When last we left Liam Kelly, ex-IRA wheelman and half-fey hero of Stina Leicht’s and Blue Skies from Pain, he was on the run from the Catholic Church, the police, the IRA, and a murder-happy ghost. He had taken refuge in a Protestant area of Belfast at a party with some very curious individuals. To save one of them, he took a bullet and was rescued just in time by his father and uncle who whisked him away.
To catch up or review this read and commentary, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7.
Bran takes Liam to The Other Side, the fey world, where he patches him up along with several other fey who were wounded in a recent battle. Liam falls asleep, and Oran tries to wake him, warning him that here is especially unsafe for him. Haddock shows up. Oran tries to stop him from reaching Liam but fails, and Haddock pins Liam down and starts hurting him. Liam’s gets rescued once more just in time and confesses to his father all that is happening. Bran declares that he cannot stay in the fey’s world and takes him back with a promise to explain about the war he’s fighting and some of the real reason he so desperately wants a deal with the church.
Reader Comments: Ooo, lots of fascinating stuff in this chapter. I love glimpsing deeper into the fey’s world, and this was barely a sliver of a taste, I bet. It’s nice to know that the fey side of things is as messy and complicated as the mortal side, and thank goodness Liam and Bran are finally talking.
Writer Comments: At the beginning of every chapter, Leicht lists the location and roughly the date. “The Other Side” heads chapter 14 and immediately proclaims that something different and significant is happening. Though my eyes sometimes slide past the location and date stamp on the chapters, this one grabbed my attention and made me take notice. Sometimes, the simplest things can have great impact.
Bran and Liam retreat to the abandoned house Liam had selected in Belfast to pass the night. With snow falling through a huge hole in the roof, Bran leaves Liam bundled in blankets beside the fire long enough to fetch water a couple blocks away, but before he goes, he warns Liam not to sleep until he gets back. While he is gone, Eirnin, the fey girl that helped Liam in the fight two chapters before and who Bran warned Liam to stay away from as she’s an enemy of their clan, arrives to talk. She wants to set up a meeting between their sides in a step to end the war. Liam promises to think about what might be done but sends her away before Bran returns. Just before she goes, she reveals that, like him, she’s only half fey.
Reader Comments: Ah, so Eirnin is a new romantic interest. Liam’s practically drooling over her, but it’s nice that he hasn’t abandoned Mary Kate in his heart either. I suspect the tug-of-war between his attraction for Eirnin and his love for Mary Kate will result in some grand fun as the series progresses.
Writer Comments: The way a POV (point of view) characters describes another character is incredibly influential on the reader’s perceptions of that character. Liam notices all sorts of attractive features on Eirnin, from her hip-length black hair to her graceful movements. All these details work to make Eirnin appear intriguing and alluring, and they quickly establish the subplot of Liam’s risky attraction to her. Never underestimate the power of using a POV’s eye to highlight specific qualities of other characters.