When last we left Liam Kelly, he’d transformed into some sort of beast and defended himself from the assaults of the British. Today, we continue our read of Stina Leicht’s Of Blood and Honey. To review or catch up, see Part 1 and Part 2 of this read.
Bran, Liam’s father and his mother’s previous fairy lover who still desires her, summons Kathleen, Liam’s mother, while she’s out shopping. He tells her that he suspects Liam will be released soon and that he saw Liam use the Glamour. To spare Kathleen, he gives no further details. Bran also produces an old coin and begs Kathleen’s assistance in discovering its origin. The coin is a clue from the Redcap. Unless Bran guesses the Redcap’s name, all those dear to him, including Kathleen and Liam, will pay the price.
Reader Comments: I love the romance between these two. Paired with all Liam suffers, it’s a nice, refreshing, and amusing element. And I cannot make up my mind if I agree with Kathleen’s intent to remain with her husband and spurn Bran. Well, I suppose, at this point, since she has other children and vowed to be Patrick’s wife, I agree with her.
Writer Comments: Kathleen’s conflicting interests and desires are really what give these scenes between her and Bran their tension and fiery appeal. She at once wants Bran and is furious with him. She wants two lives. Her heart and her morals collide, and in the collision of all these elements, the story takes such a compelling shape.
Kathleen takes the coin to Father Murray, the priest in whom she has entrusted knowledge of Bran and Liam. Murray agrees to help her, but his concern rapidly grows when Kathleen informs him that Bran saw Liam use Glamour. After Kathleen leaves, Murray realizes that Liam has not turned out as quite the innocent that he had hoped. He has some weighty decisions ahead of him regarding Liam, but in the mean time, he contacts a friend in Dublin about the coin.
Reader Comments: Oh, no! I’m afraid Father Murray is going to turn into a villain, and he seems so potentially a nice guy.
Writer Comments: Here, Leicht inserts tension in the reader. Not only must Father Murray suffer the conflict of his own decisions, not knowing which side of the line between heroism and villainy he might choose to walk adds an extra layer. It inserts fear into the reader for the safety of Leicht’s heroes, a fear that can only be satisfied by continuing to read.
Kathleen attends the funeral of her neighbor’s son, who died in Long Kesh. At the edge of the graveyard, she glimpses Bran but cannot fathom why he’s there. British soldiers also watch because they intend to take the dead youth’s father back to Long Kesh after the funeral. Overwrought with grief, the mother unleashes her fury at the soldiers and calls them murderers. The private aims his gun at her. Bran grabs Kathleen and pulls her to safety behind a tombstone, and Father Murray talks the soldier into understanding that the woman is just grieving and no one means him harm.
But Bran is not content to leave matters as they lie. As always with Kathleen, he touches her cheek and makes no qualms about expressing his desire for her. Only, this time, Kathleen’s daughter, Moira, and others see.
Reader Comments: Uh, oh. I bet this will get back to Patrick in a hurry, and I suspect Father Murray is one of those others who saw.
Writer Comments: Like any good author, Leicht is not content to provide a single plot arc. She fills this book with subplots that make it three-dimensional and compelling. Even this small plot regarding the dead son, she sets up chapters before. As readers, we may not get into tremendous detail about this family, but their losses are very real and serve to heighten the conflicts and sorrows of the main plot.
Thank you for joining me for Part 3 of this read of Stina Leicht’s Of Blood and Honey. Join me next Monday for the next two chapters and Wednesday and Friday for further forays into books, the speculative, and life.