A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Bloody Bones’ chapter nine


It’s a long chapter today which is frustrating, as I’ve got a Star Trek review to film (!!!!) and revision for my final exam next Thursday. It’s like LKH just knows how to push my buttons, ennit?

Bloody Bones is a bar and grill. Yes, I really want to go to a grill restaurant called ‘Bloody Bones’. The bar is surrounded by broken trees, so Anita theories that perhaps she is wrong, and a troll committed the murders. I’d think that the police would be able to notice a giant creature that turns into stone in sunlight.

She slams on the brakes and jumps out the car to deal with the troll. The murders were committed in sunlight, weren’t they? Either way, she decides to run out and hunt a troll in the middle of the night, Lawrence in tow.

Anita is still in high heels, and is now running all over the countryside wielding a gun. When did we land into a spite fic?

After scrambling around, Anita discovers the broken trees are smooth. The cut that felled them is smooth and perfectly straight; if they’d been broken off or cut by a human with an axe, they’d be rough or angled. That’s… actually a really good piece of logical reasoning. That’s smart and based on evidence. It does add evidence to Anita’s theory of  mad sword wielding vampire but it is surprisingly intelligent.

I’d like to know why the vampire went all out on those trees though.

Having lost interest and found no troll signs, Anita and Lawrence go back to the car and drive up to Bloody Bones. They walk in and everyone in the restaurant stares at the pair of them.

The women were grouped three deep at the bar. They were dressed for a Friday night, if you planned to spend Friday night propositioning strangers. They stared at Larry like they wondered if he’d be good enough to eat. Me, they seemed to hate on sight. If I knew any of them, I’d have said they were jealous, but I’m not the kind of woman to elicit jealousy on sight. Not tall enough, not blonde enough, not Nordic enough, not exotic enough. I’m pretty, but I’m not beautiful. The women looked at me like they saw something I didn’t. It made me glance behind me to see if someone had come in behind us, even though I knew no one had.

Okay, Anita, I’ll bite. If you’re so plain and awful, then why are men always salivating and falling over themselves to be with you? It’s certainly not your wit or sparkling personality.

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I am not tall. I am not blonde. I am not Nordic. I am not exotic. I guess that means I am an unattractive stain on the face of humanity. But I don’t like to measure worth or feign character flaws by beauty. I measure my personal worth by my mind, by how I see people and how people see me. It doesn’t match up to how I wish it could be most of the time but I don’t feign that I am such an awful shitbag to make myself appear more attractive.

Behind the bar is a man with thick waist length chestnut hair and those damn sea eyes make another appearance. He’s as ‘androgynous as a cat’ and is just 100% wank fantasy for a certain type of woman. He calls out an order and a man described as looking like Frankenstein’s Monster lumbers up and then magic happens and Anita goes all faint. MAGIC. Magnus Bouvier – who I presume is Mister Waist Hair as he’s not identified – summons up some woman and he kisses her hand. Anita calls her fat and ugly, because she can only pick out the fault in others.

Lawrence stares at her, as do al the men in the bar. Anita warns Magnus about the use of love charms and says something bad will happen if she tells the police. He isn’t human, so using a love charm will probably get him killed. They sit together at a table with Lawrence, who isn’t saying anything or doing anything.

Magnus argues that it was all harmless, as it was a spell not a charm.

…. a charm is a type of spell, dickwad.

Anita shouts at him, calls the woman he kissed ugly, so Magnus grabs her wrist. She manages to pull away, to his surprise, as it’s apparently impossible. You see, the Bouviers are fairies, which is spelt ‘fairie’. Sigh. Say either fairy or faerie. Don’t combine them. The Bouviers use glamours on humans which is apparently punishable in court of fairyland. Or interbreeding with humans. It’s a little unclear.

Bullshit. Fairies are known for committing the most awful crimes on humans for fun. They don’t have human morals. Come on – they kidnap babies, kill people and rape women for fun! Casting a few spells on some bar patrons is nothing. And as for having relationships with humans? It’s so common as to make it cliché. Someone clearly doesn’t understand fairies.

And because the humans are willing participants of Magnus’s glamour, it’s all legal. And Anita can’t do squat.

“The Bouviers have been here for nearly three hundred years.”

“Not possible,” I said. “Nobody but the Indians have been here that long.”

Not only mean but dumb. Okay, Native Americans have lived on the North American continent for some ten thousand years. However, western Europeans have been founding colonies on what eventually became the United States of America for some one thousand years. Most of these failed – lack of supplies, hostile locals, unsuited to the climate – and Anita appears to be implying that no white westerners (the only people who matter to her, which is odd seeing as she has Mexican blood) lived in Northern America before the seventeenth century. The book was published in 1996, and if we use the rounded figure of three hundred as a baseline, Anita does not believe that western Europeans lived in America before 1696.

Honey, the Salem Witch Trials happened in 1692 and 1693. The Spanish began colonisation of South America from 1492. The first failed British colony was in 1497. Spanish explorers began colonisation of the west coast from the early decades of the sixteenth century. The oldest continuously occupied colonial city was founded in 1565. English colonies began in the 1590s but the first successful one was Jamestown in Virginia, founded in 1607. And guess what? There are American families who can trace their ancestral line back to the forts founded by the French, the Spanish or to Jamestown. White Europeans have been continuously living in the Americas since the late fifteenth century.

This is not a good history of the colonisation of America (I’m not a student of that) but Anita, you would have learnt American history in school. I mean, the joke in England is that American schools only teach five hundred years of American history because they don’t have any! For fuck’s sake, Thanksgiving is based on celebrating the pilgrims slaughtering Native Americans in 1621! This is your heritage. This is your culture. How are you so ignorant of your own history that someone who knows practically nothing – save for the print campaign to encourage women to travel to America in the first two decades of the seventeenth century – can know more about it?

Why are you so stupid? It’s not like you’ve got much history to learn! Okay, that was harsh. and true.

For added dirt in the wound, Magnus’s ancestor Llyn married into a local tribe and forcibly converted them to Christianity. Eugh. Accurate, but portrayed as noble in the text. EUGH.

Anita and Larry explain that they’re animators – from the Latin, to give life. Shame that it meant ‘vitality’ not giving life. Anita then says she’s a necromancer, because the world has to know how special she is.

“Can you really make a hundred shoes in a single night?” I asked.

Magnus smiled. “Wrong kind of fairie.”

“Yeah,” I said.

Not only is that monumentally stupid, it’s also terrible dialogue.

Magnus then asks if he can sleep with her. Right. Okay. Anita turns him down, and says they would like to eat. Magnus offers it on the house for offending her but Anita says she won’t as she dislikes Magnus and doesn’t take favours from people she doesn’t like.

Dorrie (Magnus’s sister) and Magnus have an argument in front of their customers about how she has to work and she doesn’t like magic. Magnus tries to read Lawrence’s mind, for funsies I guess. Anita cites law at him and says how fairies can’t see the future. This is wrong, but Magnus says he got powers from a shaman way back in his family. Anita says he has a ‘dirty pool’ which is not a very wise thing to say to a man descended from the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Anita asks Magnus why he won’t sell the land his family is buried on; after all, he’d be a millionaire!

EUGH. I may just repost that Cumberbatch picture from yesterday. Or save it as my background.

Anita also asks about the trees and Magnus says he did it. Oh, I bet he’s the murderer. Or his sister. Her ovaries automatically make her a evil bitch.

I want to punch Anita in the face so much now.

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10 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Bloody Bones’ chapter nine

  1. Is Anita’s only argument for him using glamour that an ugly woman is being kissed? Because that…is really not nice.

  2. So -SPOILER FROM LATER IN SERIES – it’s okay for Anita to use magical powers to rape people but it’s not okay for these people to use magic to help them enjoy a consensual relationship? The hypocrisy, it burns! I really, hate Anita and her speshulness.

  3. When I read it, I thought this entire chapter was horribly written as well as inaccurate and stupid.
    And for your information Anita, my family has been in the US since the 1690’s, so SCREW YOU.

    • I tend to take bad writing in this series as a given now. This chapter was just… ugh. The dialogue was really off and unnatural and Anita just spent thirty pages being plain old dumb.

      And the whole ‘no white people were here three hundred years ago’ was really painful to read. Poor history and bad dialogue are my pet peeves and will end any author on my hit list.

  4. I’M REALLY NOT PRETTY ALL SINCE I’M NOT BLONDE I SWEAR I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THESE WOMEN ARE SO JEALOUS BTW THEY ARE SLUTS

  5. I have to say, your joke about American history? Sadly, sadly accurate. It’s why, as a history major now, I’m heading for a master’s in pre-Columbian America, because they never taught us a damn thing about it when I was in school. Except that people were somehow here when Columbus “discovered” America.

    So it sucks to say, but I fully understand why LKH (and Anita) are that dumb in regards to this shit. Especially given LKH is in Arkansas, because they may have been even more stunted in regards to history education.

    (More fun facts: each textbook has to be accepted by states. Which means most states will have *different facts* in them; e.g. Mississippi may have books calling the Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression” and wax poetic on the great lost cause, while we Wisconsin kiddies knew it as the Civil War. It’s absurd, and thus very probable that LKH really is that ignorant.)

  6. As someone with a BA in history, it saddens me to see crap like that.

    On a completely different note, that’s not what “dirty pool” means. “Dirty pool” more or less means he’s cheating. I’m not sure how what he did qualifies, though. Not that you’d want to say something like that to someone who’s supposed to be descended from Native Americans, but what else should I expect from Anita?

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