Monday, January 15, 2018

A Caress of Twilight - Laurell K. Hamilton

A Caress of Twilight - Laurell K. HamiltonA Caress of Twilight (Merry Gentry #2)
Laurell K. Hamilton
Ballantine Books
Copyright: 2003

The product description:
“I am Princess Meredith, heir to a throne—if I can stay alive long enough to claim it.” After eluding relentless assassination attempts by Prince Cel, her cousin and rival for the Faerie crown, Meredith Gentry, Los Angeles private eye, has a whole new set of problems. To become queen, she must bear a child before Cel can father one of his own. But havoc lies on the horizon: people are dying in mysterious, frightening ways, and suddenly the very existence of the place known as Faerie is at grave risk. So now, while she enjoys the greatest pleasures of her life attempting to conceive a baby with the warriors of her royal guard, she must fend off an ancient evil that could destroy the very fabric of reality. And that’s just her day job. . . .
After finishing my read-through of A Kiss of Shadows the other day, I rolled right into A Caress of Twilight, ending up finishing this one in just over a day as well. Currently I'm well into the third book in the series, Seduced By Moonlight, with books four through seven waiting on my Kobo.

On this one I found myself comparing main characters - mostly Merry Gentry - to the lead characters in some other urban fantasy novels I've been reading lately: the Anita Blake books, Mercy Thompson from Patricia Brigg's books and to some of the female leads I remember from a few different paranormal romance novels. Of course, the one she's the most like is Anita Blake - it makes a lot of sense as both characters are written by the same author. And yet, in some ways the world Merry Gentry lives in feels closer to that of the Mercy Thompson books than the world Anita Blake lives in - probably the wider presence of the Faerie world.

The other things I kept thinking about as I was reading A Caress of Twilight were about how much the need for secrecy can change the story-plots. In most urban fantasy novels/series the supernatural is either completely secret or sometimes partly known about, but public knowledge is still a newer thing. The Merry Gentry novels are really the first series I've seen where it seems that the supernatural side of the story has been publicly known about from the distant past, and it's interesting how that knowledge changes the whole fabric of the story. Trust/distrust, politics (current and past) along with treaties, again current and past all shape the world the characters move through. However, much of the human politics is at a very very background level. Most of the politicking going on in these books - at least in these first ones - is inter-fey, and the lengths they'll go to can be quite shocking.

I'm also enjoying watching Merry figure things out about herself, her past, those around her and her ever-varying relationships - something I've grown rather used to from Laurell K. Hamilton is the variety of relationships her characters engage in - and what they're willing to do at need. However, I suspect that this aspect of her books is not for everybody.

Definitely though, I recommend reading A Kiss of Shadows before reading A Caress of Twilight or any of the later books in this series - the background knowledge is more or less a requirement.

Any book I've bought more than once has to be at the very least a decent read - and this is my second purchase of A Caress of Twilight. I last read it back when the book first came out. Long enough ago now that the read was almost as though I'd never read it before.


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