Swallowing Darkness – Chapter 28: Just a Mid-Book Recap

Chapter 28 begins with them all still waking to whatever vehicle is going to finally take them away from faerie and back to L.A. I don’t understand why it is taking them so long to WALK. Merry’s arms are linked to Doyle’s on one side and Rhys’s on the other. The soldiers are all staring at them as they walk past. Merry describes what everyone is wearing because that’s apparently interesting. Rhys is dressed in some military fatigues and Merry wonders why he didn’t get clothes from the Unseelie Court or from his own house away from faerie.

“How much time do you think has passed?” he asked.
“The sluagh said we were in the enchanted sleep for days,” I said. “Maybe inside the sluagh’s mound, but out here, and at the other courts, it’s only been hours.”

I hate this. Either it’s a weird thing my Kindle version does, or it’s something LKH does, combining dialogue like that. I believe Rhys says the second part of that line, because it makes NO SENSE coming from Merry. But you can’t tell. Again, it’s either too many dialogue tags or too few.

So they’re all realizing now that time moves differently around Merry. While she was in the Unseelie mound last, time changed as well. Merry believes it’s the Goddess’s influence that is changing time, not her specifically, but it’s all the same, really. Then Walters decided to pick a fight with her.

Sigh.

Captain Page simply stopped walking ahead of us. He turned with Walters at his side. “What are you all whispering about?”
“Don’t bother,” Walters said. “They’ll just lie.”
“We never lie,” I said.
“Then you’ll hide so much that you might as well lie.”

Shut up shut up shut up. I canNOT be bothered with this again.

Turns out that Walters and Page are being ordered, by both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, to turn Merry over to them, both saying that they will be able to protect Merry.

“Your uncle, the King of Light and Illusion, is demanding that we turn you over to him. He says that he will protect you from your kidnappers.” He motioned to the men around me.
“Let me take the next one,” Page said.
Walters motioned for him to go ahead.
“Your aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness, is demanding that you return to her court, and she says that she will protect you.”
“Did she really?” I asked.
“You seem surprised by that one,” Page said.
“The last time she spoke to me she admitted that she could not keep me safe inside faerie and bid me to flee to Los Angeles.”
The two men exchanged glances. “Her court has been very adamant.”
“Her court,” Doyle said. “Not the queen herself?”
“No, but then we haven’t spoken directly to either of them. We’ve been talking to subordinates.”
Page gave a laugh. “You don’t talk to the president to find out what he wants you to do, not without more brass on your shoulders than I’ve got.”

Except for our current president, who will apparently talk to anyone so long as you have his private phone number and pretend to be loyal to him. Also, didn’t Merry just up and CALL the first lady a few books ago?

I hate this series so goddamn much.

So, turns out Cel is the one actually asking for Merry to be returned to the Unseelie mound.

“Our queen is different from most leaders,” I said. “Trust nothing that doesn’t come from her personally. Taranis is fond of flunkies delivering his messages, but Queen Andais likes the personal touch.”
“Are you saying that your cousin is lying?” Page asked.
“I’m saying that until a few weeks ago he was the sole heir to his mother’s throne. How would you feel if your birthright was suddenly up for grabs, Captain?”

Wait, it’s only been A FEW WEEKS since the start of this series? It’s felt like at least 6 months, at least. A few weeks.

So Walters and Page decide that they will protect Merry from Cel. They finally make it to the Humvee that will take them to the airport. Galen is standing next to it in conversation with a woman who has short dark hair. When he notices Merry, he smiles at them, but of course the woman is angry to see Merry approaching.

I swear that every woman in this series ends up being a threat to Merry somehow. I’ve not turned the page yet, and I don’t remember this book much at all (because it’s so frightfully dull), but let me take a stab at the next bit: This woman is mad at Merry because she’s sexually interested in Galen and how dare Merry be able to keep Galen when she has so many other men around her, she should share!

They spend a page catching Galen up on what happened, because we obviously need a recap of how Merry killed Onilwyn and Sholto saved her, we haven’t heard that enough, and before we can get to why this human woman is so mad at Merry the chapter ends.

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