A Lick of Frost: a novel

By Laurell K. Hamilton

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ballantine Books, 2007

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, horror, mystery, occult fiction, erotic fiction

Series: Meredith Gentry series; 6

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 274

Setting: Los Angeles, CA and the Seelie Court

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: The story begins with a meeting of various attorneys; about one month has passed since the previous book ended.  Three of Merry’s guard have been accused by Taranis, the king of the Seelie Court, of raping a Sidhe female, only Merry knows her men are innocent.  Taranis has involved the US government in this case.  For a Sidhe to lie means risking exile from Faery forever.  However, Merry and her men already know that Taranis has lied to his own people.  What they need to prove now is his capacity to lie to those beyond his own court.  They also need to discover the King of Light and Illusion’s reasons for conjuring and pursuing this particular lie.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: This book has a much slower pace than its predecessors.  And for a real change of pace – there are no sex scenes until more than halfway through the book.

Characterization: Told in first person through Merry’s eyes.  Some secondary characters reveal much more of themselves than previously (Rhys, Taranis), while others (Queen Andais) revert to comfortable roles.

Frame: The story may be set in sunny Southern California, but most of the scenes are indoors – meeting rooms, hospitals, Maeve’s mansion.  Dim interiors do nothing to protect one from the King of Light, however, who shines his light upon Merry in a most distressing way.

Story line: A convoluted story which twists in many interesting ways.  This is a pivitol book for the series and it will be interesting to see how the story moves from here.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

Gentry, Meredith (Fictitious character) — Fiction

Women private investigators — Fiction.

Supernatural — Fiction.

Fairies — Fiction.

Fantasy fiction.

ISBNs: 9780345495907, 034549590X

Similar authors: (From NoveList) Charlane Harris, Alan F. Troop, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Butcher

Personal notes: Finally, Merry is pregnant!  I wonder what this will mean for Mistral, not to mention all of Merry’s men who aren’t fathers.  I’m curious as to how Laurell K. Hamilton has her books plotted out.  Does she know the whole story for each book well in advance?  I’m sure Frost will return before the series ends, but I’m curious about what happened to the killer from two books ago.  I guess the one guy who confessed to the crime is stuck with it, even though it seemed like there was a different killer.  But the DNA results haven’t been mentioned and they should have been by now if they haven’t been completely forgotten about.  Perhaps she is saving them for the next book.

[Annotated 5/5/09]

Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – female leaders.

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