Fangirl Fridays – My Favourite Demon, Algaliarept (Al)

I have a confession. I have a crush on a demon. He goes by the lordly name of Algaliarept. Al for short. Thank goodness Rachel Morgan gave him a nickname, as Algaliarept is a bit of a mouthful.  Now the Wenches all know I'm a bit of a sucker for the bad guy turned into the grey guy. I don't know why, but give me a story with a hint of redemption and I am panting for more.  Well I wouldn't necessarily say Al's story is one of redemption, I would say that sometimes it pays not to judge characters on first impressions. Algaliarept is a character in the popular The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. Centred around Rachel Morgan navigating her witchy way around the usual supernatural cast of vampires, weres, elves, and in this instance, demons.  The series has captivated my attention, and Al is one of the reasons I keep coming back for another serving. Thanks, Wench Donna, you know how to recommend a riveting series.

Spoilers after the jump up for the ending of Pale Demon (The Hollows #9).




Make sure you keep a close eye on your ingredients.
When I first met Al, he came across as a very unlikable character. He was after all trying to kill the heroine of the series, Rachel Morgan.  And he is reason she has so much trouble with vampires.  Basically how it works is a practitioner capable is able to summon a demon.  In order to do so one has to know the demon's summoning name.  In this instance Al's is Algaliarept. Thus when a demon is summoned they pop up out of the ever after. The demon is usually meant to be encased in a magical circle.  Brainy people do this. Stupid people don't. Usually the person calling the demon has a favour to ask of the demon and once they do the demon generally leaves a demon mark on the person. This mark is their way of claiming back a favour later on. Let's just say demons won't do anything for nothing.  There is a reason demon's like to impart as many demon marks as they can on a person. Rachel Morgan is left with Al's demon mark after an encounter with her "good" friend Nick.

"Mmmm," he mused gently, touching the lace at his throat. "Sounds like she's going incoherent. Not good. Tick-tock, Nick Nicky. Better decide quick." - Dead Witch Walking.
If this turned up in a demon circle what would you do?


Demons can present themselves in any form and Al loves being dressed as an English gentlemen.

"It looked pleasant enough, having taken the shape of a young man with a mustache, elegant and polished. It was dressed as am eighteenth century businessman in a suit of green velvet with lace trim and long tails. Round glasses were perched atop its thin nose. They were smoked to hide its red eyes."- The Good, the Bad and the Undead.

Picture the early 1800's. I kind of think Mr Darcy era. Not that Al looks like Mr Darcy. He looks like Johnny Depp. He likes to complete this sometimes with a British accent and calling people "love". I'm certain Al says "love" just to irritate Rachel. Al, in moments of cheekiness, sometimes likes to appear as Rachel Morgan. I know confusing, but she keeps tricking him, (although not always to her own befit..  Al, presented himself as per the below quote to Rachel and I think this might be nearer the truth.

"Like Dante's demon, Al stood over her, wearing nothing and his well-endowed privates not so private anymore. The hint of hard muscle I'd seen under his shirt was like sheets of obsidian, throwing back the firelight in gleams of red. He blinked, his red, goat-slitted monstrosities chilling me. Was this what he really looked like,..." - Black Magic Sanction. 

We really don't know what Al looking like, and to date it seems that given he has lived so long that he can't remember either. However Rachel does let us know that he is well hung. Terrifyingly so. Black magic allows Al to present any illusion he wants to the world. His red goat slit eyes the only feature that generally remains unchanged.

 

Algaliarept aka Johnny Depp
Al's trade is basically as a procurer. He procurer's familiars from the "real world" and then sells them in the ever after, so even when he is dishing out favours on earth, really he is just waiting for an opportunity to pull suitable candidates into the ever after.  It's a fickle trade and his continued association with Rachel sees Al's job having a lot of ups and downs.  After all wherever Rachel goes there is bound to be trouble.

Al is a bit of a trickster too. I think when you are a procurer by trade you need to be. The men in Rachel Morgan's life are continually tricked by Al, in to providing information. Al, also finds Rachel handy in obtaining familiars as he does with Gordian Pierce.  Tricky Al.  I love it.  He doesn't appear to have many scruples. After all, there aren't many things more powerful than a demon.


"...but Al simply laughed again. “Use you as bait? Capital idea!” the demon cooed, then grimaced at Bis, still stalking back and forth between us. “The thought never occurred to me. I simply saw something I wanted and took it.” His eyes narrowed. “It’s what I do.” - White Witch, Black Curse

Of course we only see Al via Rachel's eyes, but the glimpses we get over time is that Al isn't such a bad guy. Sure he sees Rachel as an investment, but Al also sees Rachel, I believe, as a saviour for demons. He is almost affectionate when he calls Rachel "itchy witch." Each time he uses this term, I know he can't be too unfeeling. He almost has a protective attitude to Rachel, because he doesn't want to share her with other demons. Part of this is that Al knows Rachel Morgan is a valuable commodity in the demon world. Whoever holds her is going to have power given the scarcity of female demons.


Al's interactions with Rachel lead to a change, or perhaps it is a remembrance of how  he use to be.  Al has lived for a very long time and for so long demon society has remained largely unchanged. Society evolves over time and Rachel is a catalyst. Al, being the opportunist he is clearly at first looks for any advantage he can gain.  When Al and Rachel have a bonding moment Al says ,

"I knew you could, otherwise I wouldn't have let you get into that position. But now everyone else knows it, too. I wasn't expecting how vulnerable you would be, and word gets around. It is too easy for..." He hesitated. "You're so damn helpless...,"

It is from this moment that the reader becomes aware that Al can care for someone else and that he isn't such an unfeeling, manipulative demon.  That is not to say his manipulative tendencies have gone away, rather that interacting with Rachel makes Al start to evolve. Maybe not into a better person so much, but as someone who isn't completely black and white. And you can rest assured that I'm liking what I'm reading.

Al continues to grow on me and I still have two books to go: A Perfect Blood and Ever After. It will be interesting to see if my opinion of Al remains the same or at the end of Ever After I am baying for his blood. I hope not. I have the feeling he will be around until the end and I can't wait to see how it all plays out for him.

Let me know below what characters you have started off loathing, constructed voodoo dolls of, that suddenly a few books down the track you are in their corner, backing them to still be standing at the end of a series.








Comments

  1. Angela, I didn't read your post yet,I'm reading book 6 and don't want any spoilers...I am still waiting to see the relationship development between Rachel and Al. I must say I liked his character from the start and had a feeling their "alliance" will shift.
    I didn't like Nick Sparagmos at all, and Jonathan give me the creeps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merit, yeah definitely not all black and white. I don't trust Nick at all. He is only out for himself it seems to me.

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  2. Itchy witch :)

    I was definitely surprised by how my feelings for Al changed throughout the series.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed Krista. I was pretty prepared to hate him, but Kim Harrison was crafty in that she changed my opinion.

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