Addendum to The Gamble
So many people have PM'd me about the fae bond, either loving it, confused by it, wanting more about it. (I wish you guys would all write reviews!) So for those of you who are confused here's the relevant passage, from Sookie's POV, from Niall:
"…a Fae bond, in contrast to that of a vampire's. It would irrevocably tie my life to Eric's. If he ended, I would die with him. It was "old" magic he said, and seldom conferred in present times. Among the Fae it was given by one to another when they felt truly inseparable. It could not alter Eric in any way (he was already dead, he was not of the Fae), and could not alter my mortal nature. Because of my fairy blood, however, it would literally tie my life to his, as my gift to him, because we were inseparable in my eyes…."
So if it wasn't clear (sorry!) Niall enchanted Eric's wedding ring because it was a gift that Eric would have to accept as part of the marriage ceremony. (This is the beginning of Sookie's becoming a bit more active in the supernatural world- she's being quite sly here…) When Sookie places that ring on Eric's hand, her life force is the energy that flows into the ring making it glow. That's why Claudine reacts as she does. She could see something was odd about the ring from the start, and being a fairy, she instantly knows the meaning of what Sookie has given him (her life). Eric is able to sense there is something odd happening and because (I guess) of the bond, the sensation and the glowing ring. He figures out the essence of what she's done, and is shocked by it. As you'll notice, more than a month later, that ring has still never left his hand. I don't think he'll ever take it off.
A further note…
The inspiration for a situation in which, with two beings of differing mortalities, one will give up their life to die with other is not unfamiliar. For those of you Tolkien readers out there, it is somewhat similar to Arwen pledging herself to Aragorn. Arwen was thousands of years old when she met Aragorn but loves him enough to decide to stay with him, essentially becoming mortal. In the film, though not in the books, Arwen gives Aragorn a jewel, the symbol of the Evenstar, an implicit elven representation of her relatively immortal life being given up for him. That is why Elrond (in the film) is so put out- his daughter was willing to become mortal and stay with Aragorn, a long lived but mortal man, rather than leave for Valinor with the other Elves. In Return of the King's appendix, The Tale of Arwen and Aragorn, Arwen stays with Aragorn, marries him, bears him children and then dies within a year after his death, from a broken heart.
Let's just say that I think that Sookie is the one in this relationship more readily capable of making the big sacrifices. Love that Eric, but the man is a vampire, not a Sindarin Elf. ;)