Author Topic: [Mercy #4] Bone Crossed Discussion  (Read 155289 times)

Pfefferminztee

  • Mechanic
  • ****
  • Posts: 170
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #105 on: February 06, 2009, 01:40:50 pm »
Thanks Has! Nice one, I didn't know anything about it. ^^

Kate

  • writers
  • Auto-Zauberer
  • *****
  • Posts: 604
  • Trying to stay Zen in the volcano...
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #106 on: February 06, 2009, 01:41:17 pm »
That's really funny, Has.

I don't want to write the great American novel. I want to write the great American beach read. It pays better!

lunasea

  • Grease Monkey
  • **
  • Posts: 30
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #107 on: February 06, 2009, 01:44:29 pm »
Let me preface this with I do not consider myself a part of any organized religion. I just know Christianity and the Bible very well. Nor am I saying that BC is Christian literature or putting forth a Christian view of the world. Think of it like how Joss Whedon used Christian symbolism throughout Buffy, even though he considers himself to be "an angry atheist existentialist." The Bible is considered the best story ever written for a reason.

Being a fan of both Joss Whedon and well written books, I look for a unifying theme and how everything fits that. With BC is it Mercy as lamb. If you look at every action, every character, it ties to the idea of being a lamb. I will only address a few things here.

my single most favoritest moment was page 71 after Adam tricks her into eating flesh and blood to save her from Stefan and Mercy doesn't get mad, quite the opposite. I read it several times and started to cry. This is one of those turning points in the entire series that changes things.

I need to go back and find the exact passage in MC, but I love why Mercy wears a sheep instead of the more traditional cross. In BC, she most definitely became a sheep, but not Stefan's or Blackwell's. She doesn't need the necklace. She was what Jesus was, the Lamb of God. Mercy has always been willing to do things for others, but BC takes that to a whole new level. She decides not to yell at Adam, because she wasn't going to the be one to exact the price. She wasn't going to get her pound of flesh, so to speak.

Mercy is the hero of the book, so it is Mercy who ultimately has to save the day, but Mercy and Adam are a unit and what can be said of Mercy can also be said about Adam. Adam initially saves Mercy from becoming one of Stefan's sheep by offering his own blood when Stefan is injured, thus making his own sacrifice. When Mercy has to take Stefan's blood to save her from becoming Blackwell's sheep, just like Mercy didn't get mad earlier when she took Adam's blood, Adam didn't get mad at Mercy.

Mercy and Adam willing to sacrifice their own anger for the good of the other is a greater sacrifice for these two than being willing to put their lives on the line for others. Much of Mercy's character growth is about sacrificing ideas that were once survival mechanisms. page 256 "Because it was Adam, I let him in, accepting him into my secret heart. Something settled into place with a rightness that ran into my soul."

She isn't there all the way, as shown with her relationship with the pack. When things moved too quickly, it affected not only Mercy and Adam, but Darryl and Warren. However, she is willing to accept that some in the pack have problems with it and doesn't respond with anger or self defense. If anything, she used it for self-reflection.

Chad being deaf didn't just make him an interesting character. As it says in Matthew 11:15 "Let anyone with ears listen" which echoes Jeremiah 5:21 "Hear this, O foolish people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but to not hear." Mercy is willing to stay behind to save Chad, thus becoming a lamb who is willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good. Chad is all of us. He cannot see the ghosts, but he has faith in Mercy when she says they are real. John 21:29 "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet come to believe."

Stefan is referred to multiple times as the Soldier, but it is Stefan's role as a sacrifice that Marsilia uses to save herself. Chad means warrior. Its origin is Celtic. Corbin is Gaelic and means a steep hill. Mercy had to climb that hill to save Chad from his father's inability to accept ghosts as real.

Pfefferminztee

  • Mechanic
  • ****
  • Posts: 170
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #108 on: February 06, 2009, 01:54:43 pm »
I don't like this idea about lambs too much. I cannot see Mercy as a lamb, because lambs don't sacrifice themselfes, they are sacrificed. It is a wholly passive thing in my eyes. Moreover, lambs are young and immature creatures, they cannot make any decisions, they follow the flock. This doesn't fit to any of the characters in the novels.
Sacrifices must be made by all of us, you may call it compromise. That is how relationships work, but that doesn't make you into a lamb.

lunasea

  • Grease Monkey
  • **
  • Posts: 30
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #109 on: February 06, 2009, 02:18:32 pm »
Of course I had trouble finding it, since the actual explanation is in BB, not MC (though I loved the image of Samuel taunting Mercy with "Mercy had a little lamb")

"I don't wear a cross. As a child, I'd had a bad experience with one. Besides, a crucifix was the instrument of Our Lord's death -- I don't know why people think a torture device should be a symbol of Christ. Christ was a willing sacrifice, a lamb, not a cross for us to hang ourselves on; or at least that's my interpretation."

I would not associate anythihng Pfefferminztee with Jesus, who is the lamb that Mercy wears around her neck.

Nifty

  • Mechanic
  • ****
  • Posts: 438
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #110 on: February 06, 2009, 02:41:29 pm »
Well, I haven't really examined -- or tried to examine -- any symbolism in the series.  I HAVE noticed that Mercy has a profound belief in God, and she considers herself a Christian.  I don't know if Patty is trying to incorporate those elements deliberately into the story, or if they're simply surfacing because that's a part of her own life.  "Write what you know" and all that.  I do think that in Mercy, Patty has created a deeply moral character, someone of strong convictions and a bone-deep decency.  That's one of the things I like so much about her!  She has tremendous purity of heart.  I have to say that that's a nice thing to see in the urban fantasy genre, in which so many protagonists are "anti-heroes."  There's no ambiguity about Mercy.  She's just through-and-through good.

One of the things we learned in this book is that as a walker, Mercy could have been denied access to her (one would assume God-given) abilities if she had acted in a way that was not, hmmm..., moral (for lack of a better way to put it).  The walker who had been taken and held by Blackwood was still a walker, but was unable to utilize his gifts because he had killed another man unjustly.  Since Mercy CAN access her gifts, it's reasonable to assume that her behavior, over the course of her life, has passed muster with The Powers That Be.  Obviously the divinity sees and recognizes Mercy's purity of heart.

In Blood Bound, we discovered that Mercy's little lamb pendant worked against the vampires because it had her faith to back it up.  For me, this speaks again to her purity of heart.  That doesn't mean that I think her faith is better than anyone else's.  Just that her faith is there and it is profound -- profound enough to offer her protection when she needs it.  Also in Blood Bound, when she had to perform at Uncle Mikes, she chose to sing a Christmas carol, O Holy Night.  Even though her audience was not Christian, they still recognized her choice as a "power ballad" -- and not only, I'm thinking, because of the technical difficulty of the son.  But rather the words, the message...and Mercy's own belief in the message. 

Also, the run-in with Baba Yaga is significant with respect to Mercy's purity of heart.  After reading Bone Crossed, I googled Baba Yaga.  The information I came across said that typically she's not the protagonist of her story, but that she has been known to grant favors and has no power over the pure of heart.

Another testament to Mercy's purity of heart is in Bone Crossed when she chides Adam and tells him that hostage taking is for bad-guys.

Then there's the walking stick and its affection for Mercy.  We don't know why it likes her so much, but maybe it likes her because Mercy doesn't use it.  She's swung it as an actual weapon, but she herself has never tried to access or use its powers.  (In this book, the oakman used the stick, not Mercy.)

And we see how she is with others:  asking Stefan teleport Chad to safety at the end, even though it meant she'd still be in Blackwood's possession and at risk; her refusal to kill Wulfe when she found him in his lair, because at that time she just didn't have a good reason for doing so; the testified truth that Mercy is no thread to the vampires (unless they specifically come after her); her concern for Kara; her protection of Paul, of Ben, of Warren... 

I could not deprive you of the realization of all you could accomplish together, and of a friendship that will define you both in ways you cannot begin to imagine.

Zealith

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Pack Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2383
    • dragcaves
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #111 on: February 06, 2009, 02:55:02 pm »
I like how Patty incorporated Christianity into Mercy. By the way, who thinks there's a good chance for conflict with Adam there? Religion is often a big part of how people look at the world and how they react to it. But it seems like much of the time authors don't really give their characters religion.
.

Nifty

  • Mechanic
  • ****
  • Posts: 438
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #112 on: February 06, 2009, 03:00:36 pm »
I found a really interesting link that explains who Lugh is in mythology - also the job interview is great! :D

http://www.godchecker.com/gotw/007_lugh.php

Okay, for the truly devoted...

Back in the mid-80s I read a trilogy by Kenneth C. Flint called the Sidhe series.  The books are Riders of the Sidhe, Champions of the Sidhe, and Master of the Sidhe.

They tell the story of Lugh of the Long Arm, from the time he was tossed into the sea and saved by Manannan Mac Lir until the end when he battled against Balor.  

http://www.mindspring.com/~pjones/kcf/rots.html

Sometimes they're hard to find...or expensive when you do find them.  But if you're interested in Celtic mythology, they're a good read and addition to your personal bibliography.  The books are small.  I tracked them down again a few years back and found the writing to be a little more stilted than I had remembered from my youth, but as a teenager, I'd loved these books.

Also, in college I took Irish Lit and read a book called Cuchulain of Muirthemne.  (It's pronounced Ku-HOO-lin of Mur-THEV-na.)  Cuchulain, I believe, was Lugh's son.

From Amazon:  "This is Lady Gregory's collation of the Cuchulain cycle. Cuchulain was a mighty warrior, 'the Hound of Ulster', the hero of 'the Red Branch', a band of elite fighters of ancient Ireland. Cuchulain is the subject of numerous tales set in pre-Christian Ireland, including the pivotal 'War for the Bull of Cuailgne'. The mythological and supernatural elements are tightly interwoven in this saga, including the ever-present Sidhe (fairies); and Celtic gods and goddesses, particularly Morrigu, the goddess of war. As for the battles, they are principally composed of single combats as hair-raising as any in the Iliad or the Mahabharata. The female characters are vivid and self-motivated. The saga is overlaid with episodes which could be echoes of ancient myths, for instance the story of the two shapeshifting swineherds. There are sections of great poetry embedded in the text, particularly the lament of Emer on Cuchulain's death." (Quote from sacred-texts.com)

So...if you guys want more Celtic mythology, have at it!
I could not deprive you of the realization of all you could accomplish together, and of a friendship that will define you both in ways you cannot begin to imagine.

Has

  • Global Moderator
  • Pack Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1987
    • Patricia Briggs Fans groups facebook page
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #113 on: February 06, 2009, 03:06:41 pm »
I like how Patty incorporated Christianity into Mercy. By the way, who thinks there's a good chance for conflict with Adam there? Religion is often a big part of how people look at the world and how they react to it. But it seems like much of the time authors don't really give their characters religion.

I agree with you there- that scene in Blood Bound - when Adam lashed out about God I think there it might crop up again. But then perhaps Mercy will help smooth that over- she seemed to help him when she pointed out holding the bad guys to ransom wasnt a good way to do things.

But this also raises the theme of the hero! Remember Uncle Mike has called Mercy a hero several times!
-You aren't scary.  You are a good rabid fan-Courtesy of another rabid bookpusher called E something ;D

Has

  • Global Moderator
  • Pack Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1987
    • Patricia Briggs Fans groups facebook page
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #114 on: February 06, 2009, 03:24:24 pm »
I was lurking at Charlaine Harris' site and I came across some wonderful tidbits that a lucky reader who met Patty at one of the signings- I hope they dont mind if I copied their posts- but here is the relevant bits :D

Quote
Of course she didn't say anything significant or spoilerish. She wouldn't have as much fun if she told us everything. She does have a contract for another 3 Mercy stories and she already knows where she wants to go with the stories and said she'll write more if they ask her to.

She received several questions regarding the writing of backstories for some of our favorite characters. I specifically remember saying she would never write Adam's or Zee's stories because they were just "too terrible and grim." I don't recall anybody asking specifically about Sam.

She spent some time talking about Mercy's tattoos - Mercy has only the paw print and some small tribal bands on her biceps. She's not supposed to bring that up in the books as it creates a conflict with the cover art.

If I remember anything else I'll post it for you!

Quote
Oh I forgot - she mentioned needing to set a future book in Portland (where I live) because she has a "wedding to plan." I haven't read the current book but I thought she might be referring to Mercy's family? She also specifically said that Mercy's mom would be playing small but important roles in the next few books.
http://charlaineharris.master.com/texis/master/search/showmsg.html?id=498ca97715&Catid=474477a40#m498ca97715
Thank you RedIrish - I hope you dont mind me snurching the post!



-You aren't scary.  You are a good rabid fan-Courtesy of another rabid bookpusher called E something ;D

lunasea

  • Grease Monkey
  • **
  • Posts: 30
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #115 on: February 06, 2009, 03:25:49 pm »
There are several lines in the book that make me think the next book is going to be much darker.

p 71 "Adam was used to paying for the consequences of his choices--and sometimes the choices were hard ones."

Mercy is set up to be very pure of heart in this book (another aspect to the lamb), that I think the next book will push that. There are several times where gut levels she wishes something would happen to someone who has crossed her, but her heart/mind take over and she talks herself out of those feelings.

Her choices always involve either she gets hurt or someone else does. She always chooses herself. What is her breaking point? What happens when the choice is between who gets hurt and she isn't an option? What if it is between Adam and someone else? What if it is between Adam and Sam?

What if she has to consider a bigger picture? Now that she is the Alpha's mate, she needs to start looking at the bigger picture. She already has admitted she isn't a big picture sort of girl.

The last line was very telling. When Marsilia says she wishes she could kill Mercy, her response is "right back atcha" with no moral correction, unlike other places in the book. How much better would Mercy's life be with Marsilia dead? Will Mercy be given an opportunity to do kill Marsilia? Will she take it?

Mercy has been through a lot over the course of the series. That has to affect her in more ways than PTSD. Will she reach a breaking point where she starts to really question whether the means matter that much? Will she start to see the big picture? Will being part of the pack influence her this way?

One of the things I love most about Patty's weres is how complicated the magic surrounding them is. Now that Mercy is Adam's mate, how much will he have an influence on her and how much will she care?

I see the next book being very dark.

Zealith

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Pack Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2383
    • dragcaves
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #116 on: February 06, 2009, 03:40:40 pm »
Quote
Oh I forgot - she mentioned needing to set a future book in Portland (where I live) because she has a "wedding to plan." I haven't read the current book but I thought she might be referring to Mercy's family? She also specifically said that Mercy's mom would be playing small but important roles in the next few books.

Maybe her stepsister's wedding?
.

Has

  • Global Moderator
  • Pack Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1987
    • Patricia Briggs Fans groups facebook page
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #117 on: February 06, 2009, 03:45:06 pm »
I think so ;D - and RedIrish posted another tidbit- makes me think what happened during Adam's past other than his forced change and Christy.
Quote
OK - one last thing I just thought of -
the Emerald City Pack will figure into the next book Hunting Ground and so we'll see Seattle because there aren't enough hotel rooms in Bran's little town. So lots more Bran! Yahoo!

She said Zee was NOT a hero - in fact he was nasty and she didn't think she could write his back story. We'll get little tidbits about Adam's background in the future but what he endured was too terrible to be written. THAT caused her to talk about the gut-wrenching scene with Tim in Iron Kissed. It was very difficult for her to put to paper. But once she decided it needed to be written she finished it in a day.

It was really interesting to find out how much she KNOWS her characters - like they're real people she's known for years.
-You aren't scary.  You are a good rabid fan-Courtesy of another rabid bookpusher called E something ;D

Patti L.

  • Administrator
  • Hostess of Hurog
  • *
  • Posts: 13078
  • Not PattY Briggs. Keeper of the fluffy vortex.
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #118 on: February 06, 2009, 08:58:44 pm »
Quick correction; it's not "step sister", it's half sister.
We've had our toad for the 2020s, it's got to get better from here!
But do beware the toad burps.

ArtAngel

  • writers
  • Pack Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1127
Re: Bone Crossed Discussion
« Reply #119 on: February 06, 2009, 09:20:31 pm »
So Patti. Is Mike's tid bit the one you know and won't share?
"Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards for they are subtle and quick to anger." -Tolkien
"F*** subtle" -Harry Dresden