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HALL OF FAMEon November 2, 2007
I picked up "A Lick of Frost" with a sense of trepidation. By the time you get to this sixth volume in Laurell K. Hamilton's series of Meredith Gentry novels you cannot look at the title and not be flipping a mental coin as to whether the title means our faerie princess is the giver or the receiver of certain administrations from Frost, the Raven who is second in command of Merry's personal guard. Something significant does happen to the Killing Frost in this novel, but what is important is that he is not the only one to whom something significant happens this time around. My other fear was that since "A Lick of Frost" is only a 274-page book that there were simply not enough pages for much to happen, especially given how often Meredith, Princess of Flesh and Blood, has to have sex each day in her attempt to become pregnant and win the race to sit on the throne of the Unseelie Court. I am pleasantly surprised to discover that I was wrong and that this book is much more about power politics than it is sexual gratification.

In the previous book, "Mistral's Kiss," the interactions of Meredith and Mistral, the Master of Winds, the Bringer of Storms, and another of the queen's Ravens, brought magic back to the land of faerie. This is great news, but of course it only worsens the temperament of Andais, Queen of Air and Darkness, Merry's aunt and the mother of the degenerate Cel. However, in "A Lick of Frost" it is Merry's great-uncle Taranis, King of Light and Illusion who rules the Seelie court, who presents the more immediate problem. Taranis has charged three of Merry's royal bodyguards with having raped one of his court's women. Taranis has gone outside of faerie law and to the humans for justice, a move that is troubling because the sidhe do not lie and Merry's men are innocent, but also because nobody can figure out what Taranis is up to with this strange ploy. But that is what power politics is like amongst the people of faerie. We assume that in the "end" of this saga Merry is going to become Queen, and regardless of whether or not that will indeed prove to be how this plays out, there should be a point where the princess is going to have to finally stand up and go magic-el-magic with Andais, Taranis, or both. That point is not in the book, but Hamilton certainly sets it up by the end of this one, which certainly has me looking forward to the next volume already.

It might be unorthodox and certainly there will be those who will cry foul over the way Hamilton comes up with to have Merry trump her opponents, but I teach Greek mythology and if it is good enough for Leda then it is good enough for Meredith NicEssus. Hamilton's fans have to admit that having your consort decided by the luck of the ovum is radically different from forcing Anita Blake to get off the fence in making a decision about her own love life. But the Meredith Gentry series has another advantage in that we have known from the start what the prize is at the end of the rainbow, whereas with Anita Blake the escalating powers do not have an obvious point of culmination. Originally I liked Hamilton's novels for the horror, but in both series the emphasis has changed to sex and politics, which is certainly not the order of my preference. We know that power corrupts, but I wonder what the corollary for that dictum is when it comes to making rulers stupid, because Taranis and Andais are running neck and neck in that department. At least Andais is resisting the urge to go the Emperor Tiberius route and retroactively make your sadistic excesses look good by installing a worst debaucher on the throne to follow you (Cel as the Caligula of faerie makes perfect sense to me). "A Lick of Frost" might come down to the conflict between Merry and Taranis, but we all know that it is Andais who is the ultimate obstacle, and that the Queen of Air and Darkness is not going to give up without a sea of blood, an eventually that promises more horror than sex to my mind.
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on September 27, 2007
I just got done reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, and was offered a copy of A Lick Of Frost. The story goes something like this: Prince Cel is freed from his imprisonment so Princess Merry Gentry and her retinue (bodyguards and lovers) travel to Los Angeles to escape her insane cousin's assassination attempts. Cel wants Merry dead to insure she never gets pregnant because if she does she becomes the heir to the throne of the Unseelie Court currently ruled by the sadistic Queen Andais.

At present Merry is at her lawyer's office dealing with the authorities who consider pressing charges against three of her guards for rape against a member of the Seelie Court. Merry's Uncle Taranis, King of Light and Illusion of the Seelie Court, made the accusation that his niece believes are false; instead she thinks there is a method to his madness that she just ahs not figured out yet. When things do not go according to his plan, Taranis becomes irate and tries a more direct approach on Merry. Meanwhile members of the Seelie Court offer her his throne. With Cel, Andais, and Taranis aiming at her, Merry finds Los Angeles as unsafe as the Unseelie Court. If you missed Tino Georgiou's novel--The Fates, I'd recommend reading that instead.
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on February 6, 2013
It was a good book. I don't read erotica which is what this series is so I skipped all of that nonsense and was still able to enjoy the book (I am a guy and I don't like reading the erotica from a woman's point of view). I like the Meredith Gentry series.
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