Friday, September 25, 2015

A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton

A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton
2005, Ballantine Books
Series: Book 4 of Merry Gentry

Synopsis:  I am Meredith Gentry, P.I., solving cases in Los Angeles, far from the peril and deception of my real home–because I am also Princess Meredith, heir to the darkest throne faerie has to offer. The Unseelie Court infuses me with its power. But at what price does such magic come? How much of my human side will I have to give up, and how much of the sinister side of faerie will I have to embrace? To sit on a throne that has ruled through bloodshed and violence for centuries, I might have to become that which I dread the most.

Enemies watch my every move. My cousin Cel strives to have me killed even now from his prison cell. But not all the assassination attempts are his. Some Unseelie nobles have waited centuries for my aunt Andais, Queen of Air and Darkness, to become weak enough that she might be toppled from her throne. Enemies unforeseen move against us–enemies who would murder the least among us.

The threat will drive us to allow human police into faerie for the first time in our history. I need my allies now more than ever, especially since fate will lead me into the arm of Mistral, Master of Storms, the queen’s new captain of her guard. Our passion will reawaken powers long forgotten among the warriors of the sidhe. Pain and pleasure await me–and danger, as well, for some at that court seek only death.

I will find new joys with the butterfly-winged demi-fey. My guards and I will show all of faerie that violence and sex are as popular among the sidhe as they are among the lesser fey of our court. The Darkness will weep, and Frost will comfort him. The gentlest of my guards will find new strength and break my heart. Passions undreamed of await us–and my enemies gather, for the future of both courts of faerie begins to unravel.

The Good: Merry and her men continue to be awesome, navigating the deadly political situation they've been thrust into. A murder mystery in the Slithen mixes the world of magic and faerie with the human forensics. I love how everything Merry says or does changes the whole of faerie. Her every action seems to push the plot into a new direction. You never know what the magic may do.

The Bad: The book moves at a quick pace the entire time, except when things get sexy. Those scenes seem to go on at a snails pace. Which makes very little sense since Merry is usually in the middle of a time-sensitive perilous situation when the clothes start coming off. All of this is important to the overall plot of the series, but it would be nice if the pace was balanced throughout.

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