A Twilit Triumvirate?
The Twilight Saga has just been read. Yes, I know I’m very late to the party but I seemed to subconsciously want the hype to go away so that I could draw my own conclusions.
My opinion of the books is of little matter to anyone but myself. But what I will say is how much I preferred the other male protagonist, Jacob Black, the Quileute werewolf. This prompted me to think on Finnian of the Færan, the male protagonist in A Thousand Glass Flowers and I felt the need to compare him with Edward Cullen (blasphemy) and with Jacob Black (secondary blasphemy).
Edward is frigid, in a tactile sense. He is considered to be marble-like, sparkles like the hardest substance in the world when he is in sunlight. To hold him is like holding a slab of stone. Jacob is unusually warm, a wolf thing, his skin the colour of toffee silk, the kind a woman’s hand must reach out to touch, to slide her fingers over. Finnian too is warm, his body lean and powerful, as muscled as Jacob because the fey are known to be perfect. Which is why the Færan are so terrifying… one cannot look away, one must… one wants…
Edward is subdued, intellectual to be sure, but contained and only ever emotional when pushed to his limits both in love and in anger. Jacob has humour, he is kind, grounded, has a heart that beats strongly. Finnian has Edward’s intellect and more but his humour is in its infancy, kept stunted by his selfishness. But his heart beats steadfastly and with purpose as he searches for value in his life. But what is it that he will value? Is it a finite thing? A fortune? An inheritance? A charm? Or perhaps a woman.
Edward has a sense of right and wrong, a moral code carved out of ancient vampire law and then added to through centuries of trial and tribulation to achieve some sort of redemption. Jacob has a moral code as well, but rather than one based on the need to hunt to survive, his is based on the need to hunt to protect… a chivalrous approach to living that requires no need for redemption. In the beginning, Finnian’s moral code is non-existent, a product of being fey where actions are never deliberated and where self-indulgence is the motivation for living. He is a creature ripe for redemption… but how and why?
I would love to be able to show what it is that makes Finnian able to stand beside these two most recent heroes, to explain why he makes his mark in the annals of Other fables, but you see if I do, I am guilty of revealing fey secrets and I promised never to betray Others. But I see him standing with these individuals, looking down on them as is his want because he is a tall man.
I suspect he would befriend Jacob… he trusts him and argues the value of a good man at his back. He despises Edward’s cool manner and his introversion, sees into his mind and recognises shadows of himself that he would prefer to forget, so he might turn away from the vampire. To be faced with a reflection of one’s inadequacies is confronting.
All three have their own immortality; Edward and Finnian for what they are and Jacob for the legend he manifests and the mark he makes. And all three have a woman who weakens them, reducing them to their most fallible state. Interesting, that.
Love is the foundation stone of their lives. For Jacob it’s unrequited, for Edward it’s almost a forbidden love, for Finnian its a desperate search for something he believes might exist but which the past tells him may not be possible. But in every case, it is a woman who brings them to their knees and takes them forward… but to what?
In the end it’ll be readers who say if they think Finnian fits into the triumvirate because in the end, they are the ones who will weigh and measure him. But given that Others have the power to influence thought and action, it may pay to beware, to look over the shoulder, to never turn the back completely, because one never knows just who might creep up on one’s sensibilities!
Two people… one an extraordinary young woman, the other an embittered immortal man. Both seeking concealed spells that could annihilate Life.
In a quest through a world where Others lace their way in and out of the lives of mortals, this is a story of legend, love, and clashing ideals. A story of murder, regret and revenge… a story that journeys across a world too hauntingly like our own.
“A sweeping, gorgeously written tale of magic, adventure, intrigue–and the very human power of enduring love. It held me spellbound.” Anna Elliott, author of The Avalon Trilogy
“A magnificent evocation of a parallel world whose joys and sorrows are our own. Beautifully done.'”– Ann Swinfen, author of In Defence of Fantasy.’