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A Kiss of Shadows    by Laurell K. Hamilton order for
Kiss of Shadows
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2000 (2000)
Hardcover, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

Princess Meredith NicEssus, niece of the Queen of Air and Darkness, has fled from the Unseelie Court to save her life and is working, under the name of Meredith Gentry, as a private investigator in California, until she goes undercover to track down a case of illegal magic. She is first nearly raped, next nearly killed and finally has her real identity disclosed. After several more near rapes (or near seductions) by various members of the Unseelie Court (some with most peculiar endowments) she is finally brought back before the Queen.

Here she learns that she has a choice; either to be made joint heir to the throne with the Queen's son, a particularly nasty villain, or be tortured to death, one of the Queen's minor pleasures of the bedroom. It turns out that as a condition of being made heir, she must have sex with the members of the Queen's bodyguard (not all at the same time since there are about thirty of them) and this promises to be quite a chore, since the Queen has forced them to remain celibate for the last thousand years or so. However, Meredith is undeterred, and sets to zealously.

If you enjoy magical tales of the Sidhe, with plenty of action, sex and adventure, with a heroine who will stop at nothing, and I mean nothing, don't start reading this novel unless you have time to finish it. I guarantee you won't be able to put it down.

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