This seventh installment in the Meredith Gentry series keeps up the same fast and frenetic pace as its predecessors. I will do my best to review without major spoilers to the series, but be forewarned that this series really must be read in order, or the books will make very little sense.
The basic premise is that the presence of faeries is an acknowledged fact to the rest of the world, and that those in America made a binding agreement with the founders of the U.S. never to wage war on American soil - or they will be banished. Meredith is half human, half faerie, and she is a faerie princess of the Unseelie (or dark) court. Dark, we learn quickly from the beginning of the series, does not mean evil; nor does the light, or Seelie court, mean good. They are different, but good and evil exist in both courts, as is repeatedly and graphically illustrated. The Seelie court, as it is more aesthetically pleasing (on the outside, anyway), has better PR with the media - but Meredith is slowly changing the public's perceptions on that score.
Meredith has been put in the unenviable position of trying to get pregnant before her insane cousin, the current queen's son, can sire a child. Whoever does so first will become the next ruler of the Unseelie court. Unfortunately her cousin has no intention of playing fair, and asssassinatin attmempts and underhanded behavior are the norm. This novel continues the story, launching Meredith into dire situations, heartbreaking and breathtaking and mystical situations, forcing her to make nearly impossible decisions for herself, her future children - not to mention the future of her two races.
I am always amazed and delighted by Hamilton's ability to weave an enchanting, gripping tale, and this seventh book in the series is certainly no exception. There is no other author who consistently has me up way past my intended bedtime, as I think, "Oh, I'll just read to the end of this scene, and then I'll stop." She somehow has these overlapping narrative arcs going on so that as once scene ends, another has already begun, and I just keep turning those pages. Even when I'm rereading one of her books! It's infuriating - and delightful.
Books in the Meredith Gentry series:
1. A Kiss of Shadows
2. A Caress of Twilight
3. Seduced by Moonlight
4. A Stroke of Midnight
5. Mistral's Kiss
6. A Lick of Frost
7. Swallowing Darkness
8. Divine Misdemeanors
Swallowing Darkness (#7 in the Meredith Gentry series) by Laurell K. Hamilton (Ballantine Books, 2008)
Also reviewed at:
All Booked Up: "I know I'm waiting for the next book quite eagerly..."
Darque Reviews: " Fans will be thrilled with the magical surprises shared by faerie, and stunned by the shocking end to this installment."
SciFiGuy: "Swallowing Darkness is one of the strongest installments of the Meredith Gentry series and fans of Laurell K. Hamilton will not be disappointed."