My favourite bookshop had their pre-Christmas sale tonight with wine and cheeses and lots of laughs. I went with the best intentions to shop for others and I did . . . truly. I bought my brother the latest Michael Connolly and I bought my daughter two wonderful books as well. But then there was The Complete Annotated Book of Fairytales and Felicity Pulman’s Rosemary for Remembrance Rue for Repentance, Kim Wilkin’s The Autumn Castle and Sharon Penman’s Time and Chance. And most specially Mr.Bliss . . . beautifully printed and in a dark green cloth-covered slip cover. My altruism went out the window. I had shopped for myself. Hardly the spirit of giving. But then I paid for it all with my mother’s birthday gift to me, so guilt doesn’t weigh quite so heavily.
Why mesmered? I need to explain the meaning of the word . . . a meaning you won’t find in any dictionary.
Mesmer is a form of enchantment used by the fey. No shouted spells, no wands flashing. Just a smooth glissade of the hand across the air, almost indetectable. Whatever the mesmerer wants to happen happens. It could be sending someone to sleep, or stopping a dagger in mid-flight and turning it on itself so it begins a return journey to the thrower, remorseless in its progress. Or it could be as fatal as the death-mesmer: – on the swipe of a hand, there is a silvered sound as if a sword is being withdrawn from a scabbard. A swish through the air from nowhere and a fatal thrust . . . always fatal. The fey don’t often use this as they aren’t essentially a violent race, merely a race of individuals who are forever looking for entertainment with no thought for those they may injure in the process. Compassion is an undeveloped emotion in most of the fey.