I’m re-reading Mercedes Lackey books. This is how you can tell I’m tired.
Somehow I always forget how stupid Vanyel is. He’s pretty stupid.
Spoiler cut in case there is a person out there who can’t guess what sort of stuff happens in Magic’s Price:
So Vanyel is the greatest wizard in the world, and has a magical telepathic white horse, and he is also rich and the heir to someplace, and he has raven-black hair and silver eyes, and he was bullied as a child for being different from the other children, and his telepathically Life-Bonded true love committed suicide, and did I mention he’s gay and his family cannot accept that, and he has sworn never to love again because, as the greatest wizard in the world, he has many enemies, and those he loves only become targets for destruction. I hope you got all that, I’m not going over it again.
Vanyel’s teenaged nephew Medren spends like the first third or so of this book trying to set Vanyel up with his similarly teenaged friend Stefen. Vanyel is at least thirty? And Stefen used to be homeless and shows classic symptoms of sexual abuse. Epic Mercedes Lackey romance!
Ridiculous passages noted down thus far (I’m still only like half-way through):
Stefen – or rather, Stefen’s appearance – came as something of a surprise to Van. Vanyel had been expecting something entirely different – a youngster like Medren, but perhaps a little plainer, a little taller. At some point he’d formed a vague notion that people gifted with extraordinary abilities tended to look perfectly ordinary.
I – what? No. You have silver eyes. So do a lot of other people. Shut up.
[and then there are five paragraphs about how hot Stefen is, the word “angel” comes up a couple times]
He stopped dead in his tracks, suddenly, and stared out the window for a moment. “I’m never happier than when I’m around him. I sometimes wonder how long I’m going to be able to stand this. There are times when I can’t think of anything but him.”
Medren stared at his friend, wondering if Stefen had really listened to himself just now. Because what he’d just described was the classic reaction of a life-bonded…
…Or. Like. Maybe a human person who has a crush on somebody. Maybe?
“We tried getting him drunk again. He didn’t cooperate. We tried that trip to the hot springs. That almost worked, except that we got company right when it looked like he was going to break down and do something. We tried every variation on my hurting myself and him having to help me, and all I got were bruises in some fascinating places.” Stefen gritted his teeth. “We tried my asking him for a massage for my shoulder muscles. He referred me to a Healer. The only thing we haven’t tried is catching him asleep and tying him up.”
“Don’t even think about that!” Medren said hastily. “Listen, first of all, you won’t catch him asleep, and secondly, even if you did – you wouldn’t want to be standing there if he mistook you for an enemy.”
Like the last time he was home, when that idiot with the petition tried to tackle him the bath. Medren shuddered. I know Grandfather said he needed to replace the bathhouse – but that wasn’t the best way to get it torn down.
See, that first paragraph’s okay! It’s structured like it was written by, you know, someone who knows how to write! It has sort of a rhythm to it, and it ends on a slightly humorous note! And then she just beats the joke to death. And being Mercedes Lackey, she makes it creepy in the process, by invoking Vanyel’s PTSD as a source of humor.