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A Kiss of Shadows

by Laurell K. Hamilton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Meredith Gentry (1)

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5,035782,030 (3.76)46
Meredith, a runaway Elven princess posing as a human private detective with a specialty in supernatural crime, is confronted by a dangerous new adversary, Doyle, the chief bodyguard and assassin of Meredith's aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness.

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Synopsis: Princess Meredith NicEssus is working for the Grey Detective Agency under the assumed name of Meredith 'Merry' Gentry. When two women come to the agency with a story about fey-wannabes and rituals involving fey women, Merry goes undercover to investigate. However, she and her colleagues get more than they bargained for when it is discovered that the culprit is using Branwyn's Tears, an illegal oil that can make a human appear as a sidhe (pronounced 'shee') lover for a night, and turn even a sidhe or a sidhe-descendant into his sexual slave.
In the process of solving the case, Merry's secret is revealed, and she is hunted by the demonic Sluagh. Brought to see their King, Sholto, he offers Meredith a deal. Himself disapproved of by Andais, Queen of Air and Darkness, because of his mixed blood, he proposes an alliance between the two of them. Jealous at the idea of Merry becoming his lover, Sholto's harem of nighthags attack Merry. During the fight Merry's gift, the Hand of Flesh, is revealed when one of them, Nerys, turns into a ball of flesh.
Shocked, Merry tries to flee, but is trapped. Doyle, Captain of the Queen's Raven Guard, appears. He announces that the Queen never sent the Sluagh, and that in fact the Queen meant her no harm. As proof of this he produces the Queen's sword Mortal Dread, as well as the Queen's mark, which he transfers to Merry in a kiss.
Merry returns with Doyle to the Court. The Queen claims that she wants her bloodline to continue upon the throne. She is willing to take as her heir whichever of Meredith or her cousin, Cel, can first produce an heir. She lifts the geiss of celibacy upon her Ravens for Meredith alone, insisting that she choose at least three in order to increase the chance of pregnancy.
While this offer would permit Merry to end her self-imposed exile and return home, it also brings dangers. Cel, previously the sole heir, makes several attempts upon her life. Merry makes alliances with others such as Kurag, the Goblin King.
However, Cel was behind the Branwyn's Tears incident in LA. In punishment, he is to be confined for six months after being coated with the oil himself, something akin to torture.
Review: Really good first book. I was a bit confused about who some of the characters were and their relationships. ( )
  DrLed | Jan 28, 2022 |
his book Meh. Interesting premise, but this book seemed more like an introduction to the story. No real action in it, just a lot of exposition and the setup for lots of future sex in the next books in the series.

Other reviews I've read said this was the best book in the series. If that's true, then the rest of the series isn't for me. Hamilton seems to be into blood play. It makes sense in her vampire books about Anita Blake, but the fey?

I won't be reading more in this series. It just didn't grab me enough to want to find out more about the characters. ( )
  jezebellydancer | Oct 19, 2021 |
I am a big fan of Laurell K. Hamilton. I do prefer her Anita Blake series but her Merry Gentry series is quite good too. As usual, for her, it is a very well developed world with lots of violence. It can be a bit tricky to keep all the guys straight but in general I find the books to have far more positives than negatives. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
I'm 3/5 in and getting bored. I am not finding a strong thread to follow. I feel like I am constantly just being given unique characters & new unique situations. Like a porno where there just has to be some reason for the characters to start having sex. Or if I am given some magic rule or a name or a political issue, it's just given without anything else to hold it. I find myself thinking I'm sure "that is / they are" important, so then I take notes so I won't forget but there are too many things that I need to take notes for and I am getting sick of it.

She ends each chapter making me want to turn the page but I'm feeling like I don't want to spend time on multiple volumes of this story. It has so many ratings and still has 4 strong stars. Since I'm not enjoying it, it must not be my genre.

Now abandoned. I read thru some wiki pages. I'm done, I just don't care to continue. Don't usually rate abandoned books but I feel between what I read and what I researched I'm entitled. ( )
  Corinne2020 | Aug 21, 2021 |
not only have I read this series multiple times, but I legitimately own them all. comfort, porn, COMFORT PORN, etc, though still also genuinely terrible. ( )
  kickthebeat | Nov 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurell K. Hamiltonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Glasserman, DebbieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorman, SuzyAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hall, BarnabyCover photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For everyone who kept the old stories alive in small rooms and great houses, by firelight and electricity, for all who kept the faith and for those who just liked a good story.
First words
Twenty-three stories up and all I could see out the windows was grey smog.
Another small black spider crawled down his arm. He batted it away. Two more spiders crawled over his shoulders. He tried to touch the middle of his own back, and turned like a dog chasing its tail, and I saw his back. The skin had split open, and a wave of tiny black spiders poured out. (chapter 5)
The phrase elf-struck is used by the kind permission of Larry Hammer from an as of yet unpublished novel. Finish the book, Larry, I'd love to read the rest of it.
When Jefferson had invited the fey into this country, he'd also offered them land of their choice. They'd chosen the mounds at Cahokia. There are tales whispered on long winter nights about what lived in the mounds before we came. (chapter 25)
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Meredith, a runaway Elven princess posing as a human private detective with a specialty in supernatural crime, is confronted by a dangerous new adversary, Doyle, the chief bodyguard and assassin of Meredith's aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness.

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Average: (3.76)
0.5 6
1 41
1.5 11
2 90
2.5 17
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