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5.0 out of 5 stars Please let me become a Fey Princess
This was my first experience with anything by Laurell K. Hamilton. I got this unabridged audio version from my library and before I was finished with it I was online buying my own copy. Many reviews have told of the Story, so I won't add much of that. This book was a very big change from what I was normally used to. If you come out of this book shocked that it was...
Published on Dec 9 2003 by Scarletaka

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great start before the hormones took over
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.
Published on June 1 2002 by Valerie Caputa


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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
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 (Copenhagen V, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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
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
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. This book is as sexually charged as the latter entries in the Anita series so take that as a caveat emptor if this really, really turned you off. I didn't find it as squirm-worthy though (is that a word?), probably for the reasons I've already described. The pain element and the goblin (don't ask) did however catch me a bit off guard.
Hamilton is still a genius with blending her magical world with ours but the first entry in the series is largely about fey interactions exclusively. The writing is fast-paced and enjoyable. Hamilton is no Steinbeck but she knows how to keep you involved. If you shun fantasy because you feel silly reading about unicorns and elves, this series will definitely appeal. I'm not sure if Hamilton created fantasy noir but she is it's most visible purveyor. I've already got book two which I plan to begin-whaddaya know-as soon as I end this review.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Little Lackluster and Disappointing, May 6 2004
By 
N. B. Nieto "Page-turning thrill seeker" (Arlington, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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. In the first few chapters, it just felt WAY too similar to the Anita Blake series, both in style and characterization. Which is fine, if you are a fan to begin with, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. But I quickly realized that what kept me intrigued in the Anita Blake books was the driving force of the mystery-based plot. I felt that was very much lacking in this book, as the mystery of Alistair Norton was quickly resolved 1/4 of the way in. The court intrigue could've been more interesting, but instead just ended up as 4 or 5 rapid-fire assassination attempts without even the slightest break for Merry. Ms. Hamilton's substitution of physical description and clothing for real character development is extremely frustrating as well.
I have no problem with the overtly erotic, and at times, kinky nature of the multiple encounters Merry has, but they would be best served with more tightly-drawn characters, backstory, and a stronger driving plot or intrigue.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Like Anita Blake Series, But Still an Addiction, May 4 2004
By 
Bekka (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
(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. After reading about how something "made things tighten low in my body" for the thousandth time in both series, I wondered if Ms. Hamilton simply cuts and pastes from other books. There are also many, many similarities between the characters: Frost/Asher both peek out from a long sweep of blond hair and are emotionally damaged (like Blake, Gentry refers to "shoveling his emotional s---"). Nicca/Nathaniel have "a curtain of shining brown hair" and are submissive. Doyle/Jean Claude are wise, older immortal men who advise our heroine what to do at every turn. Andais/Belle Morte are both evil, immortal queens who enjoy torture and seem to lay around in piles of naked men who will die of either exhaustion or being banished from their beds, as both Frost/Asher have been. Anita/Merry are involved in the investigation of supernatural events and work with local police. They're both petite, don't realize their own beauty, and carry guns and knives. Even the sex is similar: Anita/Merry seldom engage in romance or foreplay with their men -- it's usually rough and over in a matter of minutes.
That all said, I've obviously read quite a few of the books! 5 total. Despite the similarites, the books are entertaining and fun to read. The books take you to another world full of gorgeous men and butt-kicking women, which I utltimately find hard to resist.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasurable, a little too pleasurable, Feb. 14 2004
By 
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 who's part human and whose family just happens to want to kill her. Then everything changes. Her aunt, the queen of air and darkness, wants her back at court. She offers Merry the chance to claim the throne if she, Merry, can get pregnant with a child before the queen's wicked son, Prince Cel, can create his own heir. Merry sets out to do so, dodging assassination attempts and getting down and dirty with some of the most beautiful immortal men in the world, in the hopes of conceiving a child.
That's about it for the story. Hamilton takes a decided break from her Anita Blake series here. Merry is more feminine, more helpless, although still decidedly clever and brave. Merry also has fewer problems with sex, and rather strange, aggressive sex at that. Reading about the faerie courts and the goblin army, you can see that Hamilton's imagination is working hard and having a great time.
There are two major problems. First, the sex is gratuitous. It's not WRONG, or BAD, or UGLY, but simply unnecessary. There's too much of it too often, and it becomes almost absurd after a while.
Secondly, Hamilton spends as much time explaining about what's going on as she does showing the action. Obviously, this is a political situation, and that makes it tricky. It's a world where the slightest glance can have many meanings, and that's fine. But the description and explanation go on for pages. We do need to understand what's going on, but Hamilton has never been good with subtle explanation. She likes to lay it flat out for us, taking up ten pages to explain why someone shouldn't have lifted their arm at that moment or something, and it gets tedious. She has the same problem in her Anita Blake books, except there it's because the arguments go on forever. It's like a traffic jam you think you're out of, but then you're not. (OK, just a minute, let them fight about her having a gun, ah here's an opening, let's go let's go AH CHRIST now they're arguing about where to PUT the gun, come on, come on.)
Despite its flaws, this book is an often engaging and interesting read. The opulent descriptions of the surroundings are quite beautiful, and it's all meant to be fun, which it really is. It had its problems, but I liked it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars mind in the gutter, style in the clouds, Feb. 13 2004
By A Customer
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. I just set down A kiss of Shadows and am, well, dissapointed. Merry Gentry is actually a faerie princess who, for the past three years, has been hiding from her aunt the Queen and her cousin's repeated attempts on her life. Though third in line to the throne, Merry is not pure sidhe, almost without magic, and worst of all: mortal. These things always prevented her from being safe enough to remain at court and so she has ended up working as a P.I. in L.A. under an assumed name. A case comes in which requires her to do some undercover work, in the course of which her identity is revealed and now she is fetched home to the Unseelie court and her Aunt, the Queen, who has some very definite plans for her. The Queen is desperate to continue her bloodline and has decided that whoever produces offspring first, Merry or her cousin, will hold the throne. Now, the plot (when there is one) has much going for it. It is fresh, imaginative, the characters unusual, the descriptions vibrant, and the personalities individual. However, the personalities never really flesh out because they all spend so much time having sex, and half the time it's Merry just giving out some pity sex to whoever is closest. The best way to describe it is to compare it to a fashion mag that consists almost entirely of advertising, so that it's hard to find the articles. In this book, you are sifting through the sex to find the story. However, I gave three stars because the story IS good, and interesting enough that I will read the next one. Hamilton has so much flair that her writing is almost impossible to resist. So, if you want a world that is brand new and so very different from what you've read before, and don't mind gratuitous sex scenes, then I encourage you to introduce yourself the wiles and wonders of A Kiss of Shadows. Now if you want deeper characters that you can really care about and can't wait to get back to, I insist you try the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please let me become a Fey Princess, Dec 9 2003
This was my first experience with anything by Laurell K. Hamilton. I got this unabridged audio version from my library and before I was finished with it I was online buying my own copy. Many reviews have told of the Story, so I won't add much of that. This book was a very big change from what I was normally used to. If you come out of this book shocked that it was sexual I have to ask what planet did you come from? This book was very graphic, no closed bedroom doors or waking up feeling glorious and fabulous. Laurell K. Hamilton goes into this mystery/detective/erotic story with an open dialogue about the fact that the Fey are very open with their nudity and sex. In no way did I ever find that I was misled with this book. It was erotic and yet the story line of Merry trying to discover who is ultimately trying to kill her is well written and thought out. The characters are all amazing. Merry of course is this gorgeous beautiful thing but an outcast of her family even though by all rights she is a Princess. Her cast of Merry men are a variety of beautiful, tortured souls who are trying to keep their friendships or relationships with Merry without upsetting their Queen her Aunt, another beautiful but sadistic monarch over her people. We are allowed looks into what really could be things that actual Royalty are concerned with which is gaining the throne and the lengths some people will goal to gain power. Queen Andais is a horrible sadist, but we are allowed a glimpse of her concern for the life of her son. Laurell K. Hamilton made me actually care about the villians of the story. Unlike many my two favorites of this story are Sholto the King who would be one of the chosen if he'd not been born with what the court considered an abomination a set of tentacle like arms that start below his chest. He's a tortured soul that I was hoping could find what he was seeking to be loved by another Fey. Then there is Cel the Prince (Queen Andais's son)the spoiled and sadistic bad guy he was so evil I liked him:) There is a man for everyone in a variety like a pile of snow flakes no two are alike. :) I enjoy this book and have read it and listened to the audio at least 10 or 12 times. This book is definitely an aquired taste. Me, I loved it. Laurell K. Hamilton never ceases to amaze me and I eagerly await the 3rd in this series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars review of unabridged audiobook version, Oct. 6 2003
By 
WARNING: This book has extreme sexual situations that go into very explicit detail. Pornographic writing is contained within this story and may be offensive to some readers.
STORY: Meredith, the Elven American Princess of the fairy kingdom has been in hiding for the last three years. Now her cover is blown while investigating a case as a private detective. Everyone is after her to either return and claim her birthright to the throne of fairies or to be killed so she doesn't.
MY FEEDBACK:
1) SETTING: As with her Anita Blake series, the author creates an alternate Earth where supernatural beings coexist with humans. The fairy folk and other beings are accepted and given rights, though there are paparazzi that follow the fairy royals around trying to capture the latest scandal or secret. The environment is interesting and adds to the magic of the story.
2) CHARACTERS: The story is filled with the expected characters necessary to make this a fantasy-romance. Chiseled manly bodies, woman of beauty and intelligence and characters willing to do whatever for sex. Meredith is another strong female character as is her vampire hunter Anita Blake. But unlike Anita, Meredith, is very insecure in her abilities, mostly because she doesn't believe she has any. We see her grown in confidence and power as the story goes which keeps a integral part of the story interesting.
3) STORY: My main complaint is that the book starts off as a good mystery but ends up anti-climatical. It is as if the author didn't know how to end the story so she just leaves off at a so-so part in the lives of these characters. The author at least spends several pages in summarizing where everyone is, what the "final" outcome is to each character, and leaves it so that she can write a sequel. I felt a bit cheated. Otherwise, the setting and characters carried the story more for me than the plot...whereas her Anita Blake book, Guilty Pleasures, had a nice mystery that was deftly handled. I wish she could have done something like that here.
4) CONTENT: As mentioned this book contains rated-X sex scenes. There is some but very little profanity. The violence gets pretty gory and may be tough on some readers.
5) AUDIOBOOK READER - this unabridged book is read by Laural Merlington. The reader does a fine job of different voice for different characters, which is needed with this book. The reader's voice is entertaining, clear and well acted. Nice job!
OVERALL: I like this author, though this isn't a great example of her writing in my opinion (then again I've only read two of her books). If it wasn't for the overt sex (not found in Guilty Pleasures book, regardless of what the title brings to mind) and the somewhat weak storyline I would have rated this higher. In other words, you can take this book or leave it depending on your opinion on the explicit content you'll definitely find.
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A Kiss of Shadows
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton (Audio Cassette - Nov. 1 2000)
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