Monday, January 17, 2011

Musings about the Fever series and speculations about Shadowfever

For those of you who haven't read the Fever series, this post will be spoilery.  Like, major spoilery.  But it's my blog, and I can do that.  So instead, I recommend you go read my article over on CC2K about why you should read Karen Marie Moning's Fever series.  Then you should go read it.  Then you can come back.

So I've been trying to comment on a few of the blogs that have had Fever discussions and Shadowfever speculations, and have thus far been unsuccessful.  So either I lack the technological competence to figure out how to comment, or Blogger's comment feature just sucks.  I'm tending to think the former rather than the latter, given that several people have had difficulty commenting on my blog.  Though I am pretty technologically incompetent.

But then I realized: I have my own blog!  And nothing feeds into our societal self-indulgence like talking to yourself!  (And God knows I've been doing that for a very long time.)  So I'm going to post my musings and speculations here.


I think the Beast (the one killed at the end of Dreamfever) is Barrons.  But I don't think Barrons will stay dead.  Why do I think it's Barrons?  Because there are very few characters whose death could make Mac believe she had lost everything.  Alina, maybe--but she's already dead (as far as we know), and Mac definitely pointed out the Beast was male.  Her father?  Doesn't make sense; why would he be there all of a sudden?  And why would he be Barrons' beast?  Christian MacKeltar?  She might be upset about his death, but I don't think she's close enough to him to believe that she'd lost everything at his death.

Why do I believe he won't stay dead?  There's a few reasons behind this (i.e. my belief that Barrons won't stay dead) besides desperate, hopeful speculation.  Swapping out my fangirl hat for my critical one, Barrons being dead dead just wouldn't make any sense.  There's too much we don't know about his character.  Plus, he's been set up as a romantic interest for Mac for the last four books.  To kill him off so abruptly just doesn't make sense, especially since Moning has promised (at the end of the very dark Faefever, I believe) that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Story-wise, it just doesn't make sense.  Second, one of the things I've gotten from reading Moning's Highlander series is that time, in this world, is a mutable concept, and that the past can be changed.  It's been mentioned that the Fae once had the ability to travel through time, but this has been lost.  When someone (V'lane, I think) mentioned this in the Fever series, I had the impression it had been lost for a very long time.  But from reading the Highlander series, I get the impression that they had the ability up until quite recently.  The LM--if we believe him--has already said he can bring Alina back.  Why not Barrons?

So I don't think Barrons will stay dead forever.  But I think he may stay dead for awhile.  (Much as I don't want him to.)  Mac has grown and evolved a lot as a character throughout the series.  But one thing has been constant: Barrons has always had her back.  So by being forced to go through the final part of this journey without Barrons, she completes the character evolution that began in Darkfever.  She's already become a much stronger, more self-sufficient person.  Without Barrons, she'll be forced to become completely self-sufficient.  And really, if she's going to have a happily ever after with Barrons, she'll need to be the kind of woman he can go toe-to-toe with.  (Why do I keep thinking of that scene in Star Wars where Darth Vader and Obi-Wan fight, and Darth Vader says something like, "When we last met, I was but a student.  Now I am the master."  My mind is a weird place to live.)

I think Mac has misjudged Barrons.  Big time.  Mac has said, over and over and over again, that she doesn't trust Barrons.  And, sexy as he is, she's not being totally unreasonable.  He's lied to her a lot.  He's not forthright about himself, his motives, or his past.  She's in a strange place, where she doesn't know anyone, and her sister has just been brutally murdered.  No wonder she has a hard time trusting anyone!

But actions speak louder than words, Mac, and Barrons' actions have spoken volumes.  He's the one who's always protected you, always had your back.  He gave you a job, and sheltered you when you had nowhere to go.  He gave you a friggin' CAR to drive, a really expensive one, and guys are really protective of that kind of stuff.  Oh, yeah, and he offered to turn the bookstore over to you.  He cares about you more than you know.

He's not so great with social nicetites, I'll admit.  When he left you breakfast in front of your door on the first night you spent in the bookstore, you thought he was saying, "Don't make yourself too comfortable."  I think he was trying to be nice, in his gruff, hardass sort of way.  And that tattooing you without your permission...yeah, I wouldn't be cool with that either, but he was trying to protect you.  And he tore up the bookstore when you were gone and he couldn't find you.  It's sort of sweet, in a jackass kind of way.

Yeah, he can be a jerk.  (I wanted to hit him after the cake incident.)  But I don't think you were ever just a tool to him, as much as he tried to convince you otherwise.

Speaking of Barrons, I have to admit: I had some trouble initially with the way things played out between Barrons and Mac when she was Pri-ya.  But I don't anymore.  I read chapters 4 and 5 several times--and not just because I liked the sexy bits.  Mac was Pri-ya when Barrons rescued her, and I was surprised to discover that, during her recovery process, they were having sex.  Lots of it.  Mac wasn't really Mac, and she couldn't actually consent to what was happening.  Why would he take advantage of her in that state?

But I don't think he did.  Looking back, I think Barrons realized that the only way to pull her out of that state safely was to give her what she wanted--at the time, lots and lots of sex.  And Barrons has always been a bottom line, end justifies the means, kind of guy.  Mac notes that Barrons seems "torn" in his desire toward her; I think that's partially why.  He knows rational Mac would never consent to this, and he feels, on some level, like he is taking advantage of her.  ("One day you'll wonder whether it's possible to hate me more," I think he says.)  But I also think there's a part of him that wants to keep her safe in that room, doesn't want to give her up.  And he could have.  But he kept fighting to get her back to herself, knowing it would cost him Mac in the end.  *Sigh*

If Barrons just wanted the Sinsar Dubh, he could have used Mac while she was Pri-ya.  If he just wanted to have sex with Mac, he could have kept her Pri-ya and had himself a very nice and willing fuck-buddy.  Instead, he dragged her back kicking and screaming.

And she was, indeed, kicking and screaming.  The other thing the re-read showed me was that Mac didn't want to leave the room with Barrons.  So much had happened to Mac over the course of the three previous books, the worst of which was becoming Pri-ya.  She was broken.  The room was her safe place, her cocoon.  Whereas what happened with the Unseelie princes was shameful and degrading, what happened with Barrons was not.  Barrons, and that room, was what kept her safe from the monsters.  I think that's why it took her so long to come back.

Mac's conversation with Christian MacKeltar really got me.  Nothing that happened with Barrons had been nonconsensual.

Okay, do I have anything to speculate about that isn't Barrons related?  Well that just isn't as much fun.

I think Mac may be the daughter of the Unseelie King and his mistress.  She dreams of a cold woman.  Maybe she was born in the mirrors?  That would explain her newfound abilities.  Plus, it would likely make her immortal, or at least much longer-lived.  And since Barrons is, I believe, immortal, or nearly so...

Oh, crap, there's Barrons again.

I don't think the LM killed Alina.  There!  I got one.  I don't know who killed Alina, but I don't think it was the LM.

I think I'm going to go through an entire box of Kleenex tomorrow reading the book.  The whole series has been an emotional roller coaster.  Methinks this will be worse.

There's a wintery mix heading my way tomorrow.  I seriously hope my office is closed.  I don't think it will be.  But a girl can always dream.

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