The Harlequin's warning to Anita Blake is presented in a gift EL left where she'd be sure to find it. Inside, carefully wrapped n folds of pristine tissue paper, is a white mask, utterly plain. The fact that it's white, Jean-Claude tells her, is the good news. White means they are only being... read more
The Harlequin shows Anita and Jean Claude coping with a threat from Vampire Council enforcers. Desperate, Anita calls Edward for assistance although she also hesitate to involve Edward into the mess as Edward has his family now. Edward arrives the same day, bringing Olaf and Peter (now 16),... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The Harlequin shows Anita and Jean Claude coping with a threat from Vampire Council enforcers. Desperate, Anita calls Edward for assistance although she also hesitate to involve Edward into the mess as Edward has his family now. Edward arrives the same day, bringing Olaf and Peter (now 16), who we last saw in Obsidian Butterfly.
The Harlequin exists to police and punish vampire leaders who violate various rules, such as Malcolm's resistance to the blood oath. It was formed by the Mother of All Darkness, modeled in style on the Commedia dell'arte and by action on the wild hunt. It is composed of very old and powerful vampires who are capable of not just manipulating the behaviors and emotions of humans or younger vampires and lycanthropes, but of Jean-Claude, Anita, and Richard. Under this influence, Richard and Jean-Claude nearly kill each other, and Anita must also be repeatedly resuscitated. Anita keeps them alive by feeding on first Rafael (and through him, all the wererats in the city); Belle Morte; and later, all the swanmanes in the US via Donovan. Anita's second triumvirate also comes through, with Nathaniel and Damien "eating for five" so as to provide healing energy to Anita—and the others through her.
However, The Harlequin appears not to be following its own rules, so by vampire law Jean Claude's people can strike back. Edward doesn't actually kill a Harlequin, Anita does through a psychic link that she accidentally creates while trying to remove a sort of vampire spell that one of the Harlequin has put on her in order to keep track of her and Jean Claude's etc. movements. They subsequently end up killing the "human servant" of that vampire after Anita has fed off of Donovan the king of the swan manes. They recover in time to face off with the remaining members in Malcolm's Church of Eternal Life. They not only succeed, but determine that The Harlequin members were planning to take over Jean-Claude's territory and not operating on official Council orders.
Additionally, Anita almost allows the Mother of Darkness to become a full flesh being by allowing her anger to fester.
Anita also leaves her former allies, the werelions, to potential death. At a point where Anita and many of her other allies were injured, she asks to have sex with the werelion Rex Joseph so that she could gain the power to heal without the Munin. The Rex refused because he is married and values being faithful to his wife. Also there were rumors spread about Anita by the lions she refused because they weren't powerful enough for her inner lion. In a scene reminiscent of The Godfather series, Anita decides that this is a betrayal of their alliance and decides to abandon Joseph in favor of another werelion.
“Maybe God isn't the sex police, Richard. Sometimes I think Christians get all hung up on the sex thing because it's easier to worry about sex than to ask yourself, Am I good person? If as long as you don't have sex with a lot of people you're a good person, that's easy. It's easyt o avoid that. It's easy to think, I'm not fucking anyone, so I'm good. It makes it easy to be cruel, because as long as you're not fucking around, nothing you do can be that bad. Is that really all you think of God? Is he just the sex police for you and Malcolm? Or is it that sex is easy to worry about, easy to avoid, and the whole love-your-neighbor-as-you-love-yourself thing that's hard? Some days it's so hard, I feel like trying to take care of everyone in my life will break me apart. But I do my best. I do my best for everyone in my life every damn day. Can you say that, Richard? Do you do your best for everyone in your life every damn day?"”Anita Blake
“Not true, and someone’s having a better fantasy life with my life than I am.”Anita Blake
“Do not tempt me, Byron. My anger seeks only a target.”Requiem
“I mean, I was like their only chance to avoid a family tragedy of epic proportions.”Anita Blake
“This cloak-and-dagger shit is getting old.”Fredo
“Guns, unlike pagers, do not float.”Anita Blake
“One of my other boyfriends said I hated being in love, and he was right. It always felt so stupid, like your insurance rates should go up, because you’re impaired. Romantically handicapped.”Anita Blake
“You hate most in others what you’re afraid of in yourself.”Anita Blake
“Only love of a good woman will make a man question every choice, every action. Only love makes a warrior hesitate for fear that his lady will find him cruel. Only love makes a man both the best he will ever be, and the weakest. Sometimes all in the same moment.”Highlighted by 104 Kindle customers
love isn’t absence of pain, it’s a hand to hold while you’re going through it.Highlighted by 89 Kindle customers
sometimes all you need to get someone out of your head is to remind yourself who you are—who you really are, not who they think you are, or who they think you think you are, but you, the real you.Highlighted by 37 Kindle customers
needs left unanswered can curdle love like milk left to spoil in the sun.”Highlighted by 27 Kindle customers
Love’s hard to come by, Edward; you should never throw it away just because it’s a bad idea.”Highlighted by 18 Kindle customers
One of my other boyfriends said I hated being in love, and he was right. It always felt so stupid, like your insurance rates should go up, because you’re impaired. Romantically handicapped.Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
“‘Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?’”Highlighted by 14 Kindle customers
“‘Darkling I listen; and, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme.’”Highlighted by 14 Kindle customers
‘There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’Highlighted by 12 Kindle customers
‘A glooming peace this morning with it brings; The sun for sorrow will not show his head. Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished; For never was a story…’” I finished with him. “‘…of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’”Highlighted by 12 Kindle customers
We’re hiding the themes, errata, awards, movie connections, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.