Swallowing Darkness – Chapter 8: The Heel has Eyes

Chapter 8 begins with the gang coming upon Mistral’s battle. There’s lightning everywhere, and Mistral is on his knees while arrows flew through the sky, hitting him. Sholto tells Merry that he and the rest of the hunt would go after Mistral’s attackers while she focuses on the injured man himself. As Merry approaches, Mistral falls to his side onto the grass. He’s still trying to send lightning at his attackers, but he’s too injured at this point to do much.

His broad shoulders, his whole strong body, was pierced with arrows. I counted five.

Uh… I mean, sure 5 arrows is a lot, but isn’t Mistral like 6’3 and built like a linebacker? I would expect to see him completely covered in arrows, if that’s the case. But nope, five.

So Merry knows that if she doesn’t get Mistral some medical attention soon, he’ll likely die. What is with all the sidhe being treated at hospitals in this series? There are special healers available, and Merry herself can heal. Why are they always rushing the fey to hospitals that are so clearly not used to treating them?

Merry finds an arrow on the ground and her worst fears are realized when she notices the arrowhead was cold forged iron, apparently the worst type of iron you could use on faeries. Since Merry is part human, the iron doesn’t affect her any, so she sat holding the arrow, trying to figure out what to do when someone approaches her from behind.

It’s Onilwyn, this sarcastic jerk of a sidhe who Merry was forced to accept into her guard for a few months. The last time she saw him, Onilwyn was helping to subdue her cousin Cel, who was hellbent on killing Merry. Onilwyn had never liked Merry much, and she him. Merry orders him to contact the Unseelie mound, so that those inside could send help.

Onilwyn, in the world’s most predictable heel turn, refuses to assist. So Merry turns to attack him with the arrow. She manages to stick the arrow into his leg, but since it’s iron and he’s pure faerie, it made him back off her.

“You swore an oath to protect me, Onilwyn. Is this really the night you want to be a breaker of oaths?”
He threw the arrow to the ground, and drew his sword. “Call the hunt; even flying, they will not get here in time to save you.”

LKH is really great with punctuation.

Merry realizes he’s right, so instead of calling the hunt, she calls forth her Hand of Blood. The chapter then ends with Merry screaming for Onilwyn to bleed while he charges at her with his sword.


In today’s post, I’m going to ask you to sign a petition to help abolish prison labor. Prison labor, as we know it today, is akin to slavery, with prisoners often working for cents while companies that use their labor reap huge profits. The petition also includes a list of companies that are known to use prison labor, so if you are not comfortable signing, you can always help by boycotting these companies.

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