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A Kiss of Shadows: A Novel [Paperback]

Laurell K. Hamilton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 15 2005 Meredith Gentry Novels
"All it would take was my true name being mentioned after dark, and it would float back to my aunt. She was the Queen of Air and Darkness, and that meant that anything said in the dark was hers to hear, eventually. The fact that spotting the missing Elven American Princess had become more popular than spotting Elvis helped. Her magic was always chasing blind leads. Princess Meredith skiing in Utah. Princess Meredith dancing in Paris. Princess Meredith gambling in Vegas. After three years I was still a front-page story for the tabloids, though the latest headlines had been speculating that I was dead as the King of Rock and Roll . . ."

Three years ago, Princess Meredith fled the court of her cruel Aunt Andais, the Queen of Air and Darkness, leaving that garden of decadent delights and backstabbing intrigues for the comparative calm of Los Angeles. Using her magic to pass for human, Meredith began a new life as a private investigator specializing in supernatural crime. But now Doyle, the Queen's chief bodyguard and assassin, has been dispatched to fetch her back--whether she likes it or not.

The product of a marriage designed to cement peace between the rival Seelie and Unseelie courts, Meredith has always been scorned by both factions in spite of her royal blood. But that blood is behind the Unseelie Queen's surprisingly urgent summons.

For ever since the fey's exile from Europe to America, their power and purity have been fading. Desperate to renew her race, Queen Andais now pins her hopes on a contest between Meredith and her own son, the sadistic Prince Cel. The first to produce a child will win the throne.

The loser's reward will be death . . .

Laurell K. Hamilton's bestselling series of novels featuring Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, established her as one of the hottest new writers of dark fantasy and erotic horror. Now, in a thrilling adventure of unbridled imagination, Hamilton turns her talents to the glittering, myth-drenched lands of Faerie and brings them brilliantly into the postmodern age. Enter a thrilling, sensual world as threatening as it is beautiful, replete with the titanic passions of immortal beings once worshipped as gods or demons. Full of earthly pleasures and dazzling magic, Laurell K. Hamilton's A Kiss of Shadows will hold you under its hypnotic spell.


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From Amazon

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great start before the hormones took over June 1 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While I really liked the beginning of this book, I was very disappointed with that lack of follow through and closure. The main character has a distastefull enlarged ego and sexual appetite. The encounters were so often that they were not even interesting.
When you take away the plot and add sex, it is usually called porn.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Faerie-love June 20 2004
By Louise
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a fun, sexy, erotic and easily read novel about Faerie Princess Merry Gentry. Merry is hald human half fey, and belongs to the Unseelie Court, ruled by her ruthless aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Because Merry has not always lived up to her aunt's standards, she is on the run from her, and hiding in LA, where she works as a PI. But her aunt wants her back, at all costs. Before Merry can be persuaded (or forced) back to the court, and before this series can really begin, we need a lot of background information on the special world being described in vivid detail in this book. We also need background info on the certain ways of feys and goblins and trolls and humans - and we specially needs to be aware of the huge sexual appetite these beings have. Merry is indeed interested in sex, and in the beginning, her boyfriend is a seal! changed into a human by accident. His greatest wish is to be changed back into a seal. But Merry is not only enjoying the wonders of sex with her boyfriend. Pretty soon she is forced to make some tough choices, involving her status as a Princess of the Unseelie Court, her evil aunt, her even more evil cousin and much more. Beautiful faerie-men surround her, and her choices are not easy. This is a fun book, very hot and steamy with a heroine who is definitely living life to the max. I enjoyed it very much, and look forward to read the next one. Am also a huge fan of the other Laurell K. Hamilton-series about vampire hunter Anita Blake.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hooked on Laurell K. Hamilton! May 22 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Laurell K. Hamilton novel I've read. Most people recommended her Anita Blake vampire series, but I decided to give this shorter series about faeries a whirl first. I can see why so many people are hooked on Hamilton. Hers is a world so beautiful and magical that you find it difficult to escape. A Kiss of Shadows is a great novel (with a great cover). Princess Meredith NicEssus, half faerie and half mortal, is hiding from her aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness, and has assumed the identity of a PI who specializes in supernatural cases. But when her cover is blown, she succumbs to her aunt's wishes. To seduce and be surrounded by gorgeous immortal men doesn't seem like a bad thing, except that her life depends on it...
I loved the fanciful language throughout the novel. I gave up on fantasy fiction a long time ago due to the lackluster books in said genre. Laurell K. Hamilton's writing is wonderfully creative and incredibly riveting. I cannot fathom the bad reviews here. Most people have complained about the many sex scenes in the novel and thought that Meredith was promiscuous. I for one loved the erotic undertone. I am a fan of erotica and I thought that the sexual content in this novel wasn't bad at all. The one thing I didn't like about Shadows is that Ms. Hamilton over explains the plot. The novel should've been a bit shorter. Other than that, it's great. Laurell has made me fall in love with fantasy fiction all over again. I cannot wait to read the other parts of this series. And since I've become a vampire novel enthusiast, I shall definitely give her Anita Blake series a whirl.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Forget what you know about fairies May 15 2004
By Trixie
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Laurell K. Hamilton starts a new series here with the fairies that got a passing mention in Bloody Bones. You neither need to be familiar with that book or the Anita Blake series to start here. But do start here instead of jumping in anywhere or you'll be completely lost.
(Apologies in advance if I keep comparing the 2 series here. I figure most people found this book from the Anita Blake series but certainly not all.)
Merry Gentry (nee NicEssus) is part fey but has been hiding her true identity for 3 years among the humans. She's really a royal princess from a seriously dysfunctional fairy family. Her Aunt is the head of the Unseelie court and wanted Merry dead. For the past 3 years, her family and the tabliod press have been seeking her out. She's been hiding with the aid of glamour spells and making a living at a supernatural detective agency not entirely unlike Anita's Animators Inc.
The story begins much like an Anita story. Some clients come for help, Merry reluctantly assists with the prodding of her boss. A big bad appears, there's a fight, then there's some sex. Then however the story takes an unexpected turn which I won't spoil for you.
As a character, Merry is distinct from Anita Blake and that's a good thing. She's neither as tough nor as sociopathic. She can, however, hold her own as she discovers she's more powerful that she ever suspected. Much like Anita, all men want Meredith but since she's part supernatural being and an heir to the throne this facet of the story doesn't come across as obnoxiously as it does in the Anitaverse. Hamilton also finds a rather clever way to explain why all this lust is essential to the story-again no spoilers. Also, even though Merry is less human than Anita I found her far more accessible.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your time - don't bother reading this
What started out as a fresh new perspective on ancient Celtic legends goes on to become a series of lurid "physical intimacy" descriptions. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2008 by Intelektual Moron
2.0 out of 5 stars Toxic kiss
Laurell K. Hamilton branches out from her bestselling Anita Blake novels with a new, fae-oriented series. She really shouldn't have bothered. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2007 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt put it down...
I am hopelessly hooked on Laurell K Hamilton. Every book that I pick up that she has written sucks me in and keeps me enthralled until the last page. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by M. I.
2.0 out of 5 stars Merry Disappointment.
The book is full of rich descriptions. Page long descriptions. However, if this book was a movie, by watching the trailer you would feel you have seen the whole thing. Read more
Published on June 16 2004 by Armando L. Franco Carrillo
2.0 out of 5 stars A Little Lackluster and Disappointing
If you, like me, found Kiss of Shadows because you were an Anita Blake fan, you may be disappointed in Laurell K. Hamilton's new series. Read more
Published on May 6 2004 by N. B. Nieto
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Like Anita Blake Series, But Still an Addiction
(Note: This review is based on reading all 3 books in the Gentry series) The set up is promising, but Hamilton relies on the same ol' cliches as in the Anita Blake series. Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by Bekka
2.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Beginning
Kiss of Shadows is entertaining enough in a lurid, trashy/gothic romance kind of way. However, I am of the distinct impression that Hamilton relies so heavily on physically... Read more
Published on March 18 2004 by ekgheiy
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasurable, a little too pleasurable
The second series from Laurell K Hamilton is big on sensuality and sexuality. Merry Gentry, a Los Angeles detective, is actually Princess Meredith NicEssus, a faerie princess... Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by Jeronimo
3.0 out of 5 stars mind in the gutter, style in the clouds
I devoured the Anita Blake series, and while I am all a-quiver for the newest, I thought I'd try the Merry Gentry series. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastical!
Larell K. Hamilton has written books that I have not exactly been interested in because of Vampire's and such. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Cally
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