We return to our read of Stina Leicht’s Of Blood and Honey. Last time, Liam and Mary Kate settled in Belfast and endured some rough months of their marriage. To catch up or review, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.
Liam treats Mary Kate to a band at a pub, hoping to enjoy a pleasant night with her. While there, he spots two men in priests’ collars and dark long coats that look suspiciously at him. He spots Father Murray too. The priests get in an argument at the bar, and Liam comes to make sure Father Murray’s alright. When the three priests vanish outside, Liam follows. He hears a scream and comes upon the priests murdering someone, who he later learns is a demon. Only some insistent assurances that Liam is an innocent and not like the thing they just killed do the two strange priests let Liam go alive.
Reader Comments: *rubs hands together* Now, the plot thickens. I’m glad to see Father Murray still looking out for Liam, and the prospect of Liam finding out more about who he is makes this all the more interesting.
Writer Comments: There’s nothing like a glaring incongruity to make a reader sit up and take notice. Priests murdering people in the streets more than counts. Yet incongruities must be treated with care. The reason this one works so well is because Liam acknowledges the strangeness of it. His surprise mirrors the reader’s. If a character treats an incongruity as normal, thus implying that the reader should as well, that’s when they are more likely to get under a reader’s skin and irritate.
The next day, Liam meets Father Murray at the pub for an explanation. Murray asks if Liam has ever seen anything strange. Liam is not about to let him know there’s some strange beast inside him, but he confesses to seeing a man with pointed teeth. Murray then explains that he belongs to an order that defends humanity from fallen angels. Father Murray assures him that he doesn’t believe Liam is one of them.
Reader Comments: I have a suspicion that one of the other priests will try something with Liam later on in the book. Why else would Leicht introduce them?
Writer Comments: Three dimensional characters do more than simply enrich a story. They also provide a greater variety of twists and turns to employ in the plot. Father Murray could be a run of the mill priest or even a slightly eccentric priest. Instead, Leicht gives him an extensive background, which she reveals slowly as the story unfolds. Then she uses these elements to tighten her story and make it more interesting.
Father Murray, with permission from his supervisor in the order that fights demons, gets Kathleen to set up a meeting with Bran. He wishes to talk to them both as Liam’s parents and to find out information about Bran. He also goes armed with a knife. Bran takes offense at this and insists Murray disarm. In the course of their strained conversation, Bran reveals that the fae fight the fallen also, but since the church also kills fae, they’ve been making life rather difficult. Murray decides he believes Bran and offers to attempt to set up some sort of alliance. He also tells Bran of the creature Liam saw.
Reader Comments: In this section, Bran says he put the redcap in prison, but I have my doubts that he’ll remain there. And poor Liam is oblivious to everything.
Writer Comments: This is the first chapter in Father Murray’s point of view. That indicates an important shift in the story. Leicht could have chosen to tell this from Kathleen’s point of view, one she’s used repeatedly before, but such would not allow the reader to believe Murray’s sincere desire to set up some sort of alliance with the fae, the key shift in this chapter. In short, giving a character a point of view scene or chapter marks that character as significant to the story, and giving an unexpected character point of view gives weight to that scene.
Thank you for joining me for these chapters of Stina Leicht’s Of Blood and Honey. We’ll resume our read next Monday. Until then, join me Wednesday and Friday for further forays into books, fiction, the speculative, and life.