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3.8 out of 5 stars
A Caress of Twilight: A Novel
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on December 9, 2003
You should read Kiss of Shadows before reading Caress of Twilight. I want to say before either just go in with your eyes wide open. This story is graphic, Laurell K. Hamilton doesn't close bedroom doors nor does she pull punches as far as what Merry experiences with each of the men. This story is set back in Los Angeles where she is living in her small apartment with her band of guards/harem. They are her "Guard" because she is a Princess, but their job is really to have a lot of sex with her to try and get her pregnant in order to inherit the Unseelie Throne from her aunt. This story continues Merry's work as Detective, but her focus is primarily on the task her aunt has set forth which is getting pregnant. Laurell K. Hamilton has once again done a good job with giving very well drawn out scenes that can place you right in the situation. They aren't for those that have palpatations at the sight of a sex scene in a book. These men/Fey have been without a woman for 100's of years and LKH makes you understand through Merry's narration what the men are going through. She adds the mystery of Merry's uncle the King of Light and Illusion sending something horrible out simply so his secret can be protected. He sends out a horror that is nothing more than a killing machine leaving distruction in it's path with no way to kill it only the possibility of trapping it once again. I eagerly await book 3 in the series.
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on May 4, 2003
I won't go into a description of the book. The other reviewers have done that in wonderful detail. What I will say is - THANK HEAVENS!! A Laurell K. Hamilton series with no guilt. Can it be true? After reading the Anita Blake series (all the way up to Cerulean Sins), I am SOOO sick of Anita's constant whining and moaning about killing and sex. She feels guilty - she doesn't mean to be a killing machine. She feels guilty - she doesn't mean to be the prime sleeze in fantasy world. Yet she continues to kill and you-know-what constantly and non-stop and she continues to feel guilty, guilty, guilty! Amazing. I'm to the point where I wish she would just shoot herself. However, Merry is an entirely different heroine all together. She is a half-fairy, completely sexual and almost completely without a conscience. It's wonderful. She does what she has to do and that's that. If it means sex or murder, well, oh, well. The two stories are simply wonderful. Fantastic writing, beautiful scenes, descriptive dialogue. Do yourself a huge favor and buy both books today and wait impatiently for the third - as I'm doing.
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on April 25, 2003
Silly me. I waited until this book came out in paperback before I purchased it. I even waited a few weeks. And then it sat on my desk for days and days before I finally read it. Silly, silly me.
Wow. When I first read Kiss of Shadows years ago, I didn't really think anything of it. I thought, "Yeah, it was okay, but it was no Anita Blake book. Why is she making this new series, anyway?" A Caress of Twilight has completely changed my opinion of the Merry Gentry series. Do I now like them better than the Anita Blake books? Quite possibly.
A Caress of Twilight is one of the best books I've read so far this year. I can't even express what I liked so much about it. Sure, it does have a little too much in common with romance novels for my taste, but there is something else about the story that captured me. Now I'm eagerly awaiting for the next Merry Gentry novel. More so than the Anita Blake novels.
This book continues the story begun in A Kiss of Shadows. Merry Gentry, known to the faery court as Princess Meredith, Princess of Flesh, is on a mission to become pregnant so she can inherit the Unseelie throne from her Aunt Andais instead of her cousin, Prince Cel. Prince Cel (through his henchwomen) had tried to kill Meredith in A Kiss of Shadows, but he is locked away, being tortured for his crime. So Meredith is busy with her faery guardsmen, hoping that one of them can get her pregnant before Cel is released from his torture and tries to kill her again.
Meredith is hired by an exiled Seelie noble, now known as Maeve Reed, a famous actress, to help her become pregnant since her human husband is dying. But why has this Seelie been exiled? What does she know about Meredith's uncle, Taranis, king of the Seelie? And what is the supernatural force behind the gruesome murders in L.A.?
Merry is joined by the same bunch of Unseelie men that appeared in A Kiss of Shadows (Frost, Rhys, Doyle, Nicca, Galen) and her goblin Kitto, and although she doesn't travel back to the Unseelie court, her Aunt Andais does appear, and provides some comic relief. We also meet new characters, such as Sage, a demi-fey, and characters from the Seelie court, such as King Taranis himself. It was hard for me to stop reading this book; there was so much that happened in each chapter, more to add to the plots until the end, where they all connected in a surprising finale.
A wonderful book by Laurell K. Hamilton; I cannot wait until the next Merry Gentry novel is released.
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on March 15, 2003
Laurell K. Hamilton is concerned with the monsters within, and she holds nothing back in exploring this dark realm. The book deals primarily with primal forces associated with masculinity - lust, bloodlust, strength, and rage. Merry is the alluring feminine force that both elicits these demons from her men and soothes them. (One thing I like better about the Anita Blake series is that there is a much higher tone of bisexuality, which goes very well with Ms. Hamilton's theme of a character struggling to resist desire, and of course, giving in.)
Blood and desire are enticing secrets, and daringly private. Many people, as evident from these reviews, will find this and her other books plotless and porn-ish. But for others the forces she's exploring are irresistible. This is for people who like fiction that's devoted to the question of why people are attracted to each other, and what it means to accept or quell our human desires. Ms. Hamilton explores this through non-human characters, but really, her themes are very, very human. If this frosts your cookies ... then you're about to jump in really deep. Have fun.
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I have not yet seen the paperback version (I read the original Hardback Version) but due to being on Ms. Hamilton's Mailing list I know that this edition includes a preview of the 3rd Merry book "Seduced by Moonlight" (due "Spring 2004"). For those who want to read the preview (which might also be in the new Anita Blake novel "Cerulean Sins"), this adds buy this edition in lieu of the 2-year old Hardback (aside from the price). She seems to be alternating now between Merry and Anita Blake so there is a 2-year wait to see the next installment in either series.
As for the book itself, I enjoyed it although I did feel that the copy editor fell down on his/her job by not spotting a few places where the same information was given more than once (this is not a story being serialized in a magazine where that is permissible if the reader needs to be reminded of a plot point from a prior installment). Also the title of the "Golden Goddess" is given a number of times but not all the titles match (ie: She is said to be the Goddess of Attribute1 and Attribute2 in same places and in others is Goddess of Attribute3 and Attribute4 [sorry for the lack of specifics on the Attributes but I can not put my hands on my copy right now to look them up]). I hope this error was at least corrected in the Paperback edition.
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on February 11, 2003
Before I get serious, I must say that Doyle would make the best consort for Meredith. He knows the Unsidhe Court better than anyone, and is intelligent enough to know when to use his power and when to use diplomacy. Frost is too much like the nickname bestowed upon him by Andais. Rhys still has issues with Goblins, and Galen, while cute, would be nothing more than a boy toy.
Not to get racial or anything, but there's something rather cutting edge about a dark-skinned fae character. Most writers (save Emma Bull), tend to stick closely with the typical Celtic-looking faerie folk.
I have to admit, Merry was hard to take in the first book, especially for those of us used to the kick-butt attitude of Ms. Hamilton's Anita Blake. However, Meredith has come into her own, and she is definitely not one to be tread upon lightly, as a few of her encounters with The Queen of Air and Darkness show.
What I really love about this series is that the fae are NOT these cute little people who help humans in need. In fact, these fae are rather dismissive (and in some cases hostile)to mankind. These fae are far closer literature-wise than the Disney-fied versions that we're familiar with. Some of their actions in the book definitely make one squirm. Even Doyle and Frost, as close to heroes as a character can be, remind the reader in some startling ways not to use human benchmarks to judge their actions.
And yes, there is sex in the book--but it does not detract from the gist of the story. After all, Merry does need to get an heir before her psychotic cousin Prince Cel does. However, just as she does in her characterizations of the fae, Ms. Hamilton is trying to get the reader to look beyond our notions of what sex is and isn't. She wants us to see it through the eyes of the fae, who lack all the cultural taboos that humans seem to possess.
I also like the subtle discussion of the attitudes of the Sidhe in regards to other faerie beings.
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on November 3, 2002
A Caress of Twilight is Laurell K. Hamilton's latest installation of the Meredith Gentry series. Merrideth, also known as Merry, finds herself trapped deeper in the problems of the faerie court and her lover's lives. Balancing her assassin cousin, evil aunt, competitive lovers, and a full-time job is just another day in the life of Meredith Nic-Essus.
There is a great sense of urgency as Merry must produce an heir to the throne with one of the royal guards before her psychotic cousin is able to. She must also face the fact that everyone around her will live for eternity and her mixed blood damned her to a mortal life.
Being a long-time reader and owner of Hamilton's books, I have found her works to have become increasingly racy , but the content of each book is still full of the womanly spunk and determination in which her readers desire. She has really outdone herself this time. Magic and mythical creatures dominate the story with a more organic and magical feeling than the Anita Blake series.
The development of characters is done with excruciating detail which makes each of them all the more tangible. The terribly evil Queen, "Darkness" Doyle, and Frost are among some of the characters that one can get a real feeling for. There is a character for everyone in this series. Hamilton's vivid writing style and developmental nature never make a single moment dull or boring. The next book in line is eagerly anticipated. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the Anita Blake novels or who has a love of mythical lore.
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Princess Meredith is now an heir to the Unseelie Court--but will inherit only if she becomes pregnant and bears young. Given that the fair folk have become remarkably infertile lately, this isn't exactly a slam dunk despite Meredith's prodigious and kinky sexual appetites. When she is contacted by an exiled member of the Seelie Court, Meredith learns that there is a reason for the infertility that affects the lands of magic--a reason that the King of the Seelie Court will gladly kill--or worse--to prevent from becoming public.
Meredith is under attack both from her cousin and rival Cor in the Unseelie Court and from King Taranis of the Seelie Court. Her alliance with the Goblins is halfway toward its expiration and may expire a lot more quickly if Meredith doesn't take action to preserve it. Worse, the ancient and evil magics that have been suppressed by both Seelie and Unseelie Courts is once again awake and walking in the human world. For Meredith to survive long enough to have a chance at fertility, she must gather her alliances, make her bodyguards truly members of her court rather than rivals for power, and walk the tightrope between weakness and a lust for control.
Author Laurell K. Hamilton deepens the character of Meredith (who first appeared in her novel A KISS OF SHADOWS) as well as the complex political struggle between the humans, Seelie, Unseelie, Meredith, and the darker forces of magic. A CARESS OF TWILIGHT delivers plenty of the kinky sex that Hamilton novels are known for, but also reveals interesting and compelling characters.
Hamilton fans will be overjoyed at this fine novel. Although the enjoyment of TWILIGHT will be enhanced by reading SHADOWS, the novel stands on its own. Hamilton's writing style continues to mature and TWILIGHT is compelling and hard to put down.
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on June 2, 2002
This Book was great. I do agree it was not as jam packed full of action as I wanted (I am spoiled and will not ever find a series as good as her Anita Blake series.) but the sex part was wonderful. Laurell Hamillton is a fantanstic author and all of her books even the ones that are still in the developing stage are better then the normal author's books you just pick up. And as for other reviews so what if she writes about her fantasies we all wish we could and we all enjoy reading about them. As for her charecters being of her body size it is easier for her because as she told me at a signing where I meet Mrs. Hamillton it is easier to write about your body size because you can just stand up and see if certain moves are pysically possible or not. I also think it is about time we had some petite dark women instead of the tall blondes, I am a tall brunette and I still love the charecter of Merry and also Anita Blake they are not perfect women but no one is and I would rather see these strong characxters fighting for their lives and what they believe and being loved and adored than the other perfect princess types other authors dwell on. I love these books and I feel everyone is welcome to their own opinion but be sure to pick them up and read them for yourself and decide because if you don't you may miss some of the most exciting and erotic books out there.
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on April 17, 2002
I think people are being hard on Laurell,it seens to me lots of readers expect all of her books to be Anita likewise heroin but with another name.In this book she has created a world,another point of view,which I was waiting for.I get to see how the world of the fairies is and get into it.Merry is not the bad one with magical powers fighting the Anita Blake gang,she is her own character in her on world,with her own friends and problems.I wish I can see more preternatural heros and heroines in the future with their own stories.Not all preternatural and magical beings in Laurell K Hamilton's world can be bad,specialy if they are not friends of Anita Blake and company.I also hope that one day Laurell K Hamilton have a collection of characters with their own stories and that she relates them or incorporate some of them together in stories like Ann Rice do.
One tip for reading this book-read the first one in the series first "A Kiss Of Shadows" and you will be familiar with Merry and her world.Doing this will give you a better understanding of the story in "Caress Of Twilight"
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