A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter seven


Musette stood by the white brick fireplace. It had to be her, because she was the only little blond Barbie doll in the room, and that’s how Jason had described her. Jason had a lot of faults, but describing a woman inaccurately was not one of them.

She was indeed small, shorter than me by at least three inches. Which made her barely five feet tall, if she was wearing heels under the long white gown, then she was tinier still. Her hair fell around her shoulders in blond waves, but her eyebrows were black and perfectly arched. Either she dyed one thing or the other, or she was one of those rare blonds where body and head hair didn’t match. Which did often, but not often. The blond hair, pale skin, dark eyebrows and eyelashes framed blue eyes like spring skies. I realized that her eyes were only a few shades bluer than Jason’s. Maybe it was the dark eyebrows and lashes that made them seem so much more vivid.

She smiled with a rosebud mouth that was so red I knew she was wearing lipstick, and once I saw that I knew she was wearing more makeup. Well done, understated, but there were touches here and there helped a striking, almost childlike beauty along.

YOU ARE SEXUALISING A CHILD. PLEASE STOP. I don’t care how old Musette is as a vampire. She’s a child. SHE IS A CHILD. STOP IT.

Musette’s teenage girlfriend – and if Musette is a teen, then I’d like an exploration of their relationship and how it works, but I guess we’re not going to get it – and Anita thinks about how the girl doesn’t have any bitemarks on her neck. She is confused where else a vampire might take blood from. *rolls eyes*

There’s another visitor in the room, a huge six foot man with giant shoulders. Quick, stop him, he’s escaped from a 9os comic book! He’s got dark hair in a braid and is dressed in… period clothes? Anita says he’s got tights on but there isn’t any mentioned anywhere else. We do get this though:

His skin was as dark as skin that hadn’t seen much sun in centuries could be. I was betting he tanned with very little effort. His eyes were an odd blue green, aqua, like the waters of the Caribbean. They were startling in his dark face and should have added warmth and beauty.

You couldn’t be bothered to talk about his period clothing, for once, but you drew attention to his stupid eyes and took the time to stress that he’s totally white you guys, he’s not a gross brown person, he’s just really tanned.

Musette speaks in French… for some reason, and JC tells her that Anita doesn’t speak it. She completely understands what he’s saying even though she doesn’t speak French because congrats Anita, you speak less French than a twelve year old. Musette says that she hasn’t seen Damian in ages and his mistress, that scary one who is never named like freakin’ Voldemort, is called Moroven and won’t take a place on the council. Damian is distressed and Anita steps forward to defend his honour. Musette starts mocking JC and Asher for replacing Julianna.

oh man i like musette. she has personality and could be really interesting!

“Why is it that Asher and you choose such common women? I suppose there is something comforting about good, sturdy, peasant stock.”

clap

Musette is great.

Anita laughs and then goes on about how all her family have been farmers and soldiers and she’s so proud of being peasant stock because ‘we’ve had to work for everything we have’. Funny that you don’t seem to spend any of your time working or striving for anything. In fact, everything you’ve gotten has been given to you. Musette is very confused and Asher tries to explain that Anita knows nothing of a feudal society.

Of course, because Musette automatically assumes that the world is run like a European feudal society? LOGIC.

“You, lovely Musette, have never lived where you were not subject to a lord, or lady, or where you did not rule others. You have never lived without knowing the duties one owes one’s liege.”

That’s double crap. Not only was European medieval feudalism, you know, confined to Europe and does not define the world, it’s not like Anita comes from a land where she does not have expectations of loyalty and duty and a ruler. She has a ruler – the American President. She is a subject to someone else – not in a king/subject sense, but in the sense that she has to follow the laws etc of the president and her government. Anita has duties. They’re just different from working the land.

Musette does not explain the concept of ‘freedom’ and decides that anything she doesn’t understand is not important. Well, that does make her sound like an aristocrat. Musette asks ‘Angelito’, the braided hair guy, to display their present for JC and Asher.

It was a picture of Cupid and Psyche, that traditional scene where Cupid asleep is finally revealed to the candle-wielding Psyche. Valentine’s Day has robbed Cupid of what he was in the beginning. He was not a chubby sexless baby with wings. He was a god, a god of love.

Cupid is the god of sex and attraction, not just love. The Greeks did portray him as a chubby baby boy. Greek history and culture wasn’t fixed. Different areas and different places and different times had different interpretations of their gods and myths. Anyway, Cupid is Asher.

He was nude, but that word didn’t do him justice. The candlelight made his skin warm from the broadening of his shoulders to the curve of his feet. His nipples were like dark haloes against the swell of his chest, his stomach was flat to the grace of his belly button as if an angel had touched that flawless skin and left a delicate imprint, a line of hair dark gold, almost auburn, traced the edge of his stomach, and ran in a line down, down to curl around him, where he lay swollen, partially erect, caught forever between sleep and passion. The curve of his hip was the most perfect few inches of skin I’d ever seen. That curve drew the eye down  the line of his thigh, the long sweep of his legs.

Ok, I’m going to show an image of an actual picture of Cupid and Psyche from the time period where Asher and JC were doing their thang.

Notice anything? Oh, yeah, it’s not as frankly erotic as that. That’s because it wouldn’t be acceptable. Here’s a slightly later picture of the same myth.

Again, not so openly erotic and pornographic. Nudity is used as a symbol of purity and innocence, rather than for eroticism. Ain’t no one be painting that Asher picture.

The Psyche in the picture is JC. Um, because? This makes Asher and JC sad. But present time isn’t over! Musette brings out a Titian –

OK, I have no idea how Anita can recognise a Titian when she is not interested in art AT ALL. And a Titian? Nope. Not only did Titian not work in France but he lived before Asher was made into a vampire and before he was tortured. This is a picture of Asher after the melting by holy water, so this is the 1640s/1650s. Titian had already been dead seventy years by that point.

JC is struck with memories, so he and Anita faint into a big heap.

strong independent woman… fainting in every book…

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2 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter seven

  1. “His nipples were like dark haloes against the swell of his chest” lkh what is it with you and nipples. I was gonna say mens nipples but then I remembered the first thing she noted when she saw Melanie in lamia form wasn’t GIANT SNAE LADY but that she has reddish nipples. PRIORITIES.

    ” his stomach was flat to the grace of his belly button as if an angel had touched that flawless skin and left a delicate imprint” THE WORD ‘BELLY BUTTON’ CAN NEVER BE IN A SERIOUS SENTENCE

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