To read the Merry Gentry books is to marvel at both the beauty (both pretty beauty and grotesque beauty) and the violence of all the Courts. The Seelie and Unseelie Courts are the two main Courts though they are not separated as good (Seelie) and evil (Unseelie), humans tend to think of them that way because of appearances. The Seelie and Unseelie Courts are made up of the Sidhe (pronounced SHE) and are the “superior” or “royal” Fae in their own eyes. The rest of the Courts are made of the “other” fae and in the mind of the Sidhe, are below much of their notice. Merry is not like other Sidhe. She sees the value in all the Courts.
At one time in history for the Courts there were many Courts, all with their own Faerie mound, culture, history and everything. The more magic the courts had to give up, the more Faerie and the Fae faded or got absorbed into other groups. Fae magic is dying and the Goddess seems to have removed her favor from all of Faerie. You would never know it with the way they fight though. Thankfully for the Sidhe, they can live through a lot. They can live through being turned inside out as well as many other tortures. It is said that there are worse fates than dying. The Seelie are just as violent, just as bloody as their Unseelie counterparts. They just hide it from the public better. Light does not equal goodness any more than darkness equals evil.
Unseelie Court aka The Darkling Throng- Queen Andias, Queen of Air and Darkness rules this Court with a sadistic iron fist. Technically, Meredith and Doyle have been crowned King and Queen of the Unseelie Court but they chose not to take the crown to save Frost and because they would be in constant danger. It is one of the two Sidhe Courts. They are considered the monsters of the Sidhe. They take in everyone. Even those the Seelie shun or exile. The mound chooses the King/Queen.
Seelie Court aka The Glittering Court- King Taranis, King of Light and Illusion rules this Court. He is a liar, crazy and a rapist but hides it all behind a beautiful face and smile. Even from those nearest and dearest to him in his own Court. When the Seelie mound moved from Europe to the US, it recognized Aisling as it’s King not Taranis. Aisling was banished from the Seelie Court for this. This is the other one of the two Sidhe Courts. They are the most human looking of all the Courts and do a fantastic job pretending to be humanlike. The Seelie Court is great at illusion and hides it’s violence and cruelty behind beauty and from the humans. As with the Unseelie, the mound chooses the King/Queen.
Demi-fey Court- Is a sub Court in both the Unseelie and Seelie Courts. The Seelie Demi-fey Court is led by a duchess whereas the Unseelie Demi-fey Court is rule by Queen Niceven. They are often the spies of the Sidhe because they are not given much notice. The Demi-fey are usually very small. They are often the size of a doll or smaller. They also the ones often blessed with wings. They can be as small as a bug and are often mistaken for them.
Slaugh (sloo-ah) Court- This Court is sub court of the Unseelie Court but it’s rulers King Sholto and Queen Meredith are given respect as though they are their own separate Court. This was true for King Sholto even before Queen Meredith. The Slaugh have always been the army of the Unseelie Court. The Slaugh host the Wild Hunt and have been the threat the Unseelie Court has had against the Seelie Court. They are considered the nightmares of the Unseelie. This King/Queen is an elected position.
Goblin Court- This Court is ruled by King Kurag and is a sub court of the Unseelie Court. Where the Slaugh are the Army, the Goblins are the foot soldiers. The Goblins are considered savages by most other Fae. Meredith learned the customs of the Goblins and was able to use the custom of Blood and Flesh to keep the goblins as allies for six months. The King/Queen is chosen through battle.
My only regret in writing this article is there is no art for Merry Gentry that I can show you like there is for Anita Blake. There is so many wonderful color combinations of hair, skin and eyes within Faerie that is would be stunning to see an artist’s interpretations of them. Or to see the Courts through their eyes. Unfortunately I don’t have anything I can show you. The next best thing is to read them. Laurell K. Hamilton does a wonderful job bringing them to life for you through her words. Here are my reviews for the series below:
What are your thoughts on the Courts? Which one would you want to be a part of? Let me know in the comments below. Til next week…