A Lick of Frost
A Lick of Frost – Laurell K. Hamilton
I am Meredith Gentry, princess and heir apparent to the throne in the realm of faerie, onetime private investigator in the mortal world. To be crowned queen, I must first continue the royal bloodline and give birth to an heir of my own. If I fail, my aunt, Queen Andais, will be free to do what she most desires: install her twisted son, Cel, as monarch…and kill me.
My royal guards surround me, and my best loved – my Darkness and my Killing Frost – are always beside me, sworn to make love to me and protect me. Even now, we are forced into exile in the mortal world, hoping to outrun the gathering shadows of court intrigue. But King Taranis, powerful and dangerous ruler of faerie’s Seelie Court, has levelled accusations against my noble guards of a heinous crime. I know that Taranis’s true target is me. He tried to kill me when I was a child, and now I fear his intentions are far more terrifying.
One of the hallmarks of a great writer, in my opinion, is the ability to write a series in which each individual book of the series is able to stand on it’s own as though it were not a part of a larger whole. I believe that each individual book should be able to make complete sense on its own, even though you may not have read the book preceding it.
Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series, Larissa Ione’s Demonica series, and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series are all examples of series that do not necessarily need to be read in chronological order. While the books do flow into one another as the series progress, nothing is lost in terms of enjoyment or comprehension should the reader skip around within the series. The same can be said for Hamilton’s Anita Blake series but not so with the Meredith Gentry series.
Although A Lick of Frost is the sixth book in what is currently an eight book series, it is the first of the Meredith Gentry series that I have read. Unfortunately I felt lost from the moment that I began reading it. The first chapter reads as though it were literally cut out of the proceeding book and you can’t help but feel like you have walked into the middle of an ongoing conversation. My immediate reaction was disappointment as I struggled to make sense of the action. That being said however, I felt compelled to keep reading because I had been assured by a trusted friend that the series was just as good as the Anita Blake series and I am glad that I listened to her.
By the time that I had finished the third chapter I found myself drawn into Merry’s world, despite the foreignness of it. I became caught up in the personalities of the various supporting characters and I enjoyed trying to picture them as Hamilton described them physically. The details about the characters skin tones and eyes are definitely unlike any that I have encountered before. Before I knew it, I couldn’t put the book down.
The story is action packed and fast paced. Poor Merry and her guards are surrounded by such treachery on all sides that they can barely breathe. Despite the craziness that is all around them however, they still find the time to have the hot sex that Hamilton is well known for writing. To top off the action and sex, Hamilton managed to write one of the most romantic and touching scenes that I have ever read.
The intimacy between Merry and Frost was heart breaking, particularly in chapter 15 when Frost told Merry about his first love and how he literally became a man (fae). The words that he spoke to her at the end of the chapter came across as the tenderest vow that I have ever heard or read, so tender in fact that if a man were to speak them as his wedding vows there would not be a single dry eye within hearing range, regardless of the listener. Needless to say, I am completely in love with Frost!
When the book ends Meredith believes that she has lost Frost forever and my heart ached for her as she struggled with the pain of her loss. I was so upset to have found a new character to love, only to lose him within the same book. I put the book down and went straight to my computer to see how many books remained in the series, desperate to read the synopsis to see if I could figure out what would become of Frost in the future. Yes, I know that that is a major spoiler but I just had to know! I won’t tell you what lies ahead but you can bet that I’m anxious to read the next two books in the series, as well as the previous five. Rocky start to this book or not, Hamilton is one hell of a writer! I give A Lick of Frost 4 Bites out of 5.