Friday, March 14, 2008

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

Hamilton is not necessarily a new author for me since I had the pleasure of listening to Seduced by Moonlight over 4 years ago when it first came out. I didn't really know what the book was about but when I saw the audio book on the shelves of my library I fell in love with the cover and took it home for a spin. I immediately knew I was walking into the middle of a series and also knew I had to read the rest of it, starting from book one!

I have a tendency to read or listen to my books in the format that I first find it and since I had picked up Seduced by Moonlight in Audio, I refused to read it in any other format. Thus the four years it has taken me to break down and buy the series in paperback (I'm a bit stubborn like that). This also says alot about how much I wanted the darn books to start off with, since I gave in and forced myself to step out of my comfort zone!!

For those that are not familiar with Laurell K. Hamilton she is the author of the Anita Blake series which was recently picked up by Marvel Comics to be serialized as a comic book series. She also writes a less known series called The Merry Gentry Series which tells the story of an exiled Sidhe Princess who is pulled back to the Unseelie court to produce an heir.

A Kiss of Shadows is the first book in the series.

In this first installment we are introduced to Merry Gentry who is hiding in LA from the Unseelie Queen, her Aunt Andais. She works for a private investigation firm who hire the Fey for their powers. Hamilton has created a completely alternate universe where the Fey have certain rights as individuals among the humans. Laws have been passed to protect the mortals from worshiping the Fey and becoming subservant to them. These laws must be upheld or the Fey will be vanished from society.

Merrideth gets involved in a case where she needs to expose a man who is using sidhe powers to rape women but during the course of the undercover investigation there is an attempt on her life. Now, Merry has lived in hiding for the last three years and has avoided all exposure to the Unseelie Court because of the many assassination attempts that were taking place against her, so when she feels her life once again threatened, she decides to bolt!

This first book takes us into the Unseelie Court (after Merrideth is summoned by her Queen) and we learn about the protocols that have to be followed to stay alive. The intrigue and deception that takes place makes the pages fly by and the erotic scenes are hot hot hot! I couldn't put the darn thing down!

If you expect the book to have a nice bow at the end where you can just put it down and not pick up the next story, you are wrong. Reminiscent of more recent series (Inheritance by Paolini, Gemma Doyle by Bray) the book leaves you with the expectation of much more to come, with her cousin sentenced to 6 month in a torture chamber and her new guards in place, Merry returns to LA to continue her life, but we all know that life will never be the same for the Sidhe Princess.

Grade: A


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