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

The gang are now in a corridor. It has silver wallpaper. It’s very fancy wallpaper, but I don’t care. Anita calls it a shock after Narcissus’s ‘Marquis de Sade’ bedroom.

LKH, have you ever read any Sade? I have. Let me tell you, the stuff in Sade’s works far outstrips the ‘hardcore’ in this book. Narcissus’s tastes are pretty tame in comparison.

Jamil is suddenly with them again, and Anita goes on about how it’s so clear he’s not wearing underwear. Because, you know, that’s integral to the plot. And there’s a new vampire called ‘Faust’.

Seriously. Faust. Well, I’m just going to imagine him as Richard Burton in the seventies version of Faust because it makes this all the more hilarious.

In the better light, his hair was obviously tinted burgundy, like a shade of red gone wrong, but it suited him.


Write things with a level of competence, that’s all I ask of you.

Anita spends a page talking about Jamil and Faust’s clothing, because that’s important to the plot. She then mentions there are two women behind them. One of them has her clothing described in loving detail, because that’s important to the plot.

The hose climbed her legs all the way up, making them look long and shapely, though she was only three inches taller than me.

  • Of course her tights went up her legs. That’s their function.
  • Um, if you’re five foot six – like me – it means you can’t have shapely legs? What, if you’re ‘short’, you get instant stunted legs?
  • What?

Her breasts seemed to stay magically on either side of the line of skin, as if they were held in place by something more than a bra.

You mean tit tape. Or her top has breast pockets.

The other woman is a vampire. Now, last time she was mentioned I left out the fact that this vampire, Meng Die, is Asian. I didn’t feel the need to draw attention to her ethnicity, unlike LKH. Who has given her the most stereotypical Asian vampire name – it literally has DIE in it. She continues the stereotype by going on about how delicate she is and how birdlike she is and how dainty she is.

Newsflash: that’s pretty racist. I don’t like it. By all means, make your vampires as ethnically diverse as possible. So many vampire franchises don’t – they’re so bogged down with the European mythos, that everyone tends to be focused on the west. Having vampires of different races and cultures and experiences is great! Making them the most stereotypical example of their race is very bad and offensive.

Anita reveals that she is finally going after the wereleopards, and how she’s going alone (aside from all her bodyguards). She can’t have Richard or JC as they’re other ‘dominants’ and she would look weak. Fine. She says that if she’s seen as weak, everyone will make the wereleopards their ‘meat’ which… well, they already are. Because Anita doesn’t care about them. She reiterates how she can’t be seen as weak over and over and over. Repetition makes it good!

Oh, and the woman who has all those breasts is Sylvie. Anita couldn’t even be bothered to refer to her by name. Wow.

They arrive at the door where the wereleopards are being held. Faust stands in front of the door so Anita barrels into a great big scene where she tells him to not stand in front of doors when people have guns because you’ll get shot do you know what a copkiller is it’s a weapon designed to kill cops you fucking idiot faust why don’t you know how to get out of the way of these people who have been told we’re coming and that narcissus is willing to give me back the wereleopards, you fucking idiot!

“Get out of the fucking way,” Meng Die said.

oh i love you meng die. Rule over this world on a throne of decapitated heads.

Faust does not like a woman ordering him, so they start to squabble, and Anita calls them ‘children’. Pft. You don’t have the right to call anyone else a child, woman child. Jamil knocks on the door.

The door opened, revealing a brown-haired man as muscled as Ajax, but taller. What did Narcissus do, recruit all the weightlifting gyms in town? He frowned at us. “Yeah?”

“I’m Nimir-Ra for the wereleopards. I think you’ve been waiting for me.”

“About fucking time,” he said.

They go in, and it’s introduced as the ‘room of swords’. There’s a big guy in half-hyena, half-human form because…. um. Reasons. Wouldn’t it be dangerous being stuck between forms for long periods of time? I mean, their bodies are able to go from one form to the other, wouldn’t being stuck do serious damage to them? Anita then notices all the men have ‘dark skin’ and all look the same.

you aren’t even trying to avoid those implications, are you?

Anyway, oh no, Greggory is bound to a wall and is naked despite wearing clothes and has a rockin’ bod and now there’s a snake man.

The snake man has claws.

Yes, snakes are famous for their clawed hands.

Anita wants to know why the snake man – Coronus, which makes me think of Corona – has taken her people. He strokes a random woman who deserves no name. Snake man came here for swanmanes and kidnapped wereleopards because…. you know, swans and leopards are the same thing. He then demands Anita come over and look at Gregory, personal like, and oh my god, he’s been castrated!


Anita starts to cry about poor Gregory, and they unbind him from the wall, and she holds him in her arms and cries. She feels actual emotion for once. Then the snake man claws at her and she springs out with knives.

I foot-swept the snake, but the snake was on its feet, kicking upward like it had springs in its spine.

You foot-swept the snake.

The snake has legs and feet.

… wow, that biology degree really makes this world seem so realistic!

Another snake leaps out, and Meng Die fights it, but is taken out very quickly. Sylvie and the gang start partially changing and fighting in a confusing way. Anita wrestles Corona and then Jamil leaps onto her as Corona yells out he’s been beaten. Corona bleats how he wouldn’t have been so cruel if he thought Anita was coming, which makes the whole political mess so much more confusing. His eyes then reveal where Nathavile has been hidden!…. which is in full view of the entire room. The fuck?

Anyway, Nathavile is full of swords. I don’t think this is a bad thing.

Anita goes up to him and touches him, which must be a massive help for all that agonising pain he’s in. She then starts rubbing his wounds which, again, must be a massive help for all that pain he’s in. Anita then ponders aloud what on earth she can do to help him.

…. um…. remove the fucking swords, you jackass?

They do this, and Nathavile screams. Gregory then turns into a half-leopard and his genitals are enormous now. Corona tells Anita to leave, and now she thinks about that woman chained to the wall and how she should probably do something. Now there are three women chained to the wall, and because Nathavile is sad, Anita deigns herself to possibly help. Corona and her argue about it for two pages.

Anita, you could just… free them. Corona is paralysed. He can’t do shit. He stays he must absolutely keep them for mysterious reasons but Anita knows ‘we’d won’. Yeah, you shoved a knife in his spine and lungs, that was obvious.

Corona thinks about this for a page. Two more snake people attack Anita out of nowhere. Jamil and Gregory jump on them, but Anita’s already unconscious. Nothing says competent hero like being knocked unconscious every ten chapters!

I don’t even know what the fuck is going on in this book. Already.


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

  1. So, she could just say fuck it and rescue them already. But no, she can’t do it because…why? Also, I hate to rain on your parade, but did I miss the seventh chapter?

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