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Inquisition Chapter 39: Family Bond

an essay by Chrissy Moon

In Chapter 39of FD Gross’s immersive novel, Inquisition, Tenor Wolfgang fights a powerful vampire family, the Cresthavens. Just as he is losing, Wolfgang focuses on his happy place – his family, giving him power.

This clearly demonstrates that Wolfgang’s family is his secret weapon, as well as the reason for this journey in the first place. Thus this whole epic series is centered on them.

I personally believe that the theme of this entire chapter is the family bond – the power of it, and what we do for those we love. There is also quite an interesting juxtaposition of two different family types (vampire hunters and vampires) to further illustrate that the family bond is universal and goes beyond a typical dynamic.

Following is my very rough breakdown of the chapter’s events.

First, Wolfgang focuses on Dorian, the son who is missing, as well as the promises he’s made. He is fighting the Cresthavens partly because of this. Wolfgang then thinks of his departed wife, Diana, and feels her energy.

He then fights all three vampire family members – the son, the daughter, and their mother; the head of the household (Cresthaven himself, and one of my favorite characters) had been recently destroyed by Wolfgang in an earlier chapter. Wolfgang is aggravated because he doesn’t have the time to deal with this.

Let’s head back to my first point, in which Wolfgang focuses on his happy place to get him through this battle.

The vampires are thrown back – literally – by this renewed energy and power. The son vampire scurries away from battle.

The mother vampire, Kathryn, desires to kill Wolfgang, who offers a draw. She doesn’t take it, attacking him.

The son returns to defend his mother. She in turn dies protecting her only son.

Now, the fact that Wolfgang offered the draw to Kathryn shows that getting to Dorian was more important to him than ego, or defeating yet another family of vampires.

It is worth pointing out that there are great parallels of the sons defending their mothers. In the first chapter of this book, we see – from Diana’s point of view, no less – Dorian valiantly and bravely standing in front of his mother to protect her against a horde of invading vampires. It seems to be an impossible situation, but he doesn’t think twice about protecting her.

Now, the Cresthavens. We see a vampire son who was so terrified that he leaves the battle, only to return to protect his mother who, at the climax of this chapter, dies for her son!

There’s something quite poignant about these parallels, and it’s something I can discuss for hours. One can argue that being “good” involves sacrifice and if so, then by that definition alone, Kathryn and her son are “good,” in spite of their vampire identities.

In life, in reality, people are not good or bad. They are just people with as much capability for good as bad. Each of us has done hundreds of things in our lives. Which one of those things shall define us after we’ve gone? Is Wolfgang the “good guy” merely because he’s our protagonist?

Going off this idea, if Cresthaven had survived, he would most likely be on a journey much like Wolfgang’s, but in reverse. If this entire series was written from the Cresthavens’ point of view, would we see them as the good guys and Wolfgang as the evil monster that killed them? This is a fascinating thought process, and I wonder if I could possibly bribe FD Gross to write a story about this alternate universe – if Cresthaven had lived, and then woke up to find his family dead, beginning his journey of annihilating Wolfgang. It probably won’t happen, but there’s always fan fiction!

And now we get to my debatable question: Was it better for the Cresthavens, particularly the mother and son, to die while fighting Wolfgang, or should Kathryn have taken his offer? Would that have changed their family bond and commitment to each other? This refers to the idea of the natural order of things, which I believe is a sub-theme of the book. The family is still willing to die for one another, even if it doesn’t make sense. This is instinct for many people; the natural order.

What a great and exciting chapter. There are so many beautiful and complex points that Mr. Gross makes here and it’s definitely worth discussing. In fact, one of the many things I love about his writing is that he puts a lot of symbolism into his work, giving the reader so much more to work with than just the plot. In fact, I am certain I missed some symbolism and therefore look forward to re-reading this book to find these hidden gems.