“I heard Cruce hated the king, wanted his concubine, and cursed the Silvers to keep the king away from her, that he planned to take the king’s woman, and all the worlds inside the Silvers for himself,” I said.
V’lane shook his head, golden hair shimmering in the sun. “It was not so simple. Things rarely are. To use a human word, Cruce loved the king, first and above all. The creator of the Unseelie is a being of unbearable perfection. If he is indeed Fae, he is from the most ancient, most pure line that ever existed. Some say he is The Father of All. Some say he had outlived hundreds of queens before the time of the queen he slew. Many of the forms he can take are beyond even Fae ability to absorb. He has been described as having enormous black wings that can enfold the entire Unseelie Court.”
I shivered. I’d seen the hint of those wings in the White Mansion. I’d felt the concubine’s awareness of them, had empathically shared her fascination with their feathery touch on her naked skin. “I thought the queen was the most powerful of your race.”
“The queen is heir to the magic of our people. It is a different thing. That magic has never accepted a male of The True Race, although…”
He gave me a sideways look from beneath his lids. “I tell you too many things.” He sighed. “And enjoy it too much. It has been a long time since I knew another worthy of confidences. There is an ancient myth that should all the contenders for the matriarchal throne be no more, the magic would likely gravitate toward the most dominant male of our race. Some say our rulers are your Janus head, your yin and yang: the king is the strength of our people, the queen is wisdom. Strength draws from brute force, wisdom draws from true power. In harmony, the king and queen lead a united court. Opposed, we war. We have been opposed since the day the king killed the queen.”
“But other queens came along. Couldn’t the king make peace?”
“He did not try. Again, he abandoned his children. Upon finding his concubine dead,
through his act of atonement, he did what he had sworn never to do. By pouring all his dark knowledge into the pages of an ensorcelled tome, he inadvertently created his most powerful “child” yet. Then he vanished. It is rumored among Seelie and Unseelie alike that he has been trying to—as you humans would say about a lame horse—put it down ever since. The Hunter you saw the other night was allegedly the kings’ own for hundreds of thousands of years. It carried him from world to world, hunting his nemesis. The king, like any Fae, loves nothing so much as his own existence. As long as the Book is free, he knows no peace. I suspect if his Hunter is here in your city, the king is, too.”
I gasped. “In Dublin?”
“In human form?”
“Who could say? There is no predicting one such as he.”
Just like every month, Karen Marie Moning has released a ne wteaser for Shadowfever, this time featuring V´lane.