My goodness, I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the book. Time flies when you’re having fun.
We’ve seen a lot of crazy things already. From near death experiences to family squabbles, there has been no end to the excitement. So let’s sit back, relax, and enjoy the next five chapters of Blood Rites.
Remember that lovely bomb that got dropped last time? Yeah, that was a surprise. Thomas and Harry apparently share the same mother. Considering everything that’s happened, I think Harry took it rather well. He didn’t believe Thomas at all, but he didn’t deck Thomas either. I suppose that’s progress. Harry did need some proof though, something he couldn’t doubt.
The only thing that would satisfy him was a soulgaze.
Now, the soulgaze is probably my favorite element of the whole series, maybe out of everything I’ve read. There are a lot of devices, especially in this genre, an author can use to reveal the inner motivations of a character. This one by far is the most unique one I’ve run into. Jim Butcher has taken an age old saying, “the eyes are the windows to the soul,” and brought it to the next level.
One of the main reasons why I find the soulgaze fascinating is it’s so simple. Think about it. It’s human instinct to connect with another person through their eyes. Once the initial awkwardness of staring into someone’s eyes fades, an unspoken understanding occurs. In the Dresden-verse, the Sight allows a wizard to look into the heart of a person at that moment. The catch is they look back. The wizard’s Sight also makes the memory of a soulgaze indelible. Despite these drawbacks, I honestly wish I had this ability.
This soulgaze between Thomas and Harry was powerful to say the least. The imagery Jim Butcher uses to depict Thomas’s internal struggle is perfect in every way. In the marble palace of Thomas’s mind there was a mirror. The monster reflected in it had reached out grabbed Thomas’s arm. He tried to pull away while the Hunger tried to drag Thomas into the chaos. Harry could see that Thomas was struggling, fighting the urge to just give up.
That’s when Margaret LeFay appeared. She told Harry that Thomas was her son just as Thomas said. Margaret had left pieces of her in her boys, so they would know they did have family. Filled with guilt for her absence but motherly pride for her children, she asked Harry’s forgiveness for all she caused him to go through. She gave Harry Insight, kind of like a mother’s advice, and told him she loved him. Naturally, Harry started to cry, as he gazed at the woman he never got to meet.
And I started crying too.
Now, Harry Dresden, who’d never seen or heard his mother, was given an indelible memory of her. My heart melted and broke all at the same time.
After that touching moment, Harry drove home. He was emotionally exhausted, but he had things to do before he completely processed everything. He hoped to get some information on the Black Court’s hideout from Bob. He was out on recon duty and probably got something. Bob did figure out that the Black Court Vampires were indeed…
Not at the clubs…
Come on, Bob!
At least, Harry gave you a second chance. Don’t goof this one up, bub.
After threatening Bob with oblivion if he failed again, Harry met up with Murphy and took her to IHOP for breakfast. Kincaid met them there. Just as any professional assassin would, Kincaid closed down half of the restaurant so they could talk business in private. Then Kincaid saw Murphy. There was a bit of a verbal battle followed by a few arm bars ending with Murphy’s point pointed at Kincaid’s head. That went well.
After Murphy proved herself competent, Kincaid let up, and they got back to business. Harry revealed some disturbing news that Mavra could actually be a wizard. On top of that, she’s the type to specialize in veils. So not only will this group be going up against the most vicious of the vampire kind, the Queen is a magical camouflage user. This doesn’t seem like it will be a problem at all.
The vampire hunters went back into civilization, and Harry drove off to work. It was time to get back on the case (especially if he wanted to pay Kincaid on time).
Harry met up with Arturo on set again, to give a quick report on the Evil Eye. Harry didn’t have a solid lead, but he did have a plan. He asked Jake to help him set up some “Feng Shui decorations” to help return the curse to its sender. Harry also got a call from Murphy confirming Arturo was getting married for a fourth time. There was no prenup this time, which means everything the ex-wives were getting would end. Harry had a pretty good idea who he needed to look into. Everything was going smoothly.
That is until Trixie walked in with a gun.
Yeah you had to know that gem (*cough* not *cough*) of a woman was involved. She trotted into the room and threatened “Larry” (she didn’t even bother to learn Harry’s name) with her handgun. She basically had full control of the entire situation, so much so that she could hold a phone conversation while all of this was going on. She was apparently talking to her partner in crime while she waited for the ritual to take the life of another potential bride of Arturo’s. Since there was no name on the marriage certificate, Trixie and her cohorts didn’t know who to take out. So they came up with a short list and have been bumping them off ever since. Yes, some people are that weird, I guess.
In all honesty, it didn’t surprise me that she was involved or that she had someone helping her out. What did shock me was Trixie knew what it was that Jake and Harry set up. She sabotaged the curse countermeasure, and had the only person who could stop it at gun point.
I don’t think this day could get any worse for our favorite wizard.
Want to know what happens next? Find out in the next installment of “New Blood’s Take on Blood Rites.”