A Kiss of Shadows - Laurell K. Hamilton It's hard not to compare the Anita Blake Series with the Merry Gentry Series. Not and do the review justice. It is indeed true that Merry doesn't have the aggressive edge and judo background as Anita, but she does keep her own gun and two knives when it comes to the court.
After three years of being free of the court, of the Queen of Air and Darkness, her aunt, and the narrowly escaped assassination attempts by the Queen's son, her cousin, Prince Cel; Princess Meredith, Daughter of Esuss, has finally been discovered in the Los Angeles region after a strange undercover job to uncover an illegal case of Branwyn's Tears--what I call hormone-induced oil, yes that type of oil. After trying to strike a bargain with Merry, Sholto, the queen's top go-to guy for little sidhe who do bad deeds, and his otherworldly crew catch a glimpse of the hand of power Merry acquires in a middle of a fight. Who knew that her hand of power would be inherited from her deceased father? And just in time to discover that Merry has a couple more surprises in store that even she didn't know about...But, of course, the queen saw it coming, even as she is trying to purposely ignore her son's attempts on Merry's life. Will the queen truly step down from the throne that has been hers and hers alone for more than a millennium? Will Prince Cel succeed in his indirect assassinations toward the princess or will he finally try get the punishment he deserves?
Throughout most of A Kiss of Shadows, I thought it went very smoothly, as if in the beginning and middle, one scene just flowed into another, and had some tales that just regaled me mercilessly. Though, it was the end scenes and the spaced-out details that discouraged me from continuing on with this particular series, really just reminds me of a different version of Anita, if that's possible. In other words, if you haven't read anything of this author's active imagination--and it is active, indeed--I would recommend A Kiss of Shadows to start off something new; beware of some erotic events and the choppy scenes concluding towards the end.

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