Two weeks of hiding and voluntary sequestering was enough to solicit a pleasant thrill in her present rebellion against the rule that travel away from the keep is not permitted for reasons of safety and caution. With her supplies tucked under her arm, a picnic of food, drinks, and gossiping among friends and family gave some rare semblance of normalcy, sadly missed in what is shaping up to be her new life. To say that her life in the recent past had taken a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn would be a major understatement breezing over the enormity of her position within the worlds of influence in her life. Describing the changes and critical junctures that saw her arrival at this metaphorical place are supremely insufficient at soliciting the substantive meaning. Semantics aside, Rosalind has not the necessary words to do it justice. Two weeks of wallowing and soul searching was enough to drive her crazy. Well, crazier. Cleo's much louder influence within Rosalind's mind is a considerable factor in that analysis.
Casting so much magic and exerting her body physically, both behaviours extending well past the point of cautionary restraint by Caine. Like both of her peers, in regards to the people she knew to also contain two competing souls within their body, she'd worked her body so far beyond fatigue that not only did she arrive with Tammi in company in Ambrose's White Tower in a half-dead state, she'd also dowsed her own psyche and soul to the point where Cleo could gain a foothold strong enough to not be undone. It didn't mean Rosalind was any less present, but it did mean Cleo couldn't be silenced anymore through the application of iron to her body. With Cleo overshadowing her mind it is rare when her voice isn't screaming either or both of the two things she desired in ways that consume any other thoughts; that she wanted to touch Ambrose, or even Caine in ways that heat Rosalind's face, neck and nether regions; or she wanted the whole world to burn in a conflagration of vengeance driven flames. Ultimately they both related to Ambrose and the history he shared with Cleo.
With this new chapter comes a much improved relationship between the twins. Tammi, through her positively livened personality is now bonding in friendship with Miranda too. Though not yet as tightly as that shared between Rosalind and Tammi of course. And she couldn'ttell how long this would be for, as little nuances relating to Tammi's new demon self start to come out. Rosalind and Miranda both reveling in the thoughts and feelings of what the new situation does to kindle what its like to have a sister. Two decades of separation in their kinship, fashioned in the earliest stages of childhood, has much time to be made up. Miranda had lived a starved upbringing that needed significant exposure to a new and better life if she's to be able to say she's had a fair chance at life. They couldn't now achieve what'd been the case had the separation not occurred. But this didn't dampen the gusto fired in order to make up for at least some portion of that missed time.
Having a go between in the form of the ever jovial and half-glass-full Tammi, and Aurora when it could be managed, to fill the spaces when silence wasn't yet comfortable, facilitated further the atmosphere capable of promoting ties between people. The three women's physiological makeup, of which Tammi and Miranda both highlight as unique, is an avenue of bonding in the differences that set them apart from other beings; such as the vampires that seemingly resent their presence in their king's life. The sisters of course share a bond with the incubi brothers but that seemed restless and reluctant to move forward in positive ways. For Rosalind at least, being anywhere the immensely important people in her life are, is enough to give her the feeling of being at home.
It was only ever going to be so long before the insane Drew brought his own brand of retribution to Rosalind and co. At the core of the betrayals, as interpreted by the mage drenched in the lunacy of god-powers never meant to be contained in a human body, Drew sees the traitorous actions of the twins as the worst among them all. Baring that in mind, and given they already knew of his link to the seven gods, it should've been conceivable that he'd potentially have access to the means of using the portal that connected to Lilinor. In their relaxed state, brought about by the need to recover from the toll of the overexertion during the rescues in Maremount, their nemesis finds the way to transport to the White Tower. During the darkness of slumber, Drew and the demons he conjured with very specific attributes that permitted them to carry out his nefarious tasks, their cousin manages to infiltrate the keep.
With his god-power he arranges the fitting of similar iron necklaces to those used by Erish, to now control the minds of the vampire population. With the sigil he'd carved into Rosalind's flesh this now gives similar access to her mind and body. With this he controls the population long enough to cause the greatest losses as yet inflicted upon the mage and vampire alliance. Once the dust settles the progress Rosalind has made in bringing herself back from the insanity caused by Cleo's greater presence, is undone and further added to by the consequences of his devastating attack. Rosalind's all-encompassing need for revenge begins to take her onto the path of further personal cost. Some would have her risk anything to further their lot, and some are resistant, those who're left that care what happens to her. But what assails her leaves her ill-equipped to recognise the difference between the two, or where she goes wrong all of her own accord.
With great loss can come great stupidity. In the heat of tortured moments when disjointed thoughts seek to console frazzled, out-of-control emotions which burn with such great heat that they scorch scars into people's souls, some turn to behaviours that are incapable of assuaging emotion. These alternatives aren't equipped with the correct attributes, such as cognitions or situations that create heightened contrasting emotions to sooth the soul. From this an endless torrent of bad choices and further detrimental action can take place. The only truly effective choices to emotions that sizzle out of control is to ride out the wave as best as can be achieved, to experience these things in order to begin the true process of moving on. Whether through conversion to alternative emotions, through projection or denial, or through sublimation of indulgence powerful enough to provide the sought after reprieve, our coping mechanisms often tend to lead us into greater problems than that which might've been, had we actually allowed ourselves to express the original emotion. Save perhaps only those emotions that coincide with anger it's various forms. Expressing anger inappropriately is one surefire way to create more problems, the worst case scenario being when others suffer too, or in our stead.
One of the other defining principles The Vampire's Mage series has shown is that through zealotry, unquestioned adherence, and any number of other ways, we are as accomplished at doing the many evils projected onto those defined as evil because of what they are, instead of who they are. Because of who many people and groups throughout history were, they've done the same or worse, and on some very grand scales, the things demons are said to be. In just the present time, regardless of the lessons history should have taught us better of, mass levels of genecide, famine, murder, war, or the plethora of other crimes against the person, is causing immeasurable death and suffering over things which are external to a person's behaviour. That is, based on what the victims are. Religion in particular, but at its core the more simply defined alternating belief systems, has brought about, and continues to cause, the greatest number of deaths than almost all other causes combined. Our demons aren't the created species of fantasy characters, irrespective of whether they are fictitious only or do exist in the aspects of our world we're still yet unable to discover, they're the pieces of human natures we'd prefer to deny or sweep under the rug.
Apart from obviously making you think, the content of the series continues to keep you reading in captivating ways. I'd expected that although the series hasn't been named as a trilogy, that this third book would've capped off the current course of events. The imagined saga has surprised in showing that we've not yet completed the events necessary to move on from the critical juncture of the overall plot. As such you'd be inclined to think that Blood Hunter creates the critical juncture, making it an imperative for traversing the storyline further. There is the two main observations above and the reality of how events can turn out if people live in avoidance of their insecurities, instead of living life to the fullest. Thus far there's also been examples of how things don't always turn out for the best; a bold move in the world of sagas, because let's face it, most readers want their heroes and heroine's lives to work out well. Like in any industry, often the materials are designed in order to achieve what the polls say they want. However frustrating it can become, its not normal that people always end up being able to succeed. I would predict that if our favourite characters herein do get to win, then its unlikely it'll be in exactly the way they want.
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