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    Review of SEDUCED BY MOONLIGHT by Laurell K. Hamilton (see her website)

    Ballantine, February 2004

    Meredith Gentry, princess of the Unseelie court, has a problem. Her cousin will do anything to kill her--and anything for an immortal is quite a bit. If Meredith can get pregnant, however, she'll become heir and be largely out of danger. With a male harem of willing bodyguards and a huge sex drive that doesn't sound like it should be much of a problem for Merry. Except fertility is terribly low amongst the sedhe and she seems to be no exception. In the meantime, court politics continue and Merry has more enemies than just her cousin--including perhaps, her aunt, the Queen of the Unseelie court.

    When she's invited to the Seelie court for a ball in her honor, Merry has no choice but to go--to refuse would show weakness, something no one of faerie can afford. But first, she needs to make a trip to the Unseelie Court and shore up her rough relationship with her aunt. Strange things are happening, however and Merry seems involved in awakening magic that had been lost for generations or more. The long-lost caldron/grail shows up in Merry's dream and then materializes and she is able to restart a long-dead magical spring in the Unseelie Court itself. But she is still mortal--and a few good tricks don't seem likely to stop her aunt who is on a murderous rage.

    Author Laurell K. Hamilton (see more reviews of novels by Hamilton) cooks up a fascinating world of sex, violence, perversion, and power in her Meredith Gentry series. All of these, sex, politics and blood are connected and Merry finds herself torn between the lessons of her father--assassinated for his weakness--and those of her aunt who kills without compunction. Since she awakens magical powers through sex or blood, there is plenty of opportunity for both--especially when her blood-covered appearance in the Unseelie Court causes magical challenges against her--and her aunt.

    SEDUCED BY MOONLIGHT moves a bit slowly. Merry has ample time to sample her males, negotiate with the goblins and fey, and generally go about her business of awakening magic. Lack of a ticiking clock generally weakens a story but in this case, the story is the characters--how Merry and her guard/harem deal with her powerful aunt and with one another as they vie to become the male who impregnates her and becomes consort to the heir. I find Hamilton's writing to be strangely fascinating and her best-selling status proves that I'm not alone. But SEDUCED BY MOONLIGHT is not for the faint of heart--it's graphic, often grotesque, and darkly compelling. Give it a try--but you may want to read the books in order--see also our reviews of the other novels in this series.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 3/02/04

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