Laurell K. Hamilton revitalized vampires, werewolves, and zombies in the popular Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
books. In this new series, she updates faeries. A Kiss of Shadows
introduces Merry Gentry, a.k.a. Meredith NicEssus, a faerie princess of the Unseelie Court, where politics is a blood sport. Merry, who's part sidhe (elvish), part brownie, and part human, never really fit in. She's short, not skilled in offensive magic, and mortal because of her human blood. These are real liabilities when your family, especially aunt Andais, Queen of Air and Darkness, is out to kill you. Merry has been in hiding for three years, living in Los Angeles and working for the Grey Detective Agency, which specializes in "supernatural problems, magical solutions." A new case sets her against a man who uses forbidden magic to seduce fey women and drain their power. A plan to trap him goes awry and Merry's cover is blown. Now Andais knows where she is. But things have changed in Andais's court, and Merry is changing too.
Despite the selkies, brownies, goblins, and ogres in this book, it's not for children. The fey are "creatures of the senses"--and in the Unseelie court, sex and pain go together. Merry is sexually adventurous and surrounded by gorgeous, powerful males, most of whom want her badly. She's politically savvy and no coward, though she's not the warrior Anita is. Hamilton fans and readers of adult fairy tales like Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy will want to give Merry a look. --Nona Vero
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From Publishers Weekly
Erotica is fantasy, but it rarely gets as fantastic as this. After nine novels featuring Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (Obsidian Butterfly, etc.), Hamilton launches a sizzling new series that blends supernatural fantasy with detective adventure and hot sex. Here, the world is populated with various magical faerie races along with humans. The most supreme of the fey are the immortal sidhe, so beautiful and powerful they were once worshiped as gods. The fey are not only lusty but incredibly accomplished lovers; those of the royal sidhe bloodline are literally addictively sexy. Full-blooded fey are, for the most part, intolerant of cities, metal and technology. They seldom live for long among humans. Mixed-blood Princess Meredith NicEssus, however, has fled the faerie world to pass for three years as Merry Gentry, a human with some fey blood who works in Los Angeles with a detective agency that specializes in supernatural problems and magical solutions. Suddenly outed as the missing princess and fearing that her aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness, will kill her, she makes a desperate run aided by her detective pals. The queen does want her, but not in the way Merry expects. Ultimately, Meredith must fulfill the queen's designs for the future of her court, even if it means having to bed the most beautiful studs in the universe. Through constant danger and adventure, Meredith finds herself in a variety of sexual encounters that make it easy to see why her ancestors were so worthy of worship. As wild as the novel's premise is, memorable characters and wicked wit make it all delicious, ribald fun. 8-city author tour. (Oct.)
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