Book Review: Laurell K. Hamilton’s Mistral’s Kiss

Posted February 4, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: Laurell K. Hamilton’s Mistral’s Kiss

Mistral’s Kiss


Laurell K. Hamilton

urban fantasy, erotic romance that was published by Ballantine Books on December 30, 2006 and has 302 pages.

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Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Hit List, Bloody Bones, Killing Dance, Burnt Offerings, Narcissus in Chains, Obsidian Butterfly, Bite, Incubus Dreams, Micah, Danse Macabre, The Harlequin, Blood Noir, Flirt, Bullet, Never After, Kiss the Dead, The First Death, Affliction, Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned, "Shutdown", A Kiss of Shadows, Lunatic Café, A Caress of Twilight, Seduced by Moonlight, A Stroke of Midnight, A Lick of Frost, Blue Moon, Dead Ice, Jason, Crimson Death

Fifth in the Meredith Gentry erotic urban fantasy series revolving around a very magically fertile faerie princess. Based in Illinois.

My Take

For as vicious as Mistral can be, you can’t help but cry with him. The queen is such a nightmare. She claims to be so willing to give up to help her Court live again, and yet she can’t actually change her methods of doing business.

The sithen does have a mind of its own as the magic takes so many of Merry’s men even as it responds to Merry’s desires. Now if only she’d be more specific about those desires, especially when one particular request for aid leads to greater danger.

It’s fascinating, the reasoning Hamilton uses to explain gods and goddesses, the fae, why they’ve lost their powers and why they’re coming back. It’s so believable. The history of the many courts of Faerie. The two hearts of the Unseelie Court. The two sides of the death deities. It all coincides with what Merry believes, with what she is bringing back to the fae.

Less fascinating, horrifying in fact, is the queen craving a boost in her own powers (god forbid) through sex with Meredith.

What irritates me…that Hamilton can’t be bothered to create a different primary character from Anita Blake. The same approach to oral sex. The same love of biting. Hmmm, maybe they’re twins who got separat

Merry and her men are creating havoc in the sithen what with power levels amping up, sidhe becoming more sidhe, the Wild Hunt’s reappearance, and the Queen’s change of heart.

It’s Merry’s time with Abeleoc and Mistral brings the gardens of the sithen back online, but it takes a toll in those whom it swallows up, pierces, or takes within their elements of tree and air.

For the sithen makes Merry’s wishes come true, even when Merry and her men want to leave the garden, to save Nerys’ people, and her words take them on what Merry initially believes is the wrong path. Certainly her men are unhappy with their invasion of Sholto’s kingdom.

As are Sholto’s people. In their paranoia, they see it as a combined plot to destroy the sluagh and they react with fear. And yet when Sholto has the opportunity to bring life back to his people, he questions what the Consort wants.

The Characters

Princess Meredith “Merry Gentry” NicEssus, descendant of five fertility deities, Princess of Flesh and Blood, is looking more likely to be heir to the throne of the Unseelie Court. A fae princess considered a mongrel by those who don’t know her; a goddess by those who love her.

The men who end up with Merry in Sholto’s kingdom include:
Doyle, the Darkness, the queen’s chief assassin was once known as Nodens, the god of healing, a man others naturally look to for leadership; Frost is the Killing Frost, once little Jack Frost, an element of nature given form by belief; and, Abeloec, now a drunken addict who fears to trust, was once a god who chose kings and queens, made goddesses.

Left behind are Rhys who has regained his powers as Cromm Cruach, the Lord of Death; Kitto, the snake goblin who is part of Merry’s alliance with Kurag, was over a thousand years old when Christ died on the cross; Adair; Usna; Ivi; Brii; Mistral, once again a storm god but still the captain of the Queen’s Ravens, turns out to like pain a little too much sometimes; Onilwyn, a tree lord who hates Merry with all the arrogance of a sidhe, but will do anything to end his millenia-long sexual drought; Crystall; and, Arzhel.

Some are taken and include Galen, who has come into his power — part of it manifests as growing something from nothing — is targeted by Cel and his people. Nicca has sprouted real wings from those tattooed onto his back, and the ring has found him his love, Biddy, one of Cel’s guards, with a promise of a child. Amatheon is gone, sacrificed to the land in Merry’s vision so that the land will be fertile again; Hawthorne; and, Aisling was recognized by the Seelie sithen as king, but Taranis forced him out, at least the garden wants him.

Queen Andais skirts the edge of being forsworn, good thing as she doesn’t like to receive pain, only to give it. She has recently learned that she is infertile. Ezekiel is her human torturer.

Sholto, half-sidhe and half-nightflyer, is King of the sluagh, Lord of That Which Passes Between (and a whiz with taxis!) — the queen calls him her Perverse Creature — was and is so desperate to lie with another sidhe that he opens himself to tremendous pain. Black Agnes is Sholto’s chief bodygyuard and lover while Segna the Gold is a sister night-hag and lover and both murderous toward Merry. Ivar and Fyfe are Sholto’s uncles and goblin-nightflyers.

Lady Clarisse is the Seelie noble who entices Sholto.

Ash and Holly are reluctant to aid Merry until she forces them to it; Jonty still hears the Goddess and God and commands his Redcaps. It’s what they mean when they say she calls their blood that has me worried.

Special Agents Bancroft and Charles are with the FBI.

The Goddess as crone with her wisdom, a lifetime of knowledge. The Consort is her other half. The horn comes in a dream.

The Cover and Title

The cover is in shades of red from the stormy red sky of the background to the tinged flesh of Merry’s back with its lightning bolt tattoo to the deep red, cropped leather bustier laced up her back to the red letters in the author’s name.

The title is the sweet trap that the magic of faerie used, Mistral’s Kiss, his wind, his rain, to bring the sidhe and the gardens of the sithen back to life.