s inconsistent chapter length disease. In a typical LKH book, you’ll have several overly long chapters that could easily be split followed by a chapter or two that are extremely short in length. Is anyone else jarred by that? I understand using chapter lengths as a way to increase suspense or whatever, but that’s never the reason with her books. God, I wish she had a better editor.

IMPORTANT

This week I want to use the last bit of every post to link to several important petitions that are circulating. If you’re not able to donate to these causes, signing a petition is just as important.

On March 13th, Breonna Taylor was unjustly murdered by the Louisville PD. The officers have still not been charged. The #JusticeForBre petition will help keep the LPD accountable.

Sign the petition demanding that: 

  1. The Mayor and City Council address the use of force by LMPD.
  2. Fire and revoke the pensions of the officers that murdered Breonna. Arrest, charge, and convict them for this crime.
  3. Provide all necessary information to a local, independent civilian community police accountability council #CPAC.
  4. Create policy for transparent investigation process due to law enforcement misconduct. 
  5. Drop all charges for Kenneth Walker, Breonna’s boyfriend, who attempted to defend them and their home. [DEMAND MET]
  6. Release the 911 call to the public for accountability. [DEMAND MET]
  7. Eliminate No Knock warrants
    (Updated 6-4-2020)

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