REVIEW: Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:00
Posted in category Review

Book CoverGwen’s review of Swallowing Darkness (Meredith Gentry, Book 7) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Fantasy fiction released by Ballantine Books 4 Nov 08

The Meredith Gentry novels resonate with me on several levels: they’re fantasy novels, they have lots of action and suspense , they’ve got some good sex (sometimes a LOT of good sex), and they’re almost always interesting stories.  That’s not t say that some aren’t stronger entries than others, but they’re all interesting on some level.  This was one of the more interesting ones, if not necessarily the best.  Read on to find out why I think so… 

To begin with, I’m writing this review to those of you already following this series and who are already familiar with the characters.  If you are not and don’t know them, this AIN’T the book (or review) for you. The Meredith “Merry” Gentry world is a twisted, convoluted one full of frenemies, factions, and subplots that would be nearly impossible to unravel if you jump in to the middle of the series.  I don’t recommend doing that and I don’t recommend this book as your first foray.  Start at the beginning and be glad you heeded my advice.

This entry in the series opens with Merry acknowledging she’s pregnant with twins and the babies have three daddies EACH.  Based on what Queen Andais has promised Merry and her guards, anyone who got Merry preggers gets to be King.  Hence the reason for all the boinking in previous books.  This means that Merry’s Queen will have six Kings.  You can imagine the consternation this causes in almost all of the Courts of Faerie, including the Light, Dark, etc.  Some Courts are more accepting than others (Sluaugh) and some are downright pathologically incapable of acknowledging that they had no say-so in the whole process.

This leads to a LOT of assassination and kidnapping attempts, causing the “deaths” of various members of Merry’s entourage and other supernatural occurrences. And very little boinking.  I KNOW!  GASP! An LKH novel with only one or two sexed up situations!

As a fan of the series, I enjoyed this entry as being one of the more “story-like” entries.  I think Merry comes into her own in this entry and starts acting more royal and less “scared little girl” than in the other books.  I think her character can see the finish line to her travails on the horizon.  By the end of the book, Merry thinks she’s living her HEA, but we know better.  There’s still at least two more Merry books on the horizon and she hasn’t had her babies yet.  I have a feeling that these babies will be forces to contend with on their own and that we’re in for a very interesting ending to this series.

I can recommend this book to any fan of the series and fan of LKH.  If you’re new to the series, and like fantasy with some edge, don’t start here but do start.  You’ll like it (some more than others).

faye.jpgGrade: A

For more reviews and information, follow the Meredith Gentry series tag.

Summary:

I am Meredith, princess of faerie, wielder of the hands of Flesh and Blood, and at long last, I am with child – twins, fathered by my royal guard. Though my uncle, Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, claims that he is the true father since he abducted me from my home, betrayed, and defiled me. And now he has branded my guards as a threat to my unborn children.

Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my aunt’s throne, that much closer to my reign over the Unseelie Court – and well ahead of her son, my cousin Cel, in this race. Now I must stay alive to see my children born and claim my place as queen.

But not all in faerie are pleased with the news, and conspirators from every court in the realm plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh, who will stand by me.

I am Meredith Nic Essus, and those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price – for I am truly my father’s daughter. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything-even if it means waging a great battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in the series (links are to mass market paperbacks, where available):

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