Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mistral's Kiss - Laurell K. Hamilton

Mistral's Kiss - Laurell K. HamiltonMistral's Kiss (Merry Gentry #5)
Laurell K. Hamilton
Ballantine Books
Copyright: 2006

The product description:
I am Princess Meredith, heir to a throne of faerie. My day job, once upon a time, was as a private detective in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, princess has now become a full-time occupation.

My aunt, Queen Andais, will have it no other way. And so I am virtually a prisoner in faerie–trapped here with some of the realm’s most beautiful men to serve as my bodyguards . . . and my lovers. For I am compelled to conceive a child: an heir to succeed me on the throne. Yet after months of amazing sex with my consorts, there is still no baby. And no baby means no throne. The only certainty is death at the hands of my cousin Cel, or his followers, if I fail to conceive.

Now Mistral, Queen Andais’s new captain of the guard, has come to my bed–defying her and risking her terrible wrath in doing so. But even she will hesitate to punish him in jealous rage, because our joining has reawakened old magic, mystical power so ancient that no one stands against it and survives. Not even my strongest and most favored: my Darkness and my Killing Frost. Not even Mistral himself, my Storm Lord. But because Mistral has helped to bring this magic forth, he may live another day.

If I can reclaim control of the fey power that once was, there may be hope for me and my reign in faerie. I might yet quell the dark schemes and subterfuges surrounding me. Though shadows of obsession and conspiracy gather, I may survive.
Mistral's Kiss is the sequel to A Stroke of Midnight and is the fifth book in the Merry Gentry series. This one I remember reading before, back when it first came out. However, I don't remember much about it from that time other than my annoyance at how short the book was. When all the previous books were at around 400 pages or more each, and this one finishes up in only 330 (according to Amazon), it's quite noticeable! I also remember it being a very quick read (in that I was able to finish reading it in a couple of times waiting at the bookstore).

This time, I was reading Mistral's Kiss on my Kobo - and yes, I still found the book to be much shorter than the previous books. That's actually one of my frustrations with a few series - consistent book lengths, then the author starts sneaking in novellas (at the same price as the regular books), either as shorter books with the same size font or what looks to be regular length books but padded with large line-spacing, font-size and margins. I don't know if it's just me that feels cheated when I get a book and it turns out to be much shorter than it originally looked, but I do.

As I noted in my post on A Stroke of Midnight, very little time actually passes within this book. In fact, I think it's still the same day that was the subject of the last book! On the other hand, we do see more of the goblins and the Sluagh, and we learn a bit more about how magic works in this world. Also, this was another book that kept me turning the pages until the last page of the book.

Again, I noted in the previous book the quantity of sex to be found in the latest Merry Gentry books. That is a theme that holds true in this one as well. On the other hand, anyone surprised at the amount of sex needs to take another look at the end goal for these books (or at least one of the end goals) - which is for Merry to be pregnant. The only way for that to happen is via intercourse. Still, it seems like the major subject of the last two books has been sex.

I've noted in previous reviews the way the open existence of something like Faerie can impact the world's history - and we get some more hints at that in Mistral's Kiss - something I found to be quite fascinating.

No vampires, werewolves or other werecreatures that I'm aware of in this world - just Faerie (in all it's variations) and human psychics/magicians. It's one of the things that makes the world of Merry Gentry quite unique in my reading experience. The other is how widely known/unhidden the world of magic is. One of the main plot-points I know of in most urban fantasy novels is the need for secrecy, if not for all of the supernatural/magical elements, at least for some of them in varying amounts.

Overall, I'm definitely enjoying reading this series. I just hope the books get longer again.

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