Tonight, Jaybird takes on The Kindly Ones chapters 10 and 11.
A Doll’s House recaps here: KatherineMW took on the first two issues, then the next two issues. KatherineMW and Jason Tank then reviewed the fifth and sixth, respectively. Mike Schilling reviewed the final two issues.
Dream Country recaps here: Glyph reviewed Calliope then Jaybird and Maribou reviewed Dream of a Thousand Cats in the first review post for Dream Country. Alan Scott reviewed A Midsummer Night’s Dream then Mike Schilling reviewed Façade in the second.
Season of Mists recaps here: Jaybird reviewed the first two in this post. Jason Tank reviewed the next two here. Boegiboe reviewed the next two after that here and here. Ken reviewed the final two here.
Fables and Reflections recaps here: Ken and Jaybird reviewed the preview plus the first two issues here. Mike Schilling and Jaybird did the next two issues here. KatherineMW did the next issue here. Glyph, Ken, and Russell did the Sandman Special issues here.
Brief Lives recaps here: Jason Tank recapped Chapter 1 and Mike Schilling recapped Chapter 2 here. Reformed Republican recapped Chapter 3 and Jaybird recapped Chapter 4 here. Mike Schilling recapped Chapter 5 and Glyph recapped Chapter 6 here. Mike Schilling recapped Chapter 7 and Glyph recapped Chapter 8 here.
World’s End issues #51 (A Tale of Two Cities) and #52 (Cluracan’s Tale) reviewed here by Jason Tank and James K. Issues #53 (Hob’s Leviathan) and #54 (The Golden Boy) reviewed here by KatherineMW and Reformed Republican. Ken reviewed Issues #55 (Cerements) and #56 (“World’s End”) here.
The Kindly Ones recaps here: Mike Schilling recapped the Prologue to and Part One here. Glyph and Jaybird recapped parts two and three, respectively, here. Jason Tank recapped parts four and five here. Mike Schilling recapped issues six and seven here. Jaybird and Jason Tank tackled issues eight and nine here.
It’s very difficult to discuss this book without discussing the next one (or the one after that, or the one after that (if there were one after that, anyway.[/efn_note] If you want to discuss something with a major plot point: please rot13 it. That’s a simple encryption that will allow the folks who want to avoid spoilers to avoid them and allow the people who want to argue them to argue them.
We good? We good! Everybody who has done the reading, see you below!
We open with The Corinthian breaking the cord that held Daniel to… well… wherever he was. The Corinthian has a nice conversation, for him, with Daniel and then calls the heavily breathing Puck down from the rafters who does the Corinthian the service of answering some questions that he was not asked but we might have had anyway.
“We burned away most of his mortality, you know. Not all of it. But another few days, another few fires, and we would have had it all.”
Puck bows and takes his exit after explaining that he’d be much more difficult to beat than Loki… but it’s because he knows that his eyes should stay where they are, I reckon.
The Corinthian lets Loki know that he knows that Loki is awake… at which point Loki begs for one of two things: his eyes or death. How quickly Loki went from threatening the death curse of a god to begging for sweet release! Ain’t that always the way. In any case, The Corinthian shuffles out (“No. I shall keep the eyes and I shall let you live”) and the All-Father shuffles in.
Odin’s introduction contains quite a bit of “toldjya” when he points out that he traded one of his eyes for wisdom… but Loki traded both for nothing. Nothing is also the amount of time it takes Loki to come up with an amazing story explaining that this wasn’t what it looked like at all, but actually evidence of Loki doing The Right Thing! We need to go to war against The Dreaming RIGHT NOW!
Odin, however, has played this game before. He has Thor pick Loki up and carry Loki back to his lovers, the rock, the snake, his wife, and they begin their eternal dance once more. He curses her and she is grateful that he came back. Forever.
Back to The Dreaming, Back to The Furies. We’re back with Abel. He explains to us yet another mystery: the Furies can’t kill anyone. They don’t even hurt anyone. They find someone who spilled family blood and drive them to suicide or repentance.
Huh. That’s an interesting “or”, there.
Anyway, the Furies explain to Abel what being a rules lawyer will get you when you are a “dream of a ghost of a memory of someone who, one suspects, never existed in the first place.” What happens to Abel is what happens whenever Abel spills the beans. (“You don’t love me. You don’t even know me.”) Goldie is left crying.
Back to Faerie.
Cluracan is having a short conversation with Exposition Faerie where E.F. is explaining how wacky and wild everything is and Cluracan is explaining how, no, this happens all the time. Oooh, look. Puck’s back. And it’s not even that exciting… until, HOLY CRAPOLA, something shows up and actually succeeds at being shocking: Nuala shows up and she’s not made up.
*THIS* causes a scene.
The Queen of the Fae throws a glamour on Nuala and Cluracan shows up just in time to prevent Nuala from the Queen’s displeasure with a quick story about how Nuala won a bet and, as his punishment for losing, he’d be willing to take whatever punishment the newly made-up Nuala was going to get. The Queen is assuaged… but Puck wishes to dance… and he then drops his bit of poison into the sockets of Nuala: He tells her the Truth.
Puck and Loki brought down the Furies onto Dream. Lord Morpheus will have The Nice Ladies turning him into little more than memory, if they hadn’t already done so, very, very, very soon. Nuala takes this… poorly.
Back to where Fiddler’s Green used to be and there is a murder of crows reciting poetry. Mervyn shoos them off, complaining about how none of the boss’s birds thought they were poets except for, he concedes, Aristeas of Marmora. It seems that Mervyn is taking matters into his own hands and doing what he can to take some war back to the Eumenides. Or, at least, bring a moment of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos before we are shown, once again, what the nice ladies are capable of.
Lucien is uncharacteristically upset. “Mervyn was a fine soul” (rather than a ghost of a memory?) and we find out that Dream’s original plan was to kill Lyta and thus end the blood feud that way… but that proved “impractical”. Now he is stuck “considering”.
Back to Faerie, where we see Nuala freaking out at a little boggart. Well, maybe. Maybe she’s freaking out at herself. In any case she is running until she gets to a fork in the road. Coincidentally, the three fates happen to be on another of the paths and are discussing how a cord has, in fact, been cut. Down the third path is Delirium who is with The Borghal Rantipole and they are still looking for the nice doggie.
Nuala asks about Dream and Delirium communicates that, yes, she *KNOWS* that Dream is bad off but Dream wouldn’t leave the Dreaming. When Nuala gives a hint as to the doggie’s location, Del is delighted and offers Nuala a present… but Nuala remembers her necklace and says “I already have one.”
We’re flying back to America and Rose is reading a book of Erasmus Fry’s: “Here Comes A Candle”. (It’s still out of print, for the record.) The lady sitting next to Rose on the plane is Celia Cripps, most likely the niece of Ethel Cripps… mother of Doctor Dee. (Lotta callbacks to the first couple of collections, here!) The lady explains that Here Comes a Candle sounds a bit racy… well, the past is another country, isn’t it? Today they’d both be talking about 50 Shades of Grey.
For the record:
sinople: (n) 1. [also sinoper] A colour of some shade of red; a kind of red earth used as a pigment (originally one brought to Greece from Sinope in Paphlagonia); Cinnabar.
2. The colour green; specifically in Heraldry, vert.
3. In Mining: A variety of ferruginous quartz.
lusk: (n) 1. An idle or lazy fellow; a sluggard.
(adj) 2. Lazy, sluggish.
(v) 3. To lie hid; to lie idly or at ease, to indulge laziness; to skulk.
bloater: (n) a smoked half-dried herring, cured by the process of bloating; a bloated herring. Also a term of contempt for a human being.
Rose gives a lovely analogy for what visiting England was like… when you’re a little kid, you sometimes realize that you’re following a grownup who is wearing the same outfit as your mother. England was like waiting for the lady to turn around.
Back to Faerie:
Nuala gives Dream a call on the phone and asks him to show up because, seriously, she has to know that Dream is okay and Nuala does not let him off the hook: she is calling in her boon. Dream shows up and asks what the heck? Nuala asks, seriously, are you okay? Dream tells her: as long as I was in the heart of the Dreaming, I was fine.
“My Lord… you are no longer in the Dreaming.”
“No. I am not.”
Well, there’s not really a cord… maybe the first picture is about the connection between The Corinthian and Daniel? Ooh, in the next panel we see that The Corinthian has been having a rough, rough time of it. The nightmare needs a shave and a different shirt. Probably a shower. Cain greets him. Cain explains that bad things had happened to Abel (“They wouldn’t hurt me. Nobody’s allowed to hurt me.”) and he greets Daniel.
When The Corinthian asks whether Matthew has shown up, Cain, storyteller that he is, drops a tale explaining how the Raven, Noah’s, was the bird that created the world. He shat out the land and pissed the fresh water… but didn’t tell anybody. Why would you admit to creating the world, after all?
The Corinthian sees what we see, and points out that Cain didn’t explain a mystery… he told a secret. Secrets are Abel’s territory. “And where is your brother?”, The Corinthian asks. Cain gives the look of the first murderer.
They get to the castle which looks to be in little better shape than The Corinthian and the two remaining gatekeepers give their apologies for the shoddy welcome but welcome anyway and Cain, The Corinthian, Daniel, and Goldie sit and wait for Dream’s return.
Hey, now that you mention it, where *IS* Dream, anyway?
Oh, he’s still talking to Nuala. (Time works differently in Faerie, I guess.) “I did not realize that I could harm you by taking you from The Dreaming. I thought I was helping you.” (Ain’t that always the way?)
Finally, Dream lets us in on what is *REALLY* going on: He’s feeling guilty.
He killed his son, killed him twice. He spent time in a bottle (like a genie or a city (or a demon?[/efn_note] and sat and thought. And, yes, he has changed.
It comes out that Dream still owes Nuala a boon. The one thing she wants is for him to love her and, well… some things just aren’t boons that can be given. He *CAN*, however, give a dream of his love. She already has that, though. Ain’t that always the way?
Rose is back and finds out that Zelda has passed. Zelda’s death is put on Rose’s Visa. X here, X there, sign here, and here’s Zelda’s personal effects… which are promptly given to the pleasant crazy homeless dude who happens to be hanging with a talking doggie.
Back at the castle, our four wait with Lucien and they remember the last time that Lord Dream went Away for a while… things fell apart then too. They look for something for Daniel to play with and find a glass bauble that Daniel seems to have much affinity for (or with? something…) and it’s quickly decided that, no matter how much trouble they may be in, Daniel playing with that could get them into the “most frightful” trouble. (I think it’s the orb that Dream used to call The Corinthian with a few issues ago.)
Cut to Destiny’s Garden. Events will fall as they must and we finally see the other half of the time that Destiny met himself in his garden. This allows us to glimpse a peek at the newly apparent paragraph in Destiny’s book… which is describing Dream’s speedy, but not speedy enough, return to The Dreaming.
All around me darkness gathers,
Fading is the sun that shone,
We must speak of other matters,
You can be me when I’m gone…
Dream is back and his retinue is unhappy. Cain wants his brother back (he has a contract). Dream, however, is not having it… he’s far more interested in Daniel.
Ah, the Nice Ladies are here and are interested in letting him know what they are capable of. Dream attempts to not have any of that… and he is struck by one of their scorpion whips across the cheek and the whip draws blood… just in time for Lyta to see Daniel in the arms of a nightmare powerful enough to beat Loki…
And she has second thoughts. Hey, we don’t have to kill Dream! (“We don’t kill. We can’t. Haven’t you been listening?”) Hey, we can stop hurting people. We can rescue Daniel! (“I told you once. I won’t tell you again. We don’t rescue. We revenge.”)
Quick cuts: We visit hell where we see Duma and Remiel where Remiel is monologueing about the importance of not losing our faith. Ugh. You’d think they’d be more self-aware.
We cut to what happens when a drunk guy messes with a daughter of Lilith in a piano bar.
We cut to Larissa, once Thessaly, who wakes from a dream in which she was once again in love with Morpheus.
And we cut back to the scar on Dream’s cheek. He’s getting dressed. It looks like jeans and a t-shirt and cowboy boots… oh, and a cape. He’s giving Lucien a handful of directions… there are things that he needs to do before he takes on The Nice Ladies. One of them is talk to Daniel. Another seems to involve the Eagle Stone (an emerald).
And he takes his helmet in his hands and gives us a short speech about how rules and responsibilities are who we are, at the end of the day. “We do what we do because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves.”
And we get ready for what’s left, now that all of the other possibilities from Destiny’s garden are gone.