I always love a good wedding story or scene. After all, there is so much potential for things to go wrong! Wilks’ use of Cynna and Cullen’s wedding as a source of new beginnings and endings was a really sweet notion too. The explanation of some of the practices that we tend to take for granted (a white wedding gown for example) helped to show that, although some of the characters aren’t Christian, the rituals and meanings hold a place within our lives. Even for those many people who get married these days, there are aspects of this ritual that have a purpose and a place beyond the religious connotations.
Although Cullen and Cynna agree to become married at the conclusion of Night Season, it is kind of hard to imagine that either one will truly carry through with it. That is until the short story, Good Counsel. It is in this six pages that Cullen truly shows his commitment (and love for) Cynna and the degree to which he’ll go to make her happy. Throughout his discussion with the Catholic priest, he is able to be clear sighted and honest – he doesn’t really want to get married, but it is important for her, so therefore he’ll do it. The idea of acceptance by one’s community and the importance of this in such a thing as a wedding is also beautifully and succinctly investigated.
Blood Lines left off on a bit of a cliff-hanger for Cynna and Cullen. So, although Lily and Rule make an appearance in Night Season, it is nice to spend some more time with this incredibly unique couple. I also loved revisiting Kai and Nathan (albeit briefly) throughout this series. The novella Inhuman introduced these incredibly different characters, and vastly expanded the World of the Lupi universe. All in all, this story took a slightly different turn from the rest of the books, and it offered a refreshing outlook into a series that anyone would quickly become enthralled by.
Sixteen-year-old Rule is everything I imagined him to be and more in this great short story. Wilks leaves a comment at the top of the tale that suggests it be read after a few of the novels, get to know Rule before flashing back to his past. And honestly, it is a great suggestion. I have just read this short story after reading the first four books, and although it made his actions a little more predictable, it also made the story all the more enjoyable and the nuances of the characters a little more potent.
I enjoy anything set in the Jane Yellowrock world – it is always sassy, strong and constantly reminds you that no matter how odd you may be, there is somewhere in the world that you can fit in. If anything, I found this short story easier to relate to than the others so far – the twin Everhart witches are not only trying to cope with their sad past, but they are forced to confront a school bully. For those of us who have been bullied, we all imagine that day that we are reunited and can show that person how wonderful we are now that we’re not in school. When you’ve found a place in society that you can actually fit into, you want to show others that all of the hurt in the past doesn’t matter anymore (even when it does). The Devil’s Left Boot allows the twin witches to do this. And it works brilliantly.
Kitten is such a beautiful character – not only because she is a dragon, but she constantly helps Daine throughout her journeys in The Immortals Quartet. But, since, she isn’t able to communicate with her foster parents, it’s kind of hard to understand how she truly feels about what is happening around her. The Dragon’s Tale shows us Daine and Numair years down the track, and also gives Kitten a beautifully strong voice.
I liked the intersection of The Hidden Girl with Elder Brother. It is subtle and only a fleeting moment, but it looks at a culture and a non-Tortallan country from two vastly different standpoints. Yet, both put forward a woman’s plight and fight for power. The Hidden Girl is a great reminder that we all go about things in our own ways, and there is not one right was in which to find power in your own world.
I love reading stories about how difficult it is to be human, and to understand all of the weird little social cues that we insist on performing. Although, writing a story about this in a way that is interesting and still flows well can be difficult. Sometimes, when trying to re-explain our actions, the words come of contrived and false. But, as with everything Pierce writes, this is not the case.
The first few sentences left me incredibly attached to Kai, in a way that rarely happens in such a short period of time. Her supernatural abilities were also something that I had never imagined or heard of before, yet, they seem like an incredible ability to possess. Partner this intriguingly vulnerable character with Nathan, and a serial murderer, and this is one of my favourite short stories.
I loved that although this story still centred around Rule and Lily, the focus slowly shifted onwards to Cynna and Cullen’s weird and unorthodox attraction to each other. As usual, these romantic entanglements were complicated by the presence of magic and mayhem as She continues to progress her attacks on the lupi. And to further confuse an already conflicted situation, the rules and laws of the lupi societies make what would have once been a simple homicide investigation for Lily to become an intricate dance of politics, power and passion.