Today, we finish OfBlood and Honey by Stina Leicht. To catch up or review, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part12, and Part 13.
Liam and Father Murray are kidnapped by the BAs, who do not act normal and who smell like rotting corpses. They take them to Raven’s Hill, the location the Redcap insisted Bran and Liam meet him. There, Liam discovers that the Redcap and the fallen angels disguised as BA are working together. Henry, the Redcap, tries to turn Liam against them all. He works Liam into a rage to the point where the monster takes over. Then he seals Liam in the ring of stones at the top of the hill with Father Murray, Bran, and Kathleen. By invoking Liam’s name, he commands him to kill them. Only the sound of his mother’s voice pulls Liam to himself enough to wrest control from the monster. Liam finds a weakness in the circle, which allows Bran to escape and summon his army. A battle ensues. The fae are victorious. Bran promises to come to Liam whenever he’s ready and explain everything.
Reader Comments: I wish Liam had played a little more of a role in destroying Henry than he did, but his pure and unabashed “I’m in agony but going to do this anyway” attitude helped a lot in avoiding the problem of him feeling extraneous.
Writer Comments: This chapter is the climax. The most important part of a climax is that is resolves as many primary plot arcs as possible. This climax brings the story of the fallen, the church, the fae, Liam’s experiences in the Kesh, and his struggle with the monster to a head and a resolution, all within a matter of pages. That is how it would be done. Some things can be resolved a little later, as we’ll see in the epilogue. A few can be dealt with in a sequel. But the biggest need to be dealt with enough that the reader experiences that sense of release or catharsis.
Liam and Father Murray visit Mary Kate’s grave, but Liam isn’t quite ready to fully grieve. Father Murray asks him once more if he’ll join him in his quest to bring peace between the fae and the church. Since he’s got nowhere else to go and everyone from the IRA to the British are after him, Liam accepts.
Reader Comments: I’m so glad Liam has Father Murray as a friend. After all he’s been through, at least he came out with one thing, and their relationship has definitely matured since those first few chapters.
Writer Comments: What is the purpose of this epilogue? Every epilogue, and prologue, for that matter, must have a purpose; otherwise, they’re extraneous fluff. The purpose of this epilogue is to set up the next book and to give a sense that the story goes on. It has a sense of motion, despite the fact that Liam and Father Murray do very little physically. Its motion comes from the crucial choice that Liam makes. There’s a power to when a protagonist alters their course, and that power means that Of Blood and Honey ends with the sense of rising orchestral music heralding the beginning of a greater story.
Thank you for joining me for Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht. If any part of this read intrigued you, pick up the book for the full story. Naturally, I had to leave certain things out. Of Blood and Honey also has a sequel worth reading, And Blue Skies from Pain. Pick it up to continue this riveting story.
Ms. Leicht is also up for the John W. Campbell Award forBest New Writer, which will be announced this coming weekend at Worldcon in Chicago. My wishes to her for success and luck, and may she have a splendid time, no matter the outcome.
Next week, we’ll begin reading Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. Until then, join me Wednesday and Friday for further forays into fiction, books, the speculative, and life.