1) Who would win a game of poker, Billy Joe or Mircea?
Billy Joe. He cheats. And Mircea can’t read a ghost’s mind!
2) Why didn’t Mircea take on Rasputin in Touch the Dark? If he is so good at mental combat, why did they need to bring in Louis-Cesare?
If you go back to TTD, you’ll notice that Mircea alone among the people interacting with Cassie in that book was calm, almost relaxed. He even cracked a few jokes, up until Pritkin started threatening her. Louis-Cesare looked like he had a migraine, everybody else was pretty darned grim, but Mircea was doing Bela Lugosi impressions and acting almost giddy. Why?
Reason 1: This has to do with your question. Mircea wasn’t worried. Everybody else was tense to the point of being freaked out, but he wasn’t. Because he knew, if worse came to worse, he could handle Rasputin. He didn’t WANT to, because it would have been a very good demonstration of exactly how deadly he can be, which he has taken pains to down play. And that would possibly cause him problems in the future in certain quarters. But, if it came down to it, he was perfectly capable of making Rasputin curl into a tiny ball and beg for mommy. So Mircea wasn’t under the same pressure as the rest of them (not to mention that it wasn’t his past being threatened).
Reason 2: Mircea was concentrating on one thing that entire time while everybody else was rabbiting around: he wanted Radu back, and was determined that Cassie was going to go get him. So he was being charming, and concentrating on gaining her sympathy, rather than on Rasputin. Who Mircea knew wasn’t as much of a threat as everyone else thought he was anyway.
3) On a related note, isn’t Louis-Cesare’s gift kind of a cheat in duels?
I assume you mean his master power, aka The Veil, which allows him to go not only invisible, but to be completely undetectable for a short time. And yes, that would seem to be an advantage in a duel! After all, how can you fight someone who you can’t see–or smell or hear or otherwise tell is there?
However, you’re overlooking one fact, which is that the other masters Louis-Cesare would be facing in a duel also have master’s powers. And he isn’t always going to know what those are, or their full extent, because Mircea isn’t the only one who doesn’t go around advertising that sort of thing. So, say he was going up against Mircea (not likely, I know, but just as an example). Who would win?
It would depend on whether Mircea could get a lock on LC’s mind before LC could veil. If LC veiled first, Mircea would be in trouble, although he might still be okay if he could manage to survive until LC was forced to drop the veil. But LC would have a distinct advantage in that case. But if Mircea got into LC’s brain first, then the veil wouldn’t help him. Not only could Mircea track him then, veil or not, but he wouldn’t need to. He could savage him from the inside without ever needing to touch him with a weapon.
And, of course, other masters have impressive abilities, too. Like Lawrence, for instance, who could break apart into many little pieces–which would be difficult for even an invisible swordsman to get an edge on! But, of course, not all master’s powers would do so well against The Veil, meaning that a lot of people would simply choose not to duel LC at all. That was why Anthony was able to do as he pleased in Europe, because most of the people who might have challenged him wouldn’t, knowing who his champion was certain to be.
So, was LC cheating? No, he was using the abilities he was given to best advantage. LC just happened to get a master power that helped in combat, and he used it–as any other vampire would have done in his place.
4) When Mircea got knocked out in fury’s kiss and dragged his masters down too; does that mean Marco and Cassie’s bodyguards were out cold too?
You’ll find out!
5) What does Marco think of Pritkin and Mircea’s attitude towards him?
I’m not sure I understand this question. Why would Marco care about Pritkin’s attitude? What Pritkin does or doesn’t think isn’t likely to affect him one way or the other. Marco is okay with Pritkin, because he helps keep Cassie safe and occasionally brings beer. Other than that, he doesn’t really have an opinion on the guy, and doesn’t care what the war mage thinks of him.
As far as Mircea is concerned, “attitude” is also not the phrasing I would use. Marco is Mircea’s property. The vamps don’t usually put it like that–they use the softer word “servant”–but it’s nonetheless true. Marco does what the master tells him to do because he thinks Mircea is a better master than most, and because he doesn’t have a choice. They’re not friends; they are property and owner. And property’s opinion about its owner is irrelevant.
Just sent this by Penguin. They’re redoing the covers for some of their shorts, and this is the one for “Buying Trouble,” the Claire novella that kicks off the Dory series. I have to say, I like it. It’s certainly better than what I ended up with last time. They split the cover of the anthology the story originally appeared in, and I ended up with a girl’s waist and her upper…bottom? I like this much better!
Congrats to Alessandra, Melkorka, Carmen (from Facebook), and Arushi (from the blog), our mini challenge winners! Please send in your snail mail addresses so I can get your prize packs out to you. And thanks to everyone who participated–you guys are hysterical! 🙂
Saw this the other day, and it made me smile. Lots of good advice. I especially liked rule #4. I knew what my answers would be for my characters, and then I wondered about yours. The three peeps who submit the best fill-in-the-blank answers for a Cassie or Dory series character will win a prize pack from me. Won’t tell you what’s in it, but you’ll like it! Lets end this in 48 hours. Ready? Go!
By the way, in case you’re wondering, my answers for Cassie are: Once upon a time there was a girl. Every day, she longed to be normal. One day a bunch of vampires tried to kill her. Because of that, she met the vampire senate. Because of that, she became pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world, and found herself a vampire boyfriend and a hot bodyguard. Until finally she realized that normal was highly overrated! 🙂
By the way, you can leave your answer here or on Facebook. Have fun!