Merry Gentry (series)
First edition UK cover of first novel
|Author||Laurell K. Hamilton|
|Genre||Horror, Erotica, Urban Fantasy|
The Merry Gentry series is a series of urban fantasy novels by New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton. The series is narrated in first person format through the eyes of the series' titular character Meredith "Merry" Gentry, a faerie princess turned private investigator in a world where faeries exist and are known to the general public. The first book in the series, A Kiss of Shadows, was released by Del Rey on October 3, 2000. As of 2012 there are eight books in the series, with Hamilton stating that she is to release a ninth entry titled "A Shiver of Light" on June 3rd, 2014. 
In an interview with Time magazine, Hamilton wrote that she saw the character as a way of exploring a character who "is totally comfortable with their sexuality" as opposed to the character of Anita Blake in her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series.
The series follows Princess Meredith NicEssus aka "Merry Gentry", a fairy princess that is forced to flee the court of her aunt Andais, the Queen of Air and Darkness and of the Unseelie fae. The first novel takes place after Merry has spent several years outside of her aunt's court out of fear of death via court sanctioned duels. Merry is soon brought back to the Unseelie Court and given the option to take her aunt's throne, but only if she can procreate before her sadistic cousin Cel can. She is allowed to take several of Andais's court guards with her and through the course of the series gains more lovers that are drawn to her side through love, friendship, power, promises for protection, and/or bargains struck with other magical creatures. Merry eventually gets involved in a series of secrets and court intrigues as she discovers that both of the rulers of the Seelie and Unseelie courts are potentially infertile, something that has the potential to keep both the followers in each court from producing new fae children. At the end of Divine Misdemeanors Merry has not only managed to become pregnant with twins, but has formed her own informal court, complete with lands and grounds that she has not fully investigated. She has also alienated herself from both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, as she was responsible for the death of her cousin Cel of the Unseelie Courts and filed charges against her uncle Taranis, the ruler of the Seelie Courts, for rape.
Books in the series
- A Kiss of Shadows (2000) ISBN 978-0-345-42340-5
- A Caress of Twilight (2002) ISBN 978-0-345-47816-0
- Seduced by Moonlight (2004) ISBN 978-0-345-44359-5
- A Stroke of Midnight (2005) ISBN 978-0-345-44360-1
- Mistral's Kiss (2006) ISBN 978-0-345-44361-8
- A Lick of Frost (2007) ISBN 978-0-345-49591-4
- Swallowing Darkness (2008) ISBN 978-0-345-49593-8
- Divine Misdemeanors (December 8, 2009) ISBN 978-0-345-49596-9
- A Shiver of Light (June 3, 2014) ISBN 978-0-425-25566-7
Critical reception for the Merry Gentry series has been mixed to positive. The earlier novels in the series received predominantly positive reviews while later novels in the series such as Divine Misdemeanors were criticized for having a "too simply resolved conclusion".
- Merry Gentry, the titular character of the series
- "BEST SELLERS: October 22, 2000". The New York Times. 22 October 2000. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Bolhafner, J. Stephen (2 November 2008). "Merry Gentry intrigue brings the series all together". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. F8. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Shindler, Dorman T. (23 March 2003). "Queen of horror can't resist a twist to the erotic". The Denver Post. p. EE-02. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Rumors about the Merry Gentry Series". Laurell K. Hamilton. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Cruz, Gilbert (30 October 2008). "Vampire Novelist Laurell K. Hamilton". Time. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Review: Divine Misdemeanors". RT Book Reviews. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Review: Swallowing Darkness". RT Book Reviews. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Review: Divine Misdemeanors". Booklist. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Bierly, Mandi (December 8, 2006). "The Reviews: Books". Entertainment Weekly (910): 100. ISSN 1049-0434.