Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hollows: What will become of Rachel Morgan?

Oh Rachel Morgan, what is going to happen to you? You’re not the white earth witch we met in Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. Now you’re tainted with demon smut and, it would seem, contain some demon DNA.

Sometimes when reading a series, it’s easy to forget how little time actually passed. It seems as if Rachel should have more of her life figured out by now. She’s still a bit clueless at relationships (no love triangle, thank goodness). She lacks finesse. The Ivy question feels as if it will never end. 

Rachel Morgan is one of the better female leads in fantasy literature. She made a difficult choice at the beginning of the series to set out on her own. She works as a witch detective/apprehension agent with the living vampire, Ivy, and the pixie, Jenks. She continues to make sacrifices for those she loves and cares about at the expense of her status and soul. Gone is the pure gold, now stained with black.

What makes Rachel’s story so appealing is the setting and morality issues. The story takes place in an alternate reality where thousands of humans died from contaminated genetically modified tomatoes. When the humans began to die out, Interlanders (vampires, werewolves, pixies, witches, warlocks, ect) saved the race. Now the two groups live in a somewhat peaceful, if separate, setting. The Interlanders walk around as the humans do. Most stories like Harry Potter and Twilight require the magical or mythical creatures to live in hiding. The combination of the two worlds adds a touch of intrigue. 

Rachel starts out using earth magic, determine to keep her aura smut-free. Her charm use is quite impressive. It’s clear that those who use darker forms of magic can wield a more obvious power, but Rachel doesn’t want to go there. That is, until she has no choice to save those around her. She eventually finds herself in a situation that requires dealing with demons, namely Algaliarept. Where as many would willing give into the temptation to embrace all the power demon magic has to offer with no qualms, Rachel works to maintain as much of her white witch beliefs as possible. 

She does use demon magic a little too often as the books continue, but the core of Rachel still exists. The demon magic question causes readers to think about ends justifying the means. Is it acceptable to taint your soul to help a friend recover his wayward son? What about to save yourself from an eternity in the demon’s land, the ever-after? Do the facts regarding Rachel’s relationship with demons regarding her DNA give her the right to harness ley line magic?

The cure for Rachel’s blood disease opened her up to a different set of rules than regular witches. As there are no others like her, she’s held to the same standards as the other witches. Revealing her heritage would only harm her more. Despite being shunned and disowned, she continues to do everything possible to save those who need help.

1 comment:

  1. What makes Rachel’s story so appealing is the setting and morality issues.

    This is very true. She's changed so much; definitely not the white witch I first loved. But she tries to, despite the reoccurrences of being forced into things to save herself and others she love.

    Her core definitely still exists, which is why I continue with the series.