I got this book last night after work and read the entire thing in about 3 uninterrupted hours. It was a fabulous book that read more in keeping with the first 2 in the series. There was only 1.5 sex scenes in the book, most of the book dealt with political intrigue, the Goddess, and some great fighting scenes. (Apparently now that Merry is pregnant we won't have to deal with the non-stop sex.)
Merry really starts to get a handle on her powers and accepted the dreaded Hands of Flesh and Blood, especially since she has lost her beloved Frost and has the children to protect. With every attack she faces, Merry becomes more focused, more ruthless and more aware of how her actions affect those who look to her for leadership. She also learns the full power of her powers and how they can be used together to both heal and kill.
Several storylines are tied up, including the one about who killed her father. The story ends with a summary of events that leads us to believe that the next book will start several weeks or months in the future. LKH has stated in her blog that she is under contract for at least 2 more Merry books, I can only hope that the next 2 books are equally as good or better than this one!
Fantastic. Hamilton seems to have listened to the outcry of her readers and really brought the storyline back into this book. Some stuff was corny and some just drawn out (filler) but for the most part the incredible imagination that went into this story is what keeps her readers coming back.
At the end of Lick of Frost - we find out that Merry is pregnant, who the fathers are, and what lengths Taranis will go to secure his throne at the Seelie court. This book starts out with Merry in the hospital because of what happened in the last book. The action and drama took a hold at the first page and did not let go. The fighting, political intrigue and the hard decisions that Merry faced in this book were tougher and just kept coming. We see less sex in this book and more fighting...we see the emergence of the Wild Hunt, more Goddess presence, more treachery from Cel, more human interaction with the faerie world and the lengths Merry will go for love and vengeance.
The Merry Gentry series is great and I highly recommend this book!
Overall I felt that Swallowing Darkness (despite the title!) was a refreshing adjustment in direction for this series. The sex scenes that seemed to dominate the last few books were mostly absent, and those that were in this book lacked the exhaustingly florid detail of previous Merry Gentry books. Several long-standing plots were resolved and Merry seemed to actually grow as a character.
Unfortunately the writing is a bit sloppy and keeps the story from 'flowing' smoothly, and the cast of characters is still so large that most seem to be dealt with in only the most cursory way. On the one hand that's bad -- the characters seem very one-dimensional and shallow. On the other however, it could be good -- it leaves me hoping that we'll find out more about those characters as they're fleshed out in future books.
This book was a great read. It still follows the same outline as the others, but for me it was a better read. I could skip over all of the sex scenes which seem to be pushed down your throat, sometimes too much. Yes--I understand she was trying to get pregnant. But a good writer can elude to those events without giving you detail after detail of the actual act.
I will definitely keep reading this series.