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A Lick of Frost    by Laurell K. Hamilton order for
Lick of Frost
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Mistral's Kiss, the previous episode of this sensuous series starring half human Meredith Gentry - aka Unseelie Princess Meredith NicEssus - Merry and her immortal male harem of frustrated Sidhe lords loved and fought their way through Faerie, magically renewing and reinvigorating it in the process, and giving Merry a new and very useful ability to call on the Goddess.

As A Lick of Frost opens, Meredith is back in Los Angeles, defending three of her men from the Seelie King of Light and Illusion's accusation that they raped one of his noblewomen, Lady Caitrin. After King Taranis - 'absolute ruler of the Seelie Court for more than a thousand years' - uses his glamor in an attempt to draw his niece to him and then goes through a mad public meltdown in which he severely injures two of her bodyguards, he is restrained by his own nobles. The latter then secretly offer Merry the Seelie throne.

The story continues to explore Meredith's relationships with her bodyguards, as well as the usual ongoing hot and heavy liaisons in which they attempt to get her pregnant and thus assure their own roles in her life and power in the Unseelie Court. Andais, the sadistic Queen of Air and Darkness - whose son Prince Cel is in competition with Merry to beget a child and win the throne - continues to make her unpleasant presence felt. And Merry has made a promise to the goblin king that is past due.

This episode injects a major new momentum into the series storyline. One of Merry's beloved bodyguard is lost to her, while her own status significantly changes, as does that of the Seelie King. The Princess has a choice to make between light and darkness - which will it be? A Lick of Frost must not be missed by Hamilton's legion of fans.

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