FROM THE BOOKCOVER:Swallowing Darkness is the seventh chapter in the ongoing story of Princes Meredith Gentry of the Unseelie Court. Each novel in this series spans barely more than a day in Merry’s life and each is a continuation from the previous book, so the series is best read in order.
I am Meredith, princess of faerie, wielder of the hands of Flesh and Blood, and at long last, I am with child -- twins, fathered by my royal guard. Though my uncle, Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, claims that he is the true father since he abducted me from my home, betrayed, and defiled me. And now he has branded my guards as a threat to my unborn children.
Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my aunt’s throne, that much closer to my reign over the Unseelie Court -- and well ahead of her son, my cousin Cel, in this race. Now I must stay alive to see my children born and claim my place as queen.
But not all in faerie are pleased with the news, and conspirators from every court in the realm plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh, who will stand by me.
I am Meredith Nic Essus, and those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price -- for I am truly my father’s daughter. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything–even if it means waging a great battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie.
If one were to pick an over-riding theme for Merry’s actions and the events in Swallowing Darkness it would be the oath issued in the movie Network – “I’m as mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore!” In fact you might say that Merry is channelling a little bit of Anita Blake this time around as she decides to get tough and protect what is hers - two of Anita’s strongest character traits.
Merry comes to realize that she has enemies everywhere, not just Taranis and Cel and his cronies but previously unsuspected enemies in both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Swallowing Darkness is filled with conflict and confrontation as Merry takes the fight directly to the conspirators. This is a new emboldened Merry and a refreshing evolution for her character.
Although much attention is placed on the fathers of her twins who will be her future Kings, special attention is paid to Sholto, the Wild Hunt and the Sluagh. Acting as a conduit for the Goddess, Merry restores magic and weapons of great power thought lost to the Sluagh kingdom. The strength and role of the Sluagh is elevated to rival the power of the Seelie courts. You will be surprised with Merry’s new role in the kingdom as well.
Swallowing Darkness does an admirable job of resolving a number of major and minor outstanding story arcs from previous books. The story does contain Hamilton’s trademark erotica scenes, but they are entirely fitting and in fact somewhat reserved compared to previous books.
Of all the recent Meredith Gentry books, Swallowing Darkness concludes with the most satisfying ending with the fewest cliffhangers. It establishes an almost clean slate for Merry’s next adventure. Of course there is the whole thread of Merry’s pregnancy to be told, but the possibilities are left wide open. Swallowing Darkness is one of the strongest installments of the Meredith Gentry series and fans of Laurell K. Hamilton will not be disappointed.
Read an excerpt.
Random House Publishing Group
Meredith Gentry Series