A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter four

There’s an introductory paragraph about how the seedy and gross shapeshifter businesses are not permitted in the main body of the city, while the vampire businesses are allowed in the main city because they’re so wonderful and fabulous. Why even bother to have shapeshifters in the book, if you hate writing about them so much?

Anita wanks about how she’s in an area where other, lesser women would be attacked. But not her. She’s got so much weaponry and so won’t suffer the indignities of lesser women.

Of course, I don’t usually walk around looking like bait.



Anita then goes on about how you can shield yourself with elements of the universe and how she’s NOT LIKE OTHER WEAK WOMEN, MMMKAY? Then she notices Jason. Oh great, I just love Jason.

He was wearing a sheer silver mesh shirt and a pair of pants that seemed mostly made of the same stuff. Only a thin line of solid silver ran over his groin. The outfit was so eye-catching that it took me a moment to realize just how sheer the cloth was. What I was really seeing wasn’t the silver, but Jason’s skin through a veil of glitter. The outfit, which left precious little to the imagination, ended in calf-high gray boots.

That outfit is going to be just super great when bullets start flying.

He’d been nineteen when we met. Twenty two looked better on him.

How has it been three years since we met him? Anita’s only aged two years. This timeline is more timey wimey than if you passed time through a corkscrew.

They exchange mutual hellos and happy to see yous, before they go into NiC. Well, only after Anita goes on about Jason’s thong.

The music hit me at the door like a giant’s slap.

You already used that simile. Try again.

It surprisingly looks a lot like a night club, but Anita shouldn’t be so surprised, seeing as how she hangs around the leopard’s S&M club of choice. She catches sight of JC, who is dressed from vinyl from head to toe. Nice. It’s just as well vampires don’t sweat.

That heartrending beauty that was masculine but treaded –

‘Trod’. The word you’re looking for is ‘trod’.

– the line between what was male and what was female. Not exactly androgynous, but close to it.

Um, that sounds exactly like androgyny. Just admit you find women attractive as well, and get over your hang up. But, anywho, Anita is struck with instalust over how hawwwwt her abusive boyfriend is. She compares him to a painting by Da Vinci. Lady, if you want to go hump priceless renaissance masterpieces, why not try that out instead? Anita and JC stare at each other, while Jason makes third wheel jokes that are stale. Three men then come up to them.

The shortest of the three was only about five foot seven, and he was wearing more makeup on his pale triangular face than I was. The makeup as well done, but he wasn’t trying to look like a woman.

It’s almost as if – gasp – men can wear make-up just because they want to! What a shocking idea!

This is Narcissus, the owner of the club, and credit where credit’s due, Anita recognises that he* wears what the fuck he wants to wear and doesn’t give a shit about conforming to a society imposed gender identity. The other two guys don’t meet Anita’s ‘badass’ standards.

(*Narcissus is referred to using ‘he/him’ pronouns, so until I am corrected otherwise, I will follow suit)

Narcissus said, “This is Ulysses and Ajax.” Ajax was the blond, and Ulysses was the oh-so brunette.

“Greek myths, nice naming convention,” I said.

Narcissus blinked large dark eyes at me. Either he didn’t think I was funny, or he simply didn’t care.

I didn’t realise making observations are jokes. Narcissus tells Anita to loose her gun – it turns out he can smell it, which is a good use of a shapeshifter ability. He reminds her this is neutral territory, so it’s pretty insulting for her to bring weapons with her. Anita huffs because she can’t be without her precious gun. She insults the idea of a neutral space, but considering how supernaturals act in this world, a neutral space has got to be the only place where you’re not going to get killed. Narcissus senses something of the other about Anita, presuming she is a shapeshifter. He tells her she is unfit to lead the wereleopards if she constantly has to resort to physical violence and weaponry.

oh my gosh i love narcissus he speaks all the sense

Anita admits she’s interviewing potential candidates to run the wereleopards. I have a question – why can’t one of the wereleopards be in charge? Why must they rely on you to wipe their arses for them? She admits to wanting to ‘farm them out’ which…. um, they’re people with their own independent minds. They are not your fucking property.

More back and forth about Anita’s guns, with Narcissus saying how the problem has been dealt with already.

“Nathaniel is one of those bottoms who will ask for more punishment than he can survive. He has no stopping point, no ability to keep himself safe. Do you understand?”

Narcissus’s eyes widened. “Then what was he doing here without a top of his own?”

more sense from narcissus. Although he should be asking why, if Anita and co are his safe keepers while Nathavile gets on his feet, they didn’t do more to prevent this situation. Anita says how it’s poopiehead Elizabeth’s fault because she keeps fighting with Anita. Oh, I wonder why. Narcissus asks for the gun, again, and Anita finally gives in. She is welcomed into the club.

JC then demands that they do the vampire mark right here and now. As he’s an arsehole. They go to a wall and talk about marks. I don’t care. Anita blathers about her shields. I don’t care. They rub faces and Anita tries to argue for helping people but is powerless to stop herself when confronted with JC’s vinyl body. He continues his trend of being a douchebag by saying how this is all really because of her and she’s the one making him to it and blahabalalaahahahafrenchwhining.

Then Asher arrives. Didn’t you rush here to save the wereleopards because they are entirely helpless on their own?

A show is being set up around them, so JC has a go at Anita about how they can’t possibly marry the marks without everyone noticing, how could she be so stupid as to think that, and people are going to be really offended if they do it without warning.



JC then says how he won’t force her to do anything.

Anita drops her shields and JC’s mind POWERS drop on her like a pile of bricks. He then walks away and Anita slams towards the floor. Luckily, Richard is there to catch her.

I think Narcissus might be the only character I like. In the whole of the book so far.


17 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter four

    • There’s little stigma to being sexually interested in androgynous people any more – isn’t that what the 70s and 80s were about? We have to remember what David Bowie and Annie Lennox fought for! They fought for us to be free against the stifling conformities of gender!

  1. “Greek myths, nice naming convention,” I said.

    Except that Ulysses is Roman. The Greek name would be Odysseus. Which would be why it’s called “The Odyssey”.

    “She admits to wanting to ‘farm them out’ which…. um, they’re people with their own independent minds. They are not your fucking property.”

    Now I’m imagining that Anita has them do all her housework and hires them out as cheap labor, and then keeps most of the profits for herself. Hence why she hasn’t done anything about them since taking over, and how she can afford her nice big house despite never actually doing her job (does she even still have that job?).

    • She spoke about her job in the epilogue of OB, but I’m under the impression that she doesn’t really show up or do anything. But has money because…. magic.

      You can’t ask an author to do research! That would be stifling their creativity.

  2. “bait”
    eewww WHY ANITA WHY oh right misogyny

    Sooo Jason looks like a spaceman stripper. Wonder what the theme that night was, the Moon Landing? Oh man, astronaut-stripper names would be a riot.

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