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Narcissus in Chains    by Laurell K. Hamilton order for
Narcissus in Chains
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2001 (2001)
Hardcover, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

This is the tenth novel in the Anita Blake, vampire hunter series, and the vampires, shape shifters, sadism and sex just keep on a'coming, bigger and better then ever. Anita has been celibate for six months, trying to decide between her two lovers, the vampire Jean-Claude, Master of the City, and the werewolf Richard.

Unfortunately, Anita has become the temporary alpha of a band of were-leopards after killing their previous leader, and in the process of rescuing one of her band from torture she is forced to marry the marks of vampire and werewolf, linking her intimately with Jean-Claude and Richard. Then she is accidentally almost killed by one of her were-leopards, which appears to have converted her into a were-leopard herself. Just one of the unhappy consequences of this is the ardeur, an insatiable lust for blood and / or sex, which results in her having intercourse with Micah, the alpha or Nimir-Raj of another band of leopards, and later in even further complications in an already over-complicated love life.

As usual, there is plenty of action, which with the detailed and graphic descriptions of sex, violence and torture keep a tight hold on the reader's attention. However, the proliferation of were-creatures and strange powers seems unnecessarily complicating, and, regrettably, even sex and violence can get boring.

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