Study Guide

Vicar Pinch (The King) in Blood Red Road

By Moira Young

Vicar Pinch (The King)

The King is Blood Red Road's Big Bad, but he's easily the novel's most one-dimensional villain. Miz Pinch is brutal and manipulative. DeMalo is simultaneously sympathetic and terrifying. The King? He just rants and gets into a bunch of dangerous but easily avoidable situations. Like, why would you go to the frontlines of a battle, dude?

To the Nines

Jokes aside, the key aspect of Vicar Pinch's character is his "royal" garb. You need to check this stuff out in its full glory to really appreciate it:

Thick black curly hair down past his shoulders an piled high on top. Animal skins thrown over one shoulder, trailin behind him onto the floor. Fancy shirt with frilly collar an cuffs. Short, puffy little britches that show his leg. White stockins. High heeled shoes. Sword at his side. (5.327)

The King's look is styled after an image of King Louis XIV of France found in a book owned by his father Rooster. Although it's doubtful that Vicar Pinch knows anything about Louis XIV—or that he even knows how to read—he's used the identity of this long-dead king to legitimize himself as a rightful ruler. It's the oldest trick in the book.

Chaaled Out

Of course, the reality is that the dude is just a crime lord. His "kingdom" is funded entirely by the chaal trade, and his "subjects" all either deal the stuff or are addicted to it. No matter how hard he cosplays like famous monarchs, Vicar Pinch will never be able to escape this fundamental truth.

The novel closes with Vicar Pinch meeting a pretty gruesome end, but we don't think that this is the end of his story. He's built a massive organization with far-reaching infrastructure—there's going to be someone out there who will take advantage of it for his or her own nefarious ends.

Don't believe us? Just wait for the sequel.