Last time, a woman showed up and her appearance was only a little creepily described!
Harry gets right to the point, asking how Godmom got to him so fast. She’s all lolnope. Niceseeingyoubye? tries Harry.
She walked closer, her body moving with a lithe, sensuous grace
aaaaaaaaand so much for that.
Sexy fairies aren’t really wrong, but the book’s so thoroughly poisoned the well already.
Michael threatens with the sword, and she drops the friendly thing.
Those rich lips peeled back from dainty, sharp canines, and at the same time the three shadowy hounds let out bubbling growls. Her golden eyes swept past Michael and back to me. “He is mine, sir Knight, by blood right, by Law, and by his own broken word. He has made a compact with me. You have no power over that.”
Apparently, this comes as a shock to Michael. So, are there circumstances where evil fairy godmothers are hunting you where they don’t have fairy law on their side? I would’ve taken that as a given.
“Harry, if you have made a covenant with her of your own free will then she is right—there is little I can do to stop her.”
How does this interact with faith? How does a belief there is one god and one law survive when you find out that there’s powers in the world that are stronger than that and in fact what you call God’s power appears to be pretty mechanically balanced with the rest of the world rather than anything special?
If a sword powered by a nail of the true cross, which is to say, that time Jesus outright died to free us from a bad deal, can’t do anything about one shitty deal with one stupid fairy, well – doesn’t seem like God’s involved in any of this, does there?
the good Knight of the White God is how she refers to him, for that matter. The bible is full of spirits and demons acknowledging the power and sovereignty of God. How do you handle the fact everyone in the know consistently acts like your one true god is just one of many?
Also while I assume White God is based on the flame and general white = holy thought, given the (lack of) racial diversity and being set in a country colonized by white Christians genociding their way through the original population…it’s not exactly a neutral term.
But back to Godmom, she’s seductively talking about how he should come with her. We then get the typical setup where the appeal is mental and despite their knowledge they want to believe what’s being said, but also their body’s hijacked and they have no control over what’s happening. I don’t know why this is so common. It seems really cheap to me – if the point is that you’ve being convinced, why always getting puppetted at the same time?
I saw Lea’s mouth, her soft, lovely mouth, curl upward in a triumphant smirk.
I could smell her—her body, her hair, like wildflowers and musky earth, intoxicating.
Lea placed one long-fingered, slender hand upon my cheek. A wash of tingling pleasure went through me. My body reacted to her, helpless and demanding at the same time
God damn it Harry.
You know what this makes me think of? Axel. Haha, Axel. You were part of a story I didn’t hate! Good times. I should…well, no, I probably shouldn’t actually get back on the KH train, but maybe watch some Let’s Plays. Wouldn’t this be better if Axel was here? He had a minimum degree of characterization!
Anyway, she tells him to put aside his penis metaphors already, because that’s what women do, they steal your dicks.
“Will you complete your bargain now, sweet mortal child?” Lea murmured, sliding her hands over my chest and then over my shoulders.
“I will go with you,” I answered, letting my voice come out thick, slow. Her eyes lit with malicious glee, and she threw her head back and laughed, revealing creamy, delicious expanses of throat and bosom.
Women being sexily evil, check.
“When Hell freezes over,” I added, and drew out the little sack of ghost dust for the last time. I dumped it all over and down the previously mentioned bosom. There isn’t much lore about faeries and depleted uranium, yet, but there’s a ton about faeries and cold iron. They don’t like it, and the iron content of the dust’s formula was pretty high.
Lea’s flawless complexion immediately split into fiery scarlet welts, the skin drying and cracking before my eyes. Lea’s triumphant laugh turned into an agonized scream, and she released me, tearing her silken gown away from her chest in a panic, revealing more gorgeous flesh being riven by the cold iron.
Harry finding those women in agony much sexier, checkity check.
I see he’s leveled up from the Bianca affair and now deliberately aims at the breasts when doing things like this.
While she’s doing her whole sexy strip show by way of being on fire, the hellhounds attack. Harry identifies them now as “faerie beasts” but doesn’t stop saying they’re hellhounds. You shouldn’t be allowed to use “hell” as an intensifier for anything scary when the place literally exists.
Michael tries whacking one and apparently this sword is “true iron”, which, uh, there’s a reason we switched to steel swords. True iron is way softer than anything you want to use for stabbing. Not only will it not keep an edge, but it’ll bend into a pretzel when you try to use the now-dull length of metal to just beat people to death.
If you want an old-timey weapon that’s still useful, bronze. Bronze was abandoned due to expense (primarily getting the tin, with difficultly in manufacturing being an extra factor). The highest quality ancient bronze is only surpassed by modern steelwork.
She rose up from the ground, blackened and burned, her fine dress in tatters about her waist, her body and limbs stretched, knobby, and inhuman.
This really is Bianca all over again! Now we’re at the part where her beautiful appearance is fake and actually she’s a horrible monster underneath who Harry can’t even leer at.
You are mine as your mother swore unto me! As you swore!”
Ah, another mom reference. If Harry already knows this, and it really sounds like it came up back when he was making the deal if not earlier, then why was he so confused by the idea his mom did major magic stuff, including things of questionable morals? Pretty obvious dealing with evil sexy godmom is high level and not so good.
Anyway Harry is doing one un-shitty thing all this time, which is dragging along Michael who’s gotten a bit more hellhound teeth to the leg than he’d have liked. He shoves the guy through the hole home and falls out himself, and he’s safe.
I landed on the floor of the nursery back in Cook County Hospital, my leather duster trailing with it a shroud of smoke that swiftly converted itself to a thin, disgusting coating of residual ectoplasm, while my staff burned with weird green and purple fire.
So the smoke turns to ectoplasm but the magic fire keeps burning. Interesting. I wonder if that’s simply because the smoke is from wood that only existed through ghost power, or if the important part is that his godmom wanted that staff to burn and she’s got enough power that she can accomplish that even on the other side.
Micheal proceeds to sadface about how Harry lied.
“I just thought you were an honest man, Harry,” he said, his expression injured. “I can’t believe you lied to her.”
I started to laugh, weakly, too exhausted to move. “You can’t believe I lied to her.”
“Well, no,” he said, his voice defensive. “That’s not the way we’re supposed to win. We’re the good guys, Harry.”
I’m assuming the idea here is that it’s very clear in the DM’s manual that paladins aren’t allowed to lie, and hey guys did you notice that Michael is basically a paladin but IN REAL LIFE BECAUSE URBAN FANTASY GENRE??????????
But in real life, at least in America, we generally consider lying to be bad in relation to why you did it. Lying to the good guys so you can betray them to the evil empire is wrong, but lying to the evil empire is so good that telling the truth to them is enough to get you branded evil yourself. There have been points in human history where cultures valued following the rules over where those rules led, but unless Michael is secretly a time traveler I don’t think that applies. It rings especially hollow given that it’s happening between two different women lighting on fire while screaming in agony – you’d think seeing that sort of brutality would be traumatic enough to make the relative goodness of lying hard to care about.
I really don’t think any reader is supposed to view this as any moral lapse of Harry’s, so Michael’s complaint is just more fuel to the sueish fire as Harry gets criticized for doing nothing really wrong. And it serves to paper over a much more valid thing for Michael to complain about.
Namely, why the fuck did he dump the dust down her shirt?
Let’s repeat what Harry did, just to be clear:
I dumped it all over and down the previously mentioned bosom.
Getting it in her eyes would’ve blinded her. Spreading it out would’ve given a better chance of incapacitating her. Given those options, Harry picked the one where she’d tear her shirt in half.
Even if Harry can make a case this really was the best tactic to make, it’s still pretty questionable and, I’d think, worthy of at least mention from a paladin talking about being the good guys and how they’re supposed to win.
In response to being told they’re the good guys:
I laughed some more, and wiped a trickle of blood off of my face.
“Well, we are!”
Oh Michael. Michael Michael Michael.
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?
The nurses start screaming while Harry continues the chat, switching topics from “but we are, right? right?” to why Sexy Godmom was waiting right there to threaten him with sex, but of course Michael has no idea.
We both put our hands up on top of our heads, as a Chicago P.D. patrolman, his jacket and pants stained with spilled coffee, burst into the nursery, gun drawn.
Maybe I’m particularly sympathetic because I had to type this with one hand due to a hot glue mishap, but I feel Unnamed Patrolman Guy the most heroic. Harry, as usual, had to be dragging kicking and screaming into the real heroism and probably did half of it out of machismo anyway. But this guy! He’s covered in coffee, which further suggests it was a recent, ie hot, cup, to be so full. It’s quite likely he scalded himself and will have to follow up the heroics with a trip downstairs to the emergency room. And yet here he is, aiming a gun at our main character, because people are screaming and it’s his job to go toward that sound and handle things.