Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: nothing to do with the story/series at all
Re-read for the second time, but first time I write a review about it
You may know me best as Meredith Nic Essus, princess of faerie. Or perhaps as Merry Gentry, Los Angeles private eye. To protect my unborn children, I have turned my back on the crown, choosing exile in the human world with my beloved Frost and Darkness.
Yet I cannot abandon my people. Someone is killing the fey, which has left the LAPD baffled and my guardsmen and me deeply disturbed. I thought I’d left the blood and politics behind in my own turbulent realm. But now I realize that evil knows no borders, and that nobody lives forever - even if they're magical.
One of my favourite authors and series, and I am very happy that after a break of a few years, in June the tenth book will be released. So that is partly the reason I decided to re-read this one. If you are not familiar with this series, it really does have to be read in order, so you can understand what has happened and is happening, and why.
In the previous book, Merry and Doyle (the Darkness) were offered the crown of the Unseelie Court after a bloody battle, but to safe Frost, they refused it and went into exile in the human world. With all her lovers, the six fathers of her two babies (it’s a Fae thing) and all the guards and other Fae who wanted to join her. But still most of the nobility stay with their insane Queen Andais in the Unseelie Court, or the mad King Taranis in the Seelie Court. Even if they are tortured and abused, they won’t follow Mercy as she is only part Seelie and part Unseelie, and no-one is sure is she is mortal or immortal anymore. A lot of the demi-fae and the Red Caps have followed Merry, and although they are still living in the mansion of Maeve, a female Fae who was exciled by King Taranis to prevent her from telling his court that he is infertile, which is a dead sentence for the ruler, but who became one of Hollywood’s goddesses. They have a court, but no court treasury, so they have to work for a living to support them all. And so Merry and her guards are working for the Grey Detective Agency. Mostly hired by rich people and famous people to be shown off, but sometimes they are called in on police investigations. Like this one. And it is nasty.
Someone has killed some of the smallest demi-fae, and laid them out like a picture in a story book. Who was powerful enough to kill them? Even though they are the smallest, they are in no way defenceless or powerless, they have very strong magic in order to survive in the human world. Merry has no idea who could do such a thing, but she will warn the Fae in Los Angeles to be careful, after all, they are her people even if she is not officially a Queen.
Hiding from the press is impossible, they are literally hounded by them, and every time Merry is seen in public, it gets worse.
I really enjoyed re-reading this book, I had forgotten quite a few things about it and it was good to re-discover details and good moments.
The Goddess is still guiding Merry, in her dream the Black Coach in the guise of a Hummer takes Merry to the desert, to save one of the soldiers she healed. He was praying to the Goddess, and she sent Merry to him. But when Merry wakes up, she has blood and sand on her face, and from all the guards, only Rhys is awake. Goddess is not done with them yet.
There is a lot of sex in this book, and you all know I don’t really like erotica, but when Laurell K. Hamilton writes it, I don’t mind at all. Merry had a choice, a few books back, to gain power through blood and death, or through love and sex. And as a distant relation to a few fertility deities, she chose sex. So a lot of magic happens when she has sex, the men she sleeps with gain back some of their lost power; or something else happens.
I liked meeting some new Fae, like the Fear Dearg, who is begging Merry for his name back, and Doyle has promised to tell Merry his story, but so far he has not, and I really want to know what happened back then.
The female guards Merry took back with her, have been abused by Prince Cel for decades, and they have some serious issues to get over, and to heal. I like how they are slowly starting to trust and believe in Merry, and I really feel sorry for them. But the men have been abused and tortured as well by Queen Andais, who is a sexual sadist, and Merry can’t deal with all of them. She has the men she really loves, and the fathers of her babies to think of first.
Baranis is making trouble though, trying to get Merry to take the Crown after all, and rule through fear like the Courts are ruled now. But he has to accept Merry as she is and wants to rule, or go back to Queen Andais. She cannot have her people divided. When she finds out that he and her father were closer than she thought, that changes things perhaps a bit, but not enough for her to relent. She will kill him if necessary.
I really want to read the next book as soon as possible, and find out what happens next. A series I recommend to all lovers of Urban Fantasy who don’t mind a lot of romance and sex but love a good world building and a strong heroine who is not insecure about her self. Unlike the Anita Blake series, this one has a lot of sex scenes from the first book because Merry had to get pregnant in order to survive.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian