BoatGirl’s #CBR4 Review #49: Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton
I first found the Laurell Hamilton books when I was visiting my big tough brother a number of years ago. Browsing a book shelf for something to read on the flight back, I pulled out A Kiss of Shadows and asked “What’s this?”
“Oh, that’s your brother’s fairy porn,” said my sister-in-law.
ORLY??????? Big tough guy reads fairy porn? I ended up borrowing all the books up to I think book 5, later mailing them to sister-in-law’s sister (odd package to receive from someone you’ve never met).
Swallowing Darkness is book 7 of the Meredith Gentry series. Meredith “Merry” Gentry is a fairy princess, but not the Disney type. This is not, repeat, not a children’s book. The basic storyline is that Merry is mortal, so has always been unwanted by many of her royal fairy relatives (aunt the Queen of the Unseelie Sidth and uncle the King of the Seelie Sidth). However, as fairie’s power has degenerated over the years, the Queen has become somewhat desperate and when it became clear that Merry may be the way to revive the magic, the Queen offered her a chance to inherit the throne if she has children by one of the Unseelie Sidth court guards. That leads to tons and tons of sex with all sorts of odd fellows while different fairyfolk try to kill her. OK, that brings us to book 7. With the start of Book 7, Merry is pregnant with twins, and in one of those odd coincidences that happens in fairie, each of the twins has 3 fathers so Merry has a total of 6 consorts (although only 5 are around, as one of her favorites, Frost, became a white stag during book 6 and will have to remain that way for at least 100 years). Based on the agreement with the Queen, she should now ascend the throne.
While in an LA hospital recovering from a rape (by her evil Uncle the King of the Seelie), Merry’s grandmother is sent to kill her via a spell. So even far from fairie Merry isn’t safe, there are just too many factions vying for power. Merry calls down the Wild Hunt to avenge her grandmother and returns to fairie to kill the one who caused the problem. But then, she finds herself once again in fairie and being crowned queen, which causes various factions to try to kidnap her to “protect” her.
Merry decides the smart thing to do is get out of Dodge by calling in the US military to help. See, fairie is allowed to stay in the US as long as they don’t go to war against each other anymore. So a US escort out of fairie should be safe, but the bad guys don’t always think straight.
Merry has to play each side off each other while trying to protect the innocent and channel the goddess. Meanwhile, she has lots of sex with Sholto, one of her consorts who has all these tentacles springing from his abdomen. The sex is tentacular. When not having mad sex on a hill in a fairy garden, they all wear fabulous clothes.
Great literature – no.
Fun read – absolutely.
Children’s book – depends on the chi … absolutely not.