A SHIVER OF LIGHT
Merry Gentry #9
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Berkley/Penguin June 3, 2014
Hardcover/E-book/Audio —384 pages
Galley provided by publisher for review purposes. No Remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because “Princess” looks so pretentious on a driver’s license. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but I wouldn’t be the only one for much longer…
Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have babies of their own.
Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. He’s using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the babies is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it.
To save herself and her babies from Taranis she will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie—while trying to keep the war from spreading to innocent humans in Los Angeles, who are in danger of becoming collateral damage. Penguin Website
I have been waiting so long for this book! These were some of the first books I downloaded with my first Kindle and finding Hamilton’s prose intoxicating I read and read until I ran out of books.
I have been hoping that a new Merry Gentry novel was coming out. I did despair for a while as several years went by, and I was over the moon when I got wind of this.
Once again, I was stunned by the sheer power of description Hamilton possesses — how she describes characters, sex, creatures, and even the logistics of the faerie equivalent of skyping. That was what first attracted me to this series. There are a few indulgent episodes that I felt took up too much paper for the degree of influence they had on the story. Once or twice I found the descriptions got a little long; for example that description of the logistics for speaking with her nasty Aunt Andais through the mirror feels like the description of a royal parade.
It’s possible I kept coming back to the series for the sexier parts of the story as well. Many people seemed to have a problem with the number of sexual partners Merry has. I never found it a problem, because it had a reason to start and then relationships formed, and it was so intense.
There might be a little revenge writing for those people who complained about the amount of sex in previous volumes happening, although people would certainly complain if Merry started having sex again inside that magical six-week period. Just Sayin’
The blurb says that all types of fae are flocking to Merry and the guys. What I really love is that faerie is also going to them, and the home of their hostess, Maeve Reed has developed the Tardis-like quality of being bigger on the outside than it would appear.
As always, Merry’s Men are stunning in in description, although I think it is outside the scope of my imagination to really visualize Doyle’s black skin or Frost’s elemental silver (not grey) hair.
Power: Merry struggles with her power, near deification and mortality. While the queen believes one rules with fear and ruthlessness Merry believes you don;t rule with those qualities but hold them in reserve depending on love and respect.
Paternity, fatherhood, fathering: These are vital to the story as they try to figure out who the fathers of the triplets are and what role each man has in the daily care of the babies, and in their upbringing. In addition, Merry is thinking about her father a lot, and discussing him with the Queen.
Magic and Faith: People claim to be believers in the Goddess and her Consort, but they don’t behave as if they accept that their magic flows from her. Proclaiming oneself a believer and then not accepting that power is returning in the way it is is a theme here as well.
The cast of characters is huge, and if you have a chance to reread a bit you might find it helpful since it’s been a while since the last one came out.. It’s definitely not the place to start the series. I could npt recall some of the characters and wish I had had the time needed to reread the series.
The upshot is was it worth the wait and did I like it? Yes and Yes. Hamilton’s fantasy is bigger than life and outrageous, her imagination is unrestrained, she writes with abandon and skill, her plots touch my heart and I love that Merry is unconventional and polyandrous.
This is one of my favorite series, I loved the story. I think it has some flaws particularly towards the end where I think Hamilton lost a thread or two. But for lovers of fine, very steamy, paranormal romance this is a must read series, so A SHIVER OF LIGHT was a must read for me. I’ve had this for several months and it’s actually been hell waiting to read it until now. I would actually buy this one if I had not received a galley.Laurell on Facebook At Penguin At Amazon At Amazon