10: Declan Chase is Kinda Trying: Dreams of a Dark Warrior

Mr. Vivisection is here, and it’s a whole lot! Regin the Radiant is on Torture Island, and just her luck, the guy running the whole show is a berserker reincarnate who she’s loved in five earlier lifetimes. Declan Chase is a highly controversial Kresley hero, and Dreams of a Dark Warrior is a book Sarah and Jen always skip on the reread…but this week, we’re talking about it and *gasp!* we’re kind of on #TeamDeclan by the end?! UP IS DOWN!

This episode, we’re digging into the way Kresley builds characters and lays the brickwork for the rest of the IAD series. We’re talking about torture, about childhood, about packing for the end of days, and about Lothaire’s Guide to Wooing Women. We’re joined by the wonderful Sarah Hawley, co-host of the Wicked Wallflowers podcast, and Declan-stan.

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In two weeks, strap in because Lothaire. Is. Here!!! We’re so excited we don’t know what to do with ourselves, but FYI, this is gonna be a double episode for SURE. Gird your loins. Get Lothaire at Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, Kobo, or from your local Indie.

Show Notes

A huge shout out to Heather Pagan, who helped us with medieval French and edits the Anglo Norman Dictionary. Here’s the official translation of the Medieval French, along with some fascinating notes on historical swearing, which you all know is our favorite!

Go copulate with a pig - Va foutre un porcel! (literally, go fuck a pig). Unless the joke is that they are being formal (ie. copulate and not fuck) in which case: Va couvrir un porcel!

You defend that rampart female? - Femme / Dame, defendis tu le terrail?

To the death, prick*! - Jusqu'a / A la mort, ribaud! OR Jusqu'a / A la mort, paillard! OR Jusqu'a /A la mort, pautener!

* There are lots of words for penis/prick in Old French, but I don't have any evidence that they were used as insults (and that's a whole 'nother book about when we began to use genitalia as offensive words...) I've chosen to translate it with a bunch of words that mean 'jerk'. The words I used are all ones that end up being borrowed into English (ribald, pailliard, pautener) for someone who is base / rascally / a scoundrel / someone of low status etc.

Thoughts (or why you never ask an academic for a translation...) We actually don't know overly much about medieval swearing. What we know about language use during the period is based on what was written down, and what was written down (gross generalization ahead) tended not to be 1) direct / indirect speech or 2) of a less formal register. Nevertheless, we do have some record of what people said, and in some cases, how they would curse each other. A lot of these curses were be religious in nature - damning them, accusing them of bad faith etc. We have one amazing set of texts, referred to as the Manieres de Language, which were an early type of phrase book for Englishmen wanting to learn French in the late fourteen century. These include my favourite section - insults! So this is mainly what the translation is based on - though insults of the time were a bit different.

Here are some from the phrase book (translated): You're lying, you evil bastard; Go hang yourself, you bastard; Go away you bloody son of a whore; You will pay!; Kiss my ass (I am very pleased that this has been the eternal insult!); Kiss the devil's ass; Go to the devil!

Lost Limb Count

Arms and Hands (6)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)
  4. Lucia peels all the skin off from her hand in order to free herself from some handcuffs. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  5. In order to retrieve the ring from La Dorada , Lothaire cuts off her finger. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  6. Lanthe and Carrow cut off Fegley's hand so they can use his thumb to unlock their torques. He's later killed. (Demon from the Dark)

Chest and Torso (5)

  1. Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Sabine saves him and enlists Hag to help heal him. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  2. Lucia's neck is broken. She regenerates. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. On Torture Island, Regin,
  4. MacRieve,
  5. and Brandr are vivisected. It's pretty terrible. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  6. Declan's skin is peeled off by the Neoptera as a child. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)

Face and Eyes (4)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. During a rugby match, Garreth has his teeth knocked out and swallows them. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  4. Lothaire kicks out La Dorada's remaining eye and throws her over a cliff. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)

Horns (2)

  1. Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. She tells him to let them grow back (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  2. Malkolm is captured by his enemies in Oblivion and taken to the city of Ash. The publicly cut off his horns and then intend to kill him, but Carrow saves him. (Demon from the Dark)

Legs and Feet (3)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  3. Thronos is chasing Melananthe and loses a foot when a portal closes on it. (Kiss of a Demon King)

Beheading as a Romantic Gesture (4)

  1. The first time Garreth spies Lucia, it's when she shoots an arrow and beheads a kobold. He notices that it's "a fantastical shot" and he's super into it. Later, he helps her pick up the head because he's a real gentleman like that. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. Later in the book, they are under attack from vampires and Lucia asks him to help. Garreth promises to "give her their throats" and beheads two vampires. But she's upset about it because of a previous bad experience with cannibalism. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. Malkolm beheads men that attacked Carrow in Oblvion, and he throws them to prove he's a worthy mate. (Demon from the Dark)
  4. Declan fights and beheads several creatures as they escape Torture Island, including squeezing one dude so hard his eyes pop out and then he twists his head off. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)


  1. Does Garreth's losing his connection with his mortal soul count? (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)