Title: Narcissus in Chains
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Publication Year: 2001
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Mystery
Source: Borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
Anita Blake finds herself caught in a deadly triangle between the two men in her life, men whose immortal powers of werewolf and vampire can give her the strength she needs to overcome a deadly enemy or destroy her soul.
(This is the tenth book in the Anita Blake series, after Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned, The Lunatic Cafe, Bloody Bones, The Killing Dance, Burnt Offerings, Blue Moon, and Obsidian Butterfly.)
At the beginning of the book, I started to get really excited. It seemed like the whole Anita/Richard/Jean-Claude thing was finally getting itself sorted out. And then … everything got really, really complicated.
There’s a lot going on in Narcissus in Chains, too much to try to recount. I’ll try to touch on the parts that I found interesting, though. Starting with the BDSM club that some of the first scenes take place in. This was my first signal that this book would start to shift the series in another direction. Because I only started reading the series recently, I already knew that later books would become more … err … relationship-focused, but I hadn’t really known when that shift would happen. This is clearly the book where it begins. The relationships between the three main characters go through a lot of changes in this book, and Anita herself changes a lot. I know that a lot of people have a problem with the direction the series took from here, but I kind of like it.
Another thing that’s really important in this book is the introduction of the new wereleopard pard, particularly Micah. I have to admit, at first, I wasn’t too keen on this new development. It seemed like it was just stepping on Richard’s toes a bit much. But then there was the whole “maybe-Anita’s-going-to-shift” thing going on, and – as freaking usual – Richard behaves badly. And I lost all sympathy for him.
While I enjoyed the subplot to do with the changes in the werewolf pack, they also simply frustrated and pissed me off. I wanted to smack Richard around and ask what’s wrong with him, not for the first time. By the end of the book, I was actually kind of happy that it seemed like Richard and Anita might not work out after all. He just bothered me that much.
Narcissus in Chains is key to understanding a lot of things in the series going forward, and Armstrong has done a good job at making it the turning point in the series.