Tonight, Mike finishes off The Kindly Ones with chapters 12 and 13.
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. Jaybird recapped ten and eleven 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!
There’s much jump-cutting in these chapters, as befits a story approaching its climax from several directions.
Matthew has returned and asks Dream for the latest news. Dream is going to stand up to the Furies. Oh, and the Corinthian has sworn to kill Matthew. For a while, anyway. Dream speaks gnomically about the emerald he is currently contemplating. Matthew is practical as usual, advising Dream to use his full power to protect himself and not understanding why Daniel matters. What’s happening is well above his pay grade. But he knows that his duty lies with Dream, so he insists on accompanying him to what’s likely going to be their final battle.
Delirium is at the Lux. She has made the Borghal Rantipole inconspicuous by turning it into a flying fish she can walk on a leash. (I suppose you could do better?) Mazikeen refuses to admit Del, who very irately threatens to turn Mazikeen into exactly and irrevocably what she already is. We don’t see how well that works, since at this point Lucifer agrees to speak with her.
Back in the Dreaming, Matthew once more asks sensible questions about exactly what Dream is doing, and once more receives no answer.
Next a TV talk show, where a rather unpleasant woman called Vixen is promoting herself by being “controversial”. Back in her dressing room she finds Rose and turns out to be Rose’s old landlord Hal in drag. The unpleasantness is unfortunately not just performance art. Rose tells him that Zelda is dead, and he takes the opportunity to act even worse, nastily implying she got HIV from being a junkie, and flippantly refusing to even consider coming to the funeral. Rose tells him, far more in sorrow than anger, that he’s an asshole. Which, from everything we’ve seen of both “Vixen” and Hal is pretty much on the nose.
Dream and Matthew have arrived at their battleground. Matthew says his goodbyes, and tells Dream he was a good friend. Dream, unsentimental as always, reminds Matthew he was never that. Dream calls to the Furies, saying that it’s on.
Lucifer, sardonic as ever, calls Lux a damned place in the city of Angels. Sitting at his piano, he asks if she has any requests. Delirium, childishly literal, has two: first, to find her dog, and second to save Dream. Lucifer has mixed feeling for Dream, both gratitude and hatred, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing he can do.
As they await the Furies, Matthew asks once what became of the other ravens. Different things, it turns out. Some died, one became a living human again, and one became Lucien. And what will happen to Matthew? That’s not important right now. The Furies have arrived.
Nuala is miserable. Cluracan, disguised as Puck, continues to torment her under the pretense of amusing her. She asks for the glamour to be removed, so she can leave Faerie as herself.
The Furies make themselves clear. They will continue to destroy the Dreaming as long as Dream remains.
The Corinthian is watching Daniel play. A familiar, Goth-looking woman comes in, and the Corinthian orders her away from Daniel, But she’s not here for him, or for the Corinthian. She asks for her brother. Lucien tells her that he’s with the Furies. She thanks him for a book, probably the unwritten sequel to Lud-in-the-Mist. All three adults are uncomfortable, but can do nothing but wait.
Dream agrees to the Furies’ demand. He warns them that there will be consequences. He asks Matthew to take his mask and treasures back to the castle, and to fetch his sister. For once, Dream unbends enough to say “please”. Matthew still won’t face what’s about to happen, telling Dream he’ll see him later. Dream simply says “Goodbye”. Matthew arriving at the castle, announces that Dream wants Death.
Dream is sitting alone below a sky filled with clouds and lightning. Death joins him. with a ghost of a smile, he hands her the baguette she threw at him the last time she was worried about him, so long ago, and creates some pigeons for her to feed. But she’s going to be distracted from how serious things have become.
Matthew is startled by the Corinthian throwing a knife in his direction, but it’s actually to save him. There was a demon called a Nybbas that presents as a giant spider, about to bite him. Lucien reports that the Furies have freed all the monsters in the Dreaming. Both he and the Corinthian are killing them one by one. They and Daniel are safe, so far..
Death accuses Dream of having put himself in this position deliberately. He begins by claiming that he’d have been fine if Nuala hadn’t called him away from the Dreaming, but Death’s not having any of that. He admits that he’s been miserable since Orpheus’s death. She insists angrily that he could have just gone away, like Destruction, but they both realize that wasn’t an option. The very foundations of the Dreaming are rocked. Lyta Hall is screaming. Delirium has lost her fish. Nuala races to the border of Faerie. Loki writhes as the poison hits him. The Furies taunt Dream by recounting all the damage they’re doing. Death yells “Enough!” and they go. She takes Dream’s hand and she does what she does.
Titiana forbids Nuala from leaving Faerie, but when she realizes what’s just happened, she no longer cares.
Delirium finds Barnabas, being cared for by the crazy beggar. She offers him a reward, but he’s clever enough not to accept it. (As a crazy man, he knows all about her.) She realizes the Dream is gone.
Lucifer reflects that his current incarnation has palled, just as Hell had. He’s going to find something new. Mazikeen follows him, as always.
Hal comes to the funeral after all, somewhat contrite. Rose tells him that Chantal contracted HIV from a kidney replacement back before such things were checked. (The donor was a woman who was shot to death, I’d guess by John Dee.) They go into the service, the only mourners. Rose confesses that she thinks she’s pregnant.
The night nurse at the nursing home Rose had visited wakes up. (She’s dozing over a newspaper whose headline reads “Local Solicitor Kills Self When Gay Lover Walks Out”. Jack Holloway, perhaps?) All the patients are writhing and moaning in their sleep. Alex Burgess has finally woken up. The nurse reassures him that all his troubles were just a dream.
Lyta wakes up in Larissa’s apartment. Larissa tells her that she’ll never see Daniel again, and that she should run away, and quickly. Many people will be after her for what she’s done, including Larissa.
Back in the dreaming, the ravens fly away. Daniel is holding the emerald, which grows smaller as he grows bigger, into a new incarnation of Dream.
The Furies are as we first saw them, three women in a modern house. Their job is over for now. There are many death references: the cat has caught a mouse, and there’s a pun about their yarn having turned into a winding sheet. Once again, they have tea and cookies. This time the fortune ends “You can be me when I’m gone”. They cut the thread and our story is done.