I have read this book electronically, since we have been waiting in many waiting rooms and nursing and such.
For the first three stories, I enjoyed them. In particular I enjoyed the one concerning Falonar’s fate.
But the last – ah, the last. I admire Anne Bishop for her frankness. But I was disheartened to read this story; it is the sort one wishes one could forget. Saetan choosing to fade into the darkness was disturbing, particularly for the warrior queen who has often thought of Lohr thus. And Jaenelle dying and Daemon choosing to remarry at length was a surprise to me. I could see it, however, as a blow against monogamy in some senses.
But for the second wife to be Surreal, and for the love to be less than present in many ways was something to contemplate. Bishop is right in that many do this and I am put in mind of the theme of much of the series, “Everything has its price.”
I can see why it is she wrote it thus, for she is stubborn and she could see the paths of these characters. But she might have been better to let it be. Just as, perhaps, I ought to have aborted Asher and cast myself on the altar. But then I have my own stubborn streak.
From her spirit of revelation to mine, then. What is it like, after the story breaks on its own weaknesses? Here is mine: I sleep still in the room which San and I shared, with our son Asher. I have allowed decay all about the small space Asher and I require — dust and some vines have broken through the windows to crawl up the walls. Entropy is strong in any land which borders Lynn; like the forest about Chernobyl the wild seeks to enter.
It is dark but for the light by our side, which is unyielding. Lyria comes to try to comb my hair and such, and although she does not say it to check whether I care for Asher. Mostly I do not permit the combing. What is the point? It too goes wild.
I care for Asher. It is easy, now, when all he requires is milk and washing and changing and sleep. As for me, I eat and drink to nourish him, and then I watch him sleep.
My other children join us often, and go about their business always with an ear or a hand to my room. I had thought they would be more with San, but Anala is mostly with me, Avalon with me or with Lyria. Ahren is distant, but he brings me tea as long as I do not press him on his thoughts. Eira is the only one unchanged, perhaps because she has always flitted more than come. Although I must confess I worry for her. I do not truly think they would deny the children, but I fear it nonetheless, and I wonder if that is why they are much with me.
If I were to wonder, I would wonder what will happen when they are all grown. Ahren is essentially a man now. When the rest are so complete, there will be no need for me.
As for my own thoughts I work daily to have none. This book pierced it, but I hope in writing it to cast them aside.
I am surprised at Maelynn, whose right it is to eliminate me at any time. Perhaps she enjoys the suffering.
Everything has its price.