My review of Redoubt: Book Four of the Collegium Chronicles - I won't rehash the majesty of the deeply uncomfortable chemistry between a boy and his Companion that makes Lavan and his goddamn lifebonded Companion Kaliera seem almost chaste, which is hard since there's at least one point in that particular novel where Lavan thinks quite literally how he'd totally be the proverbial pacing daddy-to-be when Kaliera gave birth to her abomination against the Havens sprog, yes, that was in that goddamn novel, but still.
Mags and Dallen are like when you are trapped in a windowseat at a loud party where you went to get away from it all and two unattractively drunk people start having awkward and unsanitary sex in front of the door and the window is shatterproof glass so not like you can gratefully jump to your death, but okay, wait. Wait. Eventually--when you realize sanity is for wimps and people who won't have nightmares about this for the rest of their lives--it becomes the best thing ever. It's not even voyeurism at that point; that implies what you feel isn't the diametric opposite of pleasure and is more on the order of popping a very stubborn pimple or maybe fixing a dislocated shoulder--the pain is there, but you're crazy--I mentioned that, right?--so whatever, bring on the zoophilic bondage mind-control, it's like Christmas if you never heard of it before and got the concept from a DIY manual on How to Make a Holiday More Sadistic (No Safe Word Required!) For Dummies.
To prepare myself, I went back to review my Lackey novels, and this is random, but for years, I've wondered what this mean:
The White Gryphon, when Shalaman (who hunts lions, God, why do we not have a book about Shalaman?) proposes completely unexpectedly to Silver Veil:
She did not feign surprise, nor did she affect a coy shyness. She was too complex for the former and too honest for the latter. But her eyes lit up with a joy that told him everything he needed to know [...] Her joy was doubled by the fact that she never truly expected to have that heart's desire fulfilled.
The definition of surprise--and I've only been speaking and reading and writing English my entire life here, so correct me if I'm wrong--involves something unexpected happening to you. How the hell is anyone too complex for surprise? What does that even mean? Is that like an emotional level-up? Level 56 Human Emotions, you now possess the emotion known as Complex, which ups your Surprise to Level 45 when confronted with the unexpected and you no longer actually feel it?
I have no idea why this haunts me, but years, years wondering how to achieve Complex. Dude, I'd love that. "Dude, you heard about Seperis getting Complex? Evolution in action! No longer feels surprise and kills demons with one blow of her Disdain." That's a terrible example, but it's 10:33 and I burned through the entire Gryphon trilogy in like, a day.
Note: By the Sword is, weirdly enough, still the one Lackey novel I love without even a pretense of irony, because it's a goddamn awesome novel. I honestly think that it's her best. I love Kerowyn, and I still go back to it whenever I want to read about an awesome, not faultless heroine who grows up and legitimately changes due to maturity and hindsight who has no abusive rapey childhood, random-ass bouts of torture, who can balance duty and responsibility and carve a happy life out of it.
It's been that kind of a week.
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