Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Narcissus in Chains

Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter #10) by Laurell K. Hamilton was first released in 2001.

This book continues the adventures of Anita Blake, as she attempts to reconnect with her friends and allies after a lengthy separation. Can she undo the damage caused by her absence?

As Anita attempts to repair the damage and come to terms with her newly developing powers, she is also threatened by a series of attacks and disappearances within the shapeshifter community.

Narcissus in Chains takes place shortly after the events of Obsidian Butterfly and Anita has been out of contact with Jean-Claude and Richard, as well as the other vampires and werewolves. Anita is determined to renew her connections to Jean-Claude, Richard, and their followers, but she encounters several new problems as a result of "marrying the marks" that Jean-Claude has placed on Richard and herself.

This is the first book in which we see the ardeur, a rare power seen only in vampires of Jean-Claude's bloodline. Jean-Claude has passed this power on to Anita and she begins to develop powers of her own. Although this power allows Anita to draw energy from lust, it also requires her to "feed" on this sexual energy every day, sometimes multiple times a day.

Many of Hamilton's critics cite this book with the beginning of the increased sexcapades throughout her books. Many claim she has moved more into eroticism instead of the supernatural thrillers she is know for. Many others - like me - only think her writing has improved with the later books. You will have to read them to judge for yourself.

As with previous novels, "Narcissus in Chains" refers to a location within the novel itself. In this case, "Narcissus in Chains" is the name of a dominance and submission nightclub operated by Narcissus, a werehyena who is himself named after Narcissus of Greek myth.

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