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Merry Gentry Books In Order

Publication Order of Merry Gentry Books

A Kiss of Shadows (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Caress of Twilight (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Seduced by Moonlight (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Stroke of Midnight (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mistral's Kiss (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Lick of Frost (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Swallowing Darkness (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Divine Misdemeanors (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Shiver of Light (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Largely writing fantasy and erotica, the American novelist Laurell K. Hamilton is mainly known for her unique take on the genre. Infusing a number of different styles together, she has effectively combined them all, creating an enticing and highly entertaining backlog of work. Knowing and understanding the form, she has become a highly prominent spokesperson for both her and her craft. One particular fantasy series that she’s well known for is that of her Merry Gentry collection of novels, featuring the eponymous leading protagonist of the same name. Merry Gentry is a private investigator who also lives in a fantasy world, as she is non other than a faerie princess herself. In her world faeries are readily accepted by society, as she goes about solving various mysteries and undertaking investigations.

Running for over nine books and counting so far, this series has enjoyed a huge amount of success over its entire run. Starting out with ‘A Kiss of Shadows’ back in 2000, followed up by ‘A Caress of Twilight’ in 2002, this series has come a long way. With an investigation in each story, they all proceed to develop the character of Merry Gentry, as she navigates the fantasy world that Hamilton has so lovingly created.

A Kiss of Shadows

Initially published in 2000, this was first brought out through the Ballantine Books publishing label to much acclaim. Setting up the Merry Gentry series, it would introduce not only her, but the world and universe that she was to inhabit as well. This would progress in the following books to come, as Hamilton would develop it in time, creating her own idiosyncratic style and tone.

The world of Merry Gentry, or Princess Meredith NicEssus as she’s more formally known, is not much unlike the real one, except there’s magical beings living out in the open. Taking a lot of ideas from the fantasy genre, it manages to combine them with a sense of reality that really draws the reader in effectively. Creating a style and tone that is at once intoxicating, it builds a sense of trepidation and anticipation as the franchise moves on. The character of Merry herself is a strong one, as she is both resourceful and astute, coming alive almost off of the page. As the daughter of Essus, her role is already fairly prominent from the outset within this world, as she undertakes her responsibility whilst trying to do the right thing. All the other characters with their various roles and titles are set to mirror her and juxtapose what it is that she is going through. Taking place all over Los Angeles, it manages to really make the city come alive in full glorious color, showing a side that’s never been seen before. Allowing the locations to speak for themselves almost, it really makes the most of its sense of atmosphere and ambiance. This also paves the way for a lot of the books to follow, as it ensures that the city is almost a character itself.

Set in a fantastical alternative version of Los Angeles city, it sees all the magical creatures as being ‘out-of-the-closet’ and in the wide-world at large. One such being is that of Princess Meredith NicEssus, who is here the leading heroine, as she’s a faerie princess working as a private investigator. That’s when a case comes up involving a dangerous foe who is using Branwyn’s Tears to appear as a sidhe lover for one night. Who are they? Can she catch them? What are the implications with a kiss of shadows?

A Caress of Twilight

Brought out once again through ‘Ballantine Books’, this continues on directly from the last, allowing the rest of the series to develop in the process. First released on the 26th of March in 2002, this was to be the second book in the now much loved ‘Merry Gentry’ collection of novels. Maintaining a similar tone to what came before, it evolves not only the story, but the characters and the world as a whole.

Hitting her stride in this novel, this marks a more confident entry into the series, as it clearly knows where it’s going now. With many of the narrative arcs being maintained, it manages to follow a set of beats that the previous title paved the way for. This includes the characters themselves, who are far more fully realized and well rounded here, as Hamilton clearly has an affinity for them now. With Princess Meredith NicEssus, or Merry Gentry, once again at the forefront, Hamilton is clearly within her element here. As Gentry goes about with a sense of conviction, so too does the reader, as her plight resonates with them in a down-to-earth manner. The supporting characters and cast are also well drawn and play off of the main heroine well, juxtaposing her plight effectively. Bringing Los Angeles to the foreground once again too, it manages to make the most of its various locations once more as well. Allowing the descriptions to speak for themselves almost, it really works at evoking a sense of the ‘other world’. The feeling of magic in the air is also strong, as it breathes life into an already vibrant and exciting city, allowing it to gain a newfound sense of energy.

Happening just a few months after the first novel, whereby Merry has now resumed working for the ‘Grey Detective Agency’. Returning to Los Angeles, California, with her sidhe warriors and lovers in tow, she is soon approached by the Hollywood actress Maeve Reed. Looking to have a baby with her now dying husband, she was initially exiled by Taranis, the King of Light and Illusion, who believed her to be infertile. Will she be able to help Maeve? What lies in store for them? Who shall provide a caress of twilight?

The Merry Gentry Series

With a seductive and atmospheric style, this is a series immersed in an intoxicating and ever enticing ambiance. Creating a world that’s rich and vibrant, it builds upon its initial premise, taking it forwards over the entire course of the franchise. A definite must for any fans not only of the genre, but the author as well, it’s easy to see why this gained so many followers and will continue to do so every day.

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