Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

TITLE Book CoverKaren Marie Moning - Fever Series

1. Darkfever (see previous)
2. Bloodfever (see previous)
3. Faefever

The Fever series is also available as audio books narrated by Joyce Bean. Listen to a free podcast of book 1, Darkfever.
See index for more.

Category: Crème Brûlée - My All-Time Favorites (A+)
Flame Height: 3" out of 9"

The very first thing I noticed about Faefever is that Mac is now aware she has an audience. By that I mean that in the earlier books, particularly in the Prologues, we’re never sure if Mac is telling us the story, we’re reading her journal, or we are looking over the shoulder of someone who is reading her journal, possibly after her death.

But now, in Faefever, the tone changes,

“for those of you just joining me, my name is MacKayla Lane, Mac for short... Don’t settle into your chair and relax. It’s not just my world that’s in trouble; it’s your world, too. It’s happening, right now, while you’re sitting there, munching a snack, getting ready to immerse yourself in a fictional escape. Guess what? It’s not fiction, and there’s no escape.
Holy Crap! Now I don’t have ANY idea what we are reading!

In this book, we learn MUCH more about the Dark Book, or Sinsar Dubh and its history, and much more about the Fae, particularly Sidhe royalty. I have a feeling that the info is going to turn out to be VERY important, so stick bookmarks in at those points. I also have a feeling that The Four Stones will be showing up and playing a major role in future books (they are in Faefever’s glossary, but not mentioned in the book).

Faefever is a good place to start if you haven’t read the previous two Fever books because Moning DOES recap quite extensively. Maybe TOO extensively. Honestly, as much as I love these books, I think she would have been better off breaking the complete story up into 4 instead of 5 books. There’s too much recapping, and too much of a feeling of repetition of the scenes between Mac and Barrons and Mac and the Shades.

We do meet up with the Keltar Druids from the Highlander series in Faefever. Well sorta indirectly through Christian MacKeltar. And it’s confirmed that he IS the same Christian MacKeltar we met as the then teenaged son of Christopher MacKeltar, the modern day MacKeltar from Kiss of the Highlander. He refers to Drustan, Dageus and Cian as his uncles. It’s also confirmed that it was Cian (it's not confirmed but I suspect he was with Dageus), at the mansion that was the scene of the slaughter in Bloodfever.

It’s also confirmed that the Lord Master is Darroc-- the Seelie Sidhe from The Immortal Highlander, whose punishment for working with the Unseelie Wild Hunt to overthrow the Seelie Queen was to be made a mortal. Furthermore, though it’s not confirmed, I strongly suspect Darroc is also the one who was trying to sell pages from the Sinsar Dubh to Cian’s nemesis, Lucan. From Spell of the Highlander:
"...an unusual man with long coppery hair and shimmering copper eyes had sought him out, claiming to have knowledge of the ciphers in which the Dark Book was written. The man had dripped a deep seated arrogance that could only have been born of some kind of power—either his own, or close association with someone who made him fearless... But then the man had told him that he’d actually lived among the Fae for a time, he’d been familiar with the runes on the Hallows, and he’d spoken a tongue he’d alleged was that of the Tuatha De themselves. He’d also displayed an intimate knowledge of the Seelie and Unseelie courts. "
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

We also learn much more about the sidhe-seers and we learn who has been the guardian of the Dark Book up until 20 years ago.

Now, the OMGHOLYSHIT! ending and the apocalyptic events leading up to it: I won’t be sure how I feel about it until I read how it’s dealt with in the subsequent books. And deal with it she must. It can’t be ignored, and KMM can’t brush it off with a Druid memory erase. Actually, I wonder if the prologue to Darkfever and Faefever’s glossary are telling us how it’s dealt with? In any case I DO have to give kudos to KMM for going out on that limb with the ending. First of all, it proves she’s definitely not writing a Highlanders Romance, and secondly, it’s a brave author who makes it clear that NOBODY, even her heroine, is safe; that sometimes no one comes to the rescue at the last minute. I know that the ending is a hot button for some readers ::coughKMONTcough::, but if handled right, I think it can be powerful.
♥ ♥ ♥

I finished the audio books of the Highlander stories right before Faefever was released and it turns out it was a perfect time to refresh my memory since the first time I read the Highlander books, I didn’t really pay much attention to the Fae lore and intrigues. After all, it was the ROMANCE that counted in that series, right?

So the following is just my rambling questions and speculations. If you haven’t read the Highlanders, it may not make much sense. Aw hell, even if you DID read them, my long-winded babbling probably won’t make much sense! I’m sure the Moning Maniacs will laugh at me (not really, they're too nice to do that) because they somehow can remember every single minute detail of every single book and therefore they put all these pieces together as soon as they read book 1, Darkfever. How do they DO that?! *sigh* I quit visiting the KMM board long ago because I always felt soooo stupid in the face of their awesome memories.

Anyway... here goes. There's a few Fever spoilers and a whole lot of Highlander spoilers ahead:

Theories on Barrons: What is he?

Definitely has Druid abilities, including Voice, but claims there is no spell that can protect from the Shades, yet he IS protected from them, indeed, they seem to be afraid of him. Also, notice that Barrons told the Lord Master to leave Mac alone and he did as Barrons asked. And what’s the story with the animosity between V’Lane and Barrons? Was V’Lane actually afraid of Barrons in Faefever?

Unseelie cannot touch Seelie Hallows, yet he held the Seelie Spear. However, was he able to control his reaction to it? Mac observed no effect, yet he put his hands in his pockets right after holding it. Possibly to hide burns or wounds of some kind? Would the Unseelie King, the most powerful Unseelie, be able to touch it?

Barron’s tattoos: In Bloodfever, Mac mentions tattoos on Barrons’ torso—a search of the ebooks didn’t turn up any more identifying info on that—which bugs me because I swear somewhere in one of the books, Mac sees a tattoo or mark on Barrons and tells us what it looks like. GRRRR, frustrating, because I can’t remember if she saw something that could be a winged serpent or not which would mean he is/was a follower of the Draghar (from Dark Highlander).

Does his having a tattoo mean that he’s at least dabbled in the Dark Druid arts like Cian (Spell of the Highlander)? Either of those explanations would also account for the animosity towards the MacKeltars we learn of in Faefever that started in Bloodfever when they were also at the mansion to retrieve the amulet.

Mac’s tattoo from him is: “an intricate pattern of black and red ink with a faintly luminescent Z in the middle, a mystical bar code, a sorcerous brand.” My understanding of the combo of black and red runes meant it was created through Druid Dark Arts. Barrons had this to say about Cian’s tattoos in Bloodfever: “Although one of the men was versed in the Black Arts, both were Druid trained.” Mac: “How do you know one of them was into black magic?” Barrons: “He was heavily tattooed. Black magic calls a price, Ms. Lane, that can be... diminished by working protection runes into the skin.”

Barrons owns tattooing equipment, and by his own admission knows how to use it and what the price of the Dark Arts is, so can we infer from that that he does have runes tattooed somewhere on him that would indicate that he has performed Black Magic?

Remember Into the Dreaming, the Highlander novella? What if the Unseelie King decided to torture and train a Druid to be his Hand of Vengeance this time? In some ways, Barrons echoes Aedan MacKinnon’s behavior-- cold, unfeeling, yet occasional glimpses of humanity break through—will loving and being loved in return break his contract with the Unseelie King too?

Remember also that the Unseelie king would send Aedan on missions during his training. In Faefever, Christian shows Mac pictures of Barrons at different points in recent history. In one he is with wealthy and presumably influential socialites 71 years ago; in another, he was with military men, including the Irish revolutionary Michael Collins in 1922. Druids are NOT immortal, yet in all the pictures, Barrons looks exactly the same. That could be explained if Barrons is indeed the new Vengence for the Unseelie king. His missions have been to find the Hallows, particularly the Dark Book.

Now, one more piece to ponder. In Faefever, Barrons is, in his usual harsh, humiliating way, trying to teach Mac to withstand the effects of the Druid Voice. At one point she says to him,
"'You might as well have raped me. In fact, that’s exactly what you did!' He rolled hard and fast, and I was on my back beneath him, with my hands pinned above my head, the weight of his body crushing me to the floor, his face inches from mine. He was breathing harder than the exertion merited. 'Make no mistake, Ms. Lane, I didn’t rape you. You can lie there on your pretty little P.C. ass and claim with your idealistic little P.C. arguments that any violation of your will is rape and that I’m a big, bad bastard, and I’ll tell you that you’re full of shit, and you’ve obviously never been raped. Rape is much, much worse. Rape isn’t something you walk away from. You crawl.'"
Words from a man that has endured ALL kinds of torture from the Unseelie king?

Did that story (Into the Dreaming) play out immediately before the same period as the Fever series, or maybe the king had more than one Vengence-in-training? No one has seen either the Unseelie King nor the Seelie Queen in quite some time (Darkfever), and she has not appeared to help the MacKeltars reinforce the walls between worlds (Faefever). So are the King and Queen together as they are at the end of Into the Dreaming? She does refer to him as her ex-consort and as an ancient in Spell, and in Dreaming, the king does mention that he’d been with the young (to him) queen before. So it’s quite possible that the two of them are together and as you’ll see below with the quote from Spell, maybe the current events of Fever happen because they are together and not paying attention to what’s going on. After all, from that quote from Spell, you can see that she never thought Darroc would be a threat. So, according to Spell, she’s had to go back in time and set things up so that the worlds can be saved this time.

Oh, and that THING under Barrons’ garage that Mac hears? Maybe it’s Barrons! When he is not with her searching for the Dark Book, where does he go? Maybe nowhere? Maybe the Unseelie king has ordered him chained back up and orders his continued torture that will turn him completely into his Hand of Vengence. The fact that we find out in Faefaver that the Dark Mirrors (as in Cian’s prison; as in the mirrors in the Lord Master’s house) were originally created by the Unseelie King and used as a way to travel between realms, and Barrons not only has one but USES it, might be an indication that he is traveling at the behest of the Unseelie King, including returning to the lower levels of his garage that are seemingly inaccessible.

As I said above, we learn in Faefever that Barrons is MUCH older than he looks—so he's either not human or possibly being kept alive by the Unseelie king like Aedan was. Unless of course he IS the Unseelie king . Would the Unseelie King, the most powerful Unseelie, be able to touch a Seelie hallow? I admit that that idea IS far-fetched, but what the hell... even Mac wonders the same thing, and he DOES put his hands in his pockets after touching the Spear.

Still with me? Because I'm not done with my speculations yet.

From Spell of the Highlander:
[This is actually the scene from the ending of The Dark Highlander and the beginning of The Immortal Highlander but from Queen Aoibheal's POV]

FIRST PROLOGUE

Aoibheal, queen of the Fae stood in the catacombs beneath The Belthew Building, concealed by countless layers of illusion, a formless projection of herself, beyond any Sidhe-seer’s vision, beyond even her own race’s perception.

In the dimly lit labyrinthine tombs, Adam Black was pacing furiously, holding his ears and cursing a wailing Chloe Zanders.

But it was not Adam’s plight that concerned her now.

It was her own.

Tonight she’d wielded the formidable magic of the Queen of the Tuatha Dé Danaan to destroy the Druid sect of the Draghar.

But it was not for that purpose alone she’d done it. As ever, she had motives within motives. Her use of the full power of the High Queen of the Seelie Court of the Light had caused a blackout of all mortal magic throughout Britain, part of Scotland and a fair portion of Wales.

It had shattered wards humans believed unbreakable, voided protections spells, and temporarily leeched all sacred mortal relics of any power they possessed.

Closing her eyes, Aoibheal turned her far-vision outward, analyzing the weft and weck of the fabric of her world. She’d pulled a thread here, tugged a thread there, and the infinitesimal changes she sought had begun.

Somewhere in Tibet an ancient sorcerer was seeking the unholiest of Dark Hallows.

Somewhere in London a thief was casing a wealthy residence reputed to contain unimaginable treasures within.

Somewhere a Keltar was biding his time, waiting for a vengeance long overdue.

Ah, yes, it had begun. . . .


And here’s the... well, I guess it’s the ending of Spell of the Highlander, but it serves as an Epilogue.

"Synchro—”
“—nicity,” Queen Aoibheal of the Tuatha Dé Danaan murmured, her iridescent eyes shimmering.

A collision of possibles so incalculably improbable that it would appear to imply divine intervention.

The corners of her lips lifted in a faint smile. She smoothed them. She’d been employing a mortal form so much of late that she was beginning to mimic their expressions.

Humans were forever attributing the meddling of the Fae to the divine. As well they should, for handling so many threads, subtly altering the weft and weck of the world, truly required something of the divine.

They were here now.

Her players, her pieces on the board. More than pawns, less than kings.

The catastrophe that had occurred in the seventeenth century hadn’t taken place after all, not since she’d rearranged events to get the Keltar’s underground chamber sealed. The one in the twentieth century hadn’t come to fruition either, for the same reason. Nor had the other two, though for different reasons.

“J’adoube,” she whispered. I touch. I adjust.

Seven times now she’d prevented the extinction of the purest and most potent of the Druid lines.

And positioned the five most powerful Druids that had ever lived precisely where she wanted them. Where they could ally her.

Where they could save her.

There was Dageus, possessing far more knowledge than any one Druid should have: all the knowledge of the Draghar, the thirteen ancients. The memories she’d left in him were doing things to him he wasn’t admitting. Not to Drustan, not to his mate.

There was Cian, possessing far more power than any one Druid should have: the genetic fluke, the unexpected mutation born once in a bloodline. The things Dageus and Cian could do together if they put their minds to it worried even her.

Then there was Drustan: compared to his dangerously endowed kin, modest of power, modest of knowledge, yet superior in a way they could never be. Dageus and Cian could go either way, good or evil. Drustan MacKeltar was that unique kind of man whose name lived forever in legends of men—a warrior so pure of heart that he was beyond corrupting. A man who would die for his beliefs, not just once but ten thousand times over if necessary.

As for her other two chosen, she would be seeing them soon.

Below her, in Castle Keltar’s great hall, the humans stood talking, oblivious to her presence. Blissfully unaware that a little over five years in their future, their world was in chaos, the walls between Man and Faery were down, and the Unseelie ruled with an icy, brutal hand. The Shades were feeding again, the Hunters were enforcing compliance, calling death sentences for the slightest infraction, and the exquisite Unseelie Princes were indulging their insatiable appetite for mortal women, brutally raping, leaving mindless shells.

And she?

Ah, that was the problem.

Her gaze shifted inward from the tableau below.

Though her race could move at will through the past, they could not penetrate a future that had not yet occurred. If one attempted to go forward beyond one’s present existence, one encountered an oppressive white mist, nothing more. If one went too far back in the past, one encountered the same mist. Not even the Tuatha Dé Danaan understood time. They knew how to traverse only the simplest facet of it.

She’d sifted back countless times now, from five and a half years in Earth’s future—her present—delicately altering events while trying not to change too much. Concealing from all, even those of her own court, that she was temporally displaced while doing it. Worlds were fragile; one could destroy an entire planet inadvertently. She already carried the weight of such an error. It was a heavy burden. As did her long-ago consort, though the unfathomably ancient Dark King cared nothing about the blood of billions.

She’d been alive for over sixty thousand years. Many of her kind wearied of existence long before that.

Not she. She had no wish to cease. Though the loss of Adam Black to his mortal mate grieved her, and she’d considered undoing that as well, she’d learned that there was a human element that was highly dangerous to meddle with. Love’s power was violently unpredictable; it affected events in ways her Tuatha Dé mind had failed to anticipate on more than one occasion.

She could not hope to predict what she could not understand. There were times when she suspected human love harbored a power more elemental and greater than any her race possessed. It infused things with strength in impossible excess of the sum of its parts. Indeed, it had been the matching of each Keltar below with his mate that had tempered them, given them cores of steel, and made her Druids into allies worthy of a queen.

The room below fell into a sudden hush. The silence drew her gaze back to the small group of men and women.

Dageus, Chloe, Drustan, Gwen, and Jessica were all staring at Cian, who had a startled expression on his face and was gazing directly up at her, where she stood beyond the balustrade.

She stiffened. Impossible! She wasn’t even truly there, but a projection of herself, concealed by countless layers of illusion, beyond an impenetrable Fae veil. Not even the most adept of Sidhe-seers would be able to isolate her formless form within the dimensional deception she’d created!

Ah, yes, this Druid had power beyond any other.

“What is it, Cian?” Drustan said, glancing over his shoulder in the direction Cian was looking. “Is aught amiss? Do you see something, kinsman?”

Aoibheal stared at the Highlander, her lips tightening. She smoothed them again. Waited for him to betray her presence.

No, no, no, it was not time yet—it could too drastically alter things—it could destroy what chance they had!

She’d attained a tenuous balance of possibles at best. She needed more time.

She held his gaze, used her human eyes to convey a mute plea. Say nothing, Keltar-mine.

The ninth-century Highlander regarded her silently. After a moment he inclined his head in the barest nod, then turned and glanced at Drustan.

“Nay,” he said. “ ’Tis nothing, Drustan. Nothing at all.”

So we knew the apocalyptic ending was coming, we just weren't sure which book KMM would end up placing it in.
"And positioned the five most powerful Druids that had ever lived precisely where she wanted them"

Who are the five? In Faefever we find out that they are also mentioned in a sidhe-seer prophecy. So who are they? We know Drustan, Dageus, Cian. But who are the other two? Neither Alina nor Mac are Druids, so that leaves them out. Barrons? Quite possibly, even if he turns out to be Vengence or a follower of the Draghar, that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t manipulate his presence too. Christian MacKeltar? We know that Christopher, as a MacKeltar, IS a Druid, so therefore we can assume that Christian is too. However, Christian is still very young, so would even HE know how powerful he is? We know he can tell if someone is lying, like Dageus and Drustan’s father could. And we never really got to know ANYTHING about his father Christopher in the Highlander books, did we? So he’s still a possibility, although I don’t believe he is anywhere near as powerful as the time-traveling Keltar Druids.

BTW, what’s up with the “dreamy-eyed” guy that works with Christian? I think there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is the fact that she refers to his eyes a clue? Are his eyes blue? Didn't Grimm (To Tame a Highland Warrior) have blue eyes? So is the "dreamy-eyed" guy a Berserker like Grimm or is he just an innocent bystander used as a red herring? Doesn't seem far-fetched to me that KMM might tie in the earlier Highlander books too.

And what about other Druid families? In Spell, Cian says that he presumes that a different Druid family serves as guardians of the Dark Book. But in Faefever, we learn who the guardians were, and they weren’t Druids. So are there other powerful Druid families out there?

And what about Adam and his son Circenn? Aoibheal granted their wish to be mortal in The Immortal Highlander, but who is to say she took ALL their powers away? Could she have made them mortal but Druid? And she said at the time that she couldn’t undo Adam’s transformation into mortal but at the end of Spell she says "she’d considered undoing that as well". Aoibheal’s powers are definitely the wild card here.

Oh, and since Adam’s wife, Gabby, is a sidhe-seer, can we expect her to appear? It seems likely that Aoibheal would want Adam nearby to help. BTW, just why WERE all the sidhe showing up in Cincinnati in The Immortal Highlander?

New mystery question raised in Faefever: What happened a little over 20 years ago? For that matter, I'd like to know about all seven times that Aoibheal saved the Keltars. The ending of The Dark Highlander brought down all kinds of wards worldwide, but that was about 5 ½ years ago. Did Aoibheal cause something else to happen 20 years ago or did she have to save us from something else back then? She DOES mention the other times she intervened to prevent catastrophes. Whatever it was, I suspect that Alina and Mac were sent to America as a direct result of it. Those that were guarding the Dark Book lost possession of it that night. "Terrible things happened" and it vanished. But WHAT happened? And was this something that Aoibheal could not go back and prevent, but could only get the two girls away in hopes that they would one day return and be part of saving both realms?

Oh, and a bit more speculation about the ending: Where and WHO is the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse? Could it be V’Lane? Was Mac right way back when she suspected him of being an Unseelie Prince? Did the Unseelie King forbid Barrons to reveal who V’Lane really is (assuming my speculation above has any merit)?

And who booby-trapped the Orb?

Mac told Inspecter Jayne to get his family away from Dublin. How did she know that the walls between realms would only come down in Dublin? Or DID they only come down in Dublin? And, if so, WHY only Dublin? Or will it be like a domino effect where the walls STARTED coming down there but will then ripple out until the walls are down over the entire world?

PHEW! I’m exhausted! And my brain hurts.

Piquant Opines: Kmont, Darque Reviews, Romance Rookie, RT



Have you read this book? Feel free to review or link to a review in the comments. Even if you don't agree!

Do you agree or disagree with my speculations? Feel free to share your own theories.

28 comments:

kmont said...

Well, since you've called me out, here I am. ;)

I never expected anyone to come to Mac's rescue - I halfway expected her to have reached a more powerful point by FF and to somehow be strong enough to withstand all the nasty stuff coming at her. I suppose I just jumped that one a bit and it's coming later in the series. I've always known that Moning intended to write about a heroine on a spectacular journey, and to show us a darker side to her writing. However, being that Moning left it at the dreadful moment she did, some people are going to just pause and say - WTF? Like you, I don't know at all the full extent of what happened to Mac, so yes, I'll question it. Yes, if handled right, I'm very sure it can be powerful, but again, it was left at that point and this is a character I'd really come to care about. It hurt to see her left there. I couldn't just auto accept that the author will turn this around to my particular satisfaction.

I didn't read Darkfever till it came out in paperback. I resisted because I didn't like the last Highlander book much. I felt maybe I'd moved past Moning's particular style. We all change from time to time in what we prefer to read, just as writers change in what they want to write sometimes. So I wasn't even hoping that Fever would be a romance; I'd heard that it wasn't and believed that. But man, I was really surprised when I finally opened DF. I simply was hooked. So I've enjoyed Mac's journey, anticipated each book so far and have certainly appreciated Moning's advancement of her Fae world. I love that she took her romance-muted Fae and turned them darker, or actually she just allowed us to see, finally, how truly dark they were.

FF though - while chockablock full of interesting info, didn't go enough for me, didn't DO much. Oh well, that's just one little opinion. I do question why the ending HAD to happen the way it does. I do not believe that just because this is dark fantasy that what happened to Mac automatically means her situation will feel powerful or that there will be a "good" reason for it. What the writer, bless their hearts cuz I love 'em, intends is not always what a reader will perceive - something Moning herself seems to understand from stuff I've seen on her board. Doesn't mean either writer or reader is wrong or that either has failed, it just means we're all different. If we all liked the same things, well, the world would be a right boring place.

I've had some nasty run-ins with another writer and their Crew of fans that like to put the "negative" readers in their place, so I'm not nodding an acceptance of FF's ending till I get to see the full outcome and consequences of it all (and really, aren't SO many proud that Karen is keeping us on our toes? How is any reader NOT liking FF's ending any different then? Hello, obviously some weren't expecting that, so check, I'm on my toes lol). I think it's great if hundreds of other Moning fans want to trust that it will all be OK, and powerful and breathtaking. Me, I will believe it when I read it. I'm a Moning fan too, just a more reserved one.

Despite my reservations with FF, I look forward to Darkfever and Shadowfever putting those reservations to rest.

Now, on another hand entirely, bravo to you for all your speculating on the Fever and Highlander books! I have a friend that could run those circles with you, lol! I, however, need to go back and read your post some more. It just caught me off guard when you coughed out my name. ;)

Bev(QB) said...

"I never expected anyone to come to Mac's rescue - I halfway expected her to have reached a more powerful point by FF and to somehow be strong enough to withstand all the nasty stuff coming at her."

Actually, that's why I gave KMM kudos. Normally, we WOULDN'T expect anything serious to happen to the heroine. Whether she's saved or manages to save herself, we expect most authors to get her out of it somehow. But KMM did the unexpected.

Now, I know your opinion of rape as a plot device, and in many cases I agree with you. But to me, in order to get the point across that bad things can and do happen to anyone and to make the sense of peril real to the reader, KMM used mind rape (and by mind rape I mean her mind was forced, but it's still a physical rape too), but she could just as easily had Mac disfigured or a limb chopped off.

The end result of any of those would have been that Mac had to deal with being attacked and brutalized.

It just so happens that this particular outcome made sense because becoming Pri-ya has been one of Mac's biggest fears throughout the series.

I don't know if that is a "good" reason like you were saying, but I can see where the scene means the final death of the old Mac, and the birth of the harder, weary Mac that we've met in all the prologues.

Now, having said that though, I will totally turn on KMM for using rape as a plot device if she doesn't have Mac dealing with the after-effects in a way consistent with real world rape victims, Mac's character, and KMM's world-building regarding Pri-Yas.

"I have a friend that could run those circles with you, lol!"

Oh hell, there's a whole lot of people that could run circles AROUND me when it comes to speculation! It's just that by the time I got to the last Highlander audio book (Spell), I was all kinds of excited hearing all those puzzle pieces click together. I think I hurt my brain trying to figure it out though. hee

Sarah said...

Awwwww. I have not read it yet and I so want to!!!! Great and thorough analysis!

JenB said...

I'm thinking about getting the Highlander audio books. I need to start with those, right?

Bev(QB) said...

Oops, sorry Sarah, I hope I didn't spoil it too much for you.

Jen, you absolutely do NOT have to read/listen to the Highlanders first. It completely stands alone from that series.

However, within the Highlanders series are clues and characters that appear in the Fever books. But they are more like little AHA! moments for Highlander readers. If you hadn't read the Higlanders, you would just think they are part of Fever, you wouldn't even realize that there was any backstory there.

Hope that makes sense.

MB (Leah) said...

Ok this looks really good, but you lost me at:

The very first thing I noticed about Faefever is that Mac is now aware she has an audience. LOL

I'll keep it in mind after I listen to the Kiss of the Highlander

LissaNY said...

Damn! I really need to find time to sit and read an actual book, rather than wait for things to show up on audio at the library! I so want to read/listen to Faefever, and really, REALLY want to read the Highlander books!

Devon said...

I remember being unthrilled with the talking to the reader thing during Darkfever, and not really noticing it during Bloodfever. The change in tense seems odd. Wonder what I'll think of Faefever.

Your review and speculation has me chomping at the bit to read this. The fact that I've read only one Highlander book puts me at a big disadvantage with the speculating. I did have a theory about Barrons though.

Jill D. said...

Wow Bev, your theories totally blow me out of the water! I have no clue myself as to what Barron's is. Your theories are pretty sound. I was leaning towards him being a Druid, but your right, there has to be more to it than that because he has lived for so long.

Oh my goodness, the ending came as such a shock to me. I knew something bad was going to happen, but I honestly thought that Vlane or Barrons would come to the rescue. I can't wait to see how KMM is going to fix this mess Mac has gotten into.

Personnally, I think KMM is a genius for dragging this series out like she has. I am hanging on the edge of my seat clammering for more. I actually went out Sept 16 and bought the hardback book. I can tell you that is the first time I have EVER bought a hardback book and I was shocked to find that it cost me $24!!!!! So she totally suckered that money from me and you can bet I'll do it again for the last two books :)

Bev(QB) said...

MB- NAH, just enjoy Kiss. There's not much Fever connection in that one, but it does set up the story arc for the next 3 Highlanders which DO have clues to the series.

Lissa- you want to READ the Highlanders?! After all my squeeing about Phil G. in the AUDIO BOOKS? UGH, and here I thought you were an audio book fan! ;-p

Devon- I felt in the first 2 that she wasn't addressing anyone but herself by writing in her journal as she has always done. But this new prologue really threw me for a loop because now she's directly addressing an... audience? reader?

I dunno, but KMM has promised an HEA for her, so where before I thought it might be a grandchild reading her journal, now I don't have a clue.

Now spill- what's your Barrons theory?

Jill- "I can't wait to see how KMM is going to fix this mess Mac has gotten into."
See, that's what I'm concerned about. I don't want KMM to fix it, I want Mac to work through it.

Oh, and Jill, never, ever pay full price for a hardcover again! I know that Borders/Waldens discounts new releases 30-40%. Not sure about other brick and morter stores. And of course, Amazon also discounts but you can't count on them to get the book to you on release day. And I know I can't be waiting for them to get it here! LOL

Jill D. said...

See, that's what I'm concerned about. I don't want KMM to fix it, I want Mac to work through it.

Well, when I said KMM, I just meant that KMM ultimately decides how Mac comes through this, and she will have to come through this. Whether Mac gets rescued or gets out of it by herself, I don't really care either way. I just hope that this is rock bottom and now Mac can start working her way up to the top.

As far as buying books goes, I don't have much of a choice where I shop. I live in a small town where apparently nobody reads. My husband works in a bigger city, but all they have is a B&N. Sometimes when I visit my mom I shop at Borders. It is, by far, my favorite brick and mortar store.

LissaNY said...

I am SO an audiobook fan, but my audiobooks are limited to what I get free from the library systems. If they don't have it, I don't get to listen! So, at this point I think I might have to take what I can get. I would definitely love to hear a bit more Phil though....

Angie said...

What I want to re-read Darkfever prologue. Didn't Mac start talking from the future. Wasn't she a year ahead? I have to get to the library soon. After reading FF I re-read the prologue and it mentioned the hellish Halloween, loosing her memories, things that Barrons did and something else... (I let my friend read my book before returning it to the library so she doesn't have to wait in line) So we went thru the Halloween and the memories. What did Barrons do? Was it something with the MacKelter's or trying to get Mac back?

I think it makes sense that he is Vengance. He got Mac to say that she was Vengance. I think just like Drustan and Dageus that Barrons looked at Mac and thought 'Mine'.

Dreamy eyed guy. I've read some on KMM website that Karen said that she wasn't going to use Berserker's but it have been a sham to lead us down another path.

I've really hope we get to re-visit old characters. I love that when that happens.

I do think that in FF there was a lot of repetition. But I would say that it makes the book stand on it's own w/o reading the first two. Then that leaves little room for new info. But the ending... I agree with the rape issue. It has to be dealt with.

The next book Dreamfever is based off of Mac's observation that dreams are just another reality plane. That has to be Mac's healing place.

I enjoyed reading your observations! I don't get to talk to many people about books I read. My friend that I loaned the book to doesn't work with me anymore. We used to swap all of the time. If anyone's interested in other time travel books and meeting the same characters in multiple books check out Lynn Kurland. Be warned that her books are rated PG but her writing makes up for the lack of bedroom scenes.

Bev(QB) said...

Hi Angie!

"The next book Dreamfever is based off of Mac's observation that dreams are just another reality plane. That has to be Mac's healing place."

OOOO, good one! I wondered what the signifiacance of the title was and hadn't thought of that!

I have a feeling that I will probably be re-reading DF, BF, and FF before DF's release just to refamiliarize myself with some of those little details.

Angie said...

Bev,
Do you have DF? Can you read the prologue? How far ahead was Mac when she started her journal? Am I crazy or was she a year ahead and wasn't she stuck somewhere with a cuff or something? I can't get to the library until Monday at the earliest. It's driving me nuts. The FF book I let my friend read she stayed up all night reading it and we had a 45 min chat this morning. We both feel we need to re-read Into the dreaming and Spell of the highlander again. We had forgotten a lot of Abohial's manipulations. I'll check this site again tomorrow to see if you had time to check DF for me. Thanks again.

Bev(QB) said...

Angie, another good catch. I don't remember noticing that at all!

Here's the DF Prologue:

"My philosophy is pretty simple—any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book.

I haven’t had many good days lately.

Not since the walls between Man and Faery came down.

But then, there’s not a sidhe-seer alive who’s had a good day since then.

Before The Compact was struck between Man and Fae (around 4000 B.C. for those of you who aren’t up on your Fae history), the Unseelie Hunters hunted us down like animals and killed us. But The Compact forbade the Fae to spill human blood, so for the next six thousand years, give or take a few centuries, those with True Vision—people like me who can’t be fooled by Fae glamour or magic—were taken captive and imprisoned in Faery until they died. Real big difference there: dying or being stuck in Faery until you die. Unlike some people I know, I’m not fascinated by them. Dealing with the Fae is like dealing with any addiction—you give in, they’ll own you; you resist, they never will.

Now that the walls are down, the Hunters are back to killing us again. Stamping us out like we’re the plague on this planet.

Aoibheal, the Seelie Queen of the Light, is no longer in charge. In fact, nobody seems to know where she is anymore, and some people are beginning to wonder if she is anymore. The Seelie and Unseelie have been smearing their bloody war all over our world since her disappearance, and although some might say I’m being broody and pessimistic, I think the Unseelie are gaining the distinct upper hand over their fairer brethren.

Which is a really, really bad thing.

Not that I like the Seelie any better. I don’t. The only good Fae is a dead Fae in my book. It’s just that the Seelie aren’t quite as lethal as the Unseelie. They don’t kill us on sight. They have a use for us.

Sex.

Though they barely credit us with sentience, they have a taste for us in bed.

When they’re done with a woman, she’s a mess. It gets in her blood. Unprotected Fae-sex awakens a frenzy of sexual hunger inside a woman for something she should never have had to begin with, and will never be able to forget. It takes a long time for her to recover—but at least she’s alive.

Which means a chance to fight another day. To help try to find a way to return our world to what it once was.

To send those Fae bastards back to whatever hell they came from.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, ahead of the story.

It began as most things begin. Not on a dark and stormy night. Not foreshadowed by ominous here-comes-the-villain music, dire warnings at the bottom of a teacup, or dread portents in the sky.

It began small and innocuously, as most catastrophes do. A butterfly flaps its wings somewhere and the wind changes, and a warm front hits a cold front off the coast of western Africa and before you know it you’ve got a hurricane closing in. By the time anyone figured out the storm was coming, it was too late to do anything but batten down the hatches and exercise damage control.

My name is MacKayla. Mac for short. I’m a sidhe-seer, a fact I accepted only recently and very reluctantly.

There were more of us out there than anyone knew. And it’s a damn good thing, too.

We’re damage control."

And here's how DF's Chapter One starts:

"A year earlier…

July 9. Ashford, Georgia."

Angie said...

Bev,
Ha! I knew it. She is telling us what happened a year ago. She's only been in Dublin a couple of months. So really for 3 books to have been written in 4 months of action the next 2 will have to really catch up.
My friend and I were wondering what happened to Circenn, Adam Black's son and why he lost control of the Seelie hallows. Remember he had them in a secret room at Castle Brodie? Of course that's when he was immortal. Maybe when Adam went to Abohial and omitted to given Circenn the potion of Immortality that maybe Circenn and Lisa had to choose where to live and maybe if they choose the future that someone else was in charge of them? But there was a reason Circenn was choose to keep them. Hmm. I'm not sure why Mac hasn't asked these questions herself.
Dreamfever is supposed to be from Mac's and Barron's point of view. That aught to be really interesting. I hope the 4th book is longer! 500 pages would be great.
I've read another series, that's yet to have the final book written, Border's has hinted maybe Aug 2009 for book 6. Anyway the author wrote the first book in 1980. Yikes! The books are written to stand on their own but leaves little for new material. The 5th was around 700 pages. The series? The Earth Children by Jean Auel. The first book was called Clan of the Cave Bear.
So at least we aren't waiting that long between books.

After reading the prologue that you so wonderfully typed, I going to go to the library tomorrow and check it out!

Bev(QB) said...

You know Angie, I don't have the ebook for Circenn's story so I can't easily find out what, if anything, was said about the Hallows in it. I remember that he had items from the future in a hidden room-- remember he used tampons as gun cleaners- but I don't remember that he had the Hallows there.

I also remember that it was the Templer's that he sheltered at Castle Brodie who were the guardians of the Hallows. I don't remember if it was mentioned that the Templers made Circenn the Hallow's guardian or not.

But nonetheless, you're right. Originally, Circenn and Lisa spent part of each year in each of their centuries, but we don't know where they ended up after Adam asked Aebheal to make them mortal because that was glossed over so quickly. And we certainly don't know how the Hallows fell into the hands of others through the centuries or how the Sidhe Seers became the guardians of the Dark Book.

I hope KMM fills some of that history in a bit. Who knows, maybe Circenn is in this century and still possesses some of the Seelie Hallows that can be used to defeat the Unseelie.

Angie said...

Bev,
Just a quick note. I'm on my way to a parent - teacher conf. Now that I think about it, I may have Circenn's book! I'll glance thru it.

Jill D. said...

remember he used tampons as gun cleaners LMAO!!! I remember this too and that's about all I can remember! No wait - they drank from a cup that allowed them to live forever....?

Angie said...

Bev,
Just a quick trip into 'Highlander's Touch'

Adam asks Circenn if he received the hallows from the Templar.
"The four hallows have been secured. The moment we suspected the Templars were going to come under siege, the spear, the cauldron, the sword, and the stone were rushed back into Scotland, despite teh war going on. Better they rest ina country torn than with the persecuted Templars, whose Order is being ripped asunder. The hallows are safe-"
Mac has the spear, Roina has the sword. Who has the cauldron and the stone?
Circenn and Adam talk about a flask with a sacred elixir - the one that brings Lisa to the past. That may play a part. But since Circenn and Adam are father and son. And Adam, Dageus and Drustan are friends, any hallow would have been at their disposal. Unless Circenn stayed in the past. Which I'm hard pressed to believe since Adam and Circenn changed the future and kept Lisa's parents from sickness and and auto accident.
I just glanced at something.. Circenn maybe the 5th druid. Circenn was talking to Adam and said "You know I have no fondness for the druid ways." We know later in the story Adam teaches Circenn.

Bev(QB) said...

Yes, Angie, I wonder if Circenn is one of the 5 Druids too. Just because he was made mortal doesn't mean he can't be a Druid. As far as that goes, like I said in the post, just because she made Adam mortal doesn't mean she didn't make him a Druid too.

The elixir, which answers your question too Jill, is what made Circenn and eventually Lisa immortal. Remember that Circenn's mother refused to drink it because she didn't want to be immortal and lose her soul. So Adam didn't want to lose Circenn too and gave it to him without his knowledge; which is what caused the rift between Circenn and Adam for so many centuries. Later, in The Immortal Highlander, Adam also 'fesses up that Circenn and Lisa would eventually lose their souls and that's why they asked Aebheal to make them mortal again.

"Mac has the spear, Roina has the sword. Who has the cauldron and the stone?"

Yep, that's one of the big questions, isn't it? And also, HOW, did they get it? Like I said, what happened that those Hallows were not guarded and ended up out in the world?

Angie said...

Bev,
Thanks for all of the insight. I found "Into the Dreaming" It was part of an anthology that I had called Tapestry! I've read it before but will be re-reading and looking for more clues on Vengance. I'll let you know if I find anything out.
I would be very surprised if Aiobeal takes Adam's soul back and makes him Fae. But I hope that we get re-introduced to him before the end. He should be a big help. Also he of all people will know who Barrons really is!

Angie said...

Bev,

I read "Into the Dreaming". Nothing to note on Vengance. When I was reading it the first time, I remember thinking that the kitten, Sexpot, may really have been the Queen, but of course it turns out not to be the case.
Some info on the UnSeelie King and Queen. If I find anymore usefull info I'll write again.

Until next time.

Bev(QB) said...

Angie, I recently re-read it too. I've got the anthology it first appeared in, but I also have the standalone novella that sold for like $2.99.

The thing is that, on the surface, Into the Dreaming doesn't seem to have any connection to any of the other Highlanders books. But then you realize that a case could be made that it is definitely connected to the Fever series. Or at least, if any of my speculations prove to be accurate, then there's a connection.

KatV said...

Well, If we are getting into who Barrons may be... In the books, a diary by a young man who had been abducted and used sexually by the Fae comes to light. I think that's Barrons. I think it makes the passage when Mac accuses him of mind-raping her and he rebuts her make a lot of sense. I got the feeling that he was speaking from personal experience there. Perhaps when he was taken, the fae gave him longevity, and having been a "consort" it may be why he is "safe" from them. also explains why he and V'lane hate each other so much.

Just my thoughts.

Bev(QB) said...

Holy Crap, KatV! I don't even remember that diary! Yet, at the same time, it sounds familiar. Do you remember which book and maybe a little about which scene or setting that was in? Since it has obviously fallen through the cheese-holes of my brain, I just have to go re-read that part because I think you're on to something there!

KatV said...

Bev,

It's the journal in Rowena's top drawer that Mac gets Dani to take pictures of- the one that specifies that the Unseelie can't touch Seelie hallows, etc. Immediately after she has finished deciphering it, she gives information on the young man who wrote it (Barrons possibly). As read in Faefever, page 192-194 (for quick referencing, lol.)